Silverwood Theme Park
Silverwood Theme Park is a huge tourist attraction for Americans and Canadians looking to have a fun little getaway during the summer. It is located in the state of Idaho, along the highway between the cities of Coeur D’Alene and Sandpoint. The drive from Calgary, Alberta will take you about 7-8 hours. The park is divided into two areas, one with amusement park rides and the other a massive water park called Boulder Beach.
Silverwood offers rides for the thrill-seekers of every age group. There are around 30 different park rides that range from low to high intensity. The first thing you will notice upon entry is that the grounds are beautiful! It is very clean and well-kept and there are blooming flowers everywhere.
The waterpark was easily the highlight of our experience! The kids went crazy for the wave pools, waterslides and play park. We don’t have anything like this in Calgary so it was a really nice treat. There is a lot of ground to cover in both parks so use this guide to help plan your vacation!
I received a lot of great tips on Instagram before leaving and it helped make the trip run much more smoothly. I’ve compiled a list to help you plan your next vacation to Silverwood!
Tips for Silverwood and Boulder Beach
1. Park Hours
Both parks open at 11 am every day. Silverwood closes at 9 pm on most nights and 10 pm on Friday and Saturdays. Boulder Beach closes at 7 pm.
2. Park Admission
Park admission allows you access to both Silverwood AND Boulder Beach and you can go freely between both areas during the day. You can plan for one full day at each or try the amusement park in the morning and the waterpark in the afternoon.
3. Costs and Savings
To get the most out of your trip, go for the 2-day admission. It costs $86 (ages 8-64) and $48 (ages 3-7) which is a savings of about $33-$18 per person. If you want to save even more, pre-buy your tickets online to save an extra $5 per person. If you plan ahead, you can get an Early Bird deal by purchasing tickets before the first week of May. Many hotels in the area also offer discounted tickets with your stay. Costco does NOT offer discounted tickets anymore.
A great secret is that you can go early so that you’ll be all ready to go as soon as the park gates open! You can access the bag check, tickets and some of the park stores as early as 9 am to get your family ready!
Bring a cooler! Pack all the snacks you want in a soft-sided cooler (no larger than 12″x 12″x 12″). That includes non-alcoholic drinks. Your kids will be happy and you’ll save a lot of money being able to pack more nutritious treats. There is a super Walmart Supercentre along the highway to Coeur D’Alene, stop there first to stock up!
Although you are able to bring in drinks, you are not allowed to bring alcohol. They do thoroughly search your bags and coolers prior to entry. But guess what, you can purchase alcohol in the park! Boulder Beach has a bar to buy beers or frozen drinks like margaritas. It’s seriously the best. There is even a swim-up bar in the lazy river for adults. If you purchase the souvenir Silverwood cup, then your drinks refills (including beer) are discounted!
6. Bring a Wagon!
The best thing we did was take a wagon with us into the park. We traveled with another family so we were able to pack all of our bathing suits, towels, coolers, water bottles, etc. Plus if you have a tired child, they can hitch a ride!
7. Days of the Week
Obviously, the weekends are almost twice as busy as the weekdays. If you can plan to take advantage of a Monday-Friday visit, then you’ll be dealing with much less wait times for rides.
Bring water bottles for your family and use the water fountains to refill at no charge throughout the day.
9. Free Wifi
Music to an Instagrammer’s ears! Connect to the park’s free wifi and surf and post all about your awesome experience.
Compared to most amusement parks that I’ve visited, Silverwood’s food is really reasonably priced. The portions are also really big! There are burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken fingers, tacos, and hot dogs. I highly recommend Pablo’s Mexican food in Boulder Beach but the line is terribly slow!
Plan to eat at least one meal here and bring snacks to help get you through the rest of the day. There are also lots of great dessert shops!
11. Line Ups
If you arrive as soon as the park opens, head to the high-intensity rides first before the lines form. The thrill rides always draw the biggest crowds. There are height restrictions on all rides too so make sure to measure your kiddos prior to joining the queues. Measure your kids before you go and plan out your trip using this handy size guide!
12. Boulder Beach Entry Line
People line up 1-2 hours prior to the 11 am entry for Boulder Beach. Guests are looking to secure lounge chairs for the day in their preferred areas and they aren’t messing around. I want to warn you that it is a bit crazy: people literally stampede in as soon as the gates open. My advice is to check the map and pick a place that you know you camp out for the day, then get your elbows up and beeline it as soon as the park officially opens. If you aren’t there early on a weekend, you likely will NOT get a seat.
13. Cabana Rental
If you’re not keen to line up early, then consider a Cabana Rental. If you split it between tow families then I think it is well worth it. For $199 2 lounge chairs, 4 chairs and a table, 2 rental tubes, 2 rental towels, a mini-refrigerator, and a locker. These books up weeks in advance so make sure to plan ahead.
Towels are available for rent but save yourself the trouble and pack your own. There are change rooms as bathing suits are not permitted to be worn in Silverwood. There are also rented lockers to store your valuables.
Tubes are free to use in the park but they are also available for daily rental use in the lazy river and tube slides. I’ didn’t think that renting a tube was the most cost-effective option. We never had to wait for a double tube on the waterslides, although the lazy river was SO packed that we weren’t able to get in. If you’re really keen on the lazy river, go there first or rent a single tube.
Our favourite waterslides were the “family” slides called Avalanche Mountain and Ricochet Rapids. These are located at the very back of the park and your whole family can ride together in one giant raft! Go there first upon entry as the lines form quickly and can get very long.
17. RV Park
Silverwood has an on-site RV Park where you can book a campsite for a tent or trailer. These sites book up quickly and it’s really up to you how close you want to stay in proximity to the park.
Idaho is a beautiful state that offers a lot of great campgrounds. Camping is a great experience for your kids and can save you a ton of money on lodging! Most campsites are $50 per night when hotels are upwards of $250 USD in the area. Farragut State Park was highly recommended to me, and I think we will stay there next year. Just keep an eye on it to book when sites are released for the following year!
19. Hotels and VRBO
There are two cities that offer hotel accommodations. Coeur D’Alene is south of the theme park and will take you a 25-minute drive. Sandpoint is located north and will take about 35 minutes. Hotels are pretty pricey but do offer Silverwood ticket discounts and a full hot breakfast in the morning which my kids loved. Many people elect to stay in the area longer and rent a VRBO instead. There are lots of great options, some that are right on one of the beautiful surrounding lakes!
20. Taking a Break
If you or your kids need a break from the sun and a few minutes to rest your legs, try the Steam Engine Train that takes you for a full tour around the park. It leaves every hour, on the hour and features a fun theatrical old Western show with park actors. Another option is the Theatre of Illusion that runs a few times throughout the day so check the marquee right before you pass through the gates. This magic show will be a family favourite!
Here are a few extra little tidbits. For all of my Canadian friends who need their shopping fill, there is a Target in Coeur D’Alene! Right across the street is a great family-friendly restaurant called Mackenzie River Pizza house. We loved it so much that we ate there twice!
If you have any more questions or tips, please leave them below!
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Kathryn Whelan says
This is great and so timely! Thinking of doing trip with kiddos for a few days in late August.
Would 3 days total be enough do you think not including travel time from YYC and are you able to say what hotel you stayed at? Looking at Coeur D’Alene
Yes I think that’s lots of time. We only did 2 days there. We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Coeur D’Alene, there is a Quality Inn and Best Western all in the same block!