It’s official: Boise is in full-blown holiday mode.
Everything on the entertainment calendar — OK, not quite all of it — involves Santa Claus.
Kick back and enjoy the season. Spiked eggnog helps.
1. Cruise the lights
Man. It. Is. Cold. Why not enjoy a lights tour with the heater cranked in your vehicle? Christmas in Color, a drive-thru animated light show, has returned to Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., in Garden City. Here’s the sales pitch: “Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. Take your time enjoying this lighting extravaganza — we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window!” The show runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m. daily (closed on Christmas Day) through Jan. 1. A general admission ticket is $35 per vehicle. Or you can drop $55 for VIP treatment, which includes skipping the general-admission line and receiving a “party pack” filled with 3D glasses, light-bulb necklaces and more. Purchase online at christmasincolor.net/boise. A portion of proceeds benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
2. Tour homes
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the North End Neighborhood Association Holiday House Tour is back. The trolley trek runs from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. This self-guided, “festive jaunt” will roll through “eight incredible historic homes and two meticulously restored commercial spaces,” according to a press release, “with tour stops located throughout Boise’s historic North End Neighborhood. Featured spaces include a grand 3.5-story colonial — the largest house on the iconic Harrison Boulevard — as well as a former church ‘castle’ that has been transformed into a children’s arts center, a historic firehouse that was restored on an episode of HGTV’s ‘Boise Boys,’ and seven other memorable and unique homes … .” Snag tickets online for $20 in advance, or $25 day of event, at northendboise.org. You also can buy them in person at the first stop, 1403 N. Harrison Boulevard.
3. Hit a concert
Things are thinning out in the concert universe. Here are non-holiday highlights.
▪ Radio Boise Practice New Year’s Eve Party: Featuring Radio Boise’s house band covering The Modern Lovers classic 1976 self-titled album. Plus, Boise Rockeoke, Radio Boise DJ’s, silent auction. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, The Olympic, 1009 W. Main St., Boise. $15 at eventbrite.com. $20 at the door.
▪ Hillstomp: 8 p.m. Friday, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise. $12. TicketWeb. $15 at the door. Opening: Jonathan Warren and The Billy Goats.
▪ Anuhea: 8 p.m. Sarturday, Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise. $24.50-$52.50. egyptiantheatre.net.
▪ The White Buffalo: 8 p.m. Sunday, Knitting Factory, 416 S. 9th St., Boise. $22.50. Ticketmaster. Opening: L.A. Edwards.
4. Think Jurassic
Got a kid who digs dinosaurs? Make Jurassic Quest part of your weekend. The touring exhibition features a “herd of life size animatronic dinosaurs,” according to the Ford Idaho Center, “including Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, T-Rex and an incredible 50-foot-long megalodon. Meet our trainers, baby dinos and watch a live interactive raptor show. You don’t want to miss ‘The Quest’ interactive adventure, dinosaur rides, giant fossil dig, inflatables, fossil science exhibit, ‘Triceratots’ soft play area and more.” It runs from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Idaho Center is at 16200 N. Idaho Center Blvd. in Nampa. Tickets: $19-$36 at fordidahocenter.com.
5. Drink for dogs (and cats)
Forget spiking the eggnog. Go straight for a vodka cocktail while enjoying food at The Warehouse Food Hall, 370 S. 8th St. During the entire month of December, Camp Cocktail Bar inside the hall is featuring “Martinis that Matter.” Any drink made with Tito’s vodka (not just martinis) results in a $1 donation to the Idaho Humane Society. Feeling some Christmas spirit? Order one of the signature Tito’s drinks such as a Holiday Horchata Mudslide or Candy Cane French 75. Got kids? Grab a free photo with Santa, who will be hanging out from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.