Tour the Old Pen
Photo Credit: ISHS
The Old Idaho Penitentiary brings Idaho’s rough-and-tumble criminal past to life! Students and their chaperones can explore the Old Pen on a self-guided tour using our activities and scavenger hunt. A seventeen minute video, featuring historic photos, oral histories, and historic information, is available to all groups.
Guided tours are available for 4th grade groups – college groups. All reservations should be made at least one month in advance. In order to schedule your visit we need your preferred trip time and date, contact information, total number in your group (1 adult per 8-10 students), and any special needs in your group. To make a reservation call us at (208) 334-2844.
Guided Tour Program (4th- College)
Students will experience the Old Idaho Penitentiary with the help of a volunteer guide. You will navigate through cell houses and the forgotten lives of inmates. Learn about prison pets, the youngest/oldest inmates and get a rare chance to go inside the gallows!
Please make school group reservations at least one month prior to visiting. Reservations are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. For more information contact (208) 334-2844.
Admission Fee: Educational group discount is $2 for students and adult chaperones. You must make prior arrangements to receive this discount.
Bus Parking: DO NOT bring buses up to the entrance area. There is a dirt parking lot available for bus parking. Call ahead if you are bringing a wheelchair accessible bus.
Changes/Cancellations: Please call at least four weeks in advance to make changes to your program date, time, or group size (number of students and adults).
For programs in April or May, please call as soon as possible. Dress for an outdoor experience and wear comfortable, practical walking shoes! For more information contact (208) 334-2844.
Self-Guided Program (all ages)
Walk through 101 years of prison history with you group! You can access historic exhibits as well as find your way into a solitary confinement cell!
Even though your group does not require a guide, you should still make your reservation in advance by calling (208) 334-2844. Admission fees, bus policy,
and changes/cancellation are available above in the “Guided Tour Program” section.
Educational Resources and Activities
These activities and scavenger hunts will help guide you through the different exhibits and interesting facts available at the Old Idaho Penitentiary.
Scavenger Hunts and Activities
Join us for scavenger hunts and other activities for all ages at the Old Idaho Penitentiary.
Research the Inmate Catalog (For research purposes, 4th grade and up recommended)
Lesson Plans for 6th through 12th grade
- Inmate Rehabilitation
- Death Penalty
- Weapons – Specifically for visitors of the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit of Arms and Armament
The Old Idaho Penitentiary offers additional education programs and special events throughout the year. Check our calendar for more information.