Old Idaho Penitentiary Events
Frightened Felons event
Photo Credit: Old Idaho Penitentiary
The Old Idaho Penitentiary features several signature events throughout the year that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Events are engaging, fun, educational, and focus on a variety of topics.
2nd Fridays Series
On the 2nd Friday of each month, May through September, the Old Penitentiary will be open late. See below for details about each special event!
Bars & Ballads
Friday, August 8th, 6:00p.m.-10:00p.m. (Last admission 9:00p.m.) Bring a picnic and don't forget your blanket as local bands (Emily Tipton, Marshall Poole and Mission 66) play inside the walls of the Old Pen. Crooked Fence will be selling beer and the Friends of the Historical Museum and Old Penitentiary will have wine to purchase (21+ must have a current, valid ID). The yard and building will be open for self-guided tours. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, Event is strongly recommended +10.
August 28th, 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Join the International Paranormal Reporting Group as they use their unique equipment and knowledge to attempt to connect with inmates and guards of the past. Participants are welcome to bring their own cameras. TICKETS GO ON SALE July 29th, individual tickets are $30, two or more $25ea. NOTE: Participants must be at least 15 years old. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
September Guided Tours
Friday, September 12th, 6:00p.m.-10:00p.m. (Last admission 9:00p.m.) Join us for guided tours on the hhalf hour starting at 6:30, last tour leaves at 8:30. The tours will discuss the history of the Old Pen including escapes, executions, and infamous inmates. Or you are welcome to do a self-guided tour and explore the Old Pen on your own!
Friday October 31st and Saturday November 1st, our annual Frightened Felons Event, invites you to tour the site at night and dare to enter the only haunted cell house in Boise, with special performances of the Zombie "Thiller" Dance, costume contests with cash prizes, follow our inmate death map, give our prison themed games a try, interact with actors portraying inmates of the past, enjoy food trucks like Free Range Pizza, beer from Crooked Fence, wine from the Friends of the Historical Society and so much more. On Friday, adult night is +18; Saturday is Family Night and all ages are welcome. THIS EVENT SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR. Be sure to check back for more details about how to purchase your tickets in advance!
November Friday Night Tours
We will be open after hours from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (LAST ADMISSION: 9:00). There will be guided tours on the half hour starting at 6:30. Last tour leaves at 8:30 p.m. The tours will discuss the history of the Old Pen including escapes, executions, and infamous inmates. You are also welcome to do a self-guided tour and explore the Old Pen on your own! Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather! Cost is $10 (all ages but recommended for 10 and up).
For more information contact (208) 334-2844.
Make Hunger History - 1/2 off Admission
In January, help lock up hunger and participate in our 3rd Annual Make Hunger History Food Drive! Bring 2 canned food or non-perishable food items and receive 1/2 off admission! All food items will be donated to the Idaho Foodbank.
"Escaping Hunger, Fueling Field Trips" To be announced. Local celebrities will be locked-up and asking for bail money from you! All donations go to the Idaho Foodbank and the Friends of the Historical Museum & Old Idaho Penitentiary for a field trip fund for Idaho schools.
Romancing the Pen
February 14th, Looking for something other than roses or chocolates this Valentine's Day? The Old Idaho Penitentiary is offering a unique alternative to this hum-drum day devoted to love. Stroll through the site and snuggle up with your Valentine or find the true meaning of “ball and chain.” Visitors can read through our special exhibits “Romancing the Pen: ‘Love’ Stories from the Penitentiary” and "In the Name of Love."
Friday the 13th
Anytime throughout the year the 13th falls on a Friday, the Old Pen will be open late. In 2014, join us for "Singing in the Slammer" on Friday June 13th. See event details above or call 208-334-2844 with questions.
2015 Friday the 13th's are in February, March and November check back for more details!
April is National Poetry Month and in celebration the Old Idaho Penitentiary is sponsoring the 6th Annual "Caged Inspiration" Poetry Contest. Poem submissions can be turned in now through Friday, April 25th at 5p.m. Click here for more information!
Come celebrate redheads and red fun at the Old Idaho Penitentiary! Our first ever 2014 Gingerfest event featured contests for Best Male and Female Gingers as well as Best Kid Gingers, and a Best Ginger Pet photo contests (details to come). Other activities included games with a chance to win gift baskets filled with lots of red/ginger goodies. Get your redheaded photo booth mug shots taken. A special exhibit about inmates incarcerated during the "Red Scare" was also be on display. Food from Free Range Pizza and the Funky Taco as well as beer from Crooked Fence Brewing and wine courtesy of Indian Creek Winery.
Singing in the Slammer Karaoke Night
Second Friday in June, Join us for our 3rd Annual Singin’ in the Slammer $5 for all visitors (no other discounts apply). Sing away your prison blues or just belt your favorite jam. All visitors can enter their name into a drawing where 5 selected crooners compete for $100 in cash prizes. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. There is no food service so you are welcome to bring a picnic dinner! No outside beverages besides water will be permitted inside.
July Guided Tours
Second Friday in July, the Old Idaho Penitentiary will host after-hour guided tours. $5 adults, $3 kids. Guided tours are limited so arrive early to ensure your spot. You can also elect to do a self-guided tour. Explore the site and learn about over 101 years of prison history!