An extraordinary system of cultural and historic resources.

Old Idaho Penitentiary Events

Old Idaho Penitentiary Events

Visitors at Frightened Felons event.

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. 

Upcoming Events

6th Annual "Caged Inspiration" Poetry Contest

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!

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!

Gingerfest

Friday, May 9th, 6:00p.m.-10:00p.m. (Last admission is 9:00p.m.) Come celebrate redheads and red fun this May 9, 2014 at the Old Idaho Penitentiary! Our first ever Gingerfest event will feature 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 will include 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" will also be on display.

The evening will feature food from Free Range Pizza and The Funky Taco as well as some great red ale and other beers from Crooked Fence Brewing and red wine courtesy of Indian Creek Winery. Ginger Ale and other red drinks will also be available!

Singing in the Slammer Karaoke Night

Friday, June 13th, 6:00p.m.-10:00p.m. (Last admission 9:00p.m.) Ever want to sing the prison blues? Don’t escape your chance to enjoy karaoke, a self-guided tour, pizza, snacks, wine and beer behind prison walls. Stay tuned for more information!

Paranormal Investigation

June 20th, 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 May 20th, 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.

July Guided Tours

Friday, July 11th, 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!

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 play inside the walls of the Old Pen. The yard and building will be open for self-guided tours. Stayed tuned for more information!

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!

Frightened Felons

Friday October 31st and Saturday November 1st, 7:00-11:00p.m. (last admission 10:00p.m.) 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 and so much more.  On Family Night all ages are welcome.  Adult Night is +18 ONLY (I.D. required) and Crooked Fence slings their local brews and the Friends of the Museum are out serving wine. THIS EVENT SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR! Be sure to get 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!