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.
7th Annual "Caged Inspiration" Poetry Contest
April is National Poetry Month and in celebration the Old Idaho Penitentiary is sponsoring the 7th Annual "Caged Inspiration" Poetry Contest. Poem submissions can be turned in now through Tuesday, April 28th 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!
Second Friday in May (8th), Gingerfest II is Redder and Better. Come celebrate redheads and red fun at the Old Idaho Penitentiary! 6-10pm last admission 9pm; $5 adults (12 and up), $3 kids (3 and up) tickets available for purchase at www.brownpapertickets.com (keyword: Gingerfest) available April 8th! Show off your red hair or just celebrate ginger fun with friends. Enjoy family friendly games like “Bowling for Inmates”, “Cherry Pit Spit”, “Big Red Races”, and more. Random participation prizes will be given out all night and there will be special “Best Ginger” contests for adults and kids (details on the Old Pen Facebook page and Brown Paper Tickets). Food trucks, red beverages, beer, and wine will also be available for purchase.
Friday May 22nd, 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. Individual tickets are $30, two or more tickets are $25 each. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 22nd, to purchase to go www.brownpapertickets.com (keywords: Paranormal Investigation). NOTE: Participants must be at least 18 years old.
Crooked Fence Anniversary Party
Second Friday in June (12th), the Old Pen will be hosting Crooked Fence's 3rd Anniversary Party 6-10pm (last admission 9pm). With all their best brews and music from Cash'd Out and Marshall Poole. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Crooked Fence. For those who enjoy our annual June, Singin' in the Slammer karaoke it will be an additional party highlight in our Trusty Dorm. This is a 21+ only event.
July Guided Tours
Second Friday in July (10th), the Old Pen will be open from 6-10pm last admission 9pm. Event is TBD, check back for more details.
Bars & Ballads
Second Friday in August (14th), the Old Idaho Penitentiary invites you to bring a picnic and don't forget your blanket as local bands play inside the walls. 6-10pm last admission 9pm. Crooked Fence will be selling beer and the Friends of the Historical Museum and Old Penitentiary will have wine soda and water to purchase (21+ must have a current, valid ID). The yard and buildings will be open for self-guided tours. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, Event is strongly recommended +10.
September Guided Tours
Join us for the last Second Friday Series installment of the summer! The Old Pen will be open from 6-10pm last admission 9pm. Event is TBD, check back for more details.
Typically the last full weekend in October (Friday and Saturday 7:00-11:00pm, last admission 9:30pm) 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 "Thriller" 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, beer from Crooked Fence, wine from the Friends of the Historical Society and hot cocoa & coffee from Dutch Bros. THIS EVENT SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR. Tickets go on sale October 1st, to purchase to go www.brownpapertickets.com (keywords: Frightened Felons).
Friday the 13th
Anytime throughout the year the 13th falls on a Friday, the Old Pen will be open late. 2015 Friday the 13ths are in February, March and November.
November Friday Night Tours
Fridays: November 6th, 13th, and 20th, there will be guided tours on the half hour starting at 6:30pm and the last tour leaves at 8:30pm. 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.
Romancing the Pen
February 14th, 12-9pm (last admission 8pm). 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."