A handful of Idaho museums will let active duty military members and their families in free this summer, and two Boise museums are on the list.

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is one of those places that you can just walk into and immediately feel the history.

The prison opened in 1872, and when we visit now we can experience a little bit of what that was like, minus the handcuffs.  If you've been there, you've seen Solitary Confinement, cell blocks, and the Gallows, and probably gotten a little goosebumpy.  It's a good conversation starter with the kids too, because Lord knows they've got questions, and they'll be asking a bunch of 'em there.

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is one of the places that are part of the Blue Star Museum program this summer, and that means active military and their families in free through Labor Day.

The Blue Star Museum program is nationwide, and more than 2,000 museums across the U.S. are opening doors to military families all summer.  If you're active military and you plan your road trip right, you could get free admission in a new city just about every day.

The Boise Art Museum is in on it too.  Idaho artist James Castle is on display there right now, and the museum says it's his 10th solo show.  His artwork is regularly featured in Permanent Collection exhibitions, and even though he passed away in 1977, his work lives on.

Heather Carson's Sculpted Light exhibit is open now too at the BAM, and she's a Los Angeles native who uses light in ways we've never seen before.  Some of it plays tricks on the eyes, kinda like that blue-black-gold-white dress that made the rounds on the web last year.  Look closely at Heather's work because it might change.  Now is a great time to visit the Boise Art Museum and the Old Idaho Penitentiary, especially for military members and their families.

Other museums that are part of the Blue Star program include the Museum of Idaho and The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls, and the Herrett Center for Arts and Science - College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

The full list of museums in the Blue Star Program is at Arts.gov.

Two things we love  -- fun, and free!  We'll keep those ideas coming this summer.  And have a blast, military guys, and gals.  You deserve it.

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