A Guide to Sun Valley's Thriving Arts Scene

Sun Valley, one of the top ski destinations in the U.S., also has a thriving arts and culture scene. Full of galleries, museums, live performances, film and classes, the city’s arts scene rivals those from bigger cities, such as Manhattan and Los Angeles. When ready to retreat indoors, check out this guide for creative inspiration:

Museum Sun Valley ID

Photo: Sam Beebe

The Gallery Walk

Hosted by the Sun Valley Gallery Association, nearly a dozen gallery walks take place each year. Many member galleries open their doors to the public to see new exhibits, and oftentimes, guests meet the artists. The event is free and includes fine art galleries showcasing all mediums and styles. Read more for a full list of participants.

Tour a Museum

Two museums display Idaho history and tell Sun Valley’s story. Located in the Forest Service Park, the Sun Valley Museum of History features two exhibition spaces and a collections center. From historic buildings to individual spotlights, visitors will learn about the area’s first inhabitants to celebrities and athletes.

The Ore Wagon Museum – open in the summer – houses a collection of ore wagons that once traveled through central Idaho’s mountains delivering items to mining camps. The annual Wagon Days, held in September, also celebrates history as the wagons make their way down the streets delighting audiences.

Sun Valley Center of the Arts

Photo: Sun Valley Center of the Arts

The Center of It All

In most hot art scenes, there’s a place at its core, and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts is just that. From concerts and lectures to films and plays, the center hosts year-round events for all ages and interests. For nearly 50 years, the center has hosted the Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival, an outdoor event celebrating all that is local art. You won’t find commercial agents at this event. Browse handcrafted pieces, meet artists, listen to live music and eat lots of good food.

Celebrate Film

Immerse yourself in a story at one of the area’s film festivals. One of the most popular events is the Sun Valley Film Festival, which shows more than 60 films over five days. USA Today named the event one of the Top 10 Greatest Places for a Fabulous Film Festival. The Family of Women Film Festival brings awareness to the United Nations Population Fund, a global agency working to help women and girls in more than 150 countries.

Other places to catch a flick include Magic Lantern Cinemas, the city’s first state-of-the-art movie theater, and the Sun Valley Opera House, which shows new Hollywood releases as well.

Take a Class

For a fun activity, learn to dance, act, write, paint and more by taking a class. The Community Library offers frequent events as well as gold mine stores and a regional history museum. Couples will enjoy learning new moves at DancZenSV, while upcoming and established writers can take residency or attend conferences. Theater buffs should check out classes at nexStage Theatre and The Sun Spot Valley theater company.