Fun Things To Do In Alaska

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Whether you need “me time” or want to have some fun with the kids, the state of Alaska offers several options, with many revolving around the Anchorage area.

Free Fun

For free family fun in Alaska, plan to spend a day walking through Skagway to tour the remnants of the gold rush. The city’s historic district has walking tours you can take with National Park Service rangers, and you can watch the “Days of Adventure/Dream of Gold” film for free while visiting the Klondike Gold National Historic Park Visitor Center. If you live near Fairbanks, head to Pioneer Park (http://fairbanks-alaska.com/alaskaland), formerly known as Alaskaland. This free park houses a carousel, old-time saloon, and several historic sights and reconstructions that your family can tour.

Educational Fun

For hands-on science, take your kids to the Imaginarium Discovery Center at the Anchorage Museum (http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/expansion/). They can explore interactive science displays in over 80 exhibits covering science topics like physics, bubble science, and life sciences. It also has a TOTE KidSpace for kids ages 5 and younger.

Environmental Fun

Denali National Park (http://www.nps.gov/dena/) is the premier destination for environmental fun in Alaska. When visiting the park, plan to take a section to explore. You will not be able to explore the whole thing in just one visit, and your children will get more out of a focused exploration of one area or a hike on one of the trails than a frenzied trip to see everything. You can also take a bus tour of the park to see some of the best vistas.  If it’s too cold to spend time outdoors, head to the Alaska SeaLife Center (http://www.alaskasealife.org), which is on Resurrection Bay. It houses 19 exhibits highlighting the underwater creatures in and around Alaska, and your family can get an up close look at the rehabilitation efforts that take place on site.

Seasonal Fun

In the summer, plan to spend some time in Anchorage exploring the half-million-acres of Chugach State Park. You will find 30 trails with short hikes that are perfect for the kids, or bring your bikes to spend some time exploring on two wheels. The city of North Pole (http://northpolealaska.com/) is the place to go for Christmas fun, and the city hosts a Christmas in Ice every year, where ice carvers and lighting experts set up worlds out of the abundant crystallized water. For fun in the fall, head to Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm (http://pppfarm.net/), to harvest your own fall produce.

Just for Mom Fun

Sometimes moms just need some “me” time. When you reach that point, head to the Intuitions Day Spa and Salon (http://www.intuitionspa.com/) in Anchorage for some luxury pampering. For shopping, visit the five-storied Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall (http://www.simon.com/mall/).

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