A very sunshine-y Fun Friday to you all! This is the weekend when Alaska “officially” opens for the summer season, and what a day to kick off another fabulous season of exploring the 49th state. AKontheGO has been working frantically (but happily) in search of the finest in family fun this weekend; from birds to trains to reading, Alaska is busy, busy, busy. Aren’t you glad to be here?
SATURDAY: Fairbanks residents, it’s your turn for the Alaska Railroad’s Open House! From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. your family can check out the trains, learn all about safety, meet the staff, and even take a short ride from the Depot at 1745 Johansen Expressway a few miles down the track. Kids love this event, and I’m jealous not to be there myself.
The Anchorage Library is hosting its annual Reading Rendezvous Saturday at their Loussac Library main branch from Noon-4 p.m. Music, crafts, booths, and books, books, books will all be there in honor of the library’s summer reading program. I’m doubly excited, because this year AK Kid can read books on his own and will be able to independently participate in this reward-based program. Read all summer, kiddos, even while traveling!
The Anchorage Market and Festival opens this weekend for its annual stint at the downtown parking lot at Third Ave and E Street. Open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the Market is, yes, a bit touristy, but very fun for kids, with a hand-propelled train, painting station, tons of food, and Dallas Seavey’s puppies to snuggle (very good move, Dallas). FREE to go, and fairly cheap to stay.
Summer prep continues with the 27th annual Creek Cleanup sponsored by the Anchorage Waterways Council and Muni of Anchorage. Check with their website for meeting locations, but make plans to be at Valley of the Moon Park by noon for a FREE barbecue and fun activities. All ages welcome to make a difference around our beautiful waterways and streams. 272-7335.
Take a family-friendly hike at Eagle River Nature Center Saturday at 2 p.m. all around the now-blooming and beautiful area. This FREE hike is led by a volunteer and is jog-stroller and backpack friendly. $5 parking for non-members. Albert Loop is the destination, and better go now before the trail is closed for our bear friends to eat fish all summer. 694-2108.
Like eagles, hawks, and falcons? Your family won’t want to miss Bird TLC’s Raptor Rendezvous Saturday at the Alaska Heritage Museum (in the Wells Fargo building, 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd). Meet beautiful birds and the people who care so well for them, AND, have your picture taken up close and personal. 1-3 p.m. Love this!
Are your kids fascinated by fire trucks? Join the Anchorage Firefighters’ Union for an Open House on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Meet at the recently renovated Anchorage Firefighter Training Center for music, rigs to check out, a fire demonstration, and food. AK Kid loves this event and I’m thrilled it has returned! Take a minute, also, to thank a firefighter. These men and women risk their lives for us every day.
SUNDAY: Hey, more birds! The Alaska Zoo is hosting their annual Migratory Bird Day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at their lovely O’Malley road facility. The Zoo is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. too, so don’t feel rushed! Take some time to welcome spring and our feathered friends with activities to help us understand the intricate world of birds. There’s even a geo-caching event for the whole family! FREE event, zoo admission fees apply ($6-up).
This weekend would be a perfect time to step out to the garden, the Alaska Botanical Garden, that is. This beautiful example of natural landscape coupled with native plant gardens is a wonderful opportunity for families to take a short hike and see what’s greening up around our fair city. Open daylight hours, ABG welcomes families with a self-guided tour for both kids and adults. Check out their website for upcoming events like the popular Garden Fair and Junior Master Gardener programs. Admission fees posted at the gate, please do pay so the Garden can continue their mission of promoting healthy plant life in Alaska.
The Alaska Native Heritage Center officially opens this weekend, with a cultural and historical perspective showing how truly diverse Alaska’s native populations truly are. From the village sites out back (and a lovely little lake) to the Children’s Art Area inside, kids will be fascinated. You, too.
Here’s a different sort of tree I need to talk about: TREE.com, a new website offering interesting information about all sorts of things, including travel. Yours truly will be blogging occasionally for TREE.com and I hope you’ll stop by sometime and visit!
Have a wonderful weekend of family fun.