It is going to be a GREAT weekend! I know this for several reasons. One, it’s light out past 6 p.m., and as any winter-weary Alaskan can tell you, that alone is cause for happy dancing in the slush-covered streets. Two, the lineup of special events happening in Alaska this weekend is simply incredible. Three, we are SO encouraged by the support from readers and friends and anyone else who just seems to have “stumbled” upon on website this week, or head us on the radio, or has connected through my partner in travel-mischief, Scott McMurren. Awesome, it is. We heart Fun Friday, and we heart our sponsor business, too. Alaska Center for Pediatrics is located near Alaska Regional Hospital and has been caring for Alaska’s children since 1982 (I think I was 12, then). Waves to them!
Before we jump into weekend events, I want to be sure you all have the podcast from this week’s Alaska Travelgram Show. Scott and I hosted Penny Schnering from the Anchorage Downtown Partnership in the studio and learned a lot about the moving parts that keep your downtown looking merry and bright. From 100 Days of Dining to Downtown Ambassadors, the ADP is constantly on the go (like us) to ensure a safe and interesting downtown experience for residents and visitors. Check ’em out.
Now, let’s roll on to the weekend!
FRIDAY: Ack, there’s no school! What to do with the kids!? Never fear, the Junior Native Youth Olympics are here! Yes, the same events the big kids sweat over is all set for smaller athletes at Begich Middle School in east Anchorage. From Friday-Sunday, you can see events like the Seal Hop, Stick Pull, and Wrist Carry. Today’s events begin around 2 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday they begin around 10 a.m. These kids thrive on the support from their teachers and peers, so why not go all out and cheer them on, too? Free, and suitable for the entire family.
SATURDAY: Oh boy, it’s the big party at Arctic Valley Ski Area to celebrate 75 years of the Anchorage Ski Club’s success at this fantastic little spot for winter recreation! From 10 a.m.-9 p.m., visitors will be able to ski, board, or tube their way to snowbound happiness. Organizers tell me they have a special permit for fireworks and a torchlight parade Saturday night, too, and won’t that be f.u.n.! Find all important info HERE, and bring snacks, drinks, and any cozy items your little ones might need if you’re planning on spending the day/evening. We’ll be there! Tubing is $12/two hours, lift tix vary according to age/chairlift, bbq is $15/adults, $10/kids. Events suitable for all ages (nice little kids’ corner in the daylodge). HEADS UP: Call the AV hotline for any road condition changes, and remember to drive your most burly SUV (or at least have studs on the family truckster. Hotline # is 428-1208).
Eagle River Nature Center is going to the bears this weekend with a Junior Naturalist program for kids K-6. Why do bears hibernate? When and how do they wake up? These questions and more will be the focus of this free program (non-members pay $5 for parking).
Westchester Lagoon is the place to be Saturday afternoon for a free family skate from 1-3 p.m. Bring your skates and join the party of music, warming barrels, hot cocoa, and fun! Free, and suitable for all ages. Sponsored by Anchorage Parks and Recreation.
The Fairbanks Museum of the North is hosting a Family Day centered around Art on Saturday. From 12-4 pm., kids and parents can try their hand at all sorts of mediums of expression, learn what it takes to become a full-time artist, and take home some valuable information about area art opportunities. Activities are free with museum admission, $10/adults, $5/kids 7-17, under 7 is free. Nice. Suitable for kids preschool and up.
SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Dog mushing is Alaska’s state sport, and some of our youngest mushers will out in force all weekend at Anchorage’s Tozier Track on Tudor Road. This is the Junior World Championships, folks, and some of these kids are quite the experts. This is a free event, suitable for all ages, but do leave your four-legged family members at home. Visit the Sled Dog Association’s website for more info and a great history on dog mushing in Aalska.
On Sunday, the Fairbanks Children’s Museum is hosting another Museum Without Walls Event at Gene’s Chrysler. From 12-4 p.m., kids ages 0-5 will be able to engage in a variety of hands-on projects and exhibits to inspire and encourage. We love the dedication of this group and support their efforts for a brick-and-morter facility in the Golden Heart City.
Have a great weekend, and as always, check our Calendar of Events (above); the latest and greatest for family fun in the 49th state!