Ahh, Labor Day in Alaska. Cool temperatures, yellow leaves, and kids as squirrely as, yes, squirrels. After you’ve slept in this morning and filled up on coffee, take a few of our Labor Day family fun suggestions for an excellent day spent exploring the great outdoors, Alaska-style.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: Open! Right now is the perfect time to see elk bugeling for their far-off loves (okay, the females aren’t really that far-off, just across the pasture, but you know what I mean), the bears, bison, moose, Snickers the porcupine, and the lynx, recently returned from a stint at the Alaska Zoo. Open daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Alaska Zoo: If you don’t have time to head 50 miles south to Portage, try the Alaska Zoo on O’Malley in south Anchorage. All northern critters, all the time. Don’t forget their weekly programs for toddlers/preschoolers, too. Open every day except Christmas. Nice. The kids will enjoy the animals and programs, you will enjoy the beautiful walk along the forested trails. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Campbell Tract: Need a short, easy walk with your children today? Head south on Elmore Road in Anchorage to the BLM/Campbell Tract turnoff, park at the Smokejumper trailhead, and take the smooth, wandering, lovely Moose Track Trail all around this 750-acre marvel. Do remember your “bear aware” and “moose aware” tactics, as both are still a’wandering, too. But listen to the birds and streams, see the changing leaves, and revel in Alaska’s early autumn atmosphere.
Eagle River Nature Center: While the center itself is closed today, the trails are open to provide your family some hiking fun. Try the Rodak Trail to the viewing deck and watch for fish swimming around. Take the Iditarod Trail to the Old Tree and see who, or what, might be hiding in there….It’s a great place for families, ERNC, and with crisp days upon us, it’s fun to see how Mother Nature shifts gears to prepare for another winter. Remember, it’s $5 for parking without that great ERNC membership sticker.
Talkeetna: If you’re looking for a day trip, head north to Talkeetna and some yummy eats at the Talkeetna Roadhouse. Stop at the playground and let the kids run amok for a while before wandering the streets of this charming little village with so much history. The Talkeetna Museum is a gem, too, and AK Kid loves seeing Denali “from the top” via their fabulous topographical diorama. Have a cinnamon roll for me at the Roadhouse!
State Fair: This is the last day to see the fair, and plenty of family fun awaits you in the Kid Zone, entertainment stages, and on the midway. Yep. That’s the way to wind down summer. Don’t forget to stop by the enormous cabbages and that huge pumpkin, either. Monster-veggies! Tip: Go to the fair later this afternoon for crowd-control. Most folks have done the fair and are anxious to be headed home, but you have until 8 p.m., so why not laze around first at home….
Happy No-Labor-Day, from AK Fam!