Alaska Mother’s Day Treats: Take mom outdoors this summer

Take time to explore Alaska this weekend with AKontheGO's list of Mother's Day treats. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Take time to explore Alaska this weekend with AKontheGO’s list of Mother’s Day treats. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

It might be a drizzly Friday around Alaska, but preparations are underway for a beautiful weekend of Mother’s Day shenanigans. If you missed AKontheGO’s Family Fun Calendar on KTVA 11 Daybreak this week (snoozing, perhaps?), don’t worry, the complete list, plus a few extras, are right here. Whew.

Mother’s Day weekend is typically when Alaska attractions open their doors for the summer. There’s no better time to get out and explore your state, since seasonal deals and free admission abound!

Meet the men and women who make the trains go at the Alaska Railroad Open House in Fairbanks. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Meet the men and women who make the trains go at the Alaska Railroad Open House in Fairbanks. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

FAIRBANKS: Alaska Railroad Open House – Saturday, May 9. The Railroad switches locations every other year between Anchorage and the Golden Heart City, so 2015 means Fairbanks gets the free train rides, music, lots of info about 2015 routes and tour packages.

PALMER/WASILLA: The funky Museum of Alaska Transportation Industry (MATI) opens up Sunday, May 10 for the season. It’s five acres of every type of machine Alaska has ever used. Kids love exploring the Alaska Railroad train, tractors, aircraft, and collection of boat motors. No kidding.

The scenic Musk Ox Farm in Palmer opens May 10, with a crop of new baby walking carpets (calves). Take the very interesting history tour, pack a picnic, listen to great music, and – moms are FREE!

Williams Reindeer Farm has little ones, too, and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about these hardy arctic animals. Families can also take a trail ride (kids over seven, please), hold a bunny, or wander among the reindeer, all in the shadow of Pioneer Peak. Mamas, you receive FREE admission on Sunday. Open daily, though, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

ANCHORAGE: Alaska Zoo’s Bear Aware Day is Sunday, May 10 from 12-4 p.m. Moms are free, but everyone should attend. It’s the first in a series of community events geared toward a greater understanding of the bears that share our outdoor space. The biggest draw is, of course, watching black and brown bears try to break into trash cans and coolers.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is celebrating all mothers with FREE admission on Sunday, May 10 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The music, dancing, drumming, and traditional foods are worth a visit. Also interesting are the village sites outdoors, where every major Alaska Native tribal group is represented.

PORTAGE: The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is also FREE on Sunday, May 10. Everyone, moms, dads, kids, grandmas and grandpas, friends, receives free admission between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (last entrance at 7:30 p.m.). Enjoy wandering among the bears, elk, moose, sassy Snickers the porcupine, and the now-famous wood bison.

JUNEAU: Like boats? The Juneau Maritime Festival will be held on Saturday, May 9 at downtown’s Marine Park, with Coast Guard demonstrations, boat races, a survival suit contest, and tons of floating fun for the whole family. Celebrate Southeast Alaska’s rich partnership between sea and mariner! Free.

REMINDER: May 16 is Kids to Parks Day – pledge to take your kids outdoors and to a park, ANY park as a kick-off to summer. Sponsored by the National Park Trust, Kids to Parks Day is an AKontheGO favorite event, and don’t forget, today is the FINAL day to enter our KTP giveaway. Read the details, HERE.

AK Kid at Savage River in Denali National Park. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

It’s Kids to Parks Day on May 16! AK Kid at Savage River in Denali National Park. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

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