Happy Wednesday. As in mid-week, hump day, all downhill to the weekend from here-day. The perfect day, in fact, to shout about the Alaska Railroad’s announcement of a NEW, middle of the week departure between Anchorage and Fairbanks, scheduled to go ahead in March. It’s special, all right.
Typically the Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train makes only weekly trips between Anchorage and the Golden Heart City; north on Saturday, south on Sunday. But for 2014, AKRR decided to give this mid-week thing a try, so for two weeks in March, you can board a blue and yellow train bound for Alaska beauty.
Tuesday, March 11, the train departs around 8:30 a.m. for Fairbanks, returning on the 12th. This also happens to be spring break, parents, so why not treat the kids (and you) to a relaxing day of chug-chugging across the state?
A second departure is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, returning on the 19th. As spring slowly lengthens the days and warming the earth, scenery will begin to change, and passengers should enjoy some amazing views of Denali, wildlife, and the rising and setting sun.
The ticket for this March special? A mere $215, round trip.
What will you do in Fairbanks, you ask? How handy that AK Fam just returned from there, with a load of family-friendly activities to share.
Visit the Fairbanks Children’s Museum, currently located on the campus of the UAF Museum of the North. Kids of all ages will love the hands-on displays, and adults can enjoy the rest of the facility’s exhibits. Psst – Alaska residents get a discount on admission, too.
Need some outdoor time after such a long time on the train? You’ll find miles of ski trails at Creamer’s Field Migratory Bird Refuge, along College Road. Flat, easy, and just right for beginning skiers, or those who love to skate ski, Creamer’s is a favorite of our family.
If you’re looking for big adventure, try the personal touches of Sirius Sled Dogs near Murphy Dome and the stunning Goldstream Valley. Owners Josh and Nita will welcome you into their pack of 23 sled dogs, all of whom have charming personalities and winning ways with children. We had a hard time pulling AK Kid away at the end of our stay. Guests can learn about mushing, harness up the team, and take a spin with handlers through the scenic birch and spruce forests near the Sirius compound. I even got to drive, and I didn’t run into anything!
The amazing, beautiful, gorgeous (how many superlatives can I use in one sentence?) World Ice Art Championships and Ice Alaska festival will run between February 23 and March 30, and a trip to Fairbanks is worth it for this event, alone. See ice carvings that will make your jaw drop, lace up ice skates, or go play in the Ice Park; whatever your desire, you’ll find it here, frozen and ready for family fun.
Now, the details, because there exist a few. IF, by chance, the thought of 12 hours north and 12 hours south sounds a bit daunting with kids, consider this: you CAN go one way now, one way later, but both legs must be completed by May 11, 2014.
Who’s ready for a truly Alaskan sort of adventure? <Raises hand> Call AKRR reservations agents at 800-544-0552, or 907-265-2494. They’ll help you sort it all out.
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