I was hoping with all my heart to be writing today’s Fun Friday post in my shorts and flip flops, wearing sunglasses. Alas, the First of June has arrived in Alaska with clouds and rather chilly temperatures. So chilly, in fact, that last night at my informative and fun Women’s Flyfishing class with the famous Pudge Kleinkauf, my fingers grew numb from the cold. But grumble I will not, as we are indeed here in Alaska, and weather is just part of the 49th state experience. Carry on, I say!
First, however, let’s share the big news. AKontheGO is changing, for the better, of course. On June 21, AK Fam will unveil to you, our most dedicated readers, something big, bold, and decidedly different from our previous look. We’ll still have the same great Alaska travel information, we’ll still share our best tips and tricks for showing off the 49th state to your kids, but in a manner that allows for more interaction. Have a great photo of your family’s wild Alaska adventure? Plunk it down in the new gallery. Confused about what to put in your suitcase? Print off our handy packing list. It’s cool, all right, but it might take some getting used to. Even AK Fam looks different, but we’ll save that surprise for last….So, if you are a subscriber to our blog updates, good for you – you’ll be first to see the unveiling on June 21. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be, and it’s easy to do. Simply sign up to your right –> in the sidebar, and get ready for some Alaska magic!
Okay, on with the party. It’s Friday, and we have outdoor recreation to share, thanks to our Fun Friday Sponsor, the fabulous Alaska Center for Pediatrics in Anchorage. Ready, set, GO!
FRIDAY: Anchorage Downtown Partnership is hosting their annual Festival of the Flowers tonight from noon-8 p.m., including the fabulous Live After Five free music concert series. The whole festival starts and ends at Town Square Park next to the Performing Arts Center, and everyone will enjoy flowers, flowers, and more flowers. Plant your own, sponsor a basket to hang on our city streets, or take a tour of the city’s fabulous flower beds with a Master Gardener. FREE, and suitable for the whole family, but do bring a stroller if you want to explore the city with little ones.
SATURDAY: This is National Trails Day, set aside by public land offices so we can recognize and volunteer on our trails and parkways. Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, and held nationwide, the event is a wonderful opportunity to show kids just how important their efforts are to trail maintenance and stewardship. Alaska joins in the party, too, with a number of events. Anchorage’s Campbell Creek Science Center will be welcoming volunteers at 8:30 a.m., followed at noon by a pizza lunch, bird release, and bear spray clinic. Homer will be hosting volunteers at the groundbreaking of the Pratt Museum’s newest trail, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Prizes and refreshments, too! All events are FREE if one volunteers some time. Bring work gloves, a hat, bug spray, and dress in long pants/sleeves. Be prepared for all sorts of weather! Kids’ projects available, too.
Alaska State Parks is hosting Easles in the Elements on Saturday at Eklutna Lake Park off the Glenn Highway. Running all day, beginning at 10 a.m., the whole family can visit the campground/picnic area and experience art al fresco. Many craft and art projects will be available, as will a guided nature hike and potluck. Visit the DNR website for all the info, and directions to the site. FREE, and suitable for the whole family.
Love babies? Baby animals, to be exact. Eagle River Nature Center is offering a Junior Naturalist class at 2 p.m. Saturday for kids K-6, introducing them to the youngest of Alaska’s wildlife creatures – babies. Baby mammals, baby fish, baby birds; you name it, they’ll talk about it, and take a hike, too. FREE, but $5 parking for non-members.
Have little ones birth to 4 years of age? Campbell Creek Science Center is once again offering the popular Moms, Pops, and Tots class, with a kick-off class Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at the Center. Learn why outdoor time is critical for your youngest family member, what activities you can try to spur on a love of nature, and spend time with your baby or toddler and other parents. FREE, siblings welcome, too. Do pre-register, though, by calling 267-1245. Other classes will be held on weekdays; pick up a schedule after this kick-off class.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Large Animal Research Station is hosting a Spring Open House on Saturday at noon. Come visit the station and see how musk ox, reindeer, and other large critters survive in Arctic regions. It’s a research facility, so don’t expect a zoo, but do come and see how, and why, this research is so critical. Oh, and the baby musk ox are the most adorable things. ever.
EXTRAS: Do you know a young hero who’s making a difference in his or her community? Alaska Communications and the Alaska Boys and Girls Clubs want to know! This is the Summer of Heroes 2012, a recognition and awards program, to showcase the best of the best in Alaska youth. Nominate a youth age 6-18 now through July 23, 2012, and be prepared to say why this person is so absolutely wonderful. He or she could win a $2,500 scholarship!
The next Alaska Travelgram Show podcast will be recorded LIVE on Tuesday at the Alaska Museum of Natural History! We’ll “catch up” with Museum Director Katch Bacheller, who will share the latest and greatest finds and fun at this wonderful facility in the Mountainview Neighborhood. I’ll also throw in my two cents about museums in Fairbanks, and Scott McMurren will, of course, have the latest in airfare deals and new routes for summer travelers. Gotta love that.
Let the weekend begin!