An Alaska Fun Friday: What a Wonderful World

Hummmm, hummmmm. Hear that? It’s the sound of a peaceful, content Alaska parent; me. I get this way each spring when the lawn becomes more than a grayish pile of snowy rubbish, and robins wake me up in the morning instead an alarm clock. Yes, I do love springtime in Alaska.

In true 49th state fashion, people are in the annual mode of frenetic busyness that only happens in Alaska when daylight stretches toward the 16-hour mark. From boating to biking, families are outdoors, all the time. Alaska is also readying itself for the annual influx of visitors, with the first series of cruise ships making their way up the Inside Passage in mere days. I love this time of year, and hope today’s Fun Friday lineup will encourage and inspire your crew to get active.

BEST BETS:

Sailing on the clear and bright, blue water aboard a Major Marine boat from Seward.

The spring day cruising season is nearing it’s culmination before the usual summer schedule begins, so the next few weeks are a great time to take advantage of excellent rates, packages, and experiences out of Seward. AK Fam boarded a Major Marine boat, the Orca Song, last weekend and had a blast, despite not finding any of the elusive gray whales we’d heard so much about. But with Major Marine’s awesome Spring Fever Package, who cares? Your family can take a four-hour cruise, receive admission to the Alaska Sea Life Center, and spend the night at the Holiday Inn Express for $110/pp, through May 13. Great deal, great learning, and great fun. Check out this video I shot from the Orca Song during the rockin’ and rollin’ portion of our cruise, as we crossed the mouth of Resurrection Bay and the clouds closed in. Wahooo!

Alyeska Resort is still in high gear through the month of May with their Ski and Stay in May package, offering a room, lift ticket, and $25 in resort credit starting at $179/night. Not bad if you consider most other areas around the United States are pulling in their lifts and admitting winter is over. Be different this Memorial weekend, go skiing or riding! Also, a heads up to the dads and kids among us; Mother’s Day is almost here; maybe take mom to the resort for a little pampering and a brunch? Hope AK Dad reads this.

Take the Tram to the top of Alyeska Resort and check out the springtiime views!

Today marks the start of the annual Native Youth Olympics at the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage. Never been? Pack up the kids and head over, I promise you won’t be disappointed. The events, the teamwork, and the  athleticism of these teenagers will amaze you. We go every year, and every year leave with our mouths hanging open in utter amazement. The fun begins today at 9:30 a.m., and runs through Sunday afternoon.

Saturday is the Alaska Heart Run in Anchorage, and while we personally don’t do this run anymore (so, so crowded), we do like to promote and say a huge “thank you” to all those who work tirelessly to make sure we live healthy, exercise-filled lives. Not registered? No problem. Sign up tomorrow morning at the University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive. Here’s all the details.

Birding with kids is fun! Here the guys explore Creamer's Field in Fairbanks.

Birds, birds, birds! The birds are coming back to Alaska, and to celebrate, I’m headed to Homer in a few weeks to speak about “Birding Beyond the Backyard” at the Kachemak Shorebird Festival. I’m not a birder, per se, but in creating this presentation, I discovered that AKontheGO does a fair amount of travel to places that are quite birdy. Places like Anchorage’s Potter Marsh, where the swans and gulls and ducks are congregating and making photos look professional, even from me. Or Creamers Field in Fairbanks, where cranes and geese are flying in daily, and where your family can observe, hike, and take in the squawking and squalling of these magnificant creatures. Down the southeast Alaska way? The Ketchikan Hummingbird Festival is winding down, but kids can still participate in activities and explore the beautiful Southeast Alaska Discovery Center downtown, or hike the trails at Totem Bight State Park. Flap your wings and give it a try!

Speaking of exploring with the kids, our friends at the Anchorage Park Foundation have launched their new Mobile App Park Directory! I was so excited to get this email, since parks are a huge part of any parent’s life. Get this, you can find directions, see what equipment/facilities are available, and even rate the park using this handy Android or iPhone app. Love, love!

The Travelgram Team (L-R) of Scott, Kirby, and Erin! Somewhere in Alaska.

Have you missed the Alaska Travelgram Radio Show? Good news! Scott and I, and our new sound engineer, Kirby Kaufmann, met yesterday at an undisclosed location (I do love being mysterious) for the first-ever, all-podcast, always awesome recording of the show. We chatted about all the good springtime deals, fabulous airfare specials, and had some fun chatting about Scott’s recent trip to Seattle. Kirby is working up the final details, and we’ll push that along to you as soon as is humanly possible via iTunes.

It’s a wonderful world, get out and savor this place in which we live. Happy weekend.

EK

 

 

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