The Anchorage area offers a wide swath of diverse landscape and activities, even in the winter months. When friends or family come to visit, make a day of exploring Alaska’s largest city with this fun “scavenger hunt” that takes players north, south, east, and west. Visiting Anchorage? This little adventure is a surefire way to become acquainted with the city’s layout.
Want to play? Read on.
Time required: 4+ hours
Needed: Independent vehicle (or a very nice tour guide or Uber driver); map of Anchorage (https://www.anchorage.net/mapexplorer/); appropriate outdoor clothing
Instructions: Follow the list and take a photo of each item to create your own unique Anchorage memory book! Better yet — be sure to include your family in those photos and share your results on the AKontheGO Facebook page.
Note: I’m not providing links to the locations; that would be too easy. Do some research on your own, have the kids map your route, and turn it into a day of learning.
*Begin the hunt in downtown Anchorage along 4th Avenue.*
4th Avenue Theatre. This structure, completed in 1947, was for a while the only place to see a first-run film, including on the day of the 1964 9.2 earthquake. Sadly, the theatre’s cranky owners are talking about demolishing it, so get over there now and put in a good vibe for this historic building.
Captain Cook statue. Who was the Captain? In 1778 the famous explorer sailed into what we now call Cook Inlet, discovering and mapping the area as the first Englishman. He looks great with a dusting of snow.
Elderberry Park and Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This 11-mile trail was the brainchild of a former Alaska governor (Yes, Tony K), and is a beloved stretch of pavement between downtown Anchorage and Kincaid Park. Listen? Is there a train coming? The Alaska Railroad passes right by, even in the winter months.
Sun Station. Part of the Anchorage Light Speed Planet Walk (another fun adventure). The irony of snow on the Sun is cool.
Charlie’s Bakery. An Anchorage favorite for lunch (and for their bread, cakes, fancy desserts, etc.)
Cuddy Family Midtown Park. Skate along, savor the view, or play on the city’s first inclusive playground. “Cuddy Park” is a gem of the middle section of Anchorage.
Loussac Library Fountain. It looks cool with a decoration of frost. Also swing inside and see the plethora of books for the whole family, or join in one of the many programs.
Campbell Tract and Campbell Creek Science Center. Park the car, strap on the XC skis or snowshoes (rent some at REI) and explore this incredible, accessible part of Anchorage’s forestland. The center is open weekdays, but programs go on all year.
Alaska Zoo. Stop in for Zoo Lights after dark (early, you know), or do a daytime visit and see the active animals that love winter!
Kaladi Brothers Coffee. Warm up after that winter fun with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, and a treat at this community-centered shop. Lots of locations to choose from!
The Dome. The what? You’ll know it when you see it, folks. This is the only way some sports teams can operate during the chilly, icy, and snowy months. Plus, it’s a feat of construction and community genius.
Campbell Creek Estuary. Ahhh, embrace the quiet of nature here. Listen for chickadees, watch for moose, and see the dramatic and beautiful Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. It’s a delightful way to see Anchorage’s fringes, especially during the winter months.
Fancy Moose Lounge. Located on the shores of the busiest seaplane base in the world, there’s something for everyone (and they love kids). Finish up your day with a meal together at this restaurant located in the Lakefront Anchorage hotel.
Check, check, and check!