Celebrate an Alaska Winter Solstice

“I hate it here.” Startled, I glanced askance at my son, who sat crouched in the front seat next to me, arms folded across his chest, a scowl on his face. “What!?” I said, genuinely surprised and trying to fathom how a kid who just a few weeks ago told his grandparents he’d “live here […]

Oh, Christmas Tree! AKontheGO and Chugach National Forest Team Up

“Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches!” ~ Oh Tannenbaum (traditional German carol)  Truly, if you have experienced the joy of finding, then harvesting, your family Christmas tree each year, then you know. The spicy, evergreen smell as you carry it back to the car, carefully putting it on top with […]

Alaska-Themed Christmas Gifts For Adventurous Families

December is upon us and my refrigerator is full of lists for and by the people I love. AK Kid has stuck his handwritten itemized and alphabetized record of Christmas gift desires at adult eye level. I have records of niece and nephews gift ideas next to that; and further down, what my husband needs, […]

Visit Eklutna’s Dolly Varden Cabin This Winter

This story originally appeared in the Anchorage Daily News on November 28, 2017 Making plans for an outdoor getaway to one of Alaska’s public-use cabins can be challenging during the winter, especially for families new to cold-weather recreation. We were those people once. As parents we worried a lot. Did we have enough warm clothing? […]

Get Ready For Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday is over — but look out, shoppers, Cyber Monday is nearly here. The long Thanksgiving weekend is well known for great deals on Christmas list items, but it’s also become a marketplace for experiences, and 2017 seems to be the year for hot specials to cool places, Alaska included.  Whether you are an […]

Sheldon Chalet a Family Vision for Denali

Explorer, photographer, and Alaska Range mapping pioneer Bradford Washburn said it thus:  “It is a sight that one just has to see to understand – the magnificence of Alaska mountain scenery at its best.”  For some who dream of visiting Alaska, the mountains, most notably Denali, are what draws them here. Even though the High […]

Ski Washington With Your Kids

This story originally appeared in the Alaska Dispatch News on November 7, 2017. Alaskans have an interesting relationship with Washington state. Even though the two states are separated by some 1,450 miles of real estate, Washington is often viewed as Alaska’s cosmopolitan cousin, a place for shopping, airport layovers and the occasional football or baseball […]

The Value of Theatre For Family Travel

The very first stage production I can recall involved a dragon belching smoke and a lot of mosquitoes. It was the 1970’s and I was about four. My mother and a few other culturally-minded parents had taken a group of us to the Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theatre and while I don’t remember much beyond the […]

Great Gear: MyCharge AdventureUltra a great choice

For all my drum-banging for unplugging the family during outdoor adventures, there is an exception when it comes to certain things. I don’t often review gear, but when MyCharge sent along the AdventureUltra just as we (and some friends) were headed out for a multi-day camping trip, I grabbed the box at the last second […]

Family Fun Camp at Manitoba Cabin!

I woke up Sunday morning to the sounds of kids trying to be quiet. Clinks and clanks, coupled with “SHHHHHH” and a few thuds as firewood was loaded into the little wood stove of Manitoba Cabin and Yurts along the Seward Highway near Summit Lake. It was chilly, only about 30 F, and somebody had […]

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge PEEPS Program

This story originally appeared in the Alaska Dispatch News on October 10, 2017. Just so you know, there’s a lot more to being a red squirrel than merely looking cute and shaking your bushy tail, and a swarm of little kids at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Education Center are about to find out why. […]