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 […]

Enjoying Alaska’s Destination Playgrounds

Note: This story originally appeared in the Alaska Dispatch News.  I was on the phone last week with a writer from back East who wanted all my best tips for exploring the Last Frontier with young people. “OK, what’s one of the do-not-miss things to do in Alaska with kids?” she asked, her fingers ticka-tapping […]

Billy Elliot the Musical: Anchorage Concert Association’s win for teen families

by Erin Kirkland “Everyone is different; it’s the natural state. It’s the facts, it’s plain to see. The world’s gray enough without making it worse; what we need is individuality.” ~Expressing Yourself, Billy Elliot the Musical  What tween or teen hasn’t looked in the mirror and been confused by who stares back? I certainly was, […]

Alaska Museums Roll Out Welcome For Kids

I remember field trips to museums as a kid. We crammed in the back of someone’s mom’s station wagon and drove downtown where we were met by a prim-faced representative of said museum who led us around, one boring exhibit to another, showing us the names of things but nothing about them. Eventually we gave […]

Celebrating Alaska Day in Anchorage

Today is the day residents of Alaska brush of their sense of pride along with their Xtra Tuff boots and warm hats, and stand a little taller, thanks to the Tsar of Russia. Alaska Day is held each October 18, marking the purchase of the Alaska Territory (then known as Russisan America) by the United […]

Commercial Fishing in Alaska: Show kids one of Alaska’s largest industries

Alaska is home to nearly 34,000 miles of tidal coastline leading to wide expanses of ocean where the seafood you eat likely originated. From crab to cod, Alaska’s commercial fishing industry is the state’s second-largest (the first is petroleum-based business), providing a livlihood for thousands of families. Fishing is, and will continue to be, as […]

Alaska National Parks Junior Ranger Program: Helping kids get up and go

Note: There is nothing quite like exploring a national park, but exploring an Alaska national park brings adventure to a whole new level. We love our National Park Service, love what they represent, and for who. Below is my latest post for US-Parks.com, explaining the details behind the NPS’ popular Junior Ranger program. Between the […]

Alaska’s Statehood: We’re In! Learning more about what made us 49th

Happy birthday, Alaska! On January 3, 1959, the Last Frontier became the 49th state, and oh, what a party it was.  Visitors to Alaska should never miss an opportunity to learn more about what made us #49, how, and why. It took hard work and passionate teamwork to bring Alaska to statehood, and we’re fortunate […]

Alaska Cemeteries are Resting Places for History

I visit cemeteries, collecting vivid images of the stone or wood headstones as reminders of stories known only unto themselves, and those left behind. When our family lived in South Carolina, I was struck by a depth of history so unfamiliar to me, a product of the young Washington State. Southern gravesites, too, were often […]

Anchorage Museum Presents “The Dena’ina Way of Living”

“See this, right here; this is back home.” The most powerful statement of the day came within seconds of entering the Anchorage Museum’s newest exhibition, and it didn’t come from a curator, program director, or the facility’s community relations staff. Instead, it came from a mother, speaking to her fifth-grader, sharing on a map the location […]