Family-Friendly Fun in Alaska: Is it the weekend, now?

Vacation is over - time to return to the real world!

I’ll be the first to admit that in between s’mores and sipping wine before a family campfire, work-related tasks took a backseat during our critical vacation to Oregon. But a travel writer has to take a breather, now and then, especially in August, and especially in Alaska, where sudden fall-like appearances mean a switcheroo of both attitude and aptitude. So I’m back and ready, families, because our activities are about to change, and it’s all good. Great, even.

Yum. Blueberries. Find them at Alyeska Resort's Blueberry Festival this weekend.

Kid-friendly events are still happening all over the state, and many more are to come. It’s time to celebrate the bounty of Alaska, and so let’s begin with Alyeska Resort and their blueberry party going on this weekend in Girdwood. The annual Blueberry Festival  is full of sweetness, and you’ll want to head south tomorrow or Sunday for music, crafts, and all kinds of treats.

Find scarecrows like this one (thank you very much), at the Alaska Botanical Garden's Harvest Day on Saturday.

The Alaska Botanical Garden is hosting their annual Harvest Day on Saturday for those who wish to explore the newly-renovated pathways and plots of this beautifu garden along Tudor and Campbell Airstrip Roads. Head south on Campbell Airstrip, turning left at the Benny Benson School, and get ready for some green family fun. Scarecrows, plants, crafts, and all kinds of garden-themed wisdom coming from the master gardeners who spend so much time caring for the facility. Bring your own produce for local charities, too, giving others a chance to experience the value of a garden. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is only $5 with a food donation! Kids five and under are FREE.

Bears! Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to learn more about our big bruins and other animals.

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centerin Portage is offering families a chance to meet and greet resident critters through a number of daily programs, included with admission. Learn more about bears, moose, reindeer, and the prickly porcupine; catching facts about where they live and how they manage to survive Alaska’s harsh climate. The facility’s new bear enclosure has also been completed, so this is a great time to visit. Let me know if you hear an elk bugle.

Join AKontheGO to celebrate the Alaska Marine Highway System! (image courtesy AMHS)

AND – a heads up for next week: AKontheGO and the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) are teaming up to celebrate 50 years of sailing our state’s waterways in the name of scenic transportation. On Friday, August 16, we’ll be in the lovely town of Whittier from 12:30-3:30, touring the MV Aurora, listening to music, eating a fine meal, and generally sharing the love of our state’s ferry system. The event is FREE and very kid-friendly (psst: kiddos, do indulge in the scavenger hunt – it’ll be awesome!), so pack up the family and spend a Friday in “prettier Whittier” with AKontheGO.

As always, you can keep up with our family travel news on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and now, Google +. It’s where we’re at, and you should be, too.

Have a splendid weekend, everyone. I’m off to match socks!



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