Summer travel in Alaska is heating up, AKontheGO’ers! The cruise ships are in, tours are starting, and everywhere, Alaska is in bloom with tons of activities; the perfect time for a website launch, wouldn’t you say? That’s right, only 21 days until AKontheGO sports a new look, and you’re invited to watch it all happen on Thursday, June 28 at Salmon Berry Tours in downtown Anchorage. View our groooovy invite here, and bring the kids! Patrick Ryan from the Alaska Botanical Garden will be “on hand” to make a special garden-in-a-glove with all the young people (or young at heart), plus, we have prizes to give away, including two tickets anywhere Era Alaska flies and three fabulous “Flying Wild” t-shirts! Who wouldn’t want to be at such an event?
While we’re talking parties and celebrations, this is the perfect weekend to get outside and learn a little about what makes Alaska tick, with nature events, history events, and a whole lotta great deals just for you. A huge thanks to Alaska Center for Pediatrics for their continued sponsorship of AKontheGO, we couldn’t make Fun Friday fun without them!
Here’s what’s happening this fine June weekend:
Palmer is celebrating Colony Days Friday through Sunday in the downtown area of this former agricultural colony. It is a fascinating story, the history of Palmer, and your kids are sure to be impressed by the fortitude of these President Roosevelt-selected families who traveled oh-so-far in search of a better life. Check out the parade, vendor booths, music, and tons of activities, starting Friday afternoon.
Also near Palmer is the Williams Reindeer Farm, a favorite spot come fall and winter for pumpkin gathering and viewing of Santa’s eight, not-so-tiny-reindeer. This summer, however, the Williams family is offering guided horseback rides up the Butte trail, pleasing the little cowboy or girl in your family. Rates vary according to the ride, so call the Williams family at 907-745-4000 and see what these cowpokes say will work for your crew.
Anchorage families might want to head south on the Seward Highway to Potter Marsh on Saturday for Potter Marsh Discovery Day, a wonderful conglomeration of everything wild and woodland. Just about everyone affiliated with the outdoors will be scattered throughout the boardwalk from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., talking about our marshy Alaskan landscapes. Free, and great for all ages. Bring the bug spray!
Further south, Girdwood and Alyeska Resort are teaming up for the Fiddlehead Music Festival, happening Friday and Saturday on the Daylodge lawn. Music, activities for kids, and that luscious Alyeska view are just a few of the fun times to be had! Kids 5 and under are free, all others are $20 each.
Seward and the Alaska Sea Life Center are celebrating World Oceans Day on Saturday, with extra activities available with paid admission. Learn a little bit more about our watery world, do some crafts, listen to a lecture, and perhaps do a little something for our marine friends. Check the center’s website here for a schedule of events.
Salmon are running, and where would they be if not for the beautiful Kenai River? Nowhere, that’s where, so how about celebrating this beautiful and important river with a festival!? All weekend, Kenai River Fest will feature food, music, activities, and a focus on preserving the integrity of an important Alaska waterway. Everyone is welcome, bring rain gear, bug spray, and snacks for little ones. And the wagon or stroller if you’ve got small legs in your party.
Lastly, did you see the incredible deal put forth by the Alaska Railroad? Oh my gosh – all summer, and until December 31, 2012, Alaska children can ride FREE with their parents. Yes, you read that right – Absolutely Free, when parents pay full fare. Only available for Alaskans, and you must book by June 29. Think about it, go north to Denali National Park, or south to Seward (we are!), and don’t pay a cent for your children. Ahhh, I do love the Alaska Railroad. Go HERE for details.
The Alaska Travelgram Show went all the way to northeast Anchorage this week to record our latest podcast at the Alaska Museum of Natural History. Katch Bacheller, Executive Director, gave us permission to go into the Collections Room and look at all the cool stuff being prepared for exhibition. Whoa. AK Fam simply loves this museum, and we are so thrilled to be able to promote its worth for kids of all ages. Go visit and see what they have going on this summer, but be careful, a dinosaur might jump out at you! Listen to the show here, then go to iTunes and subscribe to our podcasts. Everyone’s doing it.
I’m off to Homer tomorrow for the Kachemak Writer’s Conference, then a little AK Fam R & R. I’ll be back on Tuesday with more family travel wisdom!.
Have a wonderful weekend!