First Fun Friday of 2011: Ice, Snowflakes, and Winter Trails

A very warm and fuzzy First Fun Friday of 2011 to all AKontheGO’ers! We are thrilled to announce a new partner to the AKontheGO team, Alaska Center for Pediatrics, who will be sponsoring the Fun Friday posts you all know and love. ACP has been caring for active Alaskan kids since 1982 and definitely knows how our children shake, rattle, and roll, so it seemed a natural fit for them to jump on board with us. Visit their website HERE and learn more about this dynamic group of medical pros!

Here is the list of activities received in our AK Fam mailbox, togoak@gmail.com. Lovely to see the variety, isn’t it? Gosh, Alaskans are cool cats.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: The Anchorage Downtown Partnership is proud to celebrate the Crystal Gallery of Ice, kicking off with an ice carving competition beginning this morning at 9 a.m. and running through Sunday evening at 5 p.m. Never been? Ohhh, then you’ve missed out on a plethora of icy sculptures ranging from whimsical to downright wonderful. These are not amateur carvers, either, the folks who sign up for the competition are definitely pros, and you’ll want to be on hand to watch them in action. The sculptures will be on display through February, but it’s fun to see them now. Town Square Park on F St. between 5th and 6th Ave. FREE.

Witness ice carving in action at Town Square Park in Anchorage

SATURDAY: It’s Winter Trails Day at Hatcher Pass! AK Fam hearts Hatcher Pass, so we are uber-happy to promote this day of winter activity complete with the best sledding hill around, skating, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowboarding. Thanks REI for donating the skis for users who want to borrow. Head on up to Mile 10.6 of the Hatcher Pass Road around 10:30 for the first of the activities, then gather from Noon- 1 p.m. at the Upper Mountain Rescue Cache for some super duper winter info. A few warming barrels will be scattered around the property to toast the toes and nose, but I’d bring some snacks, hot drinks, and extra clothes for comfort’s sake. Check out the full schedule of events HERE. This event is FREE.

Science Saturday at Campbell Creek Science Center provides kids 9-13 (and an adult) hands-on, indoor and outdoor exposure to the natural world. An awesome afternoon with folks from Anchorage 4-H and CCSC’s staff, this month the focus will be on preparations for the upcoming school Science Fair. Yep, it’s Boot Camp, baby. Learn the scientific discovery process and how to turn curiosity into a top-notch presentation. 1-4 p.m. $5/session, plus one-time $6 fee. Parents are FREE. Space still available, so call 786-6300.

Eagle River Nature Center is teaching kids K-6 how to make snowflakes Saturday at 2 p.m. What gives snow crystals their unique shape, anyway? Kids will find out, plus debunk common snowflake myths at this FREE program. $5 parking for non-members (speaking of, you did renew that membership, right?).

Need to skate? Good news, the Westchester Lagoon Family Skate is back! From 1-3 p.m. each Saturday through mid-March, join other happy folks  for music, warming barrels, and crazy theme days. Thanks, Muni, for keeping this fun event going. The Margaret Egan Sullivan Park is located at 1824 15th Ave. Directions at the Muni’s website HERE. FREE.

It's a seafarer's day Sunday at the Anchorage Museum

SUNDAY: Yo ho ho and a bottle of (something good)! Join the staff at the Anchorage Museum for Ocean Family Day, 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Practice knots (any Boy Scouts out there who need that badge?), learn about tsunamis, listen to live music, and hear sea stories about famous Alaskan shipwrecks. Put on the Grunden’s wear and join the party. FREE.

EXTRA: Don’t forget to stay in tune with our pals at Taiga Trekkers and/or Skedaddle Kids, two groups that offer hikes and outdoor playtime for parents and small children. I’ve hung out with these incredible moms who work tirelessly to make sure we have places to go and fun people to go there with. Their links are included above.

Also, if your family will be visiting Denali National Park this summer, now is the time to make reservations for the park’s four largest campgrounds; Riley Creek, Savage River, Teklanika River, and Wonder Lake. One can also make up to eight Shuttle Bus reservations (kids 14 and under are FREE) so there will be less line-standing and more fun playing. Visit the NPS website for Denali HERE or call 907-683-2294.

Enjoy this sunny weekend with your family! AK Kid and I are hitting the Alaska Zoo after school today. The animals have surely missed his cheeky little face.

EK

Posted in Alaskan Winter Fun, Downtown Anchorage, Festivals and Events, Miscellaneous and tagged , .