Is this really August, or has October somehow jumped the gun and blasted its way into our Fun Friday? Good morning, AKontheGO’ers, time for our weekly roundup of family fun around southcentral Alaska.
For those who may have (god forbid) missed the Alaska Travelgram Show this week, give a listen to our podcast right HERE. It was a privilege to have Harmony Roll of Taiga Trekkers and Lia Keller of Skedaddle Kids in the studio with me while Scott McMurren took off for Seldovia and some fun across Kachemak bay. We won’t let the weather deter us, will we? That’s the spirit.
Speaking of spirit, the AK Hacienda is full of it (spirit, that is) this morning with the arrival of our favorite bicycling family, the Harrisons, otherwise known as the Pedouins. You remember this fine fam; they left their Kentucky home in August of 2008 on a quint bicycle, bound for Fairbanks, Alaska. Along the way, they met fine folks and accomplished something unique. Now this crew of five is on their way back to Kentucky in a 1960 bus kitted out with bunks, a kitchen, and a bunch of their self-published books, “A Pedouin Life: Stop and Smell the Artichokes.” They proudly presented me with a copy last night and showed of the super photo of AK Dad and Kid leading the way out of Anchorage last summer. Precious. The Harrisons will be at REI Anchorage today from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. signing books and inspiring regular people like us. Stop by and say howdy. AND, you can listen to Bill Harrison on the Alaska Travelgram Show this Tuesday at 2 p.m. I know you’ll not want to miss this; Bill is a character’s character and has a lot to say about life in general, never mind the bike. Tune in on KOAN AM 1020, FM 95.5.
Despite the frightful weather outside, there remain a number of family-friendly events to inspire your own crew this weekend, including:
FRIDAY: Music in the Park. Yep, rain or shine, Music in the Park continues down on 4th Avenue at noon. Enjoy the sounds of summer in Peratrovich Park until 1 p.m. and then run across the street for a cocoa and cupcake from the Cake Store. That’s what I’d do, anyway.
Thread Alaska is hosting their fifth annual Book Party in the Park from 4-7 p.m. at Garden Art Park in Mountainview, near the Success By Six building. Come hear some music and grab a book for the kids at this great event designed to excite kids about reading.
The Youth Employment in Parks crew is hosting their annual Summerpalooza from 1-5 p.m. at Cuddy Family Midtown Park. Kayak with REI, climb a wall, hear some tunes, get your face painted; it’s all free and all for kids this afternoon, rain or shine. Just do it.
SATURDAY: Fish, fish, fish on at two sites designated just for kids today. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game have designated Fish Creek in the Valley for anglers 15 and younger to try their hand, and all species except king salmon are acceptable catches from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Same for the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon in Homer, open from 12 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Saturday, where kids can catch anything at all, except each other, of course. Fishing rods will be made available for those who need one (FREE!), and, hint, the silvers will probably be coming in on the 5:30 p.m. tide.
The Alaska Sea Life Center is hosting their annual Rescue Run 5k on Saturday as well. Thankfully set to start at 11:15 for walkers, noon for runners in order to encourage we Anchorage-ites to come on down, the run will be a super way to support the Sea Life Center and their dedication to marine mammals and fish. Check out their website for registration info and specifics.
More fishy fun can be had at the Eagle River Nature Center on Saturday for their Children’s Craft class. Learn how to practice the ancient art of Goyutaku, or “nature printing” at 2 p.m. Materials provided, but bring a pre-washed t-shirt for a cool project. Limited to eight kids, age 7 and up. $10 fee for materials, $5 parking for non-members of ERNC.
SUNDAY: Need more fish stuff? Oh yeah, Salmonstock has that and more, with their fabulous concert and festival going on all weekend at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds. Hear some tunes, eat some salmon, buy some crafts; it will be a day to remember for the whole family. Stop by the Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church, too, on your way to or from. It’s lovely white against the fields of fireweed and parsnip, and the view is to die for, even on a rainy day.
The annual Running With the Bulls at the Palmer Musk Ox Farm is happening not on the 7th of August this year. Kids get a fun 1k, but the 5k and 10k are open to anyone, too. Come on out and support this wonderful, snuggly organization that promotes the musk ox and their warm hair. FREE to watch, registration fees vary for runners. Call 745-4151 for info.
We’re headed up to Arctic Valley this weekend to do some much-needed hiking and berry reconnaissance, for I can feel in my bones that we’re in for a hard winter. Not really, but it sounded good, didn’t it? And who doesn’t love Arctic Valley and its alpine vistas and fun terrain for kids? Head up Arctic Valley Road off the Glenn Highway and up, up, up until you can’t go up anymore. Park below the main parking lot if you don’t want to pay for a parking pass, or do the right thing and buy one. It’s only $5 and supports the upkeep and maintenance of a favorite family destination.
We’re off to REI and Alaska Mill and Feed this morning; It’s AK Dog’s birthday and we’re fixing to celebrate with a chewy bone and new collar. According to AK Kid, it’s the least we can do for such a good dog.