Fun Friday and New Year Cheer

May your year be full of family adventures!

I am always more cheerful when the thermometer reads a number above say, zero, aren’t you? We’re breaking out the flip flops and beach towels this morning, though, as a warm front sweeps across the mountains and AK Fam prepares for our New Year celebrations. Now where’s that sunscreen?

Happy New Year! AKontheGO has everything you need to safely usher in 2011 with a bang, crash, or whisper, depending on your choice of activity. From ski hills to cherry bombs, Alaska seems to relish the idea of ringing in a new calendar, and who can blame us? Daylight is pending, summer is just around the corner (really, we must believe this or winter would be longer than ever), and kids finally go back to school on Monday.  New Year Cheer to your family from ours!

FRIDAY: Tonight is your last change to view Zoo Lights at the Alaska Zoo until February. A perfect New Year’s Eve treat for smaller kids who need to go to bed early, Zoo Lights operates between 5-8 p.m. tonight. $6/person, $5/Zoo members.

The Anchorage Downtown Partnership has adjusted their ‘Fire and Ice’ celebration at Town  Square Park to include more live music and more for kids to do with their own icy activity area. From 5-8 p.m. tonight, families can lace up their skates, boogie to Evelyn King’s music from the 1970’s, or watch fire jugglers (hmmm, wonder if they will be part of our Church of the Flaming Funk?). Fireworks will commence around 7:30 or so, I’ve been told. Park on 3rd or 4th and walk over, it’s warm enough and the hassle of getting out of the Town Square area is not worth a closer parking spot. Trust us. FREE event.

Alyeska Resort hosts the annual Torchlight Parade tonight on their hill with lights, torches, and flares at 8 p.m. Best viewing is from the Day Lodge, and expect a crowd. Anyone wanting to participate in the actual torching of the hill must be over 10 years of age, be a strong intermediate (read, almost expert) skier or rider, and have a parent’s permission. Visit the resort’s web site for details. Park at the Girdwood/Moose Meadows lot and walk to the Day Lodge with the kiddos, and bring a sled for tired legs. Bring snacks/drinks as service in the Day Lodge can be slow, and expensive. Drive safely home. FREE event.

Wasilla is whooping it up at 8 p.m. at their community park on Wasilla Lake, and Fairbanks has two fireworks shows, one at the Ice Dogs arena/Kiwanis Park at 6 p.m., and another at the Museum of the North’s West Ridge at 8 p.m., where UAF staff will be providing cocoa and cookies. Yum. Both of these events are FREE.

Fairbanks also has Christmas in Ice going on at the North Pole Ice Park, where a Winter Wonderland Train runs this weekend, and tonight a big old Snowflake Drop will occur from 10 p.m.-1 a.m.

Talkeetna has a ton of fun going on with ongoing fireworks and merriment at their park and surrounding area. AK Fam is in fact readying the family truckster for a trip there right now, where we’ll be staying at the famous Talkeetna Roadhouse.

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