Fun Friday for April 13: A Lucky Day of Alaska Family Fun

It's a happy-face, go-get-'em sort of weekend. So let's make the most of it!

I prefer to remain positive about days like Friday the 13th. Who could think anything otherwise with such glorious sunshine outside, and temperatures warming into the low 50’s? It’s Fun Friday once again, and AKontheGO has some lovely ideas for getting the fam outside this weekend, plus a special event honoring our veterans. Fun Friday waves to our incredible sponsor, Alaska Center for Pediatrics, whose support allows us all to stay in the loop.

AK Kid explores the Junior Ranger prize box at Southeast Alaska Discovery Center in Ketchikan

My friends down in Ketchikan tell me that Hummingbird Fest is all abuzz this year, mostly because everyone wants summer so badly, they’re willing to count on the tiny little Rufus Hummingbird to kick things off. Take the kids to the wonderful Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and learn a little more about this beautiful flying dynamo while enjoying all the center has to offer the entire family. Call 907-228-6220 for more info.

 

What's in this water, anyway?

Eagle River Nature Center is offering a Junior Naturalist program on Saturday called “Creek Critters,” and believe me, you’ll want to bring your K-6 kiddos to the now-ice free creek to see what’s living, moving, or burrowing around in there. The fun starts at 2 p.m., and kids need to bring boots, warm, waterproof clothing, and be ready to get dirty! Free, parking $5 for non-members.

On Sunday, the Center is starting a new season of bear-awareness with their program titled “Living and Recreating in Bear Country,” taught by my bear-aware hero, Elizabeth Manning. Be there at 2 p.m., and bring your questions, comments, and open mind to this great class. Free, $5 parking for non-members. If you bring the kids, bring books and/or quiet toys to amuse them while parents participate in the class.

 

There's still time to take the kids snowshoeing at Denali National Park!

Denali National Park is still leading nature hikes/snowshoeing adventures out of the Murie Science and Learning Center in the Park. The sun has been out, the road has been open, and we hear animals are stretching their winter legs and getting ready for a new season in Alaska. Take a hike, learn about the area, and enjoy the springtime air. Free hike, $10 admission into the park, kids 15-under are free.

Many area bike trails are snow-free, which means this is a great time to introduce your children to the joys of our many Anchorage bike trails. Check out the Muni’s trail info page and interactive map, make sure everyone has helmets and gloves (hands get very chilly while biking), and take a ride this weekend. A few of our favorites include the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Cuddy Family Midtown Park, and around Goose Lake (still snowy spots, but getting better).

Beach time in Homer

Planning a trip to Homer anytime soon? Do visit the friendly folks at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, and their excellent facility at Wynn Nature Center. Kids and parents all enjoy the information and recreation, and soon the Peterson Bay Field Station will be opening up for the summer, where everyone can mess in the mud, explore tidepools, and take a ride across from the Homer Spit. Awesome family fun. Call their office for info at 907-235-6746. The Center is also a major organizer of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival May 9-13, and at which I’ll be speaking about family birding destinations on May 9. Ahem, you might want to attend.

Learn more about Alaska's military presence at the Veterans Museum on 4th Avenue

Our final event this weekend features a tribute to Alaska’s veterans and their efforts both here and abroad. The Alaska Veterans Museumis hosting a one-year anniversary party on Sunday from 2-5 p.m., and they invite families in particular to attend. Music, food, special guests, and an opportunity to support this ongoing effort for recognition of our veterans is certainly worth a few hours. We visited the museum over spring break and were impressed by the level of knowledge and attention to detail. The event is free, but do consider a donation.

Look, there we are! We'll be back on the airwaves soon, Travelgram Show listeners

EXTRA: Don’t worry if you didn’t hear an Alaska Travelgram Show podcast this week. My intrepid and intelligent co-host, Scott McMurren and I are reworking the system, clearing out the chaff, and crystalizing our plans for extra-cool, most-awesome broadcasts that will bring our listeners even more travel information, straight from the road, so to speak. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the hot airfare deals, sign up for Scott’s newsletter, so you don’t miss anything…

Happy weekend, AKontheGO’ers!

EK

 

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