Fun Friday in Alaska! It’s a Wonderful Life, For Certain

Yes, I save every Christmas craft my children make. Someday they'll appreciate it.

It truly is wonderful. School is out, AK Kid is still nestled all snug in his bed, with visions of who-knows-what dancing through his little head. That’s right; now is the time to ramp up your holiday hoopla and get ready for the next two weeks of holiday merry-making in the 49th state with your family!

The Alaska Travelgram Duo is ready to give away a bag full of gifts on Tuesday!

We’ve been working hard to help, especially with respect to the upcoming Alaska Travelgram Holiday Show, happening Tuesday, December 20 from 2-3 p.m. AST. If you caught the show this week you heard my co-host Scott McMurren and I give away an incredible flightsee/hiking adventure from K2 Aviation, and an overnight stay in Fairbanks at Pike’s Lodge. That’s just a taste of the fabulous gifts we have in store for our show on the 20th. Skiing at Alyeska Resort, tickets on Era Alaska, JetBlue, and an overnight stay at the beautiful Copper Whale Inn. And, this just in, how about a day tour viewing the beautiful bears of Katmai National Park with my friends at Hallo Bay Bear Camp? Yes, Travelgram pals, this will indeed be a show to remember. Join us, and our special guest host, Marian Call (who also will be giving away her new CD, “Something Fierce”) on Tuesday, Decemer 20, 2-3 p.m. AST. Stream live, if you like, at, too.

The Christmas Bird Count is but one family-friendly activity this weekend.

What’s happening this weekend? Here are but a few ideas:

Hotel Captain Cook: Stop by Anchorage’s fancy-schmancy hotel and see their gorgeous and quite famous Gingerbread Village. You can even smile for the webcam. Find the village in the north lobby area of the hotel.

The  Alaska Museum of Natural History is offering the chance to ask “What On Earth?” at their rock, fossil, and tool ID Day, today from noon-3 p.m. This little museum on Bragaw Street in Anchorage invites all amateur archeologists, rock hounds, and fossil-hunters for a fun day of identification. Bring a rock or fossil lying around your own home and see if their panel of experts can tell its origin and name. $3-$5 admission. 907-274-2400.

The Reindeer Farm in Palmer is happy to host it’s annual Christmas celebration with wagon rides, music, elf stories, and maybe even some reindeer games on Saturday. Open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. the whole family will enjoy checking in with Santa before the big day. Admission $10/family. 907-745-4000.

Winter Solstice is coming up, and the folks at Eagle River Nature Center invite kids to bring a half-gallon container for construction of a solstice lantern to be used later in the day at the annual Solstice Walk around the ERNC property. Meet at the nature center, 4 p.m. Saturday to make the lantern, then stick around for the walk at 5 p.m. Free, but $5 parking for non-members. ATTENTION: Registration by phone required to ensure all materials are available! Call 907-694-2108.

Take note of Alaska’s incredible diversity of bird life at the nationwide Christmas Bird Count on Saturday. The Bird Count is a nation-wide effort to track the long-term health of bird populations, and the whole family is needed! In Anchorage, meet at Coffeeland, 4505 Spenard Road at 9 a.m. for instructions and then hit the Anchorage Bowl to count feathered friends. Eagle River families, you’ll meet at Jitters Coffee House, 11401 Old Glenn Hwy at 9 a.m. for your assignments. Thanks to  Anchorage Audubon for organizing, and to the many, many volunteers who help make this important day a success.

Have a teenager in your midst who needs a merit badge for winter survival, or just wants to learn the intricacies of keeping warm and dry in the backcountry in the event of an emergency? Try the Winter Survival Challenge at Hatcher Pass Lodge, Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $60 will get your big kid everything he/she needs to know, like shelter building, fire-starting, avalanche safety, and wilderness first aid. Hmmm, come to think of it, I might like to take this class. Call 907-376-2898 for info, or click HERE for the scoop.

AK Fam is headed out tomorrow with our fav family tour company, Salmon Berry Tours, and our favorite musher, Dallas Seavey, for an afternoon of Anchorage dog sledding! This is a new tour for Salmon Berry, and I’m anxious to see how much driving they let me do. Check in next week to see how it went, or to see if the dogs left me in the dust.

Enjoy all the beautiful things Alaska winter brings, and have a wonderful weekend with your family.

An almost-Winter Solstice shot from downtown Anchorage. Wow!

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