What could be better than eating a lot, sleeping in, then waking up to fluffy snow falling outside? Eating, sleeping, waking up to snow, AND having a full calendar of pre-holiday fun sitting in your inbox, that’s what. It is indeed post-Thanksgiving Fun Friday, typically one of our busiest posts of the year, and we’re charged up to share a long weekend o’ family fun with you. A big, snuggly ‘thank you’ to Fun Friday sponsor Alaska Center for Pediatrics, who reminds parents to make sure kids have appropriate headwear if they’re going to be shredding ski slopes or sledding hills. (REI has a winter sale going on, btw, with all helmets marked down 30%).
Giddyup, let’s go, let’s get out in the snow this weekend. Leave the shopping to other people!
FRIDAY: Light up your evening with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s annual Tree Lighting event at Town Square Park. At 5 p.m. the fun kicks off with music, followed by the arrival of Santa Claus and his eight not-so-tiny reindeer. Stick around for some cocoa and more music before wandering the lit streets of downtown Anchorage. FREE. Park at any one of the downtown garages tonight and donate to local charities, too! All ages. Bundle up!
The Anchorage Museum is hosting its annual Craft Weekend and Read Alaska Book Fair Friday-Sunday. We adore this event for all the opportunities to browse Alaskan artisans and pick up holiday gifts, yes, but also to allow AK Kid to check out Wonderland of Toys, a display of children’s playthings that date back to the 1800’s. Museum staff love this exhibit, and each year look forward to showing modern kids just how much fun one can have with a toy that doesn’t plug in. Both events open Fri-Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday Noon-5 p.m. FREE.
Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks welcomes everyone to “Thanksgiving For the Birds” today from 12-4 p.m. Make a variety of bird feeders, learn about feathered friends who hang out all winter long in Alaska, and enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies in the Farmhouse Visitor Center. FREE, suitable for all ages.
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is FREE all day today, as a ‘thank you’ to supportive visitors. A snowy day is the perfect time to say howdy to the moose, caribou, elk, bears, and bison of this incredible facility in Portage. Have visitors? Pack ’em up in the family truckster and head south.
It’s Police Navidad, going on at the Dena’ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage! A cooperative effort between Anchorage law enforcement and social service agencies, this event is FREE and chock-full of family fun for all ages. Crafts, music, cultural presentations, and tons of prizes that will blow your mind, like Alaska Railroad trips, custom-built playhouses, and much, much more. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Eagle River Nature Center offers its own Thanksgiving For the Birds celebration at 2 p.m. Kids K-6 will make suet and bake ‘bird cookies’ for ERNC’s feathered visitors and hang them around the Center’s woodsy surroundings. FREE, $5 parking for non-members.
Zoo Lights welcomes your family now through January 8, each Thursday-Sunday at the Alaska Zoo. Open at 5 p.m. (get there right on time for best results) and lit up through 8 p.m., Zoo Lights is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. Wander the trails, listen to musical polar bears, and embrace the lighted world of our Alaska Zoo. Tickets and info available HERE.
Hanging out in Homer this weekend? Take the kids to the Pratt Museum and a Stocking Stuffer Party from Noon-5 p.m. We love this little museum, where art and culture meet science in a quiet, unassumming manner that works. Decorate some holiday cookies, make a graham cracker house, and enjoy the fun exhibits during Family Free Day. Call 907-235-8635 for more info.
Take the fam on a little outdoor adventure with volunteers from Eagle River Nature Center. Bundle up the kiddos, pack some snacks and warm drinks and hike the 1.25-mile trail to a Public Use Cabin, leaving the center at Noon. Have small children? Sleds are perfect for this adventure. It’s an easy hike, and you might spot a moose browsing in the trees or spy an eagle flying overhead. Call 907-694-2108 to sign up, since space is limited. FREE, $5 parking for non-members.
After the hike, warm up in the ERNC’s cozy seating area and check out Bird TLC’s awesome raptors, visiting for a little post-Thanksgiving treat! This food-related, unique celebration will be absolutely a blast, because Bird TLC is asking for, um, raw, leftover turkey necks or fresh cranberries for this party. FREE, $5 parking for non-members. Donations always welcomed for Bird TLC.
Speaking of hiking and outside and such, we’ve been trekking the trails around Anchorage, and having a ball! This fresh snow is perfect for some snowshoeing and skiing, and we’re lucky to have so many open spaces for both. You don’t need to drive far to explore; try Russian Jack Springs park at the corner of Boniface and DeBarr in northeast Anchorage, Campbell Creek Science Center off Elmore Road in southeast Anchorage, or Goose Lake park in Midtown Anchorage. Wind your way around the birch trees, see how many animal tracks your kids can find, and make your only agenda that of F.U.N.
Our AKontheGO Calendar is full, full, full of family fun this holiday season. Want to know more? Click on the “Calendar of Events” tab at the top of the page, or shoot us your event at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!