Fun Friday in Southcentral Alaska: It’s Good To Be Home

Time for another great Alaskan weekend!

Laundry and wet boots aside, there is nothing quite as nice as returning home from a trip. The delightful weather that met us at Ted Stevens International Airport yesterday fired us back up after a wet and drippy departure from Ketchikan. It’s time to get back to the familiar routine, and Fun Friday is just the place to start, we think. It’s the last weekend in July (holy moly, that means school is just around the corner!) and time to ramp up the remaining weeks of another Alaskan summer. We’ve got Port of Anchorage tours, tons of music, and a chance to “rock out” at a local museum. Big thanks to Alaska Center for Pediatrics for continuing our Fun Friday sponsorship; they’ve been caring for kids since 1982 and we’re glad to have them on board.

Visit beautiful Palmer and the Friday Fling farmer's market.

FRIDAY: Palmer’s Friday Flings continue with the Veronica Page Band playing in downtown Palmer from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. during the Farmer’s Market (market hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m.). While you’re shopping for locally-grown veggies, be entertained by Veronica’s great voice. Take a minute while you’re there and stop in at the Palmer Museum and Visitor Center, the little log cabin adjacent to the old deopt and the market. Some great exhibits of Palmer’s days gone by are inside, and kids love the dog sled, especially. FREE.

The Alaska Museum of Natural History is winding up its “After the Dinosaurs” exhibit at their Bragaw street building. Explore which creatures came out of the shadows after the dinos made their dramatic (we think) exit. $5 per kiddo with an accompanying adult. This self-guided trip around the museum is suitable for the whole family, and don’t forget to stop at the dig pits!

Peratrovich Park is the place to be today at Noon for more Music in the Park, sponsored by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. FREE music and lots of fun people-watching. Bring a jacket as the breezes can kick up.

Town Square Park continues their Live After Five concerts tonight from 5-8 p.m. with the awesome Whipsaws performing their rockabilly tunes. Love these guys. FREE music; beer garden and food available.

Any butterflies in there? Take the Junior Naturalist Class at Eagle River Nature Center and find out!

SATURDAY: Eagle River Nature Center continues its commitment to teaching young people the beauty of the outdoors with their Junior Naturalist program al about “Caterpillars and Butterflies”. From 2-4 p.m., kids K-6 can go on a butterfly safari (bring your own net or jar if you have them) and hopefully learn a little more about these beautiful creatures. FREE, $5 parking for non-members.

Don’t forget about the new Discovery Tours at the Alaska Zoo, leaving the main gate at 12:15 p.m. every day through the end of summer. For $15 for kids/ $25 adults (includes zoo admission), a family can get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo’s animals, their homes, and the wonderful staff who care for them. It’s worth it, trust me.

SUNDAY: Been on Port of Anchorage tour, yet? What the heck are you waiting for? These FREE tours are held between the hours of 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Port (park by the AKRR Corporate HQ at 327 Ship Creek Ave.) and feature a one-hour motorcoach tour, narrated storytelling, and FREE lunch. Yep. Hotdogs carefully grilled by different port personnel each week. Who knows? You might get a railroad engineer doing the honors! Kids’ coloring pages provided while you wait for your lunch. This is a great way to learn how and why the Port of Anchorage is so vital to the citizens of Alaska. Hey, check out my cohost’s visit to the Port last week right HERE! Scott did himself proud and now I want to go.

Don't forget the Alaska Botanical Garden as summer transitions into fall!

Need a little walk with the kiddos to wind down a busy weekend? The Alaska Botanical Garden is in full bloom and simply stunning displays of flowers, trees, and herbs are right at our doorstep. Visit the Garden off Tudor/Campbell Airstrip roads, near Benny Benson school in east Anchorage. We love the kid-friendly trails. Do watch for our bear friends, however; with Campbell Creek nearby, they do occasionally find ABG a lovely spot to picnic.

Want to know all about all the great outdoor activities upcoming in southcentral Alaska? AKontheGO is a proud member of the Get Outdoors Anchorage coalition, a group of agencies, organizations, and individuals dedicated to promoting families and the beautiful outdoors we call home. Find a complete listing of events and members at their website (link above).

Run the Kids' 2k and get a cool hat and medal!

Have you signed your kids up for the Big Wild Life Runs Kids’ 2k? This incredibly family-friendly event is part of the Anchorage Running Club’s big day of running, walking, and general fitness on Sunday, August 21, beginning and ending on 6th Avenue/Town Square Park. Kids take off at 8:10 a.m. and will run a short 2k around downtown streets to throngs of cheering bystanders before  heading back to the finish line for a shiny medal. Now who wouldn’t want to do that? Sign up HERE and look for us, we’ll be there!

Happy weekend!

EK

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