Fun Friday, School’s Out!

Oh my goodness, another school year has come and gone, and hopefully our kids are all the wiser for it. This is the time of year when  my mom would gather the three of us together and have a little chat about the rules of the road for summer vacation. Usually it went something like this “If you think for a minute you’re going to spend your whole summer in front of the television, you’d better think again.” Her statement was followed by a swift booting out the screen door, at which time we were instructed not to show our faces again until lunch, which she served on the front porch. Yep, Mom had it right.

Since it’s Fun Friday here in Alaska, and we have so many exciting adventures to report before the weekend really gets rolling, I will dispense with my own list of summer rules until Monday, when kids are sure to start complaining about the lack of “anything at all” to do. HA. Be glad, children, that I am not sending your parents to drag you by your ears to the garage for a good old-fashioned afternoon cleaning and sweeping.

I’d like to begin this morning with Mud. A wallow of mud, to be specific, and it can be found in the cosmic city of Homer on the Kenai Peninsula. Homer is dialed into the concept of kids in nature, and now have something to show for their down and dirty work. Cottonwood Horse Park is the permenant home of The Wallow, a new and very muddy play space designed to entertain, delight, and allow for um, natural exploration in something kids seem to find intriguing. Okay, adults do, too. The Grand Wallowing will take place today (yes, a bit late for we Anchorage-ites, but in case you happen to be heading that way) from 2-4 p.m. for toddlers; 3:30-6 p.m. for kids 5-18 (teenagers, you be nice, now!); 6-8 for the grownups. Yes, we get to play, too.  Organizers say you must bring warm, dry clothes to change into, like duh. They’ll have a fire, washing station, and goodies to snack upon. I don’t know, sounds like a pretty fun evening to me. How about you? Find Cottonwood Horse Park at Mile 1.5 East End Road. Sponsored by Kachemak Bay Research Reserve’s Kids in Nature Program, and Supporters of Cottonwood Horse Park.

To bring us back to reality (darn), let’s go back to the big city and celebrate with the Anchorage Museum tomorrow from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. as they finally open up that Imaginarium, the Thomas Planetarium,  tout their new Smithsonian exhibit on Arctic Studies and Conoco Phillips Gallery, both of which are incredible. Dancing, drumming, food, special guests, it’s all going to be going on inside and out of the Museum’s facility on C St. Regular admision applies, and now would be a great time to purchase that Membership for $90/fam, which will get you unlimited access to the Imaginarium all year. We are stoked!

Tomorrow morning is a wonderful Potter Marsh Bird Walk from 8-10 a.m., sponsored by the ADFG and Anchoage Audubon Society. This will be a family-friendly chance to see and hear the hundreds of birds who call the marsh home, and trust me, it is more intriguing to kids than you might imagine. Mornings are busy bird times, and what fun to see them swoop and duck around trees and each other. Free, and binoculars will be availble if you forget yours. Call 267-2281 for info.

Eagle River Nature Center is hosting Jr. Naturalists tomorrow as they learn All About Soil (see, there’s that dirt again!). Kids K-6 will learn about what dirt is really made of, dig around, and explore to their hearts content at the Center. Free program, $5 for parking if non-member. Class starts at 2 p.m. Why not take a lunch and go early? The views from the Beaver Pond are delish!

Don’t forget, too, about the grand opening of the Spenard Farmer’s Market at the base of the Chilkoot Charlie’s windmill at the N. end of Spenard Rd. It is going to be one grand celebration with tons of music, produce, activities, and oh yes, goodies! Get on down there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and see the sights.

While we’re reminding, make sure you mark your calendar for our Bear Aware for Families workshop on Wednesday, June 2 at the Campbell Creek Science Center. From 7-9 p.m. you’ll be innundated with info and practice time to make sure your fam is prepared for summer in Alaska alongside our furry friends.

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