Fun Friday: Solstice and Santa and Light Come to Alaska

Welcome to AKontheGO’s weekly post of good cheer! The holidays have arrived in their usual blustery fashion, with events, activities, and wintery fun for the whole family.

Whether you’ve been a fan of AKontheGO since we launched in 2009, or are a new friend, we thank you for another incredible year of support. Alaska is a special place, and we love sharing our experiences, wonderful or challenging, with you. But the 49th state is also a big place, and we need feedback from families like yours to make our website sing the travel song. Look for some wonderful new opportunities in 2012, new destinations, and ways you can actively contribute to making family fun a reality for thousands of Alaskan visitors each year. I’m getting all goose-bumpy just thinking about it.

What Alaska destinations will make the annual Top Five? Be sure to read our post on Friday, December 30 to find out!

Speaking of wonderful, don’t forget to check in on Friday, December 30 for our annual AKontheGO Top Five blog post. 2011 was a full year for AK Fam, and we are hard at work trying to decide which Alaskan destination will receive top honors through very scientific analysis involving many sleepless nights and a few gallons of eggnog.

Marian Call and I get ready for the Alaska Travelgram Holiday Show on KOAN 95.5 FM

Did you hear our Alaska Travelgram Show this week? Marian Call blessed us with her presence in the studios, giving away a copy of her new CD, “Something Fierce” while Scott McMurren and I played Santa to five lucky listeners. Check out the podcast right HERE. Remember, we play radio each Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. on KOAN 95.5 FM, 1020 AM, or streamed live at It’s live, it’s informative, and it’s fun. At least we think so. Huge thanks to those businesses who contributed to our Alaska Travelgram Holiday Show; JetBlue, EraAlaska, Copper Whale Inn, Hallo Bay Bear Camp, Marian Call, Alyeska Resort, and K2Aviation.

Need to relax? Head down to Alyeska Resort for the holidays

The snow is snowing, the wind is finally not blowing, and hopefully your family will have a chance to get outside this weekend in between eating Christmas cookies and pumpkin pie. Alyeska Resort has a few rooms available over the weekend, and there is nothing finer than sitting in the gorgeous lobby of Hotel Alyeska, sipping hot chocolate and watching fluffy flakes of snow waft down from the heavens. And the hot tub is pretty fine, too. Check out the Hotel’s latest deals and head south, why don’t you? Friday happens to be Santa Day at the resort, and anyone who is daring enough to dress up like the Big Guy can ski for FREE. Yep, totally free. Get the scoop here.

ZooLights continues through the holiday season at the Alaska Zoo

All this fresh snow will make viewing ZooLights at the Alaska Zoo something special, indeed. AK Fam is headed there tonight for a little stroll and holiday picnic with some friends, and we can’t wait to see what’s new in the world of twinkling, winking, and sometimes singing light displays. Open Thursdays through Sundays, 5-8 p.m., ZooLights is $7 for non-pass holders, and $5 for pass holders. You can even buy tickets online here. Stay tuned for photos!

North Pole continues its Christmas In Ice celebration all weekend at the North Pole Ice Park, right next to Santa Claus House. Even though St. Nick will be busy on Christmas Eve, he’ll be around to say howdy while making preparations, you can be sure. In the meantime, take the kids on an ice slide, hear some music, and enjoy  a bit of Christmas cheer, North Pole style…

Winter Solstice from Campbell Airstrip trail near Campbell Creek Science Center

How about taking a time-out from frantic preparations inside your house through a little snowshoeing or skiing outside, in nature’s hacienda? The kid-friendly trails around Campbell Creek Science Center in Anchorage are perfect for tromping the backwoods of Alaska without venturing too far from home. This is the perfect opportunity to stop, look, and listen to the real sounds of the season, and the fresh air will do everybody a little good, right? Find the Smokejumper trailhead just off Elmore Road in southeast Anchorage, and wind your way a few miles through the beautiful birch and spruce forests of the Campbell Tract. I took AK Dog for a run along the Campbell Airstrip trail (accessed via the Coyote trail near Smokejumper) on Winter Solstice afternoon, and the place was perfect.

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your holiday blessings be just right.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.


Posted in Alaskan Winter Fun, Miscellaneous and tagged , .