Fun Friday: This Weekend’s All For Kids!

AK Kid explores an engine at the Aviation Heritage Museum during the 2010 Kids' Day

Kids’ Day. That’s pretty much our language today. “When is Kids’ Day?!” Yes, parents of Anchorage-area kids: Tomorrow is indeed Kids’ Day, and we’ve got you covered with the wherefores and how-come’s right here at AKontheGO Fun Friday, proudly sponsored by Alaska Center for Pediatrics.

SATURDAY: Kids’ Day is our top family activity for Saturday, since every organization, agency, or business catering to kids will be at the Dena’ina Center from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., providing activities, information, and oodles of child-friendly fun for the whole fam. Inside and out, Kids’ Day is a super way to get connected if you family is new to Alaska, if you are a new parent and need to know what sorts of resources exist, and simply for those of us who’ve been around a while to find new ways of engaging our children. From summer camps to soccer clubs, homework help to health screenings, Kids’ Day, sponsored by Anchorage’s Promise, promises a fabulous day. Pssst, be sure to check out the Kids These Days! booth for some dressing up/photography fun, and the Get Outdoors Anchorage booth where you can learn about the myriad agencies and organizations working to get kids outside!

Try on some new gear at the Alaska Museum of Natural History!

Along with their Dena’ina Center home base, Kids’ Day also has a number of satellite sponsors who will open their doors for FREE admission tomorrow. The Alaska Museum of Natural History on Bragaw (in Mountainview), Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum near the Ted Stevens Int’l Airport, The Alaska Zoo (oh, HELLO, a brand new baby Yak was born yesterday!), and the Anchorage Museum are all welcoming families with open arms.

If you are Mat-Su family, think about stopping by the Spring Gear Swap at the Mat-Su Borough Gym from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Bikes, hiking gear, fishing gear, canoes, kayaks, and the like will be offered for sale or swap, AND, they’ll have free bike maintenance clinics if you need to get things oiled up for summertime riding. Nice. Kids outgrown their bikes? This could be a great chance to replace them.

Campbell Creek Science Center and 4-H are offering another Science Saturday tomorrow from 1-4 p.m. at the CCSC facility off Elmore Road. Specifically designed for ‘tweens 9-13 years, Science Saturday tomorrow will focus on “Climate Change at the Poles”, and features some pretty cool indoor science experimenting and outdoor investigation. An adult MUST accompany each child. $5, one-time registration fee of $6. It totally rocks. Really.

The Anchorage Wildflower Garden Club will have lovely little marigolds available for kids to plant at Sears Mall Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Teaching children the wonders of making things grow is a timeless experience, and these folks are so good at it! Stop by their booth at the Spring Garden Show and take a beautiful flower home! FREE.

Want to take a hike and listen for one of the noisiest birds around? Join the Woodpecker Drumline at Eagle River Nature Center at 2 p.m. Saturday for a very cool presentation by naturalist Doris Ivory to learn more about these little, rhythm-based birdies. Dress for a short (1 mile) hike to look and listen carefully.

SUNDAY: Continue the garden theme at Eagle River Nature Center, where naturalist Ute Olsson will show folks how to compost with worms! Yep, the same squiggly, wiggly, slippery worms that live in your garden can be excellent tools for composting food scraps. Ute will demonstrate how to build a box for your own little garden party. IF you would like to take some little red wigglers home, bring a container and Ute will let you take some. FREE, $5 parking for non-members.

Check out this big dude at the AWCC campus in Portage.

Hey, hey, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage is open every day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for family-friendly critter viewing! With our current stretch of gorgeous weather, this weekend might be a lovely opportunity to take a drive down the Seward Highway and see Snickers the cranky porcupine (no, really, he’s not too bad if he’s had a nap), the Moose Brothers (I just call them that because they were on MythBusters), a new baby musk ox, and the little brown bear cubs who should be out and about for kids to see and say howdy. AWCC does such good work rehabilitating lost or injured animals, and deserve our support. Consider a pass for around $30 and help out!

A heads-up, too, for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend. Portage’s Begich Boggs Visitor Center will be opening for the 2011 season of glacial excellence, so consider taking Mom to the Trail of Blue Ice, or on the MV Ptarmigan, or into the Visitor Center for a look at Ice Worms (sure, she’ll love it!). This beautiful Portage Valley is a stunning way to say Happy Mother’s Day. Pack a picnic, bring warm clothes, and spend a day exploring with the fam.

Gosh, have a splendid weekend. We’re all fired up for summer, aren’t you?


AK Kid and I at Portage Glacier on Mother's Day 2010

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