Fun Friday: What’s a Dad To Do in Alaska? Everything!

We love AK Dad. He’s warm, fuzzy, and a ton of fun to have along when traveling. The best thing about AK Dad, though, is a truly authentic, utterly adorable love for his boys. It’s not easy, sometimes, with one son lurking on the fringe of adulthood in a state far, far, away, and another leaping in the waves of wild-childhood right here, but AK Dad loves every minute of parenthood, and this weekend is dedicated to him. Thanks to Alaska Center for Pediatrics for helping dads of all shapes and sizes take care of their kids!

To celebrate, we’re down in Homer, one of my top five choices for Alaska family fun and our little sanctuary of sanity each summer. Nestled in the whimsical, teal-colored Homer Seaside Cottage Garden Shed, we’ve been savoring a little bit of free time and a whole lotta laughter with some friends from Outside.

If your family has scheduled a trip to the end of the Sterling Highway, don’t forget to stop in at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, just at the entrance to town. Chamber boss Monte Davis and his crew love families, and will do whatever it takes to help plan a super duper few days of fun. Psst – kids: There’s even a little basket of goodies to paw through and take away little treasures while mom and dad are searching through the rack cards of activities, lodging, and restaurants.

Brand new and waiting for you - the Homer Community Playground.

And if it’s fun you want, Homer has a bright, shiny, new Community Playground just waiting for inspection. Finished about a week ago, the playground is proof that a city can indeed work together for a positive common goal. Check out this place, and the view! The playground is located at Karen Hornaday Park, just off West Fairview in Homer, up on the hill. If you’re camping, the Karen Hornaday Campground is a mere series of steps away, a definite bonus in my book.

What’s up this weekend? Take a look at some favorites, and remember – you can always add an event to the AKontheGO Calendar, right HERE. The Launch Party and Open House is raring to go on Thursday, June 28, and we can’t wait to show off our new look and super new resources! All are welcome, of course.

Storytime in the Children's Village area at the Alaska Botanical Garden Fair.

The Alaska Botanical Garden Fair is celebrating 15 years of gardening in the 49th state, and they want kids of all ages to come on by their Campbell Airstrip/Tudor Road property this weekend. The Children’s Village features all sorts of activities and interesting things to do, courtesy of local businesses. Music, food, and tons of crafts are available for grownups, too, and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way. Open Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8/pp, but kids 2 and under are free.

More celebrations are in order at the annual Juneteenth festival on the Park Strip, Friday through Sunday. Created to honor and recognize all African Americans across the nation, Juneteenth will be full of crafts, music, food, and culture. You won’t want to miss the fun, I assure you. Open Friday, 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission is completely free, and everyone, of any age, is welcome.

 

Fly like an eagle at Eagle River Nature Center and learn more about these beautiful birds.

Eagle River Nature Center will be hosting a Live Eagle Program and Release on Saturday at 2 p.m. Meet at the viewing deck just outside the visitor center and hear the fascinating story of bald eagles in Alaska, and watch as a rehabilitated eagle is released back into the wild. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our national bird, and perhaps take a hike along the family-friendly trails. Most programs at ERNC are free, but parking is $5 for non-members.

EXTRAS: Have you been following the fast-moving airfare deals compiled by my Alaska Travelgram Show co-host, Scott McMurren? You should, because that Alaska Airlines Anchorage-Kona, HI deal last week was an incredible opportunity! Catch up to Scott HERE, and sign up for his newsletter to stay on top of the latest in air travel to or from Alaska.

We talked last week about the Alaska Railroad’s fantastic opportunity for family travel the remainder of 2012. Kids can travel FREE between now and December 31, 2012, with a regular-fare parent. That means, folks, you can explore Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Seward, or even Grandview with your children, and they will be absolutely no charge. Find the details HERE. You MUST book by June 29, 2012!

Have an exceptional weekend. Happy Father’s Day to our dads, and dads of dads!

EK

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