I’m quite tickled that so many Alaska family attractions and events are touting their status as “FREE” this weekend. It must be the budget-consciousness of mothers to appreciate the value of FREE. I love FREE.
AKontheGO’s Fun Friday post is a little late today because I just walked in the door from a lovely getaway to Homer and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Last night I was the featured speaker at their kick-off event, and thanks to an abundance of Homer Brewing Company beer, and some fabulous clam chowder courtesy of Lands End Resort, a crowd crammed into the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and heard me go on and on and on about family travel. Big thanks to all those who attended, and to Festival organizers, for a great time.
The Shorebird Festival is a longtime spring favorite among birders, and I must say, the family-friendliness is evident, with beach walks, hikes, presentations, and many other opportunities for kids and parents to spend time together. The festival runs all weekend, so if you’ve got a hankering for a road trip, this is the place to go. I stayed at the Driftwood Lodge, a charming set of three buildings in Old Town Homer, within walking distance of food, beach, and fun (all highly valued by AKontheGOer’s old and young).
If you are sticking close to home this weekend, southcentral has a ton of mom-related events, sure to please. We’re going to focus on moms today, since moms are cool (I ought to know, right?). If your mom is close by, call her up and invite her for a daylong experience of outdoor recreation. If she’s not, call her up and wish her a happy, safe, and blessed Mother’s Day.
SATURDAY: Eagle River Challenge 5 and 10k races start at 9 a.m. at Eagle River Nature Center. Run around the Dew Mound with mom, or head toward the popular Albert Loop and see if the bears are up, yet. Be prepared for sloppy, muddy conditions, and do buy mom a membership while you’re out there (she’ll love the free parking!). Race is $30. Call 694-2108 for info and sign-up.
Moms love it when kids read, so why not sign up your crew for the annual Summer Reading Program at Reading Rendezvous, THE event for all things book. From noon-4 p.m., visit Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage for free entertainment, information, and reading program materials. 343-2481.
SUNDAY: Free, free, all these things are free!
The Alaska Native Heritage Center opens for the summer season at 9 a.m. with bands like Medicine Dream, Pamyua, and the center’s own dancers during this celebration of mothers. Moms receive a flower, and everyone can take part in the indoor and outdoor activities. Kids, the Children’s Art Adventure Area is now open, too! FREE admission.
My friends at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center welcome all families, but especially moms, to their FREE admission day at the facility in Portage. Educational program, activities, and a sneak-peek at the bears’ new boardwalk are all part of the day’s fun. Stop in to the gift shop, too, some great gifts await!
Bird Treatment and Learning Center will be at Eagle River Nature Center on Sunday to Celebrate Mother’s Day With the Birds at 2 p.m. Since moms give us our own wings, this is a great opportunity to see how, and why, our feathered friends contribute to our world. FREE, $5 parking for non-members.
The Alaska Zoo hosts its annual Free Admission Day for Moms, and the Bear Aware event on Sunday. From noon-4 p.m., learn why it’s SO crucial to be bear aware, and how you can do your part to keep everyone, bear or human, safe. My favorite part, though, is watching the zoo’s bears try to break into a bear-resistant trash can.
Whatever you’re doing this weekend, may it be full of joy!