It’s Fair Weather for Fun Friday, and Alaskans Head Outside

Raise your hand if you’re ready for a little outside adventure after frenzied, first-weeks-of-school activities? Yep, me, too. Thankfully, Alaskans are by no means ready to bid summer goodbye and the lineup of family-friendly activities proves it, courtesy of Alaska Center for Pediatrics in Anchorage, caring for 49th state kiddos since 1982.

REMEMBER, this is the last week of the Old Fun Friday postings by AKontheGO. Beginning next Friday, September 2, AKontheGO will be encouraging, cajoling, begging, even, all our readers to click the lovely little “Calendar of Events” tab at the top of this page for all kid-related, outdoor-themed activities and events. We’ll be focusing on one or two of these during the New Fun Friday post, and we think you’ll like it.

In the meantime, however, we’ve got a harvest of fun stuff for your family this weekend:

The Alaska State Fair kicked off yesterday, and continues all the way through Labor Day weekend, so take advantage of this sunny weather (HOORAY!) and drive north to Palmer and the beautiful fairgrounds. Today is Kids’ Day, by the way, when ALL kids 12 and under get in free. SATURDAY is Family Day, and again, kiddos 12 and under receive free admission when with their parental/guardian unit. Um, that’s TWO DAYS in a row, people, and ample time to eat lots of pork chops on a stick and see the giant pumpkins, which, I will say, are quite impressive this year. Find the entire Fair schedule, special days, musical acts, etc. right HERE.

SATURDAY takes flight at Bird Treatment and Learning Center off Old Seward/Potter Marsh area. This is one of my favorites, folks, this Autumn Wings festival, because we get to say farewell to our migrating birds who right now are backing their little bags and heading south (I wonder if they have room for me). The party runs from 12-4 p.m. at the Bird TLC property. Take New Seward Highway to Rabbit Creek exit, turn left, then turn right on Old Seward Highway. The property will be on your right. Plan on fine weather, lots of people, and tons of activities for the whole family from many other organizations and agencies who love and support birds in Alaska.

Fairbanks is hosting their popular Crane Fest this weekend, and the organizing committee has so many crane-related things for kids, I hardly know where to begin. The fun starts early Saturday and Sunday at Creamer’s Field off College Road. The big, white barn is your landmark as you take a guided nature walk, do crane-themed crafts, and learn how to 1) walk like a Sandhill Crane, and 2) talk like a Sandhill Crane. Hmmm, this might be interesting, indeed. Somebody take pictures. Additionally, kids and parents can watch a bird-banding demonstration, learn about birds of prey, and enjoy the wonderful layout that is Creamer’s Field. With almost 2,000 cranes in attendance already, this ought to be quite the party.

Hooray for Kenai Fjords Tours and their beautiful day cruising opportunities out of Seward!

Don’t forget to take a wildlife cruise soon down the Seward way, where CIRI Tourism has some incredible deals with Kenai Fjords Tours. Orcas have been spotted almost every day, as have puffins, sea lions, eagles, and those adorable sea otters. Check out their specials and call them today, because the weather is going to be spectacular this weekend!

Speaking of Seward, did you know the city has a birthday this weekend? That’s right, 108 years of coastal Alaska existence is under celebration, and the Seward Museum wants you to come! From 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, the Seward Museum on Third and Jefferson is hosting a special party, with old photographs, coloring and crafts, and a walking tour of this beautiful little community most of us just breeze through on our way to the Sea Life Center or out on a cruise. Stop and stay awhile this time.

Sunday is the final day to tour the Port of Anchorage as they wind up an incredibly successful summer showing off our fantastically busy shipping and rail port. From 11 a.m.-3 p.m., stop by for a motorcoach tour, free hot dog lunch, and way fun folks ready to explain the inner workings of Alaska’s commerce. Cool!

Berry time at Arctic Valley high above Anchorage.

AK Kid and some other pals are headed up to Arctic Valley this afternoon after school for a little berry-picking and hiking. Our favorite place in the world to find the little blue gems of goodness, Arctic Valley also offers outstanding views of Anchorage and some great hiking trails. Now is the time to do a little pickin’ and grinnin’, but if you head up, bring a bucket with a lid (prevents accidental spillage), raingear (because then it will be guaranteed lovely), and your hiking shoes. Plan to pay $5 at the trailhead parking lot, or park further down on the road.

There’s a whole lot more going on at the AKontheGO Calendar of Events page, so check it out and see what’s going on at Eagle River Nature Center, the Alaska Botanical Garden, and other family-friendly hotspots in our state.

Happy weekend!

EK

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