September is here, AKontheGO fans; time for another segment of family fun for KTVA 11’s Daybreak! I always enjoy a few minutes in the high-def studio, lounging on The Couch with co-hosts James Gaddis and Megan Mazurek. This month’s segment? Autumn break-aways:
North: Creamer’s Field Migratory Bird Refuge in Fairbanks. We talk up this place all the time, and with good reason. The colors, the access for big and little kids, the guided walks and hikes – it’s endless outdoor fun in Alaska’s Golden Heart City. Bring the camera.
Running Reindeer Ranch, located in the Goldstream Valley ‘suburbs’ of Fairbanks offers a guided walk with a small herd of reindeer with names like Olive, Jasper, and Willow. No kidding; your kids can take a stroll through a yellowing birch forest and watch these amazing creatures snack on lichen, follow their master, Jane, all while learning more about these arctic and sub-arctic animals. A very fun Alaska adventure for the entire family. Have an infant? Consider a pack instead of a stroller; trails are a bit bumpy.
Stay overnight at popular Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, right on the placid Chena River. Just minutes from the airport and downtown Fairbanks, Pike’s has screaming deals during the shoulder season (now), and on into the winter months. Take advantage of free ice cream for guests, too!
Southcentral: A favorite drive among Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley residents is the ‘Golden Circle’ of Glenn and Richardson Highways toward the town of Valdez, then a ferry ride across Prince William Sound to Whittier and home again. Why? Oh, gosh, the Glenn Highway area of Alaska is gorgeous this time of year, with opportunities to hike Matanuska Glacier, Sheep Mountain, and Thompson Pass. Valdez, of course, is a ton of fun for kids, with history around every corner, including the Old Town Valdez site, where practically the entire community was bowled over by a tsunami following the 1964 earthquake. FYI: the Alaska Marine Highway is reinsituting the ‘Driver Goes Free’ fare beginning October 1, so take advantage of a freebie and low fares for kids, and get going before the snow flies!
Also hot right now are harvest festivals and fairs, including the Alaska Botanical Garden’s Harvest Day, Saturday, September 6. Enjoy a stroll through the gardens, check out the crafts, and allow the kids to do some very special projects at their own special area. Admission is $7, but that falls to $5 if you bring fresh produce or canned goods to benefit many organizations that help feed hungry folks.
Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm has announced their Fall Festival, slated for Saturday, September 20! Join a few hundred of your community neighbors for a hayride, food, music, and lots of pumpkin-gathering! Tickets go fast to this event, so purchase online and save time.
Get out and enjoy an Alaska autumn, friends!