The holiday season in Alaska is always a special time. Snow, reindeer, and Santa Claus are permenant residents, after all, so Alaskans tend to savor every single minute. Last week, I wrote about ideas to celebrate Black Friday in the outdoors, and many of you wrote to say you appreciated the heads up for #OptOutside day. Since then, more events have filtered my way, some indoors, some out, but all chock-full of family fun, just in time for the holidays.
First, though, some big news from Eaglecrest Ski Area in Juneau. It seems that winter has been giving them an early Christmas present in the form of snow, so mountain managers have decided to open EARLY for skiing and riding on the Hooter and Black Bear lifts (intermediate–>expert runs) both Saturday and Sunday, November 28 and 29. This is wonderful to hear, since the 2014-15 season was a big no-show for snow. Go HERE for the details.
Fairbanksans may want to drive the extra few miles to North Pole and experience the opening days of Christmas In Ice, held beween November 28 and January 5. Ice slides, lights, music, and a visit or two from Santa himself will make this the perfect way to kick off a holiday season around your house. Admission and hours varies, so check out the event flyer HERE for more information, and some cool videos of kids having a blast!
Our feathered friends need our help to jumpstart their diets for the holidays, so Creamers Field in Fairbanks is hosting a ‘Thanksgiving For the Birds’ event on Saturday, November 28 from noon-4 p.m. Learn which birds stick around to endure a Fairbanks winter, and what they need to stay warm and well-fed. Suggested donation of $3/pp. Details, HERE.
Eagle River Nature Center is hosting a special Live Bird Presentation on Saturday as well, starting at 2 p.m. Bird TLC will be on hand with a few birds, and this is always a treat to learn more about owls, ravens, crows, and the other birds that live in Alaska. Parking is $5 for non-members (but Black Friday parking, remember, is FREE).
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is hosting a FREE Visitor Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (last car through at 4:30 p.m.). See the musk ox, moose, elk, foxes, and Snickers the Porcupine, not to mention enjoy the kick sleds and hot drinks they’ll be dishing out.
Anchorage is getting crafty this weekend, with the annual Anchorage Museum Crafts Fair Friday thorugh Sunday, November 27-29, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free, and expect crowds, but the crafts and artwork are perfect for buying holiday gifts for loved ones near and far. While you’re there, pick up an upcoming schedule of events, too, because this winter is going to be a great time for learning more about Alaska.
Police Navidad is scheduled for Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage. Sponsored by the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association and GCI, Police Navidad is an excellent way to mingle with the men and women of your community safety services during the holiday season. Free admission, music, arts and crafts, stories with Mrs. Claus, and some pretty cool goodies.
FINALLY – an early-bird notice for families wanting to meet up with Santa Claus before he hits the skies in his sleigh full of toys: The Big Man’s annual visit to Alyeska Resort will occur on Wednesday, December 23, 2015. Why not stay overnight for a truly wonderful holiday treat? Find the scoop, HERE, and reserve your room(s) today!
Do enjoy your weekend, and remember: Be thankful.