Monday Morning Newsflash: Got ‘Free’?

Monday, Monday, how did you get here so quickly? Must be all that daylight outside.

A double high-five for Monday!

A mish-mash of useful information is what we have today, starting with some incredible deals AK Fam found this weekend at our favorite outdoor recreation store, REI, dressing me since I was but a baby in my father’s funky blue backpack. Dividend season is upon us, and every year REI pulls out the clearance items for our worldly consumption, and every year AK  Dad and I promise each other we will not exit the store with four bags of stuff after intending to only buy socks. We almost kept that pledge; we only left with two bags this year. But, the big bargains for AK Kid were a Columbia ski jacket marked down to $45 from $65 and new Classic Bogs boots, slashed from $65 to a mere $35. I almost bought two pairs in my excitement, but was reminded by a wiser, cooler-headed AK Dad that we have yet to properly predict the size of our boat-footed child. Oh, right. So I’ll pass on this to you and you can go get your kids new boots, since we left you a pair or two.

I put out a request from AKontheGO’ers a few weeks ago for FREE activities in southcentral Alaska, and was simply inundated with responses (thank you from the bottom of my freeloading little heart)., a nifty site AK Fam has come to love for their equally witty commentary on family travel, wanted to know just how we parents in the Far North manage to find the freebies in between dogsledding the kids to school and keeping the igloos from thawing and such. So you told me, and I told them, and you can read all about it HERE. But there is so much more I could have written. Below are a few more of your suggestions for no, or low-cost fun with the kids in the greater Anchorage area:

Hiking the wilds of APU/Goose Lake trails.

Goose Lake/University Lake: Park at Goose Lake Park any time of year and let the kids play on the playground, swim in the lake, or explore the many trails around the area (pssst, remind the kids to leave the ducks and geese alone; they have eggs to protect, you know). Hike the trails at the east end of the lake and end up in a wonderful maze of urban hiking at the back of Alaska Pacific University.

Libraries: Don’t forget programs for kids, especially once summer hits and the concerts at our Loussac Library begin. Heck, just visit and let the your young readers wander among the shelves and search out books of their own interest. I’m always amazed at AK Kid’s ability to just chill in those cool reclining chairs with a story. Fun for me, too.

Fishing at Summit Lake along the Seward Highway

Fishin’: Yep, taking a kid fishing is probably one of the most relaxing activities in the AK Fam diary of fun. Anchorage has stocked lakes just waiting for a kid to throw out some line, kick back, and watch the bobber. Kids under 14 do not need a license, but the adult should, of course. Don’t forget the soda pop and picnic lunch, fishing is hard work. Check out Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game’s website for info on 2011 rules and regs.

Point Woronzof: Ah, a bunch of you suggested this, not only for the interesting beach below the parking lot and easy access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, but for the airplanes blowing overhead on their way to far-off destinations. We love to go here on slow, sunny days when we have no other agenda other than kicking back on a blanket and watching the various assorted flying machines roar all around us. This time of year one can still take a walk, just wear appropriate gear and be ready for the occasional chilly breeze. Watch the ice move back and forth and catch the amazing sunsets. Oh yeah. Reach the “Point” by driving west on Northern Lights Blv. all the way to the end…..can’t miss the runway.

Berry time at Arctic Valley!

Berry Blast: Granted, berry picking is scheduled for a bit later in the summer, but so many people mentioned it that we thought we’d better, too. This is one of the best family activities, ever, and a centuries-old practice in bonding for parents, grandparents, friends, and kids. Every year AK Fam heads up to Arctic Valley just east of Anchorage, and picks buckets of blueberries and crowberries while watching hundreds of people do the same. The views are stupendous, the berries always fresh, and the company, delightful. We like AV because the bears are elsewhere, and we can always have AK Kid in our line of sight as he plays among the willow and berry bushes. Visiting Alaska this summer? Grab a bucket or zipper-bag and join us. We love to show off this very traditional activity. Drive northeast on the Glenn Highway to the Arctic Valley exit and follow the signs up the winding, dirt road. Park at the top ($5 parking pass required) and listen for the laughter.

All this makes me anxious for summer. Don’t forget to keep your organization’s activities posted on the AKontheGO Calendar. Simply email us at and we’ll get it recorded so everyone can take advantage of all the 49th state has to offer!

Posted in Big Kid, Day Trips, Good Deals, Little Kid and tagged , .