Savor Alaska’s Bounty With Kids

Fall will be here before we know it; time to get out and harvest!

Alaskans know; in several weeks the landscape will change from green to gold, and the rush for winter preparations begins. Now is the time to reap what we, and Mother Nature, have sown; from berries to broccoli, August is prime time for savoring Alaska’s produce. It’s also a great way to introduce kids to the process of ‘gathering’ for an upcoming season of cold and snow.

Alyeska Resort's forested areas make for great blueberry finds.

Hike and pick Alyeska's beautiful hillside ski slopes.

If berries are your top priority this season, make plans to attend Alyeska Resort’s annual Blueberry Festival this Saturday and Sunday. It’s FREE, and there’s a ton of access to music, crafts, and those luscious blueberries, all along the ski slopes and nearby trails. Take a chairlift ride up and hike down, why don’t you?

Arctic Valley berries are the best!

Picking and grinning; that's berry season in Alaska. (Notice blue teeth)

Our family loves berry picking at Arctic Valley, overlooking the Anchorage Bowl. Easy access, tons of room for kids to play when they get tired of eating berries, and simply stunning views. Do remember that State Parks passes do not apply here, so you’ll have to pay a $5 parking fee in the lots.

Good growing happening at Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm near Palmer.

Helpers are good in the garden, even if they do have to play in a mud puddle, first.

I took a trip to Palmer yesterday to visit Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm, where I took advantage of their beautifully-cultivated veggies for a little you-pick time. This is a great opportunity for kids; they can yank up veggies for mom and dad, learn what grows where, and when, and even take a tour from the good folks at Pyrah’s.

Lush and green and full of summer bounty; Calypso Farm and Ecology Center near Ester is just right.

Veggies are way yummier when eaten right from the dirt. Yes, it's true.

Another fabulous garden opportunity lies in Esther, Alaska, just outside Fairbanks. Calypso Farm and Ecology Center is an amazing little organic farm in the forest, with classes and field trips, and tons of opportunities to learn about gardens, livestock, and the business of farming in Alaska. Tons of community events going on – these folks are dialed in to connecting families to nature in a big way.

AK Kid tears up the track at the Alaska State Fair.

"I once grew a cabbage that was THIS big!" Alaska State Fair is coming up August 21-Sept 1.

Finally – to tie this all together – the Alaska State Fair is coming! Beginning August 21 and running until September 1. It’s the traditional end-of-summer event that showcases the best and brightest in Alaska’s agricultural culture. And, of course, fair food, concerts, and tons of kid-friendly fun. Saturday, August 23 is FAMILY DAY – all kids 12 and under are FREE, so get there right when the gates open at 10 a.m., and have a blast.  Hint: Friday, August 22 is KIDS DAY; if you can swing it, take the kids then (tell the teacher it’s educational). PSST: Weekends also bring the State Fair Train, thanks to Alaska Railroad. At $12/adults, $8/kids, it sure beats sitting in the car. Read more HERE, and get your tickets now!

Live it up, Alaska!

~EK

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