Trails and Trains and Blooming Things: Fun Friday!

Bluebells along Turnagain Pass. Ahhh, summer.

Whoa, it’s June. How did it get to be June? Seems like yesterday it was May. We’ve a full slate of first Fun Friday in June activities for the whole family, courtesy of Alaska Center for Pediatrics in Anchorage, caring for kids since 1982.

First, though, AKontheGO’ers can find the podcast for our show on Tuesday with in-studio guest Dee Buchanan of CIRI Tourism and my intrepid co-host Scott McMurren calling in from Spain. You can pick it all up right HERE.

"Staying Safe in Bear Country" DVD is available for loan from Campbell Creek Science Center.

Also important news comes on the heels of our Bear Safety for Families Class, held Wednesday at the Campbell Creek Science Center. Thanks to the Friends of CCSC, the facility now has five copies of the super DVD, “Staying Safe in Bear Country” for loan. AK Dad and I watched it last night, and found it to be one of the most comprehensive, practical guides to traveling in bear-thick areas. I would place it as appropriate for kids age 9 or older, since there are a few charging scenes that might upset the younger child. I’m returning my copy today, so stop by CCSC and ask to check out this great movie. 30 min.

Okay, on with the Friday follies:

There's a bear on 4th Avenue! Listening to music and fooling around in downtown Anchorage.

FRIDAY: Music in the Park happens today at Noon down on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage. A great way to kick off the weekend, Music in the Park features local artists and tons of families who want to shake a leg on a Friday afternoon at Peratrovich Park. Sponsored by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. FREE.

More music in the form of Live After Five is happening downtown each and every Friday in June and July. Held at Town Square Park, tonight’s band is Hector & El, and is sure to be hot! Shows run from 5-8 p.m. and will feature a beer garden with pub grub available. Perfect for an after-dinner activity. FREE.

SATURDAY: Wow! It’s a full, full day of outdoor fun around southcentral Alaska.

The Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry is hosting their “Blast From the Past” event from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at their incredible property along the Parks Highway in Wasilla. Look out for even more transportation fun than usual, with music, food, and vintage auto exhibits. Admission is $5-$8, Families $18. We love this place, and you will, too.

Downtown Anchorage does it again with the annual Festival of Flowers from 12-6 p.m. at Town Square Park. Always a popular venue of visitors for the beautiful displays of growing things, Town Square Park will be full of such, along with music, food, and crafts for kids. Anchorage cleans up pretty good in the summer time, and we should show our appreciation for the many people who make it so. Sponsored by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. FREE.

Saturday is National Trails Day, and the Campbell Creek Science Center is hosting its annual work party in conjunction with thousands of other public land agencies throughout the United States. This family friendly event runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and is going to feature a bunch of projects to spiff up the Campbell Tract’s trails and property. Bring the kids and teach ’em a bit about stewardship. Also bring your work gloves, long sleeves, bug spray, and sturdy shoes or boots. Psst, we hear there will be Moose’s Tooth pizza for lunch for every volunteer who participates, and REI will be on hand with some giveaways. Cool! FREE.

If you have a little one under the age of four, stick around CCSC for their wildly popular Moms, Pops, and Tots class from 2-4 p.m. Designed for small children and their caregivers/parents, MPT will introduce the outdoors to our smallest kiddos over a low-key and fun two hour program. Other classes will be held on Fridays through July 15, and they are always FREE. Bring water, snacks, a change of clothing, and a ready and willing attitude for exploration! Call 267-1241 to pre-register.

Oh boy, Eagle River Nature Center is starting up their great summertime Junior Naturalist programs for kids K-6 on Saturday. Meet at the Center for the 2 p.m. class as kids learn about “Baby Birds”. Ever wonder how these little, featherless creatures manage to grow up into fully-fledged grownup birds in just one summer? Kids will find out just why birds are so special at this FREE class (parking $5 for non-members).

Are your kids into knights and damsels in distress? Oh boy, then you’d better head to the annual 3 Barons Renaissance Fair this weekend. Held from Noon-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday this weekend and next, this fair is a fun and interesting look into the days of way, way, old. Like Robin Hood old. Sword fights, a fun run, and some pretty fine food mingle with music and dancing. Admission info and a full schedule can be found at the organization’s website HERE.

The KSKA Summer Party is going to be a fun bash on Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. and going until the music runs out. Like public broadcasting? Then come on over to the broadcast center in between UAA and APU (park on the APU campus). Hot dogs from Indian Valley Meats are free while they last, and artists like Marian Call will be on hand to perform for you and your family. FREE.

SUNDAY: Eagle River Nature Center will offer its popular “Ask the Naturalist” program from 2-4 p.m. at the viewing deck along the Rodak Nature Trail. Have a question about the flora or fauna living in Alaska? Now’s the time to ask. Naturalists will be stationed at the deck throughout the summer, on the first and third Sundays of each month.

Did you apply for your permit to drive the usually-auto-forbidden Denali Park Road? Better hop on it, then. This year, the process has gone all online, and seekers are able to submit up to four dates for a permit (Sept. 16, 17, 18, or 19, 2011). AK Fam did so the other day, and are excited to await the outcome later this summer. Apply HERE.

What else is going on this weekend? Have a super great activity or event scheduled for the rest of us to discover? Email us at and shout it out!

Posted in Downtown Anchorage, Festivals and Events, Miscellaneous and tagged .