As February chugs along in Anchorage, delivering hardly anything in the way of wintery weather, the thought of another dreary Saturday NOT skiing, sledding, or snowshoeing could fill families with dread. But not this Saturday. Or Sunday, either. It’s Valentine’s Day weekend, a two-day stretch of pink, red, and all the glittery goodness that comes from loving on our families.
Looking for a bit of walking and a lot of Valentine-y activity? The Alaska Zoo is hosting their annual Valentines for the Animals event Saturday from 12-4 p.m. at their facility off O’Malley Road in Anchorage. Enjoy crafts, keeper talks, animal enrichment, a scavenger hunt, and even a critter kissing booth (I can’t wait to see how that shakes out). This is an excellent way to explain the basics of animal behavior, especially within the realm of “love stuff,” as AK Kid calls it. Below is the schedule of keeper talks:
- 12:30 p.m. Tiger talk
- 1:30 p.m. Moose courtship (who hasn’t wondered about the famous “rut” season?
- 2 p.m. Porcupine courtship (and this, I mean, er, how?)
- 2:30 p.m. Polar bear talk
- 3:30 Wolverine talk
Who should attend the talks? Kids age 10 and up should be able to fathom the topics at hand, and ask pertinent questions. Keepers are ready and willing to talk shop with listeners. All other events are for any age.
Even though Anchorage’s temperatures are midway between chilly and crazy-warm, the 28th annual Jewel Lake Ice Fishing Jamboree is on schedule for another weekend of family fun, this year on Valentine’s Day. Sponsored by the Swim Like a Fish Foundation, an organization dedicated to teaching kids the basic swimming skills necessary to live in a place like Alaska, the fishing jamboree is two days of free fishing, music, hot cocoa, and snacks for the whole family.
What do you need to know about ice fishing? It’s rather cold and sometimes slow for kids, so make sure they’re dressed for a lot of standing around, or sitting, so put on the rainproof pants and jacket. Add gloves and mittens for extra warmth, and be sure to take breaks at the warming tent. No license is required for those under age 14, but IS for anyone older, so moms and dads, if you’re planning to help the kids fish, make sure you have it.