Anchorage, Alaska is THE place for winter family fun. Families with children from tots to teens will find endless entertainment in the Last Frontier during winter. Here are a just a few ideas to keep kids captivated:
The wild, winter Anchorage Fur Rendezvous festival, www.furrondy.net, is big on fun with more than 100 wacky events including fireworks, carnival rides, outhouse races, a reindeer race, snowshoe softball, melodramas and snow sculptures in addition to sprint dog races and much more. This year’s event is Feb. 26-March 6, 2016. On March 5, 2016, is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage, www.iditarod.com. Few other top winter events during this time of year include: the Iron Dog, www.anchorage.net/winter/events/iron-dog-snowmobile-race/, Tour of Anchorage, www.anchoragenordicski.com/tour_of_anchorage.html, and Fat Tire Expo and Big Fat Ride, www.fatbikeexpo.com/.
Anchorage is all about the outdoors; temps this time of year average about 20 degrees (www.anchorage.net/plan-your-trip/weather) and daylight is near or in excess of 12 hours. In other words, it is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities! Experience ice skating, www.anchorage.net/winter/things-to-do/ice-skating-and-hockey/, with warming barrels reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell print or try Nordic skiing on more than 135 miles of paved trails (many lighted for night skiing) and even more unpaved wilderness trails (lots of places to rent skis, poles, boots and there is no fee to Nordic ski). How about alpine skiing and snowboarding (lessons available, as is skis or boards, poles and boots), www.anchorage.net/winter/things-to-do/skiing/, at Hilltop Ski Area with an abundance of terrain for novices or Alyeska Resort, www.alyeskaresort.com with beginner to expert terrain. In addition, there is snowshoeing, sledding hills, numerous parks with playground equipment and lots of winter biking (mountain and fat tire). For motorized fun, there are snowmobiling tours, www.anchorage.net/winter/things-to-do/snowmobiling/ or for a more natural experience, sled dog tours, www.anchorage.net/things-to-do/dog-sledding/.
Anchorage winter fun is not only entertaining, but educational. Explore the Anchorage Museum (www.anchoragemuseum.org, the Alaska Aviation Museum, www.alaskaairmuseum.org, and the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature, www.alaskamuseum.org – all three will keep kids and adults busy for hours. Take a close-up-look at Alaska and the Arctic’s wildlife through a back-of-house tour at the Alaska Zoo, www.alaskazoo.org, or Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, www.alaskawildlife.org. For an extra “wow” factor, take a flightseeing trip over glaciers, rivers and mountain ranges, www.anchorage.net/things-to-do/flightseeing/.
In addition families will find an abundance of restaurants, www.anchorage.net/things-to-do/restaurants/, with great child menus and comfortable accommodations, www.anchorage.net/places-to-stay/, many with indoor pools. Be sure to ask for the Northern Lights Wakeup Call when you check in so that if the aurora borealis are present, hotel staff will alert you.