Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fun and Cheap Activities for Kids 2006

Though you may not live in Anchorage, maybe these will give you ideas of things in your own community.

1. The Library

· Sign up for the 2006 summer reading program, “Paw, Claws, Scales and Tales” at any municipal library starting June 3rd. Grade school age children earn awards for meeting reading goals.

· Join one of the reading groups at the story theater in the Loussac Library:

Mother Goose (ages birth-18 months) on Thurs 10:30 am, Fri 2:30
Lapsit (ages 18 months-3 years) Tues 10:30, 11:30 Wed 10:30, Thurs 7pm, Friday 10:30
Storytime (3-5 years) Thurs & Fri 11:30 am

· Enjoy “Live at the Library” for free outdoor concerts by the fountain Tuesdays noon-1pm.

Jun 6 Air Force Jazz Combo
Jun 13 Irenic (Funky Fusion)
Jun 20 Crow Creek Pipes & Drums (Scottish)
Jun 27 Ahava Raba (Klezmer)
Jul 11 Lepquimn Gumilgit Gagoadim (AK Native)
Jul 18 Contrversia (Spanish Classic Rock)
Jul 25 Seek Bob (Teen Folk/Jazz)
Aug 1 AK Air Force Brass
Aug 8 Alaska Button Box Gang
Aug 15 Air Force Dixie Express

2. Music in the Park-free outdoor concerts Wednesdays & Fridays noon-1pm at Peratrovitch park downtown. See link for “Live After Five” concerts, a fun Friday night date activity.

Jun 7 Airforce Band of the Pacific
Jun 9 9th Army Band, Fairbanks
Jun 14 Alaska Brass (AF Band of the Pacific)
Jun 16 Snappy Turtles Swing Band (Swing & Dixie)
Jun 21 Good Dog (Alaskan songs for children)
Jun 23 Highland Bagpipe Competition
Jun 28 Top Cover (AF Band of the Pacific)
Jun 30 The Greatlanders (AF Band of the Pacific)
Jul 5 Terry Holder
Jul 7 John Damberg Band (Latin Jazz)
Jul 12 Gristlestick (out of state band)
Jul 14 9th Army Band, Fairbanks
Jul 19 The Greatlanders (AF Band of the Pacific)
Jul 21 Karenodie and Paul
Jul 26 Alaska Brass (AF Band of Pacific)
Jul 28 The Derry Aires
Aug 2 Top Cover (AF Band of the Pacific)
Aug 4 Galway Days Band (Irish)
Aug 9 Alaska Brass (AF Band of Pacific)
Aug 11 Button Box Gang (Polka)
Aug 16 Dixie Express (AF Band of Pacific)
Aug 18 SECBOB (Teen folk band)
Aug 23 John Damberg Band (Latin Jazz)
Aug 25 9th Army Band, Fairbanks
Aug 30 Midnight Starlight (Big Band)

3. Northstar Speedway in Wasilla has Saturday racing through September 2nd. Gates open at 2pm, races start at 5. GCI customers can go to any GCI store for free tickets, otherwise it’s $10 for adults, free for kids 10 and under.

4. Arctic Thunder at Elmendorf AFB is August 12th with performances by the Blue Angels. Bring your ear plugs and a picnic. They also have a special day open for children with special needs.

5. Dimond Center Theaters has free movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am. No age limit. Both movies are shown concurrently both days. Schedule is posted at the theater every year before school gets out.

Jun 13-14 Spirit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Jun 20-21 Wallace and Gromit Yours, Mine and Ours
Jun 27-28 March of the Penguins Zathura
Jul 4-5 Clifford’s Really Big Movie Robots
Jul 11-12 Rugrats:The Movie Cheaper by the Dozen 2
Jul 18-19 Jimmy Neutron Aquamarine
Jul 24-26 Rugrats in Paris Hoodwinked
Aug 1-2 Curious George Madagascar
Aug 8-9 Jonah: Veggie Tales Nanny McPhee

6. Bucs Baseball at Mulcahy Stadium most Monday nights (plus many other nights) at 7pm June 12-July 31st. June 16th is Free Friday.

7. Gold Panning at Indian Valley mine. Off of the Seward Highway just before the turnoff to Indian and open from May 15th-September 15th 9am-9pm. Cost is $3 and up for dirt to pan. Very clean and easy for small children.

8. Home Depot and Lowe’s kid clubs are free where children are provided aprons, tools and kits to build various projects. Home Depot on Abbott’s is the first Saturday of every month 9am-12pm while supplies last. Lowe’s on Old Seward and O’Malley is 2nd Saturday 10am.

9. Fossil hunting in Sutton. Anywhere where the rock is layered and loose you can find plant fossils from late cenozoic period (50-70 million years old). Coyote Lake has an abundance. Bring buckets and picks.

10. Family cross country running at the Tuesday Night Races. Enter the Munchkin, Farm or Lightning leagues to choose your distance (between 1-10 km) on various cross-country courses chosen by guest runners. The Halloween race is in costume with the Munchkin league running for treats along the way. Great fun for families, cost is $2 for kids, $5 for adults, $10 for family, $60 for family season pass. Times and places are posted on website a day or two after each race. Sign up is at 6pm, races start at 6:30.

Sep 5 Hilltop Trailhead
Sep 12 Beach Lake Trailhead
Sep 19 Kincaid Chalet
Sep 23 Bartlett High
Oct 3-31 TBA (October 31 come in costume)
Nov 7 Kincaid Chalet (with potluck and awards afterwards)

11. Paddle boats at Cheney Lake. Rent the boats across from the Baxter chapel during the summer.

12. See paragliders off the mountain in Girdwood near the Alyeska Prince Hotel. On a clear day the updrafts start up by noon or so and for the best view take the tram ride ($14 with an Alaska ID, $7 for kids 7 and under, up the mountain for a picnic and first-hand view of their takeoffs. Hatcher’s Pass is a bit farther but also a great view and popular with the paragliders (and free).

13. Thunderbird Falls. An easy hike (even with a stroller) for kids of all abilities. Follow the signs from the Glenn Highway north of Anchorage.

14. Alaska Live Steamers miniature train. In Wasilla between the Museum of Transportation and the airport the 7.5 gauge miniature train is big enough for children and adults to sit on the individual cars as the train travels through the woods of Wasilla in a 20 minute train ride. Runs 1st and 3rd Saturdays from May 17th through September 13th 10am-4pm. Cost is minimal $4, children under 2 are free, children under 3 need a car seat (they have one to loan in a pinch).

15. H2Oasis. Whenever school is in session the water park opens at 11am for preschool children and their parents for $6 a child (adults are free). The large slides, wave machine, and river walk are not available though some days you can get lucky and they’ll be running for special occasions. Call 522-4420.

16. Swimming at Goose Lake. On the corner of East Northern Lights and Providence Drive it’s a popular (often crowded) place on a hot day. For a great bike trail for children try Westchester Lagoon downtown at 19th Avenue and Spenard Road. There is also a half-mile marked nature trail in summer but in winter it’s also a great place for ice skating. Friday nights have music and fire barrels for family-friendly skating once the ice is thick enough.

17. The Theater for Young People. A great way to introduce children to the theater. Held at Wendy Williamson theater at UAA for $6 a ticket the shows are great for children of various age groups and run September through May. See link for a posting of the 2006-2007 season when it’s ready.

18. Stargate Observatory in Wasilla. Saturday nights September through the first Saturday in April the Burchell High School 26-inch Newtonian telescope is available for $2 a person. The third largest telescope owned by a an American high school it is just north of Wasilla at 1775 West Parks Hwy. Call 907 373-7775 for more details.

19. Annual 4th of July parade and Governor’s Picnic. An annual picnic held at the Delaney Parkstrip between 9th and 10th downtown it’s activities and free food for all. Picnic is noon-4pm on July 22nd. 4th of July parade is on . . . well, July 4th (usually around noon).

20. The Alaska Zoo. Call 346-2133 for details. Located on East O’Malley road on hillside cost is $9 for adults, $5 children 12-17, $4 children 3-11. Open 9am-6pm 7 days a week, 12 months a year. Often best animal viewings are on cloudy or snowy days when the animals aren’t avoiding the summer heat.

21. Picnic at Lake Hood and watch the planes take off. Take Northern Lights Boulevard west to Aircraft Drive and follow it around Lake Hood to see the world’s largest and busiest float plane harbor.

22. UAA recitals. For inexpensive (usually free) concerts check out the UAA student recitals. Try calling the music department at 786-1595 for details. They’re hard to find a consolidated schedule for but there are 7-8 student recitals held throughout the school year at the Wendy Williamson auditorium on Fridays at 3pm plus various faculty recitals. Check in with the department once the school year starts for more information.

23. The Alaska Botanical Garden. Take Tudor Road east to Campbell Airstrip Road and park in the Save II School parking lot. A work in progress that blooms from May to October with various gardens along wooded trails. The herb garden is particularly beautiful, call 770-3692 for more details and a list of special events.

24. Elmendorf State Fish Hatchery. View fish at various stages of growth at the facilities located at the corner of Reeve Boulevard and Post Road. The best time for viewing coho salmon is September but the hatchery is late May-September 8am-10pm. Call 274-0065.

25. Bookstore reading clubs. Most bookstores in town have a reading hour for kids, some with crafts and other things. Barnes and Nobles’ is held Wednesdays (preschool story time) at 11am and Saturdays (family story hour) at 1pm. Call 279-7323. Borders’ is held Tuesdays at 11am and 1pm and Saturdays at 11am call 344-4099 for more details.


jeff said...

great list, should help me with more entertainment for the kids