Alaska offers plenty for families to see and do, from high-octane adventures to low-key pursuits suiting even the tiniest traveler. Read on to discover why parents and kids alike should add Alaska to their next travel wish-list.
Spotting wildlife is always exciting, but there’s something especially unique about witnessing wild animals in their natural habitat, unencumbered by cages or fences. Kiddos can spot brown bears at Katmai National Park, caribou in Denali National Park or humpback whales breaching in Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. It never gets old!
Do your kids crave excitement? Hop in a helicopter and soar over jagged peaks and vast icefields. Landing at a dog-sledding base, your little ones can snuggle with cuddly pups in the shadow of Alaska’s mountain range, or hook up the older dogs and mush their very own team across an icefield. Another exciting adventure not to be missed is a flightseeing tour out of Denali National Park. Your expert pilot/guide will fly you over a portion of the park’s six million acres, where you can take in the dramatic views from above.
Nearly all kiddos go through a phase where they can’t get enough of planes, trains, trucks and boats-just to name a few! Impress your discerning small travelers with a cruise through the Kenai Fjords (and spot the icebergs!), or a train ride on Alaska Rail’s Goldstar Dome car. The kids can enjoy the scenery from the second-floor open air viewing platform while mum and dad enjoy five-star service complete with beer, wine or cocktails.
Every child remembers their first big catch. Why not teach your kids to fish in a river or ocean teeming with wild Alaskan fish? Whether they’ve never held a rod, or are mini-anglers in their own right – the fishing in Alaska is some of the best in the world. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game even has a list of youth-only fisheries open throughout the summer months. Fish on!
What kid wouldn’t want to make the pilgrimage to the actual North Pole? Roughly 15 minutes Southeast of Fairbanks lies the North Pole, where the motto is “Where the spirit of Christmas lives year ‘round”. Inside Santa Claus House, letters to Santa have been read and replied to for over sixty years, and outside the house lives a 45-foot tall fiberglass replica of the man himself.
Pan for gold in Skagway, one of the original gold-rush towns in Alaska. History buffs of all ages will love searching for gold and learning about the prospectors who rushed to the small Alaskan town in the late 1800’s, hoping to strike it rich. Visit the Gold Rush Museum or Skagway Archives for an in-depth look at the exciting Klondike Gold Rush, responsible for shaping this small southeastern Alaska town.