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It’s no surprise that a city renowned for its natural beauty is full of free entertainment. But it’s not all about the great outdoors. Check out the wide variety of free and fun things to do in Fairbanks–many of which are near the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel.
Arts & Entertainment
- So You Think You Can Dance? Check out the Ballroom Dance Club of Fairbanks. Social dances are $5 for members, but the first dance of the season (usually in September) is free.
- The musically-inclined will enjoy “Time Out at Noon,” a free concert every Thursday in Pioneer Park.
- Learn about contemporary Alaskan art by exploring local art galleries or picking up the free “Art Tours” pamphlet from the Visitors and Convention Bureau. It’s filled with arty things to do in Fairbanks.
- Check out the wildlife museum at the Knotty Shop while you shop for Alaskan souvenirs.
- Shop with the locals at the summer Farmers Market on Wednesday and Saturday beside the Tanana Valley Fair Grounds.
- Visit Santa at his residence in North Pole, Alaska. The Santa Claus House sells Christmas items year-round and you can take pictures in front of the murals on the outside of the building.
- Watch Alaskan crafts being made, specifically birch bowls, at The Great Alaskan Bowl Company.
- Cyclists will love the Ester Dome Singletrack Happy Valley Trail with 9.5 miles of trails maintained by the Fairbanks Cycle Club.
- Paved trails make rollerblading on Farmers Loop or along the Chena River a pleasure.
- Practice rugby with Fairbanks’s own Northern Warriors (or just watch) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January through September.
- Hiking is an incredibly popular thing to do in Fairbanks. Some of the best trails include Angel Rocks, Eagle Summit, Granite Tors, and Chena Dome.
- If you’re a cross-country runner, don’t miss the 460-acre Birch Hill Park just a few miles north of Fairbanks.
- Fairbanks is one of the world’s best places to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Your best viewing times are between September and April. View more tips on viewing the Aurora Borealis.
- Enjoy the view at the Hagelbarger Turnout off Steese Highway where you can catch a glimpse of Denali on a clear day.
- Berry picking galore. Visit Murphy and Ester domes in July and August for all the free berries you can carry. If this is your first time, the Visitor Center offers a free guide to what’s edible.
- Bird watching at the Alaska Bird Observatory. Their website lists free programs throughout the year. Update: The Alaska Bird Observatory has permanently closed.
- Nature trails are a great way to learn more about the world around you while getting a mild amount of exercise. Visit Two Rivers Elementary for a 1K trail designed by the fifth grade class.
- While the Georgeson Botanical Gardens requires a $5 admission, they offer free classes for kids on one day in July.
- For the science-lover in your life, the Geophysical Institute offers free tours during the summer. Contact them for exact details and to make a reservation.
- Learn more about the armed forces with a base tour. Contact Fort Wainwright or Eielson Air Force Base for more information.
- Explore Fairbanks at your own pace with a driving tour. Favorites include Chena Hot Springs Road, Murphy Dome Road, and Cripple Creek Road.
- The University of Alaska, Fairbanks offers free walking tours of the campus from June through August. Reservations are required.
- Interested in guided tour packages? Choose from several guided Fairbanks Alaska tours here.
Other Fun Things to Do In Fairbanks
- Visit Pioneer Park for a taste of Gold Rush Alaska. The park is free, though some museums require admission.
- For the Alaska Pioneer experience, try your hand at gold panning. Read this guide first and check with the Bureau of Land Management to find an approved area.
- Surf the Web. Wi-Fi and direct Internet access are available at the Noel Wien Library.
Do you have any insider tips about free or fun things to do in Fairbanks?