The problem with planning a top-notch family vacation in Alaska is that it often requires more time than most parents have to spare. Lounging on the beach with your feet up and a good book in hand may seem like the ideal vacation for kicking off spring, but if you have kids, they may disagree. That’s where Westmark Hotels Alaska/Yukon comes in. We’ve got some fantastic ideas for an Alaska family vacation that will surely please all ages.
Anchorage – Explore Alaska’s Past
There is always something going on in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. The longer days and warmer temperatures starting at the end of March offer ample opportunities to explore the city’s various offerings.
The Anchorage Museum offers family-friendly programs such as dancing and singing events for toddlers, lunchtime musical concerts, cultural festivals, films and exciting exhibits on Alaska native culture and state history. Check out its latest Exhibits & Events to see what’s happening during your family visit to Alaska.
When you’re finished here head over to the Alaska Aviation Museum to check out its extensive presentation on Alaska’s aviation, and give the kids the incredible experience of sitting in the pilot’s seat as they climb into the cockpit of a Boeing 737. The museum has special admission rates for families.
The staff at the Westmark Anchorage Hotel will gladly help you find your way to both museums and other family-friendly attractions around town. After exploring the city, take in the view of the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet from a Westmark Anchorage Hotel private balcony — it is a sight that stands out among Alaska hotels.
Fairbanks – Light up your Alaska vacation with the northern lights!
Do you need to score some extra points with the kids? Take them to see the BP World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks. This spectacular annual event draws national and international ice sculpting experts, youths and amateurs who flock the city to compete. And, as if the amazingly detailed sculptures aren’t enough, the new George Horner Ice Art Park just down the road from the Ice Art Championships, is sure to blow their minds with colorfully lit ice sledding slides, an ice maze, an ice skating rink, and a 30-minute train ride around the ice sculpture park.
After checking out the ice art, warm the whole family up with a hot meal and some hot cocoa at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel’s restaurant Red Lantern Steak & Spirits before heading out to explore the Golden Heart City. If you stay up late enough and the weather cooperates, you may even have a chance of catching a glorious display of the northern lights.
Whitehorse – Discover the Yukon
While we are on the topic of the northern lights, did you know that one of the best places in North America to view the lights is Canada’s Yukon Territory? Miles upon miles of unlit roads far away from large areas of population can create perfect viewing conditions; and, with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains under the swaying ribbons of green and red, there are few things in the world more breathtaking than witnessing the aurora in the Yukon.
The city of Whitehorse, Yukon, is an idyllic destination for week-long vacations full of hiking, biking, relaxing in beautiful places and dining on delectable fare. At the day’s end rest up for a couple of hours, fill your thermos with hot cocoa or coffee, and take the family out of town away from the city lights. Your chances of seeing active lights are high this time of year, and the show is worth the wait. Read these tips on how to photograph the northern lights so you can capture this memorable experience.