From berries to broccoli, it’s gathering season in Alaska, and that means it’s the prime time for some family fun.
Erin Kirkland, of the popular family travel blog AK on the GO, has a few tips on ways to introduce your kids to the process of gathering fresh foods before winter sets in.
- If berries are your top priority this season, make plans to attend Alyeska Resort’s annual Blueberry Festival this Saturday and Sunday. It’s free and there’s plenty of access to music, crafts and those luscious blueberries, all along the ski slopes and nearby trails.
Arctic Valley Blueberries
- Kirkland’s family loves berry picking at Arctic Valley, overlooking the Anchorage Bowl. Easy access, tons of room for kids to play when they get tired of eating berries and stunning views make for an ideal family outing. Do remember that state park passes do not apply here, so you’ll have to pay a $5 parking fee in the lots.
Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm
- Kirkland took a trip to Palmer Wednesday to visit Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm, where she took advantage of their beautifully cultivated veggies for a little you-pick time. This is a great opportunity for kids; they can yank up veggies for mom and dad, learn what grows where — and when — and even take a tour from the good folks at Pyrah’s.
Calypso Farm and Ecology Center
- Another fabulous garden opportunity lies in Ester, Alaska, just outside Fairbanks. Calypso Farm and Ecology Center is an amazing little organic farm in the forest, with classes and field trips and tons of opportunities to learn about gardens, livestock and the business of farming in Alaska. There are also tons of community events going on – these folks are dialed in to connecting families to nature in a big way.
Alaska State Fair
- Finally — to tie this all together — the Alaska State Fair is coming from Aug. 21 until Sept. 1. It’s the traditional end-of-summer event that showcases the best and brightest of Alaska’s agricultural culture. And, of course, there’s fair food, concerts and tons of kid-friendly fun. Saturday, Aug. 23 is Kids Day and all kids 12 and under are free, so get there right when the gates open at 10 a.m. and have a blast.