Family road trips are magical experiences. Anyone who took a long road trip in their childhood probably remembers the journey with nostalgia. But packing rowdy and sometimes disagreeable kids into a car or motorhome for hours and days on end is also a situation ripe for strife. Here are a few ideas to help ensure the whole family has fun on an Alaska road trip.
iPad and mobile games are great ways to keep kids entertained, but part of the fun of vacation is to get away from screens. Go the old fashioned route and get stock up on books before hitting the pavement. There are heaps of Alaska books targeted to kids that are fun and educational.
Try Jen Funk Weber’s “The Puzzler’s Guide to Alaska.” Kids 8 – 12 years old will enjoy the book packed with 60 Alaska-themed puzzles including word searches, mazes, and math reasoning. The variety of puzzles are designed to target different parts of the brain. The answer to each puzzle reveals a new Alaska factoid so that by the end your kids will know a host of Alaska trivia.
Introduce your kids to Alaska Native culture with books like Charlie and the Blanket Toss, a story based around a traditional Inupiat whaling festival. Also check out Berry Magic, an illustrated version of a Yup’ik legend told by elder Betty Huffmon.
Road trip games
Tried and true, road trip games always add a good portion of family fun to an Alaska road trip just like any other. Shy away from slug bugs and the like if you’re trying to keep the peace in the back seat.
I Spy – This classic game lends itself to some fun Alaska view finding and will keep everyone’s eyes out the windows!
One Word Story – Build a story along with your car mates. The catch is that each person can only say one word at a time. When it comes to your turn, try and add in some Alaskan-themed words to make it central to the road trip.
Travel Bingo – Buy a travel bingo board or, even better, make one that’s Alaska themed! Come up with your own variations of what it takes to win, i.e., an “X”, a full board, etc. Download the one below to get started, but feel free to make your own.
Family friendly hikes
Stretch your legs with one of these family friends hikes.
Portage Glacier. Turn off the Seward Highway to Whittier/Portage Glacier. The trail is mostly flat and offers a close up view of the glacier.
Anchorage hikes. Walk along the Coastal Trail or the Ship Creek trail for easy, flat, and beautiful strolls near the city.
Exit Glacier. The one-mile Glacier View Loop Trail is an accessible mix of pavement and compressed gravel.