7-Day Fairbanks to Anchorage with Denali and Seward for Families with Kids Ages 5-12

7 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

This trip provides a comprehensive Alaskan experience, combining the rich cultural heritage and diverse wildlife of Fairbanks, the infamous Denali National Park, and the marine wonders of Seward. With thrilling outdoor adventures like zip-lining and dog sledding, glacier hikes, and visits to cultural centers, the whole family is sure to have an unforgettable journey.


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Day 1


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Welcome to Fairbanks! Here are some ideas for things to do with kids:

  • Pioneer Park is 44-acre historic themed park that is perfect for kids, featuring historical exhibits, playgrounds, a carousel, train ride and mini-golf. It's a great place for children to explore and learn about Alaskan history in a fun and interactive way.

  • At the University of Alaska Museum of the North kids can enjoy interactive exhibits on Alaskan wildlife, history, and art.

  • Take a leisurely stroll through Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. The easy walking trails provide opportunities to see birds and other wildlife, making it a great spot for a family nature walk.

  • Visit the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska, just 20 minutes away from Fairbanks. Here, kids can sit in Santa's sleigh, see the world's tallest Santa, and even meet Santa himself!

  • Let the kids try their luck panning for gold - a nod to Fairbanks’ gold rush past.

  • Go on a dog sledding tour where kids can learn about the sport of dog mushing and watch a demonstration of how the dogs get geared up for the trail. Some tours include a short ride on a wheeled cart.

  • The Riverboat Discovery Tour offers a glimpse into Alaskan life, including a visit to a Chena Indian Village, a dog sled demonstration, and a floatplane taking off from the river.

  • Go on a guided walk with Reindeer!

Photo: Riverboat Discovery

Day 2

Fairbanks to Denali

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Spend the morning in Fairbanks doing one of the activities you missed yesterday, then begin the 2.5 hour drive to Denali in the afternoon. Upon arrival, visit the Denali Visitor Center. Participate in the Junior Ranger Program, where children can complete a series of educational activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge. Walk one of the short trails from the visitor center to begin your Denali discovery. In the evening, go to a dinner theater performance! You’ll gather around a grand table and enjoy a family-style meal while being captivated by an interactive show where the area’s rich history comes alive in front of you. Overnight in Denali.

Photo: Denali NPS Ranger Talk

Day 3


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Spend the day exploring Denali National Park. Start with a sled dog demonstration at the park's working sled dog kennel. Kids will love watching the demonstrations and meeting the dogs. Afterward, take a shorter (4-hour) Denali Park Road Bus Tour, which offers stunning views and opportunities to spot wildlife. Other fun tours include ATV’ing and ziplining. Overnight in Denali.

Photo: Denali NPS Sled Dog Demonstration

Day 4

Denali to Anchorage

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After breakfast, start the 5-hour drive to Anchorage. Byers Lake is a great place for a pit stop. There’s a nature trail around the lake, or kayaks and paddleboards available for rent. Continue onto Anchorage where you’ll spend the night. If you arrive in the early to mid-afternoon, head to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, which features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and hands-on activities in the Discovery Center. Spend the night in Anchorage.

Photo: Anchorage Museum

Day 5

Anchorage to Seward

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Wake up early and begin the 2- to 3-hour drive south to Seward, on the Kenai Peninsula. Here are some ideas when you arrive:

  • Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center, where interactive exhibits and touch tanks allow kids to get up close with marine life like sea stars, anemones, and puffins. It's both educational and entertaining.

  • Visit Exit Glacier. This is the one part of Kenai Fjords National Park that’s accessible by road. There’s an accessible, paved loop trail that leads to a view of the glacier and an optional short spur that gets you even closer.

  • Go dogsledding! Canine athletes will pull you along fun trails, and you’ll get the chance to play with puppies.

  • Head to the Seward Waterfront Park, which also has a playground where kids can burn off some energy.

Overnight in Seward.

Photo: Seal at Alaska SeaLife Center

Day 6

Seward to Anchorage

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If you didn’t visit Exit Glacier on your first day in Seward, hit it on your way out of town. The short, easy hike to the glacier is perfect for kids, and the ranger-led walks provide educational insights. About an hour before you reach Anchorage, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. This center offers a chance to see and learn about Alaskan wildlife like moose, musk ox, bears, wolves, porcupine and more in a natural setting. Return to Anchorage in the evening.

Photo: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Day 7


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On your final day in Anchorage, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn about Alaska's indigenous cultures through exhibits, storytelling, and dance performances. Kids will enjoy exploring the life-size outdoor replicas of Alaska Native dwellings. In the afternoon, explore the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, a scenic trail perfect for biking, walking, and spotting wildlife. Bike rentals and tours are available.

Photo: Tony Knowles Coastal Trail