8 Day Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali, & Fairbanks For Families with Kids Ages 5-12

8 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

This trip is ideal for families seeking a balanced mix of adventure, education, and cultural immersion. With activities designed to engage kids aged 5-12, the itinerary offers a variety of experiences, from wildlife encounters and scenic hikes to hands-on museum exhibits and cultural tours.


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Day 1


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Welcome to Anchorage! Start your Alaskan adventure with a visit to the Alaska Zoo, home to a variety of animals native to Alaska and other parts of the world. Afterward, head to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center for interactive exhibits and hands-on activities in the Discovery Center. In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, where you can enjoy scenic views and possibly spot some wildlife.

Photo: Anchorage Museum

Day 2

Anchorage to Talkeetna

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Begin your day with a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The kids will enjoy exploring the life-size outdoor replicas of Alaskan Native dwellings and learning about indigenous cultures through exhibits, storytelling, and dance performances. After lunch, drive 2.5 hours to Talkeetna. Once you arrive, take a stroll through the charming town and visit the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum. The kids can learn about the town's gold rush history, aviation, and mountaineers who attempt to climb Denali.

Photo: Alaska Native Heritage Center

Day 3

Talkeetna to Denali

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Start your day with an adventurous Denali Zipline Tour if your kids are 10 years or older and meet the weight requirement. For younger kids, opt for a Mahay's Riverboat Tour. The 2-hour Wilderness Excursion includes a stop for a short forest trail exploration and a visit to a reconstructed Dena'ina dwelling and an authentic trapper's cabin. After lunch, drive 2.5 hours to Denali. Upon arrival, settle into your accommodation and take a short hike on one of the family-friendly trails like the Horseshoe Lake Trail.

Photo: Denali Zipline Tours

Day 4


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Spend the day exploring Denali National Park. Start with a visit to the Denali Visitor Center and the Murie Science and Learning Center. The kids can participate in the Junior Ranger Program and enjoy interactive exhibits. Attend a Sled Dog Demonstration to watch the dogs in action and meet them afterward. In the afternoon, take a shorter Denali Park Road Bus Tour or use the shuttle bus to access hikes within the park like the Savage River Loop.

Photo: Denali NPS Ranger Program

Day 5

Denali to Fairbanks

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After breakfast, take a final short hike or bike ride in Denali before driving 2.5 hours to Fairbanks. Upon arrival, visit the Fairbanks Children's Museum. The hands-on exhibits and activities are both fun and educational, making it a perfect stop for younger kids. In the evening, head to Pioneer Park. The kids can explore historical exhibits, playgrounds, and enjoy a ride on the carousel or the train that chugs around the park. Or, everyone can try their luck panning for gold - a nod to Fairbanks’ gold rush past.

Photo: Gold Daughters Gold Panning

Day 6


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Start your day with a visit to the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The interactive exhibits on Alaskan wildlife, history, and art will captivate the kids. In the afternoon, take a family-friendly Riverboat Discovery Tour. The tour offers a glimpse into Alaskan life, including a visit to a Chena Indian Village. Or visit the Running Reindeer Ranch for a guided tour where the kids can walk with reindeer and learn about these fascinating animals.

Photo: Riverboat Discovery

Day 7

Fairbanks to Anchorage

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Before leaving Fairbanks, visit Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge for a nature walk and bird watching. The easy trails and educational programs are perfect for kids. It’s a 7-hour drive back to Anchorage. Or, you can opt to drop your rental car in Fairbanks and fly back to Anchorage (1 hr). If driving, 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.

Photo: Denali Park Road

Day 8


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On your final day, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, just an hour's drive from Anchorage. The kids will enjoy seeing and learning about Alaskan wildlife in a natural setting. The kids will enjoy seeing and learning about Alaskan wildlife in a natural setting. Have lunch in nearby Girdwood, then travel back to Anchorage for your return flight home.

Photo: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center