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

8 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

This trip is perfect for families seeking a balance of adventure and education, offering kids and parents a unique opportunity to connect with Alaska's natural beauty and cultural heritage. With activities designed to engage children aged 5-12, including interactive museum visits, wildlife encounters, and fun outdoor excursions, this itinerary ensures a captivating and enriching experience for the whole family. Whether it's the thrill of a zipline tour, a sled dog demonstration, or the tranquility of a scenic hike, this Alaskan adventure promises unforgettable memories for everyone.


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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


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Begin your day with a visit to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. The interactive exhibits and planetarium will captivate the kids, and the hands-on activities in the Discovery Center are always a hit. In the afternoon, explore the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The kids will enjoy the storytelling, dance performances, and life-size outdoor replicas of Alaska Native dwellings. If time permits, make a quick stop at the Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary for some bird watching and a stroll along the boardwalks.

Photo: Alaska Native Heritage Center

Day 3

Anchorage to Talkeetna

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After breakfast, take a scenic 2.5 hour drive to Talkeetna. Once you arrive, visit the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum to learn about the town's gold rush history, aviation, and mountaineers who attempt to climb Denali. In the afternoon, embark on a Mahay's Riverboat Tour. The 2-hour Wilderness Excursion will take you up the Susitna River, with a stop for a short exploration along a forest trail. The kids will love discovering the reconstructed Dena'ina dwelling and the authentic trapper's cabin. Overnight in Talkeetna.

Photo: Talkeetna Historical Society Museum

Day 4


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Start your day with a thrilling adventure at Denali Zipline Tours. This activity is suitable for kids aged 10 and above and provides a bird's-eye view of the Alaskan wilderness. For younger kids or those not interested in ziplining, consider a Flightseeing Tour of Denali for stunning aerial views of North America's highest peak and surrounding glaciers. In the afternoon, enjoy a family hike at Talkeetna Lakes Park, where you can explore easy trails and possibly spot some wildlife. End the day with some playtime at Wild Woods Park, an amazing playground with Alaska-themed equipment.

Photo: Denali Zipline Tours

Day 5

Talkeetna to Denali

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Drive approximately 2.5 hours to Denali National Park and get settled in. Start your Denali adventure with a visit to the Denali Visitor Center. The interactive exhibits are both educational and fun for kids. They can also participate in the Junior Ranger Program, completing a series of activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge. If time allows, take a short hike from the Visitor Center such as the McKinley Station Trail to stretch your legs and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

Photo: Denali NPS Junior Ranger Program

Day 6


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Begin your day with a Sled Dog Demonstration at the park's working sled dog kennel. The kids will love watching the demonstrations and meeting the dogs. Afterward, explore one of the family-friendly trails like the Horseshoe Lake Trail or the Savage River Loop. In the afternoon, consider a shorter Denali Park Road Bus Tour or the Denali Park Shuttle bus, where you can disembark to hike and hop on another bus back to the park entrance later. If the kids are up for it, rent bikes and explore the bike path near the park entrance.

Photo: Denali NPS Sled Dog Demonstration

Day 7

Denali to Anchorage

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After breakfast, take one last hike or nature walk in Denali before starting your 5-hour drive back 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.

Photo: Denali Park Sign

Day 8


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On your final day in Anchorage, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, about an hour's drive from the city. 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