7-Day Anchorage, Whittier, Talkeetna & Denali with Kids Under 5

7 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

Embark on a captivating 7-day adventure through Alaska's diverse landscapes with young children. From encountering native wildlife at the Alaska Zoo and exploring interactive science exhibits at the Anchorage Museum, to scenic cruises amidst glaciers in Whittier and aerial views of Mt. Denali in Talkeetna, every day offers enriching experiences for the whole family. Dive into Denali National Park's natural wonders with Junior Ranger programs and sled dog demonstrations, concluding with relaxing strolls and storytelling sessions in Anchorage. This itinerary promises a perfect blend of education, adventure, and cherished family moments in the heart of Alaska.


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Day 1


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Welcome to Anchorage! Start your Alaskan adventure with a visit to the Alaska Zoo. This zoo is home to a variety of animals native to Alaska and other parts of the world, making it a great place for young children to see animals up close and learn about wildlife. Afterward, head to the Imaginarium Discovery Center at the Anchorage Museum. This hands-on science center features interactive exhibits that allow kids to explore and learn about science in a fun and engaging way. End your day with a relaxing stroll through the Alaska Botanical Garden, where you can explore trails and a variety of plants, providing a peaceful and educational outing for the whole family.

Photo: Alaska Botanical Garden

Day 2

Anchorage to Whittier to Anchorage

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Today, take a scenic drive to Whittier. If you arrive early, let the kids burn off some energy at the local playground by the school. Afterward, embark on a day cruise in Prince William Sound. Opt for a shorter, family-friendly tour that offers a chance to see wildlife, glaciers, and the stunning scenery of Prince William Sound. Before heading back to Anchorage, visit The Head of the Bay, a typical Alaskan beach of flat rocks where kids can look for interesting rocks, driftwood, shells, and perhaps even spot some small marine life. Return to Anchorage for the night.

Photo: Head of the Bay Beach

Day 3

Anchorage to Talkeetna

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Depart Anchorage and drive to the charming town of Talkeetna. Start your day at Talkeetna Riverfront Park, where everyone can enjoy the scenic views of the river and of Mt. Denali on a clear day. Next, visit the Talkeetna Wild Woods Park, an amazing playground full of Alaska-themed equipment, like the Alaska Railroad and a bush plane. If time permits, consider a short, family-friendly flightseeing tour for an exciting aerial view of the area. End your day with a leisurely walk on one of the easy trails at Talkeetna Lakes Park, where kids can explore nature.

Photo: Talkeetna Parks

Day 4

Talkeetna to Denali

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Today, drive 3 hours from Talkeetna to Denali National Park. Upon arrival, visit the Denali Visitor Center, which offers exhibits that are engaging for children. Participate in the Junior Ranger Program, where kids can complete a series of activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge. Check the schedule for ranger-led programs that are specifically designed for families and young children, which can include storytelling, short walks, and interactive activities. If time allows, explore the Murie Science and Learning Center, which offers hands-on exhibits and activities that can captivate young minds.

Photo: Denali NPS Murie Science and Learning Center

Day 5


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Spend the day exploring Denali National Park. Start with a short hike on the McKinley Station Trail, a relatively easy trail that is about 1.6 miles long, offering a chance to explore the natural surroundings without too much exertion. Next, take a hike on the Horseshoe Lake Trail, a 2-mile round trip hike that is relatively flat and offers beautiful views of the lake and potential wildlife sightings. In the afternoon, attend a sled dog demonstration, where kids can see the dogs up close and learn about their important role in the park.

Photo: Horseshoe Lake Trail

Day 6

Denali to Anchorage

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Begin your journey back to Anchorage. Upon arrival, visit one of Anchorage's many playgrounds and parks. Some popular options include Valley of the Moon Park or the Polar Bear Playground in Russian Jack Springs Park, where young children can play and explore. If time permits, take a family walk or bike ride on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which offers beautiful views of the coastline and is stroller-friendly. You can rent bike trailers from local outfitters for a fun family outing.

Photo: Anchorage Valley of the Moon Park

Day 7


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Or head to Potter Marsh, situated at the edge of town overlooking Turnagain Arm. It’s an easily accessible wildlife viewing spot with 1500 feet of family friendly boardwalk. Look for migrating birds, salmon swimming under the boardwalks, and the occasional moose out in the marsh.

Afterward, head to one of the Anchorage Public Library locations for a storytime session, which is a great indoor activity, especially if the weather is not cooperating. Spend the rest of the day at the Imaginarium Discovery Center at the Anchorage Museum if you didn't get enough time to explore it on Day 1, or revisit any favorite spots from earlier in your trip. End your Alaskan adventure with a relaxing evening, reflecting on the wonderful memories made during your family vacation.

Photo: Anchorage Museum