8-Day Anchorage, Talketna & Denali for Families with Kids Under 5

8 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

Explore Alaska's stunning landscapes and wildlife with an 8-day family-friendly itinerary designed for those with young children. Begin in Anchorage with visits to the Alaska Zoo and Imaginarium Discovery Center, where kids can engage with science and nature in a playful setting. The adventure continues in Talkeetna with scenic views and a playful outdoor park, before heading to Denali for the Junior Ranger Program and sled dog demonstrations. The trip combines educational activities with leisurely hikes and bike rides, ensuring a relaxed pace suitable for little ones. This itinerary promises a perfect blend of education, excitement, and relaxation, making it an ideal choice for families looking to create lasting memories in the heart of Alaska's wilderness.


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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. Or, if you want to maximize your time outside, visit the Alaska Botanical Garden, where you can explore trails and a variety of plants, providing a peaceful and educational outing for your little ones.

Photo: Alaska Botanical Garden

Day 2


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Begin your second day in Anchorage with a scenic walk or bike ride along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This stroller-friendly trail offers beautiful views of the coastline, and you can rent bike trailers from local outfitters if needed. Visit the Anchorage Museum if you missed it yesterday, or choose playtime at one of Anchorage's many parks and playgrounds, such as the Valley of the Moon Park or the Polar Bear Playground in Russian Jack Springs Park.

Photo: Anchorage Valley of the Moon Park

Day 3

Anchorage to Talkeetna

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Today, you'll travel from Anchorage to Talkeetna. Once you arrive, head to Talkeetna Riverfront Park, where everyone can enjoy the scenic views of the river and of Mt. Denali on a clear day. If time permits, take a short, easy hike in the Talkeetna Lakes Park, where kids can explore nature and enjoy the fresh air.

Photo: Talkeetna Wild Woods Park

Day 4


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Spend the day exploring Talkeetna with your little ones. Start with a visit to the Talkeetna Wild Woods Park, an amazing playground full of Alaska-themed equipment, like the Alaska Railroad and a bush plane. This playground is sure to captivate young imaginations. In the afternoon, consider a family-friendly flightseeing tour. Some companies offer shorter flights that can be exciting for young children, providing a unique perspective of the Alaskan landscape. End the day with another easy hike or nature walk in the area, allowing your kids to further explore the natural beauty of Talkeetna.

Photo: Kids Flightseeing

Day 5

Talkeetna to Denali

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Today, you'll drive 3 hours from Talkeetna to Denali. Once you arrive, visit the Denali Visitor Center. This is a great starting point with exhibits that are engaging for children. Kids can participate in the Junior Ranger Program, which involves completing a series of activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge. This is a fun and educational way for kids to learn about the park. 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.

Photo: Denali NPS Ranger Talk

Day 6


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Begin your day in Denali with a visit to the Murie Science and Learning Center, which offers hands-on exhibits and activities that can captivate young minds. Afterward, take a short hike on the McKinley Station Trail. This relatively easy trail is about 1.6 miles long and offers a chance to explore the natural surroundings without too much exertion. In the afternoon, attend one of the park's free sled dog demonstrations. Kids can see the dogs up close and learn about their important role in the park, making for an exciting and educational experience. Or rent a bike from Denali Bike Tours to explore local trails. Bike trailers are available for smaller kids.

Photo: Denali NPS Sled Dog Demonstration

Day 7

Denali to Anchorage

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Today, you'll travel back to Anchorage (approx 5 hrs). Once you arrive, take it easy and enjoy some free time at one of Anchorage's many parks and playgrounds. Consider revisiting a favorite spot from earlier in the trip. This is a great way to let your kids burn off some energy and enjoy the outdoors before the final day of your trip.

Day 8


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On your final day in Anchorage, 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. You can also enjoy the gorgeous scenery along hiking and walking trails—the Glen Alps area is one of many options. Or visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center—kids love the life-size replicas of Native Alaskan dwellings.

Photo: Potter Marsh Boardwalk