Summer is a perfect time to get out and enjoy all the activities that Alaska has to offer. However, Alaska is no different than many other places that have a “high” season, and in the summer, the cost of those activities often climbs.
This week we are going to look at summer activities that are free.
Take a hike or walk. You can’t beat the summertime temperatures or the beauty that surrounds us here in Alaska. A walk will surround you with all that beauty as well as get you some much-needed exercise.
Go on a picnic. Take a quick trip to a secluded spot and enjoy the summer. The other day I took my lunch out to a picnic table just outside my workplace. It’s amazing how much more relaxed I felt after that quick lunch break. So whether you pack up a cooler and drive to a nearby wilderness area or just take your lunch to the back porch, get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
If you are a music lover, there are lots of free options for you. The Fairbanks Arts Association offers Gazebo Nights every evening at Pioneer Park at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and a snack and enjoy a variety of different musical styles.
Are you downtown in the middle of the day? Check out the music concerts offered by Festival Fairbanks at Golden Heart Plaza on First Avenue between Cushman and Lacey streets from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Festival Fairbanks also offers Wednesday night concerts at the plaza from 7 to 8 p.m.
UAF is offering a series of events that you’ll want to attend. Magical Mondays is a great way for kids to explore hands-on science activities each night at 7 p.m. at the Reichardt Building. On Tuesdays, check out the Healthy Living Series in the Murie Building at 7 p.m. and learn about injury prevention, nutrition, robotic surgery and more.
The Discover Alaska series takes place Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Murie Building with lectures on topics such as wolves, earthquakes and wilderness. The Georgeson Botanical Garden offers free concerts every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Stop by and listen to rock, blues, a pipe band or bluegrass. A detailed listing of all these events is available at www.uaf.edu/summer/events/.
If you are into space exploration, take a short drive up the Steese Highway to tour the Poker Flats Research Range. Poker Flats is a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the tour will inform you about research that is being conducted on a variety of space topics. Be there on Thursdays at 2 p.m. Leave early and take a picnic to enjoy on the way out.
There are a variety of art galleries to visit. Check out the Two Street Gallery, the Bear Gallery in Pioneer Park, Alaska House and many more, and don’t forget about First Friday events, which usually have art exhibits at 15 to 20 different locations around town.
I know I haven’t mentioned all of our free opportunities, and I know I’ve listed only a few of our special events. Check the events calendars in the News-Miner and websites such as explorefairbanks.com.
Enjoy your summer without breaking your budget!
Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is a professor of extension on the Tanana District Extension Faculty. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 907-474-2426. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.