What do Alaskans do when they have spring fever? Get outside to enjoy the many outdoor activities. They also go ‘outside’, which is often referred to as the ‘Lower 48’. Many Alaskans plan a trip to warm beaches in Mexico, Central America or Hawaii.
This year, my kids and I headed north along the Parks Highway to Fairbanks during spring break. The weather was wonderful, sunny and clear for the whole week. One of the things that drew me up there is to visit family and friends. Fairbanks is the hub city for the interior.
I wanted to see the wonderful ice sculptures that I’ve been hearing about for a few years. Ice Alaska held the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks. It seemed like there were hundreds of ice scrulptures. There was even an amateur section. I posted some pictures in the slideshow below, but you had to be there to really see how it was. There was a huge kids section with ice slides and more. There was something new and exciting to discover at every turn. They had fireworks in the evening. They also released lanterns in the air. It was magical!
We spent a divine evening at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, which is about 50 miles outside of Fairbanks. We had a great soak and swim. The outside pools were great. It is weird to be able to touch snow and be in the hot springs at the same time. Your hair freezes and the steam is rising around you. My kids learned how to swim in the warm pool inside! That was very exciting for them. We all left with a great relaxed feeling.
The Festival of Native Arts was also happening that weekend. We enjoyed Alaska Native singing and dancing. I enjoyed listening and watching the dancers share their culture.
The high school regional basketball tournament was also happening that weekend for smaller interior schools. That weekend, the Jimmy Huntington School (of Huslia) boys high school team won the regionals and later went on to compete in the State tournament. We missed the games, but got to see the award ceremony. It was great to see many of my relatives in one place after not seeing them in a long time.
No, it wasn’t a warm, sandy beach, but it was fantastic! Fairbanks has a lot to offer, even in the winter. All together, it just turned out to be a great vacation.