Pioneer Park – Fairbanks, Alaska
Teach the kids about Alaskan heritage and history at this Fairbanks theme park that’s fueled by education and fun.
Alaska is packed with outdoor activities for the family to enjoy, but all of those activities were thought up and perfected by the indigenous people of Alaska and by Alaska's entrepreneurial immigrants. Pioneer Park follows the journey of Alaska's resilient residents with museums, but it also spices up the journey with a little traditional fun with carousels, mini-golf and a child-sized railroad.
Opening as a centennial exhibition in 1967, Pioneer Park has lasted through the decades as new museums and rides have come to stay. The massive theme park stretches along the Chena River, which provides opportunities to play and frolic in the outdoors.
Take the kids to one of the seven museums housed on Pioneer Park's lot, including the Alaska Native Museum, where your kiddos can learn about Eskimos and other native populations inhabiting the state. Visit the Pioneer Museum, where details about the Gold Rush and how it affected the Fairbanks people can be found among canvas paintings and a movie theater. Though admission to Pioneer Park is free, some museums charge a nominal, under $5 fee for admission.
Grab some grub and do a bit of souvenir shopping at the park's many independent businesses, but be sure to keep an eye on young ones. The large scope of the park will make it easy for little guys and gals to get lost, something they're known to do when so much fun is surrounding them.
Address: 2300 Airport Way, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
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Photo credit: Nils Öberg