• Photo: National Park Service

1. Adventure:
If your kids are feeling cooped up in the city, they might enjoy a walk on the wild side at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Located an hour south of Anchorage, the centre is a refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife, including black, brown and grizzly bears, caribou and a herd of wood bison. It’s a great way to get close to the animals as they roam through an enclosed environment that reflects their natural habitat — big, open grassy areas, dotted with trees and framed by mountains. Kids will get a kick out of daily happenings such as a meet-and-greet with Hershey the reindeer and watching staff bottle-feed the moose and muskox calves. There’s even an up-close-and-personal information session with Snickers, the resident porcupine. The centre is open year-round; admission is $12.50 for adults and $9 for children, and there’s a behind-the-scenes tour for $100 per adult.
www.alaskawildlife.org

2. Family
Alaska is known for its rugged wilderness and history of gold seekers, and both can be explored on a day trip just outside of Anchorage. Take in mountain vistas on a two-hour trail ride that includes a “hearty campfire lunch” of roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Visitors can also try their hand at gold panning and the sluice box. After lunch, coast down the Kenai River with experienced rafting guides as they talk about the history of the area. Alaska Horsemen Trail Adventures, located a two-hour drive south of Anchorage, offers the Saddle-Paddle Day Trip for $199 per person, or if you’re really feeling the call of the trail, upgrade to a half-day horseback ride for $249 per person. The trips are suitable for all ages and abilities, and most are offered starting in May.
www.alaskahorsemen.com/schedule/custom-trips

3. Business:
Alaska’s natural wonders from the waters of Resurrection Bay. The National Parks Tour Cruise, by Kenai Fjords Tours, takes visitors from Seward, 2½ hours south of Anchorage, along the shores of Kenai Fjords National Park to one of two glaciers and then on to Fox Island. The 8½-hour cruise comes with lunch and then a buffet dinner of wild Alaska salmon and prime rib at the Fox Island Lodge (you can add 227 grams of Alaska king crab for $12 at the time of booking or $15 after check-in). While at the lodge, guests are treated to a presentation by a park ranger about the local history and environment, including the surrounding ecosystems, ocean currents and the effects of outflowing glaciers. The cost per adult is $164. There’s also a six-hour cruise option, which costs $144 per adult. Early reservations are recommended to get desired departure times.
www.kenaifjords.com/kenai-nationalpark.html