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Old 08-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
coloradocutie
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Suggestions for things to do in Alaskan ports with little ones

We are taking 2 little ones on an Alaskan cruise, and not planning to do any formal excursions because of the little ones. We realize that Alaskan shore excursions are amazing (helicopters! glaciers! dog sleds!) and will likely just have to plan another cruise when the little ones are older and can fully participate and enjoy!

So, I was wondering if y'all had any suggestions for simple but pleasurable things for a family to do in the ports within walking distance of the ship... things like great parks/playgrounds to visit, great coffee (or hot cocoa if you are little!) shops, great bookstores with kids books. (I heard there was a candy store in Ketchikan...) This is a trip just to savor time as a family, so simple and easy will be luxurious for us!

TIA!!!!!
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
lisettemac
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How old are they?

We saw the lumberjack show in Ketchikan - that's easy for little ones to do.

We also took the railroad in Skagway (not the round-trip one - that's too long, but the one where you take the train out and catch a bus back). If your kids like trains it could be fun.

I've heard the dog-sledding ones are great for kids as they love to play with the dogs.

If your kids don't get seasick, try a whale watching one - we saw lots of whales and other wildlife on our trip.

I didn't *love* the Totem Pole one, but it's very kid-friendly as the kids get to do an art project.

Someone else suggested renting a pole in Ketchikan and fishing off the bridge near Creek Street. I saw families doing this too.

All kind of depends on how old your kids are and what they like to do.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #3
lisettemac
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My apologies, I see you might be looking for activities other than ship excursions.

In addition to fishing in Ketchikan, there is a huge candy store. I think there is also a museum.

I found the Mendenhall Glacier center pretty cool - you can drive up to it. It's a small place, but there is a video inside and you can hike to an area behind a waterfall that could be cool for little ones.

Skagway is just a beautiful, tiny town. There are shops on the main drag, they can watch the train come in, get some lunch and walk back to ship.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
amyg1
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You didn't say how young the kids are, but they have a Junior Ranger program in Skagway about the Gold Rush that is worth stopping in. The town is tiny.

I would take the blue bus to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Or the Mount Roberts tram to the top (walking distance from port). You can do that at your own pace.

And I would look at the Lumberjack show in Ketchikan. The kids would love it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
EeyoreIsMyName
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There is an Alaska Fudge Shop in both Skagway & Juneau. They sell candy there (and Glacier Silt Soap and stuffed animals for the kids!) as well as fudge. KetchiCandies is the candy store in Ketchikan. You may see bears and eagles around Creek Street in Ketchikan if you go after mid-July. A local man comes down with his eagle in this area so you may see one up close. Tongass Trading and Christmas in Alaska (both in Ketchikan) have children's books, stuffed animals and some toys. Christmas in Alaska in Skagway has children's books and Alaskan inspired Precious Moments dolls. There is also a bookstore in Skagway called Skaguay News & Books or something like that-do not remember whether they had children's books. There are some little parks in Juneau-just ask someone local to direct you. Hope this helps!
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
coloradocutie
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Oh my goodness! This is exactly the type of suggestions that I was hoping for! We will have a toddler and a preschooler. These are wonderful ideas and perfect for doing at the pace of little ones! Thank you, everyone!!!
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:58 PM   #7
canadiandisneycruise
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Wow! I'm glad to hear there are lots of FREE excursions! However, when we've shopped or walked around port because of a cancelled excursion, we've always spent more than the excursion would have cost! I'm getting so excited, and our Alaskan cruise is more than a year away! So hard to choose what to do! Being from Alberta, we've been to the glaciers here, seen the wildlife, etc. But I still can't WAIT! I'll be hitting that candy store for sure! ;-)
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:27 AM   #8
Kittylover513
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We went to Alaska on NCL with a 5 and 2 year old.


In Juneau we got a taxi and he took us around. He took us to a salmon nursery that the kids enjoyed. He also took us to mendenhall glacier, as someone suggested and it was doable for the kids and there was a visitor center with interesting stuff.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:41 AM   #9
EeyoreIsMyName
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I posted some other shopping tips on my recent Alaska trip report if anyone is interested. Here is the link:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3150787



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