December Activites to get you out of the house

by • December 5, 2014 • Calendar of EventsComments (0)1091




Melissa DeVaughn

Melissa DeVaughn

Dec. 5
Astronomy Series
7 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
The Astronomy series meets on the first Friday evening of each month through March. An astronomer presents a special topic (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours) and answers questions. If skies are clear, be ready to go outside and view the night sky, using your own binoculars or telescope, or share the ones set up by the astronomers. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Dec. 7
Winter Birds 101
2-4 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Naturalist and volunteer Liza Sanden will cover the basics of winter bird identification, hoping to entice you to join the Eagle River-Chugiak Christmas Bird Count on January 4, 2015. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Dec. 3
Nordic Ski Waxing Basics
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Anchorage REI
Waxing cross country skis is both an art and a science to attain the perfect kick and glide. Join REI experts as we cover the basics in choosing and applying glide and kick wax for optimal skiing.

Dec. 4
Cross-Country Skiing Basics Class
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Anchorage REI
Free your heel and your mind will follow. Join REI as we share information and tips for getting into cross-country skiing.
Location: Anchorage REI | More Info, Directions

Dec. 9
Avalanche Awareness
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Anchorage REI
Avalanche season is back; learn how to be safe in avalanche zones.

Dec. 10
Cold Weather Cycling Basics
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Anchorage REI
Looking to extend your cycling season? Join REI experts as we share tips and tricks to keep you riding as the weather turns cold!

Dec. 10
McNeil Diaries: Photographing and Observing Individual Brown Bears
7-8 p.m. The Alaska Zoo Gateway Hall
Drew Hamilton, a field technician with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, discusses insights about brown bear behavior and shares photography from his seasonal work guiding bear-viewing at the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.
This Wildlife Wednesday program is free and open to the public, with zoo admission. (

Dec. 11
Snowshoeing Basics
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Anchorage REI
Join our experienced REI staff for a class on the basics of snowshoeing. We will focus on the appropriate selection of gear as well as the basics on what you need and where to go to get started.

Dec. 13
Lantern Making Craft Program
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Make your own lantern for the Nature Center’s lantern walk in late December. Bring an empty half-gallon cardboard milk carton; all other materials provided. Call 694-2108 to register. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Dec. 14
Mr. Pickles, the Porcupine
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
The Alaska Zoo’s porcupine will be coming on a visit to the Nature Center. Come and learn more about this prickly fellow. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (
Dec. 16
Mountaineering Club holiday meeting
6 :30 p.m., BP Energy Center, Anchorage
The Mountaineering Club of Alaska’s Green Holiday Pizza Party will be celebrated this month. Pizza will be provided but bring something to share. Come learn about the club and the climbing activities that abound in Alaska. (

Dec. 17
R/V Sikuliaq
7 p.m., Campbell Creek Science Center
Come spend the evening by the fire listening to a timely tale about science in real life. This month’s presentation is on the icebreaker R/V Sikuliaq, which is being home-ported in Seward. Learn more about this great arctic tool. The program is free.

Dec. 20
Annual Solstice Lantern Walk
6 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
The Nature Center invites everyone to join them for their traditional candle-lit procession to celebrate the winter solstice. Bring your own lantern or borrow one of the center’s. Dress for being outdoors – meet on the back deck for lighting candles, surrounded by the magical light of ice lanterns. The lantern procession takes you on a short walk along a candle-lit trail to a bonfire and heated yurt. Please bring finger foods or desserts to share. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Dec. 21
Solstice Hot Chocolate Hike, Guided
1 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
It’s the shortest day of the year – from now on the days will be getting longer again. Join winter resident caretaker Bill Herbst on a three-mile walk along the Albert Loop Trail. Snowshoes are optional – note that the Nature Center has rentals. The hike is limited to the first 12 people who register at 694-2108. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (
Dec. 28
Armchair Travel Series: A Taste of Scandinavia
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
The Olsson Family will share traditional Scandinavian holiday baking as well as highlights of their visit to Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Sit back and relax by the woodstove while vicariously visiting faraway lands: Each session throughout the winter will focus on a different destination. If you’re interested in making a presentation of your travel experience, contact Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Jan. 4
Christmas Bird Count
Locations and times vary
Join the Eagle River Nature Center for its annual Christmas Bird Count, as they gather data for Audubon’s annual Winter Bird Count for Eagle River-Chugiak. You can cover a pre-determined area or even do it at your own bird feeder. Contact coordinator Liza Sanden at for details or to volunteer.

Jan. 3
Frosty Bottom 50/25
Kincaid Stadium, Anchorage
Fat-tire riders, skiers and runners unite for this popular wintertime race that tackles urban riding routes throughout the city. Take on the 25- or 50-mile challenge. Entry is $60. Go to for registration information

Jan. 17
Polar Bear 5K run
10 a.m., The Alaska Zoon, Anchorage
Run through the Alaska Zoo to help raise money for programs at the zoo. The 5K course must be completed within 90 minutes, although speedies should finish it in less than 20 minutes. Registration is $40 for adults, $25 for those 17 and younger. Register at

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