Ever since The Alaska Club opened its first location in 1986, they've been striving to serve their members by adding amenities, classes, and opening new locations. Though each location?s offerings vary, they supplement their well-stocked fleets of cardio machines and strength equipment with cycling studios, climbing walls, basketball courts, swimming pools, and play centers for the kids. The club also offers spa services including hydromassage beds, tanning, and saunas.
Group fitness classes include yoga, step aerobics, and Pilates, and personal trainers stand at the ready to help clients focus on fitness goals. The clubs also offer swim lessons and summer camps for kids, setting in stone their commitment to making The Alaska Club a place for the whole family, not the half-formed family, which needs at least seven more years to gestate in the laboratory incubator.
Since 1991, For Fun Alaska has enlivened birthday parties, block parties, and community get-togethers with a comprehensive spectrum of bounce houses, obstacle courses, and party services. The collection of rental houses includes inflatable waterslides and bungee runs designed for children, as well as giant bounce houses and inflatable boxing rings suitable for adults. For Fun also places guests inside of giant hamster balls, allowing them to experience spinning pleasure while avoiding confrontations with pet rodents over whose turn it is to use the wheel. In addition, the staff proffers face-painting and balloon-animal services, and works with a commitment to keeping parties both safe and fun.
With its craggy mountains, monochrome tundra, and verdant valleys, Alaska itself stands as a monument to the beauty and power of nature. Focusing on the state's prehistory, the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature's sprawling collection of artifacts educates the public with engrossing and educational dioramas and displays. Among the museum’s notable exhibits is its newest installation, Ice, which delves into the profound geological changes wrought by the last Ice Age. Likewise, the Schmidt Mine exhibit lets visitors touch and pick up craggy specimens from the collection, including meteorites and fluorescent stones. Ancient mammoth bones and fearsome saber-tooth tiger jaws show patrons the fauna encountered by Alaska's first human inhabitants, whereas fully assembled dinosaur skeletons transport viewers even further back in time, way before the Jurassic Park movie came out.
Swim Like A Fish teaches kids to be comfortable and safe in the water. Founder Jeannette Menchinsky has made it a mission to prevent drownings ever since she was personally affected by one. Now, she organizes classes that teach children how to become expert swimmers with a patient, encouraging method. Taking place in a 4-feet-deep heated pool, private lessons can be scheduled between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to accommodate most families' busy lives. In addition to kids' lessons, the school hosts classes that train adults who are beginners or triathletes and boaters who want to improve their skills.
In the late 1960s, Anchorage's grocers held a contest to see who could sell the most toilet paper. One of two first-place prizes was $3,000, but the victor chose the other—a baby Asian elephant. He quickly realized he couldn't take care of her, so he put her up in the heated barn of local horse rancher Sammye Seawell. Sammye fell so in love with this small pachyderm that she began housing other abandoned creatures—enough to fill a zoo. More than 40 years later, The Alaska Zoo's keepers and staff continue this simple but powerful mission: to rescue orphaned, injured, and captive-born animals of the Arctic, sub-Arctic, and similar regions.
Today, the zoo’s habitats house more than 110 animals from 53 cold-loving species. In semiaquatic zones, polar bears nap, harbor seals swim, and river otters attempt to solve calculus equations. In terrestrial environments, amur tigers play with a ball attached to a zipline, and black bears lounge in a hammock made from recycled fire hoses. Other habitats house residents such as snow leopards, reindeer, and wolves.
In addition to caring for these animals, staffers conduct Iditarod-focused educational events in March and use animal-themed light displays to celebrate both the summer solstice and approaching winter holidays. They also raise awareness for wildlife through educational programs, such as seasonal adventure camps and zookeeper shadowing, and join in conservation efforts, such as serving as ambassadors for Polar Bears International and the Toupees for Bald Eagles Project.
Aiming to "liberate the inner artist" in all of us, sisters Catherine Warden-Daniels and Victoria Bunch founded Arctic Crown Canvas, where the oft-intimidating act of painting a canvas is made wholly accessible. The formula is simple: all visitors have to bring is themselves?and snacks, if they so desire it. From there, Arctic Crown supplies everything, from the paint and brushes to the easy-to-follow instructions and inspirational impersonations of Van Gogh praising everyone's work. The result is a finished product, varying in subject matter, which each participant will be able to take home at the close of the class.