Erin Kirkland has been here
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, Alaska
Recent User Reviews
Learn about Alaska Native culture and lifestyle at this indoor/outdoor facility in Anchorage.Flag review
Ironically, while I adore the Alaska Native Heritage Center and think it's a stop every visiting family should make when traveling to Anchorage, our family struggled to keep our then-7-year-old engaged. ANHC offers spectacular indoor displays explaining the major tribal groups of Alaska, their language, culture, and lifestyle traditions, and a series of authentic dwellings outside to explore. My son was definitely frustrated indoors, finding the Children's Area to focus more on small kids (age 5 and younger), but did enjoy the outside space surrounding little Lake Tuilana, especially since a Native kayaker was quietly paddling in the water. The dwellings are fun to run in and out, but often a representative from the appropriate Native group is inside talking to (usually) adult visitors, so loud talking or shouting, something my son does extremely well, is slightly disrespectful. That said, we do enjoy and appreciate the overall experience at ANHC; the staff and volunteers are so kind to kids, and our son does learn something new each time we visit. We just need to plan for breaks, bring a picnic, or attend on a special event day. http://www.alaskanative.net
Tips for Families
Kids under the age of 5 will enjoy the Children's Area, with chalkboards, pretend animal skins, and some neat books to read. Tweens and teens will be intrigued by the indoor and outdoor exhibits, combining lifestyle with history, especially with Alaska Native teens taking part. Consider attending on a special event day, when dancing, drumming, and storytelling continue all day. While a daily schedule does include these activities, it's way more fun when other tribal members participate. Dress for walking around the outdoor space - it can be chilly. See if your kids can find the whale skeleton! Oh, and be sure to keep off the rocks near the lake - elders consider it disrespectful to climb on their sacred sides.
Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations
Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants
Situated on the boundary of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the Native Heritage Center is near Tikhatnu Commons, a mall that has an Olive Garden and Red Robin, among other kid-pleasing restaurants.
My Kid's Review
My favorite thing to do is run around outside. I like the Clan House and the totem pole.
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