The NPS has a large presence in Skagway and they have a fine children's program and Junior Ranger Activity Center to go with! Be on the look out for special events and programs!
We were able to enjoy a special event at the Moore estate on the grassy lawn that included all sorts of kids activities, games, and even a traditional Tlingit dance troupe.
This is something you must take the kids to see and do while in Skagway!
I am APPALLED that none of you have extolled the virtues of the amazing and wonderful and educational and FANTABULOUS Junior Ranger Center in Skagway, Alaska! But that is probably because WHO GOES TO SKAGWAY, ALASKA? (Sorry, Skagwayans.)
Well WE went to Skagway this summer, courtesy of a stop on our Royal Carribbean cruise itinerary, and, having done absolutely no planning for any shore excursions, I was extra pleased to see that Skagway makes seeing Skagway SO EASY. Skagway, Alaska, for you uneducated types, played a big role in the Klondike Gold Rush and Skagway plays this UP. You can pan for gold, you can go see a Gay 90's show in a saloon, and the main drag itself keeps up the Gold Rush Era look. LOVE IT.
But the JUNIOR RANGER CENTER. Okay, so I'm a history nut and I insist on visiting museums of even the tiniest size, and while perusing the gift shop of the tiny Skagway museum I got a heads up from a FOR REAL Park Ranger about the Junior Ranger Center, just a few blocks away.
YOU KNOW I shlepped my kids plus my nephews and their eye rolly parents to this highly recommended den of learning. On first glance the Center does not appear like much, just a big room with some tables full of stuff around the edges. But you are warmly invited in and then given WORK to do.
The tables around the room are actually stations focusing on different aspects of the Klondike Gold Rush AND, because these folks know their audience, at each station is an assignment found on an IPAD. It's like they knew the Cheung children would be arriving and planned VERY well.
At the first station you learn a bit about the gold rush and then you write down whether or not you would have tagged along. (My nephew: "No. It does not sound like fun.") The other stations show you the kinds of gear the gold rushers brought with them, there are clothes to try on, animal pelts to stroke, a coloring task, a reading nook, and the whole place is staffed by an Actual Park Ranger, in a uniform and everything. When you've completed all the stations he'll take a look at your work, decide whether or not you've achieved Junior Ranger status (cross your fingers!). If you have, you'll TAKE AN OATH and get a BADGE. I KNOW.
You guys, it is so so cool and even my too-cool-for-school-like-stuff brother and sister-in-law were impressed. Our kids, ranging from a 13yo on the autism spectrum to a 2yo with a pacifier were all entertained for at least a good 45 minutes. It's FREE. You get a BADGE. I cannot be more enthusiastic about the Junior Ranger Center and you should go immediately. The next time you're in Skagway, Alaska.