Then we headed over to Girdwood and visited Crow Creek Mine. If I had known how much the kids would love this stop we could have spent all day here! We went ahead and rented the gold pans and it was so much fun to watch the kids explore.
Crow Creek Mine is such a pretty place. Recently there have been a couple of articles about the history of the place in the newspaper. Here's part one and part two. I take a million pictures every time we go!
All the stuff on display has been found around the place. They are always finding more and adding to their exhibits.
Thursday we headed into town to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The most fun parts here were the dancers performing and the life size native dwellings. This is definitely a tourist attraction, so they play up the traditional living part a bit. They would have you believe that most villagers still only hunt and fish for food. The reality for residents of native villages in Alaska is often much different. Regardless, the kids had fun and learned so we're calling it a success.
Friday was the first day of Forest Fair, so we headed over to Girdwood to check it out. One of the Forest Fair traditions is to stop at the information booth and paint a "pin". It's a little scrap of watercolor paper that you paint and wear around the fair. Sounds silly, but it's fun anyway!
The other thing my kids like to do every year at Forest Fair is get their faces painted. Here are this year's choices.
Sometimes there is a really expensive face painting booth that they want to visit. This year we found the same booth we visited last year. It's a group of high school students who paint faces and sell their art. They had some really neat block prints I almost bought too. Kirstyn opted out of face painting and chose to get herself a henna tattoo on her wrist too. I didn't take a picture of it, but it turned out really neat!
I did a little Christmas shopping and got this fused glass sunshine for me.
Our last day together we visited the Anchorage Market and Festival. It is always fun to walk around and see what's for sale there. Much of it stays the same year to year, but there is some change as well. Kirstyn and I bought some hats before we said goodbye...
It was a great week with Kirstyn! We are so lucky that she likes to come spend time with us. We'll be seeing her soon again in her state, too!