Frolic through summer with plenty of fresh air and sunshine in Anchorage! Bring a meal and make a day of it! Take a break from work and rejuvenate yourself for what may come your way in the afternoon. Ready to get some sunshine during lunch or this weekend?

  • Bring several sets of binoculars with you and have a contest to see who can find the most animals! How many colors can the kids see moving through the lenses?
  • Take a journal and scribe a series of stories for your kids to tell their kids later in life. Record moments from your childhood for them to laugh and share together.  
  • Bring some art paper and make your next masterpiece – or your first!
  • Get your shoes and favorite finger foods and share an adventure with a work buddy. Find a neighbor and go together. Make a new friend!
  • Find a tree and sit by its trunk. Feed whatever creatures try to steal a bit of your sandwich, except maybe the ants.
  • Make up a playground obstacle course to complete with the kids – or your peers! Time each other to see who is the fastest. Wear good shoes for this one!
  • Build a fairy house with the kids on the weekend. Secretly change what is present while at lunch during the week. Take the kids back and show them what the ‘fairies’ have done in their absence. They will be thrilled to see something ‘magical.’ (Be sure to check the day you return just before you view the fairy house to see that your secret additions have not been altered.)
  • Make it an evening meal. Soak in the stars or the late sunshine!

Invite your friends and meet up for some food and laughter! Be sure to take along a blanket or some camp chairs. Sunblock and extra water are also a good idea for ensuring a healthy venture to your new favorite picnic spots in Anchorage.

A Picnic Means Food Right?

Enjoying a picnic means preparing in advance for what you will eat and drink. Getting to your destination with a soggy sandwich and spilled drinks can be frustrating. Then again, maybe it’s the sunshine that we desire most anyway!

Try these ideas for an easy and ready to travel picnic:

  • Leave the forks behind. Cut up your favorite produce and make fruit skewers! (Be careful if using the skewers if small children are present.) Use the skewers afterward to help pick up trash and keep your favorite space clean for the next round of visitors.
  • No need for plastic cups. Cut the tops off of a few bell peppers. When you arrive at your destination, pour in your choice of tea or vegetable juice. Drink and enjoy! (Straws are helpful with this one.)
  • Use pita bread to hold in all of the goodies you desire in a sandwich. Wrap in plastic or place in a container you already have on hand. Add your condiments and tomatoes when you arrive if you plan to eat several hours after leaving to help avoid soggy bread.  
  • Freeze a couple of clean damp hand towels. Drop them into one or two sealable bags. Place them in your lunch container to help keep things cold, then use them to help clean up before eating. A cool, wet towel can be pretty refreshing after a sweaty game of any kind!
  • Use frozen chunks of fruit instead of ice in your water for an especially refreshing drink. Fruit infused water is delicious, good for you, and desirable for drinking! Wide-mouthed water bottles work best for this yummy treat.
  • Interested in a sweet treat after your meal? Freeze your favorite chocolate and put it next to any cold items in your lunch. The items will help keep each other cool and the frozen items will thaw just enough to enjoy without being a soggy mess in the midafternoon sun.
  • Be sure to take plenty of alcohol-free clear fluids. These can also be frozen and placed in your meal container. However, they may not completely thaw by the time you are ready to drink them.

Happy family in a picnic setting

Where Should I Go for a Picnic in Anchorage?

1) Russian Jack Springs Park North

1600 Lidia Selkregg Lane, Anchorage, AK 99504 and 801 Pine St, Anchorage, AK 99508

This four-season park offers plenty of open space for soccer, running, and cross-country skiing, and sledding. A park for historians, Russian Jack Springs began with just a small cabin and a natural spring. It now offers an incredible variety of activities.

  • Dog park
  • Playground equipment
  • Covered picnic area
  • Golf
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Tennis
  • Softball

2) Far North Bicentennial Park

4970 Campbell Airstrip Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507

Named after the Bicentennial of the United States, this park is a history lover’s dream! Bring your favorite novel or ski gear along with your lunch and spend your day in the natural spaces of this protected land. Be sure to bring your sense of adventure. This park has plenty of add-on places to play before and after your meal!

  • Skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Running
  • Lakes
  • Ski Jump
  • Botanical gardens
  • Dog Mushing trails
  • Ball fields
  • Open fields

3) Tikishla Park

3018 E. 20th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99508

This family-friendly park is nestled into a wooded area just perfect for a picnic combined with a good stretch of the legs. The paved trails offer something for everyone in the family. Bring something to sit on while you enjoy the lush green spaces in the summer. In the winter, bring your snow gear and construct a snow creature after lunch!

  • Hockey and ice rink
  • Baseball fields
  • Biking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Skijoring
  • Playground equipment

4) Dave Rose Park

201 Lane Street, Anchorage, AK 99508

Full of community love and appreciation, this park offers a place to sit and take a break with friends and family. Paved trails provide a place for moving around after your meal. Get out and enjoy some sunshine in this little neighborhood green space. Close to home this park is perfect for a midday picnic. Choose an activity and start playing!

  • Playground equipment
  • Benches
  • Picnic tables and shelter
  • Paved trails
  • Soccer fields
  • Sledding
  • Basketball court
  • Seasonal restrooms

5) Cheney Lake Park

2245 Baxter Rd, Anchorage, AK 99504

Bring a kayak and get your stroke on here! Eat your meal on the water. Still ice skating season? Grab your skates and spin around after you eat. Play tag with your kids on the playground. Bring something to sit on at this great outdoor location!

  • Playground equipment
  • Ice skating
  • Boating (non-motorized crafts only)
  • Seasonal restrooms

Also, try these locations for some picnic fun:

  • Folker Park, 2701 E 42nd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • Williwaw Park, 1400 Bliss St, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • Arnold L. Muldoon Park, 7600 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99504

The Anchorage Park Foundation offers ample information on local parks and green spaces. Grab your lunch and pick a new location each week! Create a personal bucket list of your favorite picnic locations. Find your favorite green space close to home! Sunshine welcomes us to come and enjoy some outdoor time in Alaska!

A Welcome Break for All

Maybe the kids need a break from the week and your whole family could use some play time together. Bring your lunch and take a quick venture to one of these parks for some respite and recovery time. Take your favorite sports gear for some added fun before or after your meal.

Getting out and away from our everyday settings can go a long way toward helping us cope with the situations in which we often find ourselves. However, we cannot always spend long hours getting somewhere interesting. Taking advantage of what is closest to us can sometimes provide a wonderful compromise between hours of driving and not getting out at all.

Taking time to pause and enjoy our surroundings can provide us with a new sense of what is important to us. Exhausted and ready for something new, we burn out quickly if we press too hard. Maybe we just want to remain in the good place for which we already feel we have gained.

Perhaps, a tough situation has risen and we are not certain how to proceed. It is fascinating how we find answers for things that we do not even know needed answers when the pace of life changes to meet reality. Pausing to appreciate what is around us can refresh us and rejuvenate us in the most magical way.

Relaxing freely in the green spaces just outside our doors may be just what we need to recover and begin again to work toward our bigger goals. Be sure to fully enjoy all that you find. Remember that any creatures you encounter may just feel that it is you they are encountering instead of the other way around!