Ah, November in Alaska. For most of the State, snow is on the ground and daylight is rapidly getting shorter. All of the touristy activities have been shut down since September. Avoid cabin fever and stay busy with this great list of Things to Do in Alaska in November!
Things to Do in Alaska in November
1. Go Snowshoeing
Alaska is full of places to go snowshoeing. State parks throughout the State are open almost year around. Hatcher Pass in Palmer is high enough in the mountains, you’re pretty much guaranteed snow, even though it can be iffy in the lower elevations even in November. If you don’t own your own pair of snowshoes, you’re not out of luck. Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood rents snowshoes, as does the Eagle River Nature Center.
2. Holiday Bazaars
Alaskans refuse to let the short winter days slow them down. Festivals, markets and bazaars continue all year long. The holiday bazaars are every weekend starting in October and all through November and December. From the Winter Arts Faire in Ketchikan to UWA Holiday Bazaar in Fairbanks, there are many options to find amazing Alaska made items for that perfect holiday gift. Find a full list of holiday bazaars HERE.
3. Check out the whales
For 20 years, the Sitka Whalefest has celebrated this amazing marine life. This fest includes lectures, a marine themed artisan market, and whale watching tours, music, local food, an art show, and so much more. Sitka itself is an amazing little town. This fest is a great excuse to visit!
4. Bird Watching Our National Bird
Bald Eagles may be few and far between in the lower 48, but they are abundant at the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival. Each November, between 1000 and 3000 Bald Eagles flock to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Reserve in Haines for the last of the salmon run. Not only is the festival full of scientists, educators, and artists, but there is also a photo contest for the best Eagle pic taken during the festival.
5. Christmas at the North Pole
Where else to start off the Christmas season but at the North Pole? Starting the weekend after Thanksgiving, the town of North Pole, Alaska, kicks into gear with Christmas in Ice. Located near Santa Claus House, this ice park is full of ice slides, a maze, ice art, indoor crafts for kids, and ice sculptor demonstrations. Be sure to check it out if you’re near Fairbanks!
6. Christmas Comes to Kenai
With hot chocolate and cookies waiting for him and the children, Santa Claus arrives at the Kenai Visitor Center on a firetruck. Later that evening, the Electric Lights Parade goes through town, followed by a bonfire. A perfect day to get the kids in the holiday spirit when Christmas Comes to Kenai!
7. Sledding Goes to the Dogs
Winter in Alaska brings dog sledding to mind. Whether you’re a long time Alaskan or just visiting, a ride with a dog sled team is a must! It can be addicting and just hanging out with the energetic pups is a blast. Even in November, there is no guarantee of snow in much of southern Alaska, but try out Paws for Adventure in Fairbanks.
8. Watch some Hoops
It may be cold outside, but it’s warm on the basketball court! Watch this amazing basketball tournament of collage teams from all over the country as they converge on Anchorage for the Great Alaska Shootout. Be sure to get your tickets early!
No matter how little daylight, how cold it may be, snow or no snow, nothing slows down Alaskans from having a good time! Check out these 50 Cheap Things to Do in Alaska All Year Long too!
What are some of your favorite things to do in Alaska in November?