Alaska Trip: Anchorage Museum

Photo courtesy Anchorage Museum, Alaska

*Thanks to Anchorage Museum for admission and for featured photo (and others as indicated).

Anchorage Museum Alaska

The Anchorage Museum featured beautiful architecture.

We spent a few hours of our day in Anchorage at the Anchorage Museum. The museum featured 5 stories of exhibits. Here are some quick facts about the museum:

  • The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska.
  • It’s one of the top 10 most-visited attractions in the state.
  • It began in 1968 with 60 borrowed Alaska paintings.
  • I always enjoy museum gift shops, and there was a good one here. We were able to buy 10-cent postcards!

We began on the top floor and worked our way down. At the top, there were exhibits of modern art. Here’s an example:

Photo courtesy Paul Walde, "The Alaska Variations," The Anchorage Museum

Photo courtesy Paul Walde, “The Alaska Variations,” The Anchorage Museum

This was part of the “View From Up Here” temporary exhibit. It was an interesting way to unwind after a day of air travel — but the kids were getting a little antsy. We continued heading down flights of stairs to the floor featuring the Alaska Gallery and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, and artifacts from many distinct Alaska Native cultures.

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center

Anchorage Museum Native Alaska masks

This was pretty interesting to us all.

Alaska Native seal intestine parka

Photo courtesy The National Museum of the American Indian

For instance, this parka, circa 1923 — can you guess what it’s made of?

Seal intestines (with baby walrus fur along the bottom, dyed seal fur on the shoulders, and strips of seal skin around the hood).

Discovery Center for Kids

I knew that the museum had a children’s Discovery Center too, but since my kids are now teens, I wasn’t sure how much they would appreciate it. Turns out: a lot! This was a really neat area, with exhibits to interest the whole family — not just kids.

Anchorage Museum igloo kids

They all enjoyed exploring an “igloo,” complete with pillow “stones” inside.

Anchorage Museum

“Riding” an ATV was a lot of fun as well …

Anchorage Museum volcano kids

… and who doesn’t enjoy a good simulated volcanic eruption?

Anchorage Museum hoist chair

In the hoist chair, we learned that pulling your own weight isn’t so hard when you have levers and pulleys to help.

Anchorage Museum giant bubble

Making giant bubbles was fun too …

Anchorage Museum artist

… as was watching an artist create a mural in real time (I loved the way he often stopped his work and stepped back to the wall behind him to see how it looked from that distance).

The museum features a planetarium as well, which we didn’t get around to visiting.

By the time we got through all the exhibits, I was having to hurry everyone along so we could stay on schedule. We thoroughly enjoyed the Anchorage Museum, and you could easily spend a half day here with all the exhibits. There was truly something for everyone!

Have you ever visited the Anchorage Museum?

Anchorage Museum on Facebook




7 thoughts on “Alaska Trip: Anchorage Museum

  1. That was very interesting. While you did that, Jill and I were doing a trolly car tour of the city of Anchorage. I learned property is quite expensive in Anchorage. Also there was much talk of the earthquake there in 1964 which lasted 5 minutes.

  2. Glad you had such a good time here. BTW, I’m still waiting for one of the postcards.

  3. What a gorgeous building! I was impressed with your pictures and captions and I’d sure love to visit there. Wow! How lucky your daughters are to have parents who take them on such fabulous vacations.

  4. I agree with Peg, because your daughters have been to both Alaska and Hawaii and many other places out west, too. It shouldn’t be too difficult for them to make it to all 50 states someday, especially since they have already been to the two hardest to get to. Lucky girls! I have never been to the Anchorage Museum, but if I ever get there again I would like to see it. Your pictures and descriptions are the next best thing to being there. Thanks for the tour!

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