Family Days


Family Day logo.

Next Family Day


Saturday, January 28, 2022
12 - 4 pm


Theme: Ice Age


Discover ancient Alaska! Meet archaeologists and paleontologists, see artifacts and fossils, try a scavenger hunt in the galleries, create Ice Age art, and more. 

Activities are designed for all ages.  Adult supervision required.

There is no admission fee for children 14 and under at Family Days.

Hands-on science, culture, history, and art!

Family Days allow the whole family to connect with the museum! Enjoy hands-on activities, including crafts, games, and experiments. Meet curators and other experts. See and touch museum specimens. Explore the galleries.

Family Days are designed to engage the whole family in exploring, investigating, and having fun. All ages are welcome! Guests 14 and under are FREE on Family Days, and parking is always free on weekends!


TOTE logo.Museum Family Days are proudly presented by TOTE.


Virtual Family Days

 Choose a theme!


We welcome your feedback! 
Please share your pictures, videos, comments, or thoughts with us via email: or on the museum's Facebook pageWe look forward to hearing from you!

Image Credits: 
Wings: UAF photo by Todd Paris, 2015.
Sun: UAF photo by Todd Paris, 2012.
Colors: Gail Priday.
Exploration: PDPics on Pixabay.
Solar System: NASA/JPL.
Amazing Earth: NASA/Bill Anders.
Water: Elizabeth Arnold on Unsplash.

Past Family Days



Boreal Forest Family Day (November 2022): Guests explored the environment of Interior Alaska! They met botanists and saw specimens, investigated wildfires with the Alaska Fire Science Consortium and Alaska EPSCoR, learned about cultural connections to the boreal forest, tried an I Spy hunt, created forest art, and more. 

Child looking at a table covered in small and large pieces of tree bark. Curator Steffi Ickert-Bond is standing behind the table.

Water Family Day (September 2022):
Visitors explored the importance of water to life in Alaska. They met museum researchers, tested water quality with the Tanana Valley Watershed Association, explored a stream table with the Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District, went on a scavenger hunt, made model watersheds, and more.

 A child looks through a magnifying glass at several animal figurines next to a tub of water.


Whales Family Day (April 2022): Kids and adults explored whales in culture, science, and art. They met mammalogists, saw  objects from the collections, watched the Arctic Currents film, tried a blubber glove experiment, made ocean art, picked up supplies for take-home activities, and more. 

Children's hands making designs on black scratch art paper. A piece of whale baleen sits next to the paper.


Big Things Family Day (February 2022):  From mammoths to mountains, families discovered big things at the museum. They met entomologists, played a size sorting game, contributed to an art wall, made suncatchers, picked up supplies to do activities at home, and more.

 Children look at a replica dino bone and moose antler on a table.


Tools Family Day (January 2022):  Visitors discovered how tools have been made and used throughout history. They  met archaeologists, saw tools from the collections, went on an I Spy hunt in the galleries,  made art with different tools, picked up supplies to do activities at home, and more.

Several visitors looking at tools on a table in the museum lobby.


Animals in Art (November 2021): Guests explored animal-related art in the museum, went on I Spy hunt, drew their own animal artwork, and picked up supplies to do more art activities at home.

Children's hands applying colorful tape to create a frame around a drawing of a bird.


Berries (September 2021): Presented in partnership with the Winterberry Project, visitors met berry scientists, saw objects from the collections, investigated berry microbes, went on a berry scavenger hunt, and picked up supplies to do more berry activities at home.

 Two adults and a child stand at a table under a canopy outside, making a berry recipe book.


Fossils (February 2020): Kids and adults met paleo artist Ray Troll, explored fossils in the Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline special exhibit, decorated Ice Age animal puppets, excavated bones, and created paleo art.

Visitors around a table in the Gallery of Alaska, making animal puppets.


Walrus (January 2020): Visitors met walrus researchers, saw specimens from the collections, experimented with blubber gloves, explored the importance of walruses in Alaska cultures, and made walrus masks.

The Curator of Mammals shows walrus bones to two children.


Stars (November 2019): Guests experimented with hands-on astronomy demonstrations, explored how different cultures view the night sky, made solar viewers, and created glow-in-the-dark artwork.

A young child sits at a table, decorating construction paper with star-shaped sequins.


Animals in Art (September 2019): Visitors explored how animals inspire artists! They saw art from the collections, created animal masks, sketched scientific specimens, and made fish prints.

Children stand around a table making animal masks.


Soil (April 2019): Visitors met soil scientists and archaeologists, explored the properties of permafrost, looked at soil under microscopes, created artwork with soil paint, and planted seeds.

Two children examine soil samples under a microscope.


Ravens (March 2019): This Family Day focused on ravens in culture, art, and science. Guests met a raven researcher, read and wrote raven stories, created raven artwork, and competed in the Raven Olympics.

An adult and child sitting at a table playing a game.


Earthquakes (February 2019): Kids and adults explored the science of earthquakes with researchers from the Alaska Earthquake Center, learned how to prepare emergency kits, and created earthquake-inspired art.

Lea Gardine shows hands-on earthquake demonstrations to visitors.


Gold (November 2018): Visitors met geologists, investigated the importance of gold in Alaska history, saw objects from the Ethnology & History collection, created gold-themed artwork, and tried panning for faux gold.

Geologist Jaenell Manchester helps a young visitor pan for gold in a plastic bin.


Berries (September 2018): Guests met berry experts, learned about the Winterberry Citizen Science project, created berry field guides, decorated berry recipe books, and explored the role of berries in Alaska cultures. 

A volunteer explains an activity to children at Berries Family Day.


Stories (April 2018): Visitors listened to a Yup’ik storyteller, discovered stories of the past with archaeologists, recorded interviews with the ScienceTapes project, made storybooks, and used storyknives to tell their own stories.

Yup'ik storyteller Marty Hintz helps children play a drum.


Butterflies (March 2018): Kids and adults met butterfly experts, explored the Kenelm Philip collection, investigated the life cycle of butterflies, made butterfly art, and tried on butterfly costumes. 

Two children pose in butterfly costumes.


Whales (February 2018): At this Family Day, visitors could meet whale researchers and examine specimens, explore Arctic food webs, create scrimshaw art, and learn about the importance of whales in Alaska cultures. 

Two children put their hands in a tub of cold water to test the effects of blubber.


Dinos & Fossils (November 2017): Guests saw and touched real fossils, met museum paleontologists, explored Ice Age mammals, dug for fossils, made fossil timelines, and created dinosaur art.

A child uncovers fossils in a tub full of sand.


Bears (September 2017): This Family Day featured exploration of bears in art, science, and culture. Visitors saw polar bear art, went on a Bear Story Quest, investigated bear specimens, and learned about bear safety.

An adult and child examine a bear skull.

Family Days have been a tradition at the museum since 2010!

For more stories and pictures from Family Days and other events, visit UAMN's Tumblr page.