By Carla Olivo, Marine Spouse

The days are getting shorter and the temps are definitely cooling off. But these are not reasons to start hibernating just yet. Here are some great family activities and events happening in the Fairbanks, Alaska area this fall.


Buy your holiday pumpkins and enjoy games, activities, and story time at the Fall Festival at the Fairgrounds in Fairbanks on October 6. Visit the Pumpkin Patch and have the lids’ picture taken with farm animals. Enjoy a coloring contest. Visit food vendors. Take a hay ride and visit the petting zoo.

The 2nd Annual Fairbanks Fiber Festival is a community event, centered around Alaskan Fiber farming, production & art at the Pioneer Park Civic Center. The Festival will feature demos and vendors on October 7th from 10am to 5pm, followed by a day of workshops on October 8th. All ages are encouraged – there will be something for everyone including wet felting, dyeing, knitting and spinning circle, shearing and skirting, lock spinning and spindle spinning.

The Alaska Food Festival & Conference takes place on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks. The Food Festival on Saturday is a fun and educational event for the whole family. The event includes Alaska food vendors and products to try and buy, food demonstrations, and DIY workshops.


Learn a new sport on Sunday, October 1 at 2:00pm at the Fairbanks Curling Club. Wear comfortable loose-fitting pants and dress in layers with a light coat, jacket, sweater or sweatshirt. The air temperature is usually between 30-35 degrees.

The Alaska State Literacy Association is hosting the Authors Breakfast Celebration to honor Alaska authors and promote literacy. Enjoy a warm breakfast as you visit with 14 local authors at the Authors Breakfast Celebration.  Authors will share brief selections from their books at the Westmark Gold Room from 9:00 am -11:30 am on October 1st.

If you’ve been thinking of building or buying your dream home, October 7 is your chance to explore the possibilities. In a two-day FREE event, the IABA Parade of Homes showcases homes built in the last calendar year by licensed, bonded, and insured builders who have worked to create dream homes for the community. The Parade gives you behind the scenes glimpse of the latest building technology, design & color trends, appliances, and other up-to-the-minute features. Hours are 10a-5pm.

Watch innovators of all ages pitch a wide range of products and ideas at the 2017 Arctic Innovation Competition. Presented by the UAF School of Management this competition features a $10,000 top prize! Door prizes and networking opportunities are featured at this event on October 21 at the Wedgewood Resort in Fairbanks.

Visitors can learn about winter birds and make a recycled bird feeder at Thanksgiving for the Birds on November 26 at Creamer’s Field Farmhouse Visitors Center, noon–4pm.

Art and the Holidays

Art in the Autumn: A Festival of Art and Artists for the Fall in Fairbanks will take place on Friday, October 6th, 7th & 8th at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. This free event features over 20 Alaskan artists and showcases some of the best work in the entire state.

It’s the beginning of the holiday season on Saturday, October 14th 10am-6pm and Sunday, October 15th 12pm-5pm at the 35th Annual Holly Days Bazaar in Hangar 4 (Building 3007) on Fort Wainwright. There will be 100 vendors, pictures with Santa, and door prizes! Entry is $5 entry for adults 16 years and older. This fundraiser benefits the  Fort Wainwright Community Spouses’ Club scholarships and grants program.

On Saturday, November 4 the Raven Art Show at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, located at 101 Dunkel St in Fairbanks, will feature over a dozen artists with their raven and songbird inspired art: paintings, prints & wood carvings, pottery, masks, fabric art, tile art, stained glass, jewelry and dolls.

Christmas in Ice is an annual event that lights up the Christmas season in North Pole, Alaska. The Ice Park features a Christmas-themed ice art competition in December with sculptures by local and international carvers. Special events include a free outdoor picnic and military appreciation day. See Santa on Christmas day, and on New Year’s enjoy hot cocoa and fireworks at a special family friendly event. For big and little kids, there is the Elf’s Icy playground with 100 foot ice slides, mazes, and twirlers. Christmas in Ice runs from November 25, 2017 – January 7, 2018 and is open from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Family Fun

The Garden Brothers Circus is celebrating 100 years of entertaining families throughout North America. Fan favorites include: the Nitro Motorcycle Cowboys; the Worlds’ Funniest Clowns; Natalia, defying death on the 40’ swaying pole; the exciting Cossack Riders; a Real Dog and Pony Show; the Human Slingshot; Acrobats, and so much more! Its 1½ hours of excitement and fun at the Carlson Centre, 2010 2nd Ave, in Fairbanks. The circus runs from Friday, October 14, through Wednesday, October 19.

On the third Saturday of every month (October 21), a fun-filled, food-filled family event at which kids and their folks prepare meals for the upcoming week for guests at Stone Soup Café. Learn about cooking, write notes to the guests, and have a great time! Registration is required for Kids Café at

Enjoy kid’s crafts and activities and learn about creatures thought to be “creepy” during Creepy Critters at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge on October 28. The program takes place in the Farmhouse Visitors Center from 12pm – 4pm.

If you are currently stationed at Fort Wainwright, please let other military families know what you like and don’t like about living there in a review on

Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director, previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media/Community Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.