But, luckily we were able to enjoy the two events in Anchorage where all that solid water is put to artistic use. The Crystal Gallery of Ice in January and the Snow Sculpture Competition in March.
The Crystal Gallery of Ice is an annual event that takes place in the Town Square Winter Center in downtown Anchorage. It is organized by Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. Ice carvers come from all over the state and the world to transform ice slabs cut from Alaskan lakes into beautiful works of art.
Because it is held in a park and ice is hard to transport, you can go watch the artists carve away the few days before the competition. My husband and I went one evening to see them work and then returned the next day with the children to check out the finished products.
The kids loved it! They were quite impressed.
This year's was held January 9-11, 2015. And after the sculptures have spent some time in the park, they are moved to various locations around town for viewing by all who walk by until they melt.
The first place winner was this very cool sea monster
Many of you have heard of the Iditarod, the famous dog race. But what I came to learn is that it is actually associated with a big celebratory event called Fur Rendezvous held in Anchorage, AK. During the Fur Rondy (its nickname) there are several events that span the silly to the artistic.
On the artistic side is the Snow Sculpture Competition. It is held at Ship Creek in Anchorage right across from the Ulu Factory store. (A great place to find beautiful souvenirs of your trip to Alaska.) Ship Creek is not as convenient to get to as Town Square and you will likely need to use a vehicle from your hotel to get there.
The artists are given 8 x 8 foot blocks of compressed snow to work with.
We were worried that with the unseasonably warm weather there would be no sculptures, but we lucked out and there were a few days in the 20s to keep the snow in tact.
The sculptures ranged from whimsical to serious and a couple were quite beautiful.
The children loved to run around and look at each one of them.
At Ship Creek, vendors sold reindeer sausages (a favorite street food here in Alaska) and hot chili. And the Ulu Factory was giving out free hot chocolate and coffee!
So many people only come to Alaska during the amazing summers because it is so cold here (usually) in the winter. But if you are a hearty family, there are fun things to do in Anchorage during the winter and these are just two events that you kids will love.
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