Winter fun at the refuge

After all the presents are unwrapped, but before the holiday season is over and school is back in session, kids have a lot of time on their hands. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is offering families an opportunity to make the most of that downtime. The refuge visitor center will host an afternoon of family-friendly entertainment and education on Dec. 27 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.


“We wanted to have something that was available because kids are on break right now,” Michelle Ostrowski, education specialist with Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, said. The free event will include screenings of the 25-minute film “Stranger In the Woods,” a live-action adaptation of a children’s book about a snowman and his animal friends.

“It’s cute. It’s funny,” Ostrowski said.

The visitor center will provide free popcorn during the two screenings of the film, and families are encouraged to make themselves comfortable.

“People are welcome to sit on floor with pillow or bean bag,” Ostrowski said.

Throughout the four-hour event, kids can make winter-themed crafts, participate in an indoor scavenger hunt or just explore the center and the refuge.

The winter break event is just one of many activities hosted by the wildlife refuge throughout the year. The visitor center hosts weekly winter walks around the refuge on Fridays, and screens wildlife movies every Saturday. In January, the visitor center will host an avalanche awareness class, a history talk by Alaska guide author Catherine Cassidy, a full moon snowshoe walk and a dog mushing demonstration and book signing. For more information, visit the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center Facebook page or call 260-2820.

Reach Erin Thompson at

Winter Break Family Fun Day

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

For more information call 260-2820.

Visitor Center winter hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., excepting holidays.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center January events

Winter Walks

Fridays at 11 a.m.

No registration needed

Wear comfortable shoes, layers and bring ice cleats.

Saturday Wildlife Movies

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Full Moon Snowshoe Walk

Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.

Call 260-2820 to register.

Avalanche Awareness Class

Interactive course led by U.S. Forest Service Avalanche Specialist Alex McLain.

Saturday, Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pre-registration required. Call 260-2820 to register.

History Talk with Catherine Cassidy

The co-author of “Alaska’s No. 1 Guide” will speak about the cultural history of the Kenai wilderness.

Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.

PEEPS Preschool Program

Thursday, Jan. 18., 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Dog Mushing Demo and Book Signing with Bill Laughing-Bear, author of “An Alaskan Adventure: Tales of a Musher”

Saturday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m.

Book signing to follow.


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