Nature Inspired Indoor Fun in Anchorage

If you don’t live in South East Alaska (or maybe Antarctica), it might be hard to imagine negative degree temps and winter that seems to go on forever. But that’s what winter serves up for us Alaska folks.

Anchorage Macaroni Kid knows there comes a time, when even winter sports enthusiast’s need more encouragement to get outside. The great news is that exploring nature with kids doesn’t have to mean hitting the trail, strapping on your ice skates or going skiing (though those are all great ideas). Connecting with nature is as easy as heading out the back door. How does a family with kids in tow explore nature indoors precisely? We’re glad you asked. Here’s what our Macaroni Family enjoyed:

The Plan
Visit the Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse. A tropical greenhouse with fish pond and small aviary that is free and open to the public. For an additional plus visit on Wednesdays when the 2-5 crowd can grab a favorite book and a blanket for story time, followed by arts and crafts in the greenhouse.

Insider Tip
Before heading into the Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse, let your kids know what to expect. The Horticulture Section is responsible for the production of thousands of plants utilized in landscaping and beautifying Anchorage. It may come as a surprise to most Alaskans to find such a lush oasis in the mist of winter so be sure to shut the door behind you and keep it that way. The plants are also hands off.

Inside, in additional to birds and fish don’t be surprised to find some creepy critters. The facility uses the pests natural enemies to reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides in the greenhouse. On our visit, we encountered mites “incubating” in the tree limbs and lady bugs.

For the best experience, grab the binder by the door and take a self guided tour.

Practical Matters

  • The Mann Leiser Greenhouse is open daily from 8am -3:30pm and closed on holidays.
  • Admission is FREE
  • Story time with the flowers is only $1.00. Wednesdays from 10:30am-11:15

The Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse located at:
1321 Lidia Selkregg Lane
Anchorage, AK 99519-6650