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December 4, 2019 Karen Lewis

Gift Giving Ideas for the Holiday Season…


Gift Ideas

Holiday season is here and gift buying is in full swing. Consider gifting an opportunity to see a new place, or a familiar one with a new lens, in your National Heritage Area.  Here are seven splendid ideas to get you started. Please post more experience-based ones on our Facebook page, or tag KMTA on Instagram when you’re out playing with loved ones.

1 – Seward is one of KMTA’s portals to Prince William Sound, and you can help enjoy the view at the Alaska Sealife Center. Consider giving an annual membership or add on a special tour, such as:

      1. Octopus Encounter
      2. Puffin Encounter
      3. Sea Otter Experience
      4. Octo Experience.

Alaska Sealife Center hours of operation vary seasonally so be sure to check their website for updated hours.

2 – Blessed with spectacular vistas of the southern end of Turnagain Arm, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a conservation, education and research sanctuary, which is adjacent to the Seward Highway in Portage. Visitors may view animals by walking around the Center or by driving. Consider giving an annual membership and providing the chance to take part in Animal Programs which include:

      1. Bison Banter
      2. Carnivore Chat
      3. Meet the Wolves.

The hours of operation vary seasonally so be sure to check their website for the latest updates.

3 – Discover the stories of people and places that shaped the communities of today. Consider giving one of these books that KMTA helped bring to life. Titles include “Gold Rush Wife”, which tells the story of Nellie Frost on Turnagain Arm from 1895-1901 and “The Spaces Between” by Doug Capra, which tells various stories ranging from Alaska’s “worst criminal” to the first Mt. Marathon race.

      The Adventures of Nellie Frost on Turnagain Arm, 1895-1901 as Told to Her Daughter Dorothy Frost By Dorothy Frost
      Alaska By Mary J. Barry
      Gold Mining on Alaska’s Turnagain Arm: Autobiography of Albert Weldon Morgan
      Stories from the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai Fjords By Doug Capra
      History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor


Children’s picture book, “Hello, Water!”

4 – Spend some time reading a picture book with a child in your life. Consider gifting a copy of “Hello, Water – Snowflakes to Glaciers, a Wild Alaska Story” by Taylor Hoku Haden. From raindrops to rivers and snowflakes to glaciers, Water is surprised to learn all the many forms it can take through the seasons. Set in the KMTA corridor’s landscape the illustrations include recognizable places such as Mt. Marathon and Turnagain Arm. The book is available to purchase on Amazon.

Manitoba Hut on a Winter Night

5Consider gifting a stay at the Alaska Hut’s Manitoba Cabin, which is located a short way off the Seward Highway. Bask in forest and mountain beauty with a stay at the Manitoba Cabin, which is a fully refurbished mining cabin with additional sleeping yurts that provides a unique experience different from most regional public use cabins. The huts come with mattresses, a communal kitchen, firewood, and propane for cooking. You need to pack your hot chocolate and other favorite drinks, sleeping bags, appropriate clothing, delicious food and a sense of adventure. For more info and booking check out Alaska Hut’s website.

6 – Alaska State Parks will be 50 years young in 2020! Celebrate by giving Alaska State Park Day-Use Passes or Boat Launch Passes. The price goes up after the new year for the day-use pass from $50 to $60 and for the boat-launch pass it increases from $100 to $150. Visit the Alaska State Parks website to purchase.

7 – Finally, consider purchasing a gift certificate to a locally-owned restaurant or coffee shop in the KMTA Corridor. There is sure to be a favorite haunt that would delight.