While there are tons of fun activities for kids in Homer (see Fun for Kids), here are a few of my favorites from growing up here:
Play at Karen Hornaday Park
11 minute walk
Newly renovated, it's impossible for both kids and adults to get bored here!
(image source: alaska.org)
Ice-skate at the Kevin Bell Arena
9 minute drive
Don't know how to skate? There are plenty of classes available here, as well as open-skate. Ice-skates are available for rental.
Fish feeding event at the Pratt Museum
12 minute walk
Every Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 - 5pm, stop by the Homer Pratt Museum to watch our Kachemak Bay critters being fed in the big aquariums! Plus, it's FREE!
Tide-pool at Bishop's Beach
16 minute walk
Check the local tide tables for predictions of high/low tides for Kachemak Bay. This was my favorite thing to do as a kid-- my dad and I would pay attention to the tides, and wait for the lowest tides of the month (look for minus tides), and venture to the beach a good hour or two before the low. This way, the water is still receding as you explore, and you don't have to worry about getting stuck on a sandbar. There's a saying, the tide waits for no man, and this should be taken seriously! Pay attention to exactly what time the low tide is, and make sure you're not too far out when the tide turns. There is wiggle room here (while it's "slack tide"), but we always erred on the side of caution, and went tide-pooling while the water was going out, not coming in.
Definitely a rain boot and windbreaker activity! Even as an adult, turning over rocks and finding colorful sea anemones, hermit shell crabs, sculpin fish, or an octopus is so cool! Literally, you're walking on the bottom of the ocean, and marine life underwater is full of surprises. Sea otters and seals often hang near shore, and you'll no doubt see several eagles on your walk. Any time we've had family visit, this is first on our list. I've also found a few pieces of natural agate stone on our beaches!
After tide-pooling, stop in to Two Sisters Bakery for hot chocolate and a treat. In the summertime, the sandbox out front is always an attraction for kiddos.
5 minute drive
Every Saturday and Wednesday, local artists and farmers set up booths, and more often than not, there's great live music. You'll find everything from homemade soap, artwork and jewelry, to fresh veggies, and amazing, freshly made Russian Peroshki's. There are also tons of activities to entertain your kids while you browse the market!
6 minute walk
Stuck inside from the weather? See what movies are at the theatre! Built in 1956, the Homer Theatre is the oldest continually running movie theatre in the state of Alaska! There are two movies that play for one week long (there is only one screen), and in general the earlier movie shown is kid-friendly. Go on a Monday night, or a matinee showing for a discounted price! You can also rent out the theatre for events and birthdays.
The popcorn is often times the draw for me...they use real butter, and the local favorite is to sprinkle Nutritional Yeast all over it...try it, you won't be disappointed!