5 Alaska Events and Festivals in November

Once the winter months hit it may seem like the best option for entertainment in Alaska is to stay indoors and binge on Netflix.  While I’ve done my fair share of consuming mass quantities of television while it is cold outside, there are also plenty of other activities and events to enjoy that are well worth emerging from your blanket den. Here is a short list of fun activities around Alaska held in November.


Observe bald eagles in the wild at the Haines Bald Eagle Festival.
Observe bald eagles in the wild at the Haines Bald Eagle Festival.

1. Haines Bald Eagle Festival – Pushed back a week because of the elections, the Bald Eagle Festival runs from November 14 – 20th in Haines, Alaska. The festival is filled with tours observing eagles in their natural habitat, but also events to learn about the natural history of eagles, and opportunities to learn to paint eagles on turkey feathers. There is a lot to learn during this festival and a special opportunity to view Bald eagles as they feast on the late run of chum salmon.

2. Great Alaskan Shoot-Out – Basketball is an important community building sport in many towns in Alaska, rural and urban alike.  It is no wonder why the Great Alaskan Shoot-Out is a popular event. Held at the Alaska Airlines Center on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, the Great Alaskan Shoot-out is a multi-day tournament of both men’s and women’s basketball teams from colleges across the U.S.  The shoot-out starts on November 22nd and continues through the 26th.

Sliding down an ice slide. Image courtesy of AKJLOphot.com
Sliding down an ice slide. Image courtesy of AKJLOphot.com

3. North Pole Christmas In Ice– One truly unique thing about Alaska, especially the Interior, is the magic the winter brings. In Fairbanks and North Pole, elaborate ice sculptures can be found popping up all over town once it is cold enough to harvest blocks of ice from ponds and other water sources.  Christmas In Ice is a truly magical experience, an ice park filled with whimsical sculptures and ice playgrounds where you can ride down slides of ice.  The park is open from November 26th to January 8th.

4. Ketchikan Winter Arts Faire – Over 80 artists and vendors will be selling their products at the Ketchikan Winter Arts Faire. The event runs from November 25th to November 27th and kicks off Friday night with a gala full of food and live music with the proceeds benefiting the Arts Council.  This is a great event to get some holiday shopping done as well as keep the kids entertained.  There will be an Imagination Station set up to keep the children occupied.

5. Juneau Public Market– Juneau is also hosting a holiday market from November 25th to November 27th. The past year’s event boasted over 170 vendors from 20 Alaskan cities as well as several vendors from outside of Alaska. This is the place to be if you want a large variety of products and artwork to choose from.  Undoubtable you will find a gift for everyone on your list here!

These are just a few of the events happing around Alaska in November.  If you want to find more November activities, visit Idlewild Alaska.  Also, if you can’t find your way up to Alaska to enjoy these events this month, sign up for an Alaska Cache Box and let us bring Alaska to you!


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