A theme park in Alaska? Now that’s something somewhat unexpected. Fairbanks is home to Pioneer Park, built in the 1960s, and it’s one of the more unusual things to see in Alaska.
Pioneer Park is an old-fashioned theme park, which means it’s not the kind of place to find giant rollercoasters but there is a carousel. The park is generally a depository of Alaskan artifacts. It’s an interesting way to showcase Alaska’s history, where you can see log cabins and rusty equipment from days gone by. There’s even the SS Nenana, a giant old steamship that once plied the Yukon River, prominently on display.
One particular attraction in the park is the 40 below freezer, where you can walk inside to feel what it’s like to be in air that is so very cold.
For entertainment, try and make the Salmon Bake dinner and show at the Palace Theater.
Open year round, 24 hours a day, Pioneer Park is perhaps most active during summer months when attractions are generally open from midday to 8pm.
While there’s no admission fee to enter the park, several museums within the park do charge a nominal entrance fee. The Pioneer Air Transportation Museum chronicles Alaska’s unique aviation history and Gold Rush Town will have you feeling like you stepped back in time to the days when early settlers flocked to the state in search of gold. There’s also a mini-train that you can take for a ride around the park, complete with a guide sharing information about the buildings you’ll see.
If you’re looking for something interesting to see in Fairbanks, one-of-a-kind Pioneer Park is worth a visit.