Morris Thompson Center

With a wide variety of cultural programs and educational exhibits, the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center informs and entertains while giving visitors a glimpse into life in Interior Alaska.

The center opened for the season on June 15. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free. There are some schedule changes and stipulations for visitors this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Exhibit hours for the general public will be 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. daily.

• Visitors must wear a face covering.

• Tour groups, community groups and family groups larger than three people are encouraged to make a reservation for use of the exhibits from 8-9:30 a.m. One reserved group will be allowed per day. Reservations can be made at: https://calendly.com/mtc_curbside/exhibit-reservation.

• Groups are welcome during public hours, but social distancing and safe practices may not be available.

• If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, postpone your visit until you are feeling better.

Five local entities — Explore Fairbanks, Tanana Chiefs Conference Cultural Programs, Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Alaska Geographic and Denakkanaaga Inc. — share the building.

Three life-size dioramas featuring realistically rendered landscapes allow visitors to experience the seasons as they walk through the 9,000-square-foot exhibit hall. A wolf, eagle and ermine eye pieces of salmon curing at a summer fish camp, while a beaver, Arctic ground squirrel and grizzly bear prepare for winter near the site of a fall hunting camp.

A replica of a public-use cabin boasts a large window through which visitors can see a dog sled and a moose as a dazzling projection of the northern lights shimmers above a winter scene. The exhibit ends with a visit to the Elders Hall and displays of historic and modern tools, clothing and artwork common to the Interior.

Outside, nearby bike paths and walkways wend through the center’s grounds and neighboring Griffin Park, allowing visitors a peaceful space to contemplate nature and the spectacular beauty of a Fairbanks summer.

Many use the center as a jumping off point for exploring town, while others prefer to wave hello to the world at the popular moose antler arch webcam, view the Athabascan beadwork-inspired sidewalk mosaics or visit the restored 1905 pioneer cabin.

For additional information, contact the center at 459-3700.