3 Unique Places To See The Northern Lights In Fairbanks

Download Travel Details >


Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
travel company press awards

Can You See The Northern Lights In December?

Located less than 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is Alaska’s second-largest city and combines a modern atmosphere with a colorful history that dates back to the Alaskan Gold Rush. The city’s many museums offer visitors the opportunity to learn about Fairbanks’ history and native culture, while its location near the Arctic Circle creates a unique atmosphere – especially during the winter season! In fact, winter is a great time to book a trip to Fairbanks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy many winter sports, while adventurous night owls can search the dark skies of Fairbanks, Alaska for the Aurora Borealis.

swirls of northern lights in shades of green in forest sky

Visiting Fairbanks For The Northern Lights

December is one of the most popular months in Fairbanks to see Northern Lights in Alaska. The city’s location is ideal for Northern Lights viewing because it is under the “Auroral Oval,” a ring-shaped zone over the Far North where aurora activity is concentrated.

Travelers flock to Fairbanks to see the Northern Lights during the winter season and to enjoy the festive atmosphere in the city. During the winter months, Fairbanks is transformed into a winter wonderland by a thick blanket of snow and many holiday celebrations. Perhaps the most well-known event during the winter season is the Winter Solstice celebration, where the people living in the Far North welcome the return of the light into their daily lives.

During the Winter Solstice, the North Pole is tilted away from the sun as the Earth continues on its orbit. This means that the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year! Fairbanks has approximately 3 hours and 41 minutes of sunlight on the day of the Winter Solstice. This means that the day of the Winter Solstice is a good time to go to Fairbanks to see Northern Lights in Alaska! Visitors will have hours and hours of darkness to search the skies for this amazing phenomenon.

Where To See The Northern Lights During The Winter Solstice

There are many places in Fairbanks, Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis, but some are more unique than others. Here is a list of a few places that provide a special Northern Lights viewing experience for their guests:

  • Aurora Pointe Activity Center – this cozy lodge is located just 15 minutes from downtown Fairbanks and is the perfect place to watch the Northern Lights. The friendly staff will explain what the Aurora Borealis is, why it occurs, and how to get a really great photograph for your souvenir book while you wait for the nightly show. You can also explore the center’s interactive displays and keep warm by the fire before venturing out into the dark night.
  • The North Pole – no trip to Alaska is complete without a visit to the North Pole! Located just 15 minutes south of Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway, the North Pole offers visitors a unique opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Stay in one of the quant B&Bs located in the city and enjoy Holiday Bazaars and festivities by day, while searching the skies for the Aurora Borealis at night.
  • Chena Hot Springs and Resort – book a trip to Chena Hot Springs for a truly unique Northern Lights Viewing! Tours include pick up at your hotel in Fairbanks, a visit to the Aurora Ice Museum, and a soak under the stars in the resort’s mineral hot springs. Then, get your winter gear on and venture out to one of the resort’s prime Fairbanks, Alaska Aurora Borealis viewing locations with a guide!

Other Winter Activities in Fairbanks

sled dogs in alaskaAccording to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the winter solstice marks the beginning of winter – which will last until the vernal equinox in March. After the solstice, the days get longer. For Alaskans, the day is one to celebrate. If you’re visiting Fairbanks during the Winter Solstice, you’ll want to celebrate with the locals, too!

Downtown Fairbanks is the place to be to celebrate. Each year, the city throws a giant party on the day of the solstice, which includes:

  • Live music
  • A chance to visit with and pet reindeer!
  • Photos with Santa
  • Special shopping hours
  • A fireworks display over the Chena River that lights up the night sky!

Even if the main reason you are visiting Fairbanks is the winter solstice celebration and a Northern Lights sighting, don't forget to budget extra time during your trip to take part in all of the winter activities the town offers! No vacation is complete without experiencing a few of the following activities, all of which are available in or near Fairbanks for the solo adventurer or as part of a guided tour:

  • Dog mushing
  • Cross country and downhill skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Curling
  • Ice Hockey

If you enjoy winter, winter sports, and the holiday season, visiting Fairbanks in December is the perfect vacation for you! There are plenty of options for activities right in town, but it’s also easy to plan a day trip (or two) to nearby attractions in Fairbanks, Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis or to visit one of the many natural areas that surround the town. So, pack your winter gear and get ready for action-packed days and nights full of dazzling Northern Lights displays – Fairbanks is waiting!

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.