Santa to check in on team at Reindeer Farm in Palmer

The Santa Experience Tour runs on Saturdays through Dec. 17
Santa to check in on team at Reindeer Farm in Palmer
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 7:05 PM AKST
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Thanksgiving has just passed, which means Santa Claus is heading into his busiest time of the year. Part of his preparations include making a few visits to the Reindeer Farm in Palmer to scope out potential alternates in case any of his eight reindeer need to take a break.

“So if Dasher were not feeling well then someone over here, like April, might step in for Dasher for the evening,” Santa said. “That way there’s no fear of me not getting out on Christmas Eve.”

The Reindeer Farm is welcoming the public to visit while the jolly old elf is in town. The Santa Experience Tour offers visitors a chance to meet and feed the reindeer — who might one day be called up to the big leagues — as well as craft a Christmas keepsake, help the elves with a tricky guest, and ultimately meet Santa in person.

“We do work a warm-up break into the middle of the tour, because it is outdoors,” Reindeer Farm owner Denise Hardy said.

According to Hardy, last year’s season was a cold one, with temperatures hovering below zero

“I sure hope this season we have a really great season,” she stated. “Twenty degrees above zero would be perfect.”

It’s not just reindeer that visitors will encounter along the tour. The farm is home to alpacas, moose, turkeys, and cows — most of which can be interacted with.

Hardy grew up on the farm located on Bodenburg Loop in the Butte. According to her, Santa has called up a couple of their reindeer over the years to help transport his sleigh on Christmas Eve, and the farm frequently turns to him for training tips.

“It definitely opens up a few doors for us when we have that reindeer connection,” Hardy said. “Our family tradition is to entertain other people for their family traditions — and we hope to be a part of their family tradition.”

There are only a handful of Saturdays that Santa expects to be onsite for the experience tours, and tickets are selling fast. Hardy said she might open up a couple of more dates if his schedule allows, but he does plan on being at the farm on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 for their Christmas on the Farm event this year.

During the week, the Reindeer Farm is also operating its normal Winter Reindeer Farm Experience, where visitors get a one-hour guided tour of the property and get up close and personal with the animals.