Until mankind first stepped outside in 1934, nature was thought to be a fanciful myth, like yogurt or the clutch hitter. Spend a few hours frolicking through the fresh air of truth with today's Groupon: for $7, you get two admissions to Reindeer Farm in Palmer (up to a $14 value; $7 value per adult, $5 value per child age 3–11). Toddlers under the age of 3 are admitted free of charge.
Reindeer Farm's snowy stewards raise a friendly community of more than 170 reindeer, elk, moose, and more at their valley ranch, nestled near the awe-inspiring Chugach Mountains. Experienced ranch hands lead visitors on a beastly meet-and-greet during guided tours, filling curious craniums with information, including the animals’ names, natural habits, and favorite sundae toppings, before heading inside the animals' enclosures. Once inside, visitors can pet, photograph, and hand-feed the reindeer with provided grain, allowing a rare close-up encounter with the antlered animals.
Originally an old colony farm built by the U.S. Army in 1935, Reindeer Farm employs many of the original structures, including the bright red barn, the chicken coop, and batteries of antiaircraft missiles protecting reindeer from sleigh-flying poachers. In addition to the tour, Groupon holders ages 10 and older qualify for a buy-one, get-one-half-off discount on the farm's horseback trail rides (regularly $50 per hour per person; reservations must be made in advance), where explorers can drink in sweeping views of the valley as they shimmy their saddlebags through rugged, forested hills.
What began as a colony farm built by the U.S. Army in 1935 became, by the mid-1950s, the childhood home of Reindeer Farm's head honcho, Tom Williams. After studying the habits of Scandinavian and Siberian reindeer herders in high school, Tom began to understand why the antlered creatures were considered the "cattle of the North": The brisk Alaskan climate suited their dense coats and languid presence at pool parties. In 1987, after years of practicing law throughout Alaska, Tom ventured to Canada to meet his first herd of reindeer, which he kept corralled next to a tiny sign and donation jar on the modest farm. Since then, that initial herd has blossomed into 150 reindeer, who graze beside 35 elk, 13 horses, one bull moose, and one surprisingly well-adjusted bison. Now a petting zoo, the farm has grown alongside the herd, with guided tours, scavenger hunts, and horseback rides treating guests to an up-close and hands-on experience with the majestic animals. Located in the colony's original chicken coop, a gift shop provides guests with any number of collectibles to commemorate their visits.
5561 S Bodenburg Loop Rd
Palmer, Alaska 99645Get Directions