Nestled near the town of Palmer, Alaska, there is a unique little farm. You may just stop your car on the side of the road in surprise if you aren’t expecting what you see. Yes, those are in fact reindeer out in those fields. This little farm is the Williams Reindeer Farm. And it is absolutely worth the stop in.
The Williams Reindeer Farm
The Williams Reindeer Farm is a popular place for tourists and locals – especially those with kids. Within striking distance of Anchorage, and only about 15 minutes from the town of Palmer, its location is very easy to access. It is located at the base of Pioneer Peak which is an absolutely gorgeous setting for any farm. It is also right next to the Bodenburg Butte – so a hike up the butte is a great activity to do in conjunction with a trip to the reindeer farm. The reindeer farm has a wide range of activities, and you likely won’t be disappointed with any of them!
Open daily from May until end of August, the reindeer farm has some really fun summer tours. We’ve taken this tour multiple times and always enjoyed it. A guide on the farm gives you short informative talks about the reindeer, and each person is given a small bowl of feed. You then enter the reindeer pen where you are allowed to feed and pet the reindeer and take lots of pictures. You are also introduced to Dolly the bison, Rocky the moose, and other animals. It costs $11/adult and $9/children, seniors, and military members. The tour is short, so keep your expectations at that level. But all the funds are put towards caring for these amazing animals. And when you think about the number of people who get to go to a reindeer farm – it’s well worth the money!
We have gone on this tour twice – once in May and once in August. August was amazing because the antlers on the animals were well developed and the velvet was beginning to shed from the antlers. This was such a cool thing to see! And May was equally as amazing, because most of the reindeer babies are born in April – so you can see many of the little babies running about the farm. Both times we’ve been to the summer tours the farm was not very crowded. It was a very pleasant experience.
While the daily drop-in tours for the Reindeer Farm are not available from September-March, they do you have off-season tours available. These are slightly more expensive and must be prescheduled. If you have company coming in to visit or if you’ve never been, it’s a great time to do it. I’ve actually heard from friends who have gone that they prefer the winter tours over the summer ones. I have not been during the winter, but I trust that they are an enjoyable mini adventure.
Fall Family Fun
Every October, the farm hosts a fall festival. This is a very popular event for locals within Alaska. While we’ve never been, many have told us it is a wonderful and fun event. It is highly recommended that you purchase tickets ahead of time and dress for the chill that comes with most Alaska falls!
Christmas on the Farm
This may be my favorite experience at the reindeer farm yet. Every Christmas, the reindeer farm hosts Christmas on the Farm. You can get pictures with “Santa,” ride in a reindeer-pulled sled, and feed the reindeer. There are many other fun activities that take place during this very Alaskan holiday celebration, so be sure to read all about our experience with Christmas at the Reindeer Farm here. So that’s all folks! Head on over to the reindeer farm and let them know that ExploreFam sent you!