You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen; Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, and the most famous reindeer of all – Rudolph. But, what you may not know is that Santa’s sleigh isn’t necessarily pulled by an all-male reindeer team. In fact, it’s probable that the females outweigh the males in Santa’s reindeer lineup.
Jessica Anderson, co-owner of The Reindeer Farm in Bowling Green, explains that “it's probably a good combination of the two because males drop their antlers yearly in the winter – December through February – while females keep them through March or April” as a way to protect themselves while pregnant and create a hierarchy once the calf is born. “The mom always eats first,” she adds.
Jessica and Russell Anderson’s family have learned this and many other reindeer facts firsthand on The Reindeer Farm – Kentucky’s first and only of its kind. And, so can you.
The couple knew they wanted to raise their children on a farm for the togetherness aspect and saw it as unique for their family’s lifestyle. But, it wasn’t long until they also saw agritourism as part of the plan. “That's the most rewarding part of the farm – to see friends, families, and groups of people take time out of the busiest time of year to spend time together and the fact that we are a part of that.”
Currently in its fourth holiday season, The Reindeer Farm invites guests to join their family throughout the holidays through Christmas Eve each weekend for some old-fashioned fun.
A day pass gains access to the farm and its reindeer barn where Jessica says “Blitzen is usually a ham. He loves people and most people can pet him.” Six-month-old Anderson who is the first reindeer to be bred, born, and raised on the farm is also in the barn.
Out back the alpacas graze the fields, there’s a petting zoo, and a train to tour little ones around the property. You can also join in on any of the various reindeer games such as basketball, or a giant game of chess by a nearby fire. Or, opt to up your dodge ball game with a “snowball fight” Kentucky-style. A food truck, wine truck, and free hot chocolate round out the offerings. $15 per person/ free for ages 2 and under. BOOK NOW
You can also reserve a thirty-minute up-close and personal encounter with the rest of the reindeer herd, including Rudolph’s girlfriend, Clarice. She’ll be waiting for you to hop aboard her sleigh for a one-of-a-kind photo opp. $35 per person/ free for ages 2 and under. BOOK NOW
But, the reindeer aren’t the only stars of the show. Santa and Mrs. Claus makes regular appearances, along with guest stars such as Elsa from Frozen, Miss Kentucky, and Food Network’s pumpkin carving champion turned ice sculpting master, Danny Kissel. Kissel says that over the couple of years that he has been showcased at The Reindeer Farm, he’s seen the public’s interest grow exponentially, “We design these winter festivals to get people outdoors during the winter time. Ice carving brings that community of people out.” This year’s theme was The Grinch, and while it’s too soon to tell what his theme will be next year, you can bet that he will put on a show for all attendees.
If you’re not able to attend this year’s festivities, make sure to follow The Reindeer Farm on Facebook for updates on when the reindeers’ antlers fall off, how the antlers are growing back in during the summer, and if there are any babies born on the farm. You can also reserve the farm for private events and education throughout the year.