This weekend we headed to the Reindeer Farm near Palmer, Alaska for their Halloween Fun extravaganza. There was no way I was missing this event, since I’ve always envied the fall family festivals my Midwestern family and friends attend. They have a plethora of pumpkin patches to explore, while we are stuck digging through cardboard bins of squash at the local Fred Meyer. (As if I’m not jealous enough that snow pants aren’t a mandatory factor in their Halloween costumes.)
The Reindeer Farm used to market solely to tourists, but lately they’ve been tapping the locals. It’s brilliant. They promised a hay maze, spooky walk, pony rides, pumpkin patch, caramel apples, and more. Sign us up!
So how did it compare to the Midwestern festivals?
I’m pretty sure Alaska wins in the wildlife department. A trip to the reindeer farm would not be complete without a chance to feed the ungulates, which you can’t do most places:
Speaking of ungulates, Denali the moose had just shed his antlers. We were lucky to encounter him up close, where his massivity was abundantly clear:
The Midwest, however, wins hands-down for the pumpkin patch. Up here the orange gourds were strewn about the field, but they didn’t actually grow in this pasture. Better than Fred Meyer? Yes. But a true pumpkin patch? Not even close.
The Midwest has corn mazes, but the Reindeer Farm folks did a pretty good job creating a hay maze instead. I’d call this one a draw. It started out with a tractor-pulled wagon ride to the hay maze:
The maze looked simple enough when we pulled up, but we genuinely got lost. It probably took us 30 minutes to find our way out of this thing!
Another dead end… ugh!
For scenery, the Reindeer Farm can’t be beat. With Pioneer Peak in the background, it’s simply breathtaking. Stay for sunset and the hairs on your neck will prickle with awe.
Still, I wish we could take the kids to a real pumpkin patch back home. A chaotic fall day with cousins, cocoa, and genuinely haunted houses would be tough to top. I guess the grass is always greener. Or, in this case, the snow is always whiter.