Santa Claus has a big job to do — he’s solely responsible for delivering billions of gifts to children around the world in the course of one night.
It’s not surprising that he needs to rely on a fleet of magical reindeer in order to accomplish the task.
In preparation for the big night, many of his best reindeer spend their free time at farms throughout Michigan, where they are able to enjoy the brisk winter temperatures and freshly fallen snow while they meet with visitors who are immersed in the spirit of the season.
Whether you are young or young at heart, you will surely enjoy an unforgettable experience at one of these reindeer farms in Michigan this holiday season:
As you head into Frankenmuth to experience a taste of Michigan’s Little Bavaria, you will see a bright blue barn on the side of the road.
Labeled the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Heritage Farm, this barn house is the iconic symbol of Grandpa Tiny’s Heritage Farm, a working farm that has played a pivotal role in community life for more than 85 years.
Established in 1938 by William Zehnder, Grandpa Tiny’s Heritage Farm is a year-round destination that is beloved by locals and visitors alike.
During the holiday season, however, the true magic of Christmas comes to life on the farm, when Santa’s Reindeer Farm opens for the season.
Located by the famous Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland shop, Santa’s Reindeer Farm at Grandpa Tiny’s is the perfect addition to any day trip to Frankenmuth during the holidays.
For the 2023 season, Santa’s Reindeer Farm will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 18 through Dec. 17.
During your visit to the farm, you will be able to meet Santa’s reindeer-in-training for the 2023 season. In fact, two new additions have been added to the fleet this year, making this an extra special year at Grandpa Tiny’s for holiday fun.
During your personal visit with the reindeer, you will have the opportunity to learn more about these creatures from a bona fide reindeer trainer.
Of course, Santa has to make visits to the farm to check in on his reindeer throughout the training season. On the weekends, he is able to meet with children and pose for portraits inside the barn — it’s a photo opportunity that delights children and parents alike.
Tickets must be purchased in advance, and there are limited quantities available. Prices are $17 per person, but admission is free for children under 5 who are attending with a ticket-holding adult.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to this event — you will feel as if you have stepped onto the grounds of the North Pole when you walk up to this historic barn and see it in all of its holiday splendor.
On the west side of the state, Reindeer Ranch has been raising reindeer and educating the public about these incredible animals since 1999.
This family-owned farm is currently open by appointment only, with reindeer tours available during the holiday season.
If you want to see what life on the reindeer farm is like, you are invited to book one of the reindeer tours.
These guided tours are led by experienced experts who will take you on a walk along the farm grounds in order to learn more about what it takes to run the farm as well as meet the reindeer who are part of their herd.
Holiday farm tours at Reindeer Ranch include:
- A hands-on, educational presentation on reindeer in which guests get to touch a reindeer hide, feel antlers that have been shed by previous reindeer, and hold mounted hooves.
- Visit with one of the friendly, sociable, beautiful reindeer who live on the farm. Guests who book this tour are able to pet the reindeer, spend some personal time with them, and of course, take a picture with their newfound friend.
- A visit with Santa Claus at the end of the reindeer experience. Children can sit with Santa, discuss their holiday wish list, and receive an early present to kickstart the holiday season.
Weekday tours cost $10 per person, while weekend tours cost $15 per person. Reservations for holiday reindeer tours begin in the fall.
While this farm dabbles in the agri-tourism sector, it’s primarily a farm that works to create a strong and healthy herd of reindeer by working closely with experts from around the world.
The family that owns the farm has partnered with researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in order to help with several ongoing projects, and they also have worked with reindeer researchers who specialize in free-ranging herd and reindeer farming in various parts of Alaska.
Their commitment to education and excellent farming practices shows through in everything that they do on the farm.
You may be in the heart of mid-Michigan when you arrive at Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm, but you will feel as if you stepped right into the inner workings of the North Pole.
This family-owned farm has been delighting young people and charming adults for more than 30 years, as it has welcomed people to meet its reindeer herd each holiday season.
For many, no holiday season would be complete without a visit to Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm.
There’s nothing quite like seeing the classic red barn decked out in sparkling holiday lights as snowflakes gently swirl all around. The highlight of the visit, of course, is visiting with the team of reindeer who have helped Santa on his miraculous journey around the world on Christmas Eve.
But there’s so much more to see and do at this farm!
Favorite attractions at Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm include:
- Visiting with Highland cows and alpacas
- Sipping hot chocolate and warm cider at the cafe while munching on fresh donuts.
- Playing on the whimsical playground that includes climbing structures, slides, and swings for the littlest visitors on the farm.
- Watching as candy canes are made right before your very eyes.
The 2023 season kicks off in late October with a spooky trick-or-treating event. The farm quickly shifts into Christmas mode in November, however, with some upcoming specialty events including:
- Grinch Day and Visits from The Grinch
- Visits from Skittles the Clown
- Santa Visits
- Frozen Day
Tickets can be booked in advance online. In 2023, admission is $9 per person and children under the age of one are able to visit for free.
Winter whimsy reigns supreme at Antler Ridge Farms, a small farm in Grand Traverse County that is famous for its reindeer visits and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
It’s the kind of place where you can visit and feel as if you have stepped back in time — or onto the set of an utterly perfect, made-for-TV Christmas movie.
At Antler Ridge Farms, visitors have been coming to enjoy a nostalgic, old-fashioned holiday experience for more than 40 years.
At the farm, you will be able to visit with some of its resident gentle reindeer. Cedar, one of the reindeer who calls the farm home, happens to be known as Santa’s favorite — so you know he must be something special.
While you are visiting with Cedar, you might even have the opportunity to feed him a carrot or an apple. After all, he does need to fill out before he heads back to the North Pole to assist Santa with all the Christmas festivities.
In addition to reindeer, you also will be able to interact with other farm animals, such as horses and alpacas.
While Antler Ridge Farms is famous for its reindeer visits, it also is one of the few places in the state where you can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride on a chilly winter afternoon.
The season begins later in December at Antler Ridge Farms, as that is when the snow is typically thick enough to accommodate a horse-drawn sleigh ride experience. In the past, guests have been able to reserve private sleigh rides in advance, which can accommodate up to 12 people.
Those winter afternoons can be brisk, especially as two Percheron Draft Horses glide along the snowy banks, so you won’t want to forget your cozy blanket for the ride.
If you are looking to book one of these magical experiences and visit the reindeer at Antler Ridge Farms, you should know that the farm is only open when the weather cooperates.
It’s best to keep an eye on the farm’s social media pages in order to receive updated information about operating hours.
Add Some Magic to Your Holiday Season This Year — Visit a Michigan Reindeer Farm
By the time November and December roll around, Michigan’s atmosphere is permeated with a sense of anticipation and cheer.
Take advantage of this moment and make holiday memories that will last a lifetime by visiting one of the reindeer farms in Michigan that offer exclusive meet-and-greets with these majestic reindeer.
You’re never too young or too old to indulge in the magic of Christmas!