Right next door to The Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska is The Antler Academy (of Flying and Reindeer Games) but when we visited this past Saturday we found out that, unfortunately, they are not open on weekends (which I thought was rather strange, but it’s not my business) so we knew we had to come back because Cindy was NOT going to miss an opportunity to get this close to reindeer.
Tuesday morning, June 21, 2022 (Happy Summer Solstice!) we drove back to North Pole, Alaska from Fairbanks to visit The Antler Academy AND re-visit The Santa Claus House (because it is, after all, right next door).
We got our tickets and went to the waiting area for the next visiting time. While sitting there I DID feel it was necessary to caution Cindy to allow the OTHER, smaller children to go first. I now have a big bruise on my arm.
Before you go out to the area where the reindeer games are played, they do have a list of safety rules they ask you to observe. One of the most important is to only rub the antlers with the back of your hand. First because until they are fully grown out the antlers are still breakable and second because if you’re rubbing it with your palm and the reindeer moves you might automatically grab the antler and then the reindeer, in pain or discomfort, might accidentally throw you several feet in the air. When we went outside, one of the handlers showed us where a 250 pound man had been thrown up into the side of the barn wall before he could react.
They give you little plastic condiment cups with reindeer food in them and when the door is opened to the area between the building and the reindeer, those buggers know you’re coming out with food in your hands and they bum rush you as soon as the gate opens; not because they like YOU but because you have their food in your hands.
We got to spend about 30 minutes or so in the pen with the not-so-tiny reindeer and Cindy had herself a blast feeding, petting and antler-rubbing the critters. I fed one of them my cup of food and then spent the rest of the time photographing Cindy having so much fun that it made ME have fun just watching her.
Donner, in particular, seemed super-enamored with Cindy’s antler-rubbing ability (I know the feeling) and would not leave her alone for quite a while.
Afterward we walked over to The Santa Claus House to pick up a couple of more items as well as getting some fudge to bring back with us to Fairbanks. Before leaving, we also sat and enjoyed floats; a Root Beer Float for Cindy and a Coke Float for me. They were delicious!
We highly recommend The Antler Academy and The Santa Claus House to you if you are ever in the North Pole, Alaska.
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