Compiled by Joy Neighbors
Pictured above: sharing a cracker at Hardy's Reindeer Ranch
“A lot of people don’t know that reindeer are real. They think they’re fictional, like unicorns,” says Tracy Snowman of Snowman's Reindeer Farm in Canton.
Not only are reindeer real, live creatures... you can visit them right here in central Illinois! In fact, there are a pair of reindeer farms within easy driving distance of the Peoria area. In the Nov/Dec 2017 issue of Art & Society magazine, we take you behind the scenes at Snowman's Reindeer Farm in Canton and Hardy's Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul. Here are some more fun facts about this beautiful, elegant creature:
- A reindeer’s coat is thick during the winter to trap warm air close to the body and provide insulation from the harsh winter elements. It also makes them buoyant in water.
- Reindeer are the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light.
- Both male and female reindeer have antlers.
- Reindeer hooves change during the year. In the summer, their hooves are soft to provide extra traction in mud. During the winter, they harden for better traction on the snow and ice.
- Reindeer can run up to 48 miles per hour!
- At one time, reindeer lived as far south as Tennessee and Nevada in the U.S.
- Reindeer really do go “click, click, click” when they walk, thanks to a tendon in their ankle. That sound helps them find one another in a snowstorm.
Check out Joy Neighbors' article, "Join in the Reindeer Games," in the latest issue!
The Snowmans currently have a herd of four reindeer for visitors to meet.
Spend some time this holiday season with reindeer! In addition to the regular hours below, the Snowmans’ reindeer will make a special appearance on Saturday, November 18th, from 10am to 1pm at Metro Centre in Peoria.
Snowman’s Reindeer Farm, located at 25599 East Middle Lake Road in Canton, Illinois, kicks off its reindeer season on Friday, November 22, 2017, from 6 to 8pm, and will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Christmas. For more information, call (309) 647-0569.
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, 1356 County Road 2900 N in Rantoul, Illinois, will be open in November from 10am to 7pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 1 to 7pm on Sundays. In December, the ranch is open daily from 10am to 7pm. For more information, call (217) 893-3407. PS
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