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Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks

Key Info

1470 Ivans Alley

Details

Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This family-owned farm sits just north of Fairbanks in the boreal forest of the Goldstream Valley. Here, visitors are invited to take a guided nature walk through the forest with the family's reindeer and learn about the natural history of the forest, as well as the animal's habits and personality. After your tour, head to the farmhouse to continue your reindeer education over homemade cookies and lemonade. 

Recent travelers who walked with the reindeer called it an amazing experience and described it as a fun and informative excursion for the whole family. Many commented on the friendliness of the reindeer, adding that children not only get to pet the reindeer, but also had the chance to interact with the owner's chickens and dogs. Reviews for the length of the tour were a bit more mixed: Some said the nearly three-hour tour was too long, but most found the reindeer lesson and interaction to be the highlight of their vacation. Also, keep in mind that you'll need to wear appropriate clothing and shoes, as most of this experience occurs outside. 

You'll find the ranch 12 miles northwest of downtown Fairbanks; the attraction is best reached by car. Rates change seasonally but begin at $55 per adult and $35 per child (3-12). Children younger than 3 can visit for free but must be in a backpack carrier. For seasonal rates, hours, tips on what to wear or to make a reservation, see the attraction's website.

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The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is a great first stop to pick up maps and information on things to do in Fairbanks. In addition to exhibits on the natural history of the region and the cultural history of Alaska natives, the center offers a free film on Alaska's history and nature. What's more, on the first Friday of every month, the center hosts a free reception featuring the work of an Alaskan artist from the interior region. This is also where you'll find the city's famous Antler Arch, a piece constructed with more than 100 moose and caribou antlers collected from all over interior Alaska.

Most recent visitors said this free museum was an ideal first stop for learning about Alaskan life, with a good mix of history and culture. Many found the central downtown location convenient, and families particularly enjoyed the interactive displays for kids. Some visitors were disappointed that the informative movie only runs once per day, but all travelers complimented the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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