Everybody knows Santa wouldn't be able to make his many deliveries without the help of his loyal team of reindeer. However, you don't need to travel all the way to the North Pole to learn about how reindeer really live.
At Hardy's Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, visitors can get up close and personal with the animals on the "reindeer tour." For $3 per person, visitors can feed the reindeer and even lean in for a "reindeer kiss." Owner Julie Hardy swears that this magical moment makes for a wonderful photo opportunity.
Hardy says reindeer love people. "The reindeer are obnoxiously friendly," says Hardy. The highlight of the reindeer tour is the three babies born on the ranch this year.
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch also offers Christmas trees, a cafe and a gift shop packed with reindeer-themed items.
If you can't make it down to the ranch to visit the reindeer this year, check out one of these local opportunities to see them in action.