My husband and I decided to take a ride up to Arasapha Farms to see their holiday light displays and especially to see their REAL LIVE Reindeer. Arasapha Farms is located just a short drive from Route 1 in Pennsylvania & maybe 15 minutes from Exit 2 (off I-95). Depending on the season, it looks like they offer various activites, but our 1st visit to Arasapha Farms last night was for the Holiday Hayride.
Once at Arasapha Farms, we turned off the road onto the dirt lane that lead straight into the FREE parking lot. The dirt lane was lined with lit Christmas Trees and off to the right was the Tree Sales lot. Straight back was the LIVING Nativity Scene and the ticket sales booth for the Holiday Hayride. We made our way to the back to check out the Living Nativity Scene. The charcters were all dressed VERY nicey and were keeping warm by the fire that was in front of the manger. As I went to take a photo, the group quickly lined up for a photo-op. It was really nice and the people working there were so friendly. Beside the manger, they had a pair of both sheep and donkey. We were able to see them pretty well since they were in enclosures that allowed us to walk up beside them.
Once you walk around the donkey enclosure, there was the ticket sales booth. Here we paid $10 each for adult tickets. Note: Children under 8 years of age are $7. We told the ticket salesman that we had never been before and asked if there was anything we should know. He said no, but gave us some tips on viewing the reindeer & said to have a good time.
Once out of the ticket booth area, we walked around past the bon fire/picnic table area and over to the entrance to the Holiday Hayride. We got in line & only had to wait maybe 5-10 minutes to board a tractor-pulled wagon. The wagons were long and held several people. Once we were on the hayride, the Christmas music began and we were off. First we passed through a tunnel of red & green Christmas lights and rounded a bend past a huge light-up holiday train. Along the way we also saw light-up reindeer, elves, fishing polar bear, a sea-serpent, jumping fish, gingerbread house, Santa Claus, trees, snowmen, Santa in a plane and MORE. There were several REAL trees wrapped in lights along the way, as well as lighted fences and the trail was lined in lights the whole way too. Nearing the end, WE got a BIG surprise when we were passing through another tunnel of lights. This tunnel of lights was ALL white. Just as we were passing through it, the tractor began to play "Let It Snow". Just then snow began to fall all around us. It was being blown over us by machines that lined the open-air tunnel. It was so breathtaking and unexpected. It really felt magical.
After passing through the white tunnel of lights, our tractor rounded a bend and stopped in front of the Reindeer House. They quickly ran to the edge of their enclosure and followed the tractor. Here we got a quick peek at the 2 LIVE Reindeer on location & then our tractor began to pull away. It was neat to see the Reindeer, but it was kind of hard to see them. It would be nice IF they had just a little better lighting around the Reindeer House. You could see them, but it was VERY hard to get a decent photo of them with it being so dark outside.
Once our tractor left the Reindeer House it rounded a fence and pulled back to the pick-up/drop-off area for the Holiday Hayride. Overall, the tractor ride lasted around 20 minutes or so. Here they had an outdoor heater where several people were warming their hands before exiting the hayride area.
Once exiting the Holiday Hayride, we made our way back around by the picnic tables and bonfire. We then decided to go see Santa in his house. The house is beautiful inside and out. Outside the house is lit-up and the lights dance to holiday music. There is also a few decorative reindeer, elves and a nutcracker soldier out front. There is even a sleigh with reindeer on the roof of the house. Inside the doorway, you will see a beautiful Christmas tree, a decorated chandeilier, several mechanical elves, a balcony decorated with stockings & packages and Santa Claus with his HUGE VERY ornate Santa chair. Here you can get your photo professionally taken by their photographer for $12.95 OR you can use your own personal camera. They DID NOT take a professional photo of each visitor. Instead, they waited for the parents to say they wanted a professional photo. This was nice, since it kept the line moving. I chose to visit Santa myself--since even us "big kids" can be kids at heart & tell Santa our wishes too! My husband took a photo of me with Santa and I was given a candy cane for seeing Santa.
After you see Santa, you will walk through a hallway that leads to Santa's Workshop. Here you will see several animated elves making toys. It was kind of cute. Around the corner was a Train room. Here there was a train display with a miniature village decorated for Christmas. There were also train related items on the walls and even a train running around the top shelf of the wall bookcases. It really was pretty. Just as you exit the building, you enter a hallway that is painted to look like a winter scene with snow, snowmen & trees. There are lights and snowflakes hanging from the ceilings & poinsettias lining the walkway. I really thought it was pretty.
Back outside Santa's House, we started to walk towards the bonfire/picnic table area, when all of a sudden we heard a children's choir singing Christmas carols. We saw that they were standing on a parked hayride wagon across the way. We made our way across the field and stood there listening to them sing a few carols. It was a little chilly out, so after a few songs we decided to go over and check out the on-site snack shack. Here they offered items like hotdogs, popcorn, cookies, nachos with cheese, sodas and HOT CHOCOLATE. The prices seemed OK, but we decided to pass and just make our way towards the exit. As we were exiting, we saw several people around the bonfire roasting marshmallows. I thought this was a wonderful idea. I will have to remember to bring my own marshmallows and roasting sticks next year. I might even plan on making some S'mores by their campfire. What a wonderful idea!
On our way out, we stopped by the small gift shop. Here they had an ATM machine. Also inside they sold items like baseball caps, sweatshirts, shirts, stuffed animals, ornaments and bracelets that had their name on them. I decided to get a glass Christmas ornament as a keepsake for $9.49 (with tax).
On our way back to the car, we passed the LIVING natvity scene again, where the characters thanked us for visiting & told us to have a good night. They were really super friendly. Even as we were pulling out of the lot in our car, one of the workers came over and moved a parking cone for us and advised us to watch for the pothole in the road as we were exiting. They were all so helpful and friendly.
Overall, we had a great expierience at Arasapha Farms for the holidays. We enjoyed the Living Natvity Scene complete with live animals, Holiday Hayride with BIG light displays, real snow & REAL LIVE reindeer, Santa's House with workshop & trains, the children's choir, bonfire area and the gift shop. The only area we did not visit was the Christmas Tree Sales area--since we already had our tree. We had a great time & it cost us less than the price of a movie ticket. I think it is a nice place for families to visit (especially if you have children) around the holidays.
Tip: Arasapha Farms is also a Toys For Tots drop-off location.
Note: Arasapha Farms also offers tours of their farm for groups & school tours. This is a working farm where they also raise Shropshire sheep for their fleece & food. The fleece is spun & available for purchase in their Yarn Shop. They also sell lamb meat, eggs, smoked or live pheasants,laying hens & ducklings at the farm. During the FALL season, you can visit Arasapha Farms when they open their Bates Motel & HAUNTED Hayride.
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