Reindeer games at Bird Park

Birdy smiles out from the trees at Bird Park.

By Alexander Oliveira
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Over a bridge and behind a stream hides one reindeer.

Over a bridge and behind a stream hides one reindeer.

There’s no need to make it to the North Pole for some reindeer games this year - Walpole will do just fine. For the second year running, Walpole’s Bird Park is inviting residents to traverse the park grounds and seek out four reindeer statues that have been hidden in the woods throughout. The scavenger hunt will be running through January 6.

The four reindeer are hidden along the paths and throughout the woods of the 89-acre park. Guests are invited to visit the park office to pick up a handful of bells, which they can then drape over and decorate the reindeer when they’re found.

Sign the notebook that hangs by the reindeer, maybe snap a picture, then head back out to find the next deer.

Carved from birch tree logs and branches, the four reindeer bear the names of the family that endowed the park in 1925, Charlie and Anna Bird, and their son, Billy. A fourth reindeer is named simply “Birdy.”

With bright name tags around their necks and crooked wooden smiles on their faces, the deer encourage their finders to brave the cold and press on to the next statue.

Though Bird Park is known as a summertime hangout, on a cold December day, it is really the picture of wintertime splendor. Dogs and their owners roam about, the air is still but for the chirping of birds and the scuttle of squirrels through the leaves, and the tall brown grass sways gently in the slow breeze while an American flag laps against its pole.

 Another reindeer peers out through the woods at Bird Park. Stick to the path, and you’ll be fine.

Another reindeer peers out through the woods at Bird Park. Stick to the path, and you’ll be fine.

Though 89 acres is no small area to case for four small sculptures, follow the path and there should be a generally easygoing time finding the hidden reindeer – to a point. Though Charlie, Billy and Birdie revealed themselves with relative ease throughout a standard roaming of the grounds, after an hour or two’s fairly vigilant searching of the park, Anna’s location remained a mystery to this reporter.

Whether Anna, Billy, Charlie and Birdy can be found or not, make sure to use Bird Park’s Reindeer Quest as an excuse to get out and explore this wonderful park during its most peaceful time of the year.

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