In Frankenmuth, Michigan, you can enjoy Christmas 360 days a year Bonner’s Christmas Wonderland. Closed only on January 1st, Easter, US Thanksgiving and Christmas, Bonner’s has become the place to go to celebrate the joy of Christ’s birth. Their motto is: “Enjoy CHRISTmas, It’s HIS birthday; Enjoy Life, It’s HIS way.”
Bronner’s was founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner. When Wally painted his first sign over 50 years ago, little did he dream that his small business would one day become the world’s largest Christmas store visited by millions of people. Bronner’s features over 50,000 trims and gifts, including Christmas ornaments, artificial Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, collectibles, and more.
With the government of Austria’s permission and in keeping with the German theme of Frankenmuth itself, Bronner’s built a replica of the Oberndorf, Austria, Silent Night Memorial Chapel in 1992 as a tribute to the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” and in thankfulness to God. It is open daily for viewing and meditation.
Every evening Bronner’s ½-mile long Christmas Lane glistens with thousands of twinkling lights. Over two million people, including 2,000 group tours, visit Bronner’s attraction annually.
Although the Wonderland is Christ-centered, Bonner’s stocks “Merry Christmas” ornaments in more than 70 languages, and decorations and gifts from 70 nations. They introduced a new “Ethnic Christmas Customs” ornament in 1987, which consists of a “Merry Christmas” greeting in a particular country’s language featured on the front side of the ornament and a brief description of the country’s Christmas customs on the reverse side.
Christmas displays from Bonner’s have been sold to over 5,000 commercial and industrial accounts across the United State, including over 2,000 cities and 1,000 shopping centers.
Even if you are not shopping for Christmas decorations, you can enjoy 27 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds at Bronner’s. (The entire complex is 45 acres.) Each summer over 2,400 individual flowering and ornamental plants complement the Bronner landscaping. Approximately 100,000 outdoor Christmas lights illuminate Bronner’s grounds every evening throughout the year. Christmas Lane, Bronner’s own thoroughfare, is ½-mile long. Fifty-six decorated lampposts adorn the Bronner grounds. The flags from many nations adorn the building and outdoor lampposts. There are 24 figures on display in Bronner’s outdoor, life-size Nativity. Bronner’s giant outdoor Santa is a whopping 17 feet and the giant snowman is 15 feet tall.
Too far to visit in person? Don’t worry – you can visit their on-line store at http://www.bonners.com, where you can browse thru and purchase approximately 3,000 items. Don’t like to shop on-line? You can order from the retail catalog. Over 3 million Bronner’s Christmas Favorites catalogs are distributed annually.
Bonner’s is located in the quaint town of Frankenmuth, Michigan, also known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria”, which is about 2½ hours north of Detroit. You can find out more information on Bonner’s at http://www.bronners.com and on Frankenmuth at http://www.frankenmuth.org.