EXPLORE MICHIGAN: Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland

Explore Michigan

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (WLNS)—Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, also known as “the world’s largest Christmas store” is located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The store helps bring holiday cheer to the community year-round.

Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland

“Giving that joy to everyone else year-round is just a miraculous opportunity,” said Dietrich Bronner, store owner.

The Christmas store has been passed down for generations in his family.

People shopping at the store

Deitrich says it’s existed ever since 1945, and started with Bronner’s great-grandpa, Wally Bronner, paving the way for Christmas to be enjoyed 361 days of the year.

Deitrich told 6 News the store began as a sign painting business, and he eventually started to make decorations.

“He was an artist and a painter, and after that, they would bring along their wives who wanted something else to look at so that evolved into house decorations,” Dietrich said, “and ornaments for Christmas so that grew into three different storefronts in the main corner of Frankenmuth.”

Ornament’s in the store

Dietrich says in the late ’70s the store moved to the location it’s at now. Now​​, it operates with nearly 750 employees during the holidays and welcomes nearly 2 million people each year.

“When people come in and you see their smiles, discovering all the different things inside, and enjoying the decorations is just a blast,” Dietrich said.

6 News Reporter Samana Sheikh speaks with Bronner

The store ships worldwide and even creates some ornaments in house.

“We’re going through a lot more merchandise than we had expected,” Jessica Swartzendruber, Assistant Merchandise Manager, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.

Swartzendruber told 6 News she buys merchandise and attends holiday shows to find what the new Christmas trends are each year. This year, a new trend is to buy holiday gnomes.

“I came here as a little one and now I get to bring my little ones here and share all the excitement,” said Rob Holmes, a holiday shopper.

Holmes came all the way from Grand Rapids with his family he told 6 News it’s a holiday tradition.

“It’s an amazing experience because they get to experience all the Christmas décor and we always pick out an ornament, so everyone gets to go home with an ornament every year,” Holmes said.

Bronner’s biggest piece of advice when navigating the Christmas store is to be aware of your surroundings. He suggests touring the store first, looking at the displays and then the third time navigating the ornaments you are suggested to shop.

“The third time my grandpa said is when you can actually go around and shop for things,” Bronner said, “so, you’re definitely going to spend a bit of time here but it’s well worth it and you’re going to leave with a smile.”

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