If you’ve ever taken a family road trip across the country, you’ve surely noticed a Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland billboard seemingly randomly placed along a highway. Moving from Florida, back to Flint, I passed Bronner’s southernmost billboard outside of Ocala (north of Mouse House).
One of my favorite family traditions is visiting the “World’s Largest Christmas Store”. After many visits it occurred to me “this place must cost a fortune to operate”.
How Much Does Bronner’s Bright Bill Cost?
Every night, from dusk to dawn, approximately 100,000 lights shine on the outside of the Bronner property. Their drive is only about 1/2 mile in length. That’s a LOT of lights. Then consider the interior of the store – they display all kinds of lights – municipal (the big stuff that hangs on street poles and the sides of buildings) and hundreds of decorated trees, window decorations, lighted figures + the heating and cooling of the building. Bronner’s average electric bill is $1,250 a day. That’s about $37,500 per month and about $450,000 per year. (We thought our bills were high, right?)
How many crèches does Bronner’s have?
It depends on what you are looking for, in particular. If you want to buy Nativities, they sell over 250 types. Are you simply looking to see the nativity scenes? They have 570 from 65 nations on display in their program center. Fun fact: Each decorated tree features a Nativity ornament.
When is the best time to go to Bronner?
Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland only closes two days a year. This means that almost any time is a good time to visit. Over 50,000 people visit the weekend after Thanksgiving alone – it’s their busiest. Each year, more than 2,000,000 people stop there. As you walk around, notice how many employees are working. More than 700 people are employed by Bronner’s. (See more details and corny trivia here.)
Can we still buy Hummel and Precious Moments figurines at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland?
Short answer: Yes. Hundreds if not over 1,000 to choose from all year round.
Who owns and operates Bronner’s now?
After Wally Bronner died in 2008, his wife Irene Bronner led the operation along with six other relatives. After the death of Irene Bronner on October 16, 2022, these six other relatives continue to run the family business. (Read more about his passing here.)
Regardless of the season, Bronner’s is a staple “happy place” for many in my family. Holidays can be difficult for some as we miss those we have lost. No doubt the Bronner family will experience it again this season as well.
Where do you park at Bronner?
I wish you… good luck finding the nearest parking spot at Bronner’s. They have over 1,000 parking spaces, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be quick and easy. Dress warm in winter and cool in summer as you will need to walk. Plus, the store itself is huge. You will take your steps, that’s for sure.
Curious to know more about Bronner’s? Look here.
Michigan—Your Antique Ceramic Christmas Tree Could Be Worth Money
You may have seen this in your grandmother growing up. It came out for Christmas and you had to be very careful not to accidentally break it: old ceramic Christmas trees. These vintage trees are making a comeback right now. You can find newer versions in stores, but it’s the older ones that could be worth a lot of money these days. Take a look at some ceramic Christmas trees below to get an idea of some of the styles you should look out for.
Christmas Light Display Across Michigan
It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas! If you want to get into the holiday spirit, these Christmas lights across Michigan are sure to make your eyes sparkle. Find out where and when these bright displays occur.