We all have those places that are woven inextricably into our childhood memories. Frankenmuth is that place for Chris so it is mandatory that we visit at least once a year. If you are unfamiliar, Frankenmuth is a little tourist town dubbed “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” that offers unique shopping and dining experiences. Recently, we found ourselves with a free weekend so we decided to hop in the car and pay Chris’s favorite little town a visit.
Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland
Our first stop in Frankenmuth is usually Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. It dubs itself as the world’s largest Christmas store and it IS huge! If you can’t find the Christmas item you are in search of at Bronner’s, then it doesn’t exist. No seriously they have everything… and just to prove our point… here’s a toilet snowman ornament for your amusement:
All five of us love Bronner’s so for us all to agree on something you know that it has to be good.
Bronner’s is open 361 days a year and is located on 25 Christmas Lane in Frankenmuth just a short drive off of I-75. In addition to Christmas items you can purchase, you can also visit with Santa (during designated dates and times) and visit the Silent Night Chapel.
If you talk to anyone about Frankenmuth they will tell you that you have to eat a chicken dinner while you are there. The two places you can do that are Zehnder’s and the Bavarian Inn Restaurant which are located across the street from each other. On our day trip we had a chicken dinner lunch at Zehnder’s.
The main dining room at Zehnder’s reminded us of a banquet room for a wedding with the staff dressed in Bavarian clothing. The chicken dinner is served family style and includes appetizers, the main course and dessert. Unfortunately we felt that the dinner did not live up to the hype, especially for the price. But of course, lots of people love the chicken dinner at Frankenmuth so you will have to decide for yourself.
Frankenmuth has a good assortment of shops in the downtown area and across the river in the Frankenmuth River Place Shops. You are sure to find a souvenir to take home from your adventures. For the foodies, you will find salt water taffy (Betsy’s favorite), fudge and cheese amongst other goodies.
There is More
There are a few other things that we would recommend that you check out while you are in Frankenmuth. The Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel Tower is a much see. At noon, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm each day the clock plays music followed by a figurine show of the Pied Piper. Just steps away from the clock tower you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets or you can take a riverboat tour down near the River Place Shops. Both the Bavarian Inn Lodge and Zehnder’s Splash Village have indoor water parks although Zehnder’s is FAR larger and more extensive from what we’ve read (we’ve never been).
Betsy: While I am not emotionally attached to Frankenmuth like Chris is, I do enjoy going to Bronner’s and walking around the downtown area. Do I feel a burning need to visit every year? No. But I suffer through it because I love Chris. 😉 I do think it is somewhere you should visit at least once though.
Chris: Frankenmuth has changed A LOT over the years and is hardly the place I remember as a child. Even the famous chicken dinner wasn’t how I remembered it growing up. Despite all that, I still love to visit at least once a year. It’s not that bad of a drive for us so there’s no excuse not to right?