You must see Kraynak’s Christmas Land, but plan ahead!

If Kraynak’s Christmas Land doesn’t get you into the spirit, I’m not sure what will.

With its 300 feet of holiday displays, the garden center and year-round store delights children of all ages.

The displays change yearly (in fact, they also do displays for Easter).

Since 1963, the Hermitage, Pennsylvania, store has offered the Christmas displays. It’s free to walk through, but good luck exiting if you only go to see the display! (But more on that later.)

OK, so for some folks, the displays are a big deal reveal, so if you are someone who wants to be surprised when you see the displays, please tap here to skip the description and photos.

But if you’re someone who wants to see some of what’s displayed (with a few spoilers), read on!

OK… so.

My favorite part of this year’s displays is the nod to Pittsburgh’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers. When I first saw Neighborhood Trolley in the corner of my eye from afar, I paused and started to slowly well up. Mister Rogers does that to me, and like to you, too!

It’s part of a make-believe theme of toys which includes classics (Care Bears and some of the old Fisher-Price toys) along with some newer surprises.

There’s also a K’nex roller coaster (talk about childhood memories!) with a sign honoring Kennywood Park’s latest coaster, the Steel Curtain.

Among the displays is one giving us a peek into Santa’s elves. And, of course, the “We Are Santa’s Elves” song from the claymation classic “Rudolph” plays for that scene.

I won’t spoil the rest for you, but I assure you, it’s worth the trip to see these amazing displays!

OK, you can look again if you skipped!

I’d love to one day do displays like this, so I get so geeked seeing the creativity put into these. The animatronics, decor and lights all are so intrinsically placed to offer such delightful displays.

But, if you’re going to check out Kraynak’s Christmas Land or just want to check out the wide array of holiday decorations, toys, gifts and so much more, you need a plan. The spot is a popular destination for people from all across the region. I spotted vehicles from Erie, from areas around Pittsburgh, from near Cleveland and beyond.

I waited about 15 minutes to get into the display, which I was told wasn’t too bad for a Saturday afternoon in early-to-mid November.

Here are some helpful tips to get you through Kraynak’s and its Christmas Land painlessly as possible.

  • The Christmas display is open through Dec. 31.
  • Go early. The store and display are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. It’s best to go early in the day or afternoon as the crowds tend to pick up in the evening.
  • Plan for parking. Parking is available on site, but it might take a bit of going aisle to aisle to find a spot. Many people parked in the shopping center across the street, but fair warning, there are signs posted indicating that parking is for shopping center customers only.
  • Find a map in the store or save this image to help you navigate the many, many rooms through this maze. There are so many different areas of the store that it is incredibly easy to get lost. If you’ve ever been in a Las Vegas casino, it’s pretty much like that: you can’t see the exit or daylight, and just when you think you’re nearing the end, another area opens up.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Sure, it’s not the actual size of a casino or even a mall, but with the amount of people and all of the different rooms and stuff to see, you likely will do a lot of standing and walking up and down aisles.
  • There are a few registers throughout the store that allow you to check out. I had no wait at a main checkout lane and actually saw a line at one somewhere in the depths of the store. But I’ve been told the registers in the main store can back up.
  • Santa is in the very back of the store in a room with no other rooms beyond it. You can get your photo with Santa, and you’re able to take your own photo, but the store requires you to pay for a photo from them before taking your own photo. Makes sense – Santa has to earn some money, too!
  • Find a buggy (cart, shopping trolley, etc) or basket early. Once I entered the Christmas displays and then into the store, I could not locate a buggy or basket anywhere, and I needed one very badly.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs will fit through the aisles, but it might be a tight fit in some areas. If you’ve got one of those SUV strollers (the two-kid-wide ones), you might want to use something else or be prepared to always say “excuse me” when you bump into someone.
  • Be merry! Sure, there are lots of people and noise, but it’s the holiday season and everybody wants to see the spectacular displays and Santa! Take a deep breath, pause, sing “Jingle Bells” and then get your merry on!

More details…

Kraynak’s is located at 2525 East State St., Hermitage, PA 16148.

Note: Do not just type “Kraynak’s” into Google Maps. It will direct you to an area near the Shenango Valley Mall. You must search for “Kraynak’s Lawn and Garden Center” or use that address above

The store is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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