Enormous Year-Round Christmas Store in New Hampshire is a Must-Visit
Not only has this North Conway Christmas attraction been open since 1984, it's open every single day of the year (except for Christmas). This eight-room, 15,000-square-foot building was owned and operated by Richard and Ronnie Vander, and now owned by their son Greg Vander Veer and his husband Stephen O'Farrell.
I was able to touch base with Greg, who told me that his father designed much of The Christmas Loft, including the life size New England Village with replicas of local historical buildings such as the Jackson Covered Bridge, the Little White Church in Eaton, and the North Conway Scenic Railroad Train Station.
Expect room after room displayed with different types and themes of holiday items, whether it's unique Christmas trees, snow globes, handcrafted Nutcrackers, life-sized villages, nativity scenes, holiday lighting, and general home holiday decor. According to their website, they offer over 10,000 different ornaments, the most of any store in New England.
Don't expect everything to be for sale though. A lot of the store is decorative and non-retail, such as the recreations of famous North Conway landmarks. If you're familiar with the North Conway area, these lifelike recreations will make you feel like you're standing in front of the actual locations.
As busy as it was with shoppers during my visit, store manager Kelly was happy to answer a few questions for me and bring me around the store to some of their most popular rooms. She said shoppers can expect to hear Christmas music year-round, even if they stop by for a visit in the summer. This led me to ask if they are actually steady in the off-season, to which she responded "Yes." Another nearby employee said that people will come in with their kids in the summer, especially on rainy days. Some will spend over an hour walking around, and often venture next door to their year-round Halloween-themed store, Tricks and Treats.
I also asked what the most popular room in the store was. She responded, "One of them is the room we're in right now, the Department 56 room," which was also my personal favorite part of The Christmas Loft. They are mostly known for their ceramic, handcrafted, lit-up villages as well as handcrafted Snowbabies™ figurines. I have been adding to my A Christmas Story village for roughly the last five years, based on the classic 1983 movie that runs for 24 hours every Christmas Eve and Christmas on both TBS and TNT.
If you're not able to visit in person, they have a fast-growing online business based out of their warehouse in Intervale, New Hampshire, just outside of North Conway.
Growing up in North Conway and being a huge fan of Christmas, it's pretty mind-boggling to me that I stepped foot in this beautiful Christmas playground for the first time just this past weekend. What surprised me even more is that I had never had any clue as to the size of this place and what it had to offer, as CNN named it one of the top five Christmas stores in the country. When you view the gallery below (or better yet, visit in person), you will see why.
Gigantic New Hampshire Christmas Store Has Been a Staple For Almost 40 Years and is Open Year Round
Gallery Credit: Rob Riccitelli
25 New Hampshire Towns That Would Be Perfect for a Christmas Movie
Gallery Credit: Kira
20 Ornaments You'll Find on a New England Christmas Tree
Gallery Credit: Ginny Rogers