The Spectacular Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery
Traditionally, our first holiday outing in Marin is always to the famous Christmas House at West End Nursery in San Rafael. While they scaled the displays back a bit in 2020 due to COVID, this year the Christmas House is back in full form and better than ever! We checked out this season's edition last Sunday during its opening weekend and, once again, it's a spectacular as ever. I know I say this every year, but I think this season's Christmas House might be the best version to date — it just keeps getting better every time we visit.
The family-owned West End Nursery has been operating in San Rafael's Sun Valley neighborhood for over a century—since 1909, in fact. The Christmas House is filled to the brim with Christmas trees and decorations of all kinds, and it's amazing. A visit here will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit, even it you're thinking "But it's not even Thanksgiving yet!"
West End Nursery's Christmas house began back in 1985 as something more akin to a "Christmas corner", but it now showcases over numerous lavishly decorated and lighted trees, as well as candles, Santas, nutcrackers, angels, snowmen, and just about every seasonal decorative item imaginable. Looking for a unique gift for someone... this is your place. Each tree has a different theme, including food, baby's room, outdoors, music, sports, pets, travel, outdoors, and more.
Admission is free, but of course all the ornaments and decorative items are for sale. We always let the kids each pick out a special ornament to hang on the tree this year. They really have nearly every kind of ornament imaginable for every theme and interest, so if you can't find it here you probably won't be able to find it anywhere!
West End Nursery also stocks holiday wreaths and numerous other seasonal items, as well as a nice selection of gift items, kitchen items, stocking stuffers, toys, home decor, and cute children's gardening tools, gloves, watering cans, books, and games, all of which would make for great Christmas gifts.
The house itself is surrounded by and built into the main West End Nursery building. To get to the Christmas House, walk in the main entrance, then turn left and go through the themed Christmas trees on display and up the stairs into the old house. Make sure you visit the Christmas displays in the main part of the nursery building, too. There are a number of additional decorated trees, stuffed toys, some giant nutcrackers, and an electric train setup.
West End Nursery's Christmas House is always one of the most amazing Holiday displays in the Bay Area, so you owe it to yourself to go check it out.
The West End Nursery and Christmas House is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, and will be on view through the month of December. They're located on the west side of San Rafael at 1938 Fifth Avenue between Eye and J Streets. For more information, call (415) 454-4175 or visit www.westendnursery.com.
Santa usually makes an appearance in conjunction with San Rafael Santa Cop, but unfortunately his visit will be postponed until the 2022 holiday season. See you then, Santa!
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