Merrifield Garden Center in Falls Church, Virginia (8132 Lee Highway, on the corner of Lee Highway and Gallows Road, across from Office Depot and Arby’s) presents an eye-widening array of Christmas decorations each year in its Christmas Shop. This is the place to go for live and artificial trees, holly, pine roping, and all kinds of festive greenery, and exquisite ornaments. But it is also one of my favorite destinations just to walk around and take in the beauty of the holiday decorations.
Holiday Open House November 28-29
On the weekend after Thanksgiving, November 28 and 29, the store holds its annual holiday open house, with refreshments and the arrival of “The Real Santa Claus.” St. Nick holds court in a real sleigh in a special Santa Claus house. The lines are often long, especially on the weekends, but there are trains, lights, displays, and plenty of things to look at inside Santa’s house. (To avoid the longest lines, come early in December, on a weekday, right at 5 p.m. if you can manage it.)
You can visit Santa starting November 28 through December 23 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays- Fridays. Santa takes a day off on Monday, except for December 21st.
Santa’s “Press Conferences”
Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy Santa’s press conference, which takes place on 12 noon on Saturdays and Sundays, and at 5 p.m. on . Before each session, Santa takes questions from the children and leads some sing-a-longs. He also recites poems and tells some jokes. It is really enchanting, and even if you don’t have children, you should see this at least once.
By the way, there is also a bin there for new unwrapped toys for the less fortunate. Please consider bringing a toy.