Each year, I buy each of my kids a unique ornament — something commemorative from the year. These ornaments go on the “kid tree” and will someday go with my kids when they grow up and leave the nest. I enjoy the challenge each year of finding the perfect ornament for each child. I like to find ornaments that somehow relate to the child’s experience, and that aren’t too fragile or too expensive.
Here are some of the ornaments I’ve gotten my kids in the past.
While there are endless options online, I usually end up waiting until the last minute and have to find something locally. Here are the places I’ve seen around Northern Virginia with the best selection of ornaments — specifically ornaments for kids.
The Christmas Shop at Cherrydale Hardware
3805 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207
Open from the Friday after Thanksgiving till the the weekend after New Years.
8:30am – 6pm daily
I LOVE the Christmas Shop. It’s somewhat obscure, tucked in the back of Cherrydale Hardware on N. Oakland St. The small space is filled with all kinds of Christmas decorations. There is a a fun model train display and the walls are covered with wreaths and tabletop decor.
One wall has bins full of ornaments. They have a wide variety that I find charming and unique. They do have some glass/delicate items but I find their selection of what I call “handle-able” ornaments quite good. The pricing is reasonable — almost all of the ornaments are under $10, many under $5. I find something I “have to have” almost year I stop in.
Merrifield Garden Center
3 Locations: Merrifield, Fair Oaks, and Gainesville
Holiday Hours: 8am – 9pm Mon – Sat, 9am – 7pm Sunday
Complete Address & Store Hours info online
The Christmas Pavilion at the Merrifield location is like Vegas for Christmas lovers (I haven’t visited the other locations). As you walk through the building, you’ll see tree after tree decorated to the nines in a variety of styles. Everything is gorgeous, and a bit more spendy than Cherrydale Hardware. Although I loved walking through their displays, most of the ornaments were quite delicate and not suitable to be handled by children.
Another nice feature of Merrifield Garden Center is you can bring your kids to meet the “Real” Santa Claus. He has hours at all three stores — we visited the Merrifield location a few years ago and it was a fun display and experience. Santa Hours for each location can be found on their website.
The Christmas Attic
125 S. Union St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Open Mon – Sat 10am – 9pm; Sunday 11am – 9pm
I haven’t been to the Christmas Attic for a couple of years, but it is a cute, year round Christmas shop in Old Town. Prices are on the more expensive side, and many of the items are fragile, but as I recall there is a ton of product to peruse.
Hallmark Gold Crown
Stores throughout the metro area
Hallmark is probaby the first store you think of when looking for specific themed ornaments for kids. Their Keepsake Ornament Collection features a wide variety of almost every kind of theme you can imagine — from dinosaurs to corn poppers to a variety of character themed ornaments (Star Wars, Barbie, Winnie-the-Pooh, etc.).
Their ornaments are very nice, but aren’t exactly to my taste. It almost feels “too easy” to me to buy these, I enjoy the challenge of looking for unique ornaments from other sources. Also, these are the most expensive of the stores I visited — prices range from $8 to $50!
Seasonal Christmas Stores in the Malls
It seems like there used to be a bunch of these, this year the only one I know of is:
A Christmas to Remember
Tysons Corner Mall, Level 2, near Lord & Taylor
This store has tons and tons of themed ornaments. If you are looking for a soccer player, surfer, or ballerina, you are sure to find something — they even had weightlifting ornaments! I did look here, but did not find exactly what I wanted. The prices are around $8-12 per ornament which is also a little higher than I wanted to spend.
Crate & Barrel
Stores throughout the Metro Area
C&B always has a wonderful selection of unique, fun, and affordable ornaments. I had forgotten about them until a friend mentioned them and I’m so glad she did. I found a bicycle ornament for my 4 year old who learned to ride a bike this year. Almost of these ornaments were under $10, many under $5.
Stores through the Metro Area
WM is a great place to find a variety of fun ornaments — especially if you are looking for something animal themed. Their prices are quite reasonable, similar to C&B (under $10, many under $5).
Those are the main Christmas ornament shops I’ve been able to find locally. In the past, I’ve had some success with the ornaments at Target or K-Mart, but there wasn’t too much that wowed me this year at those retailers.
Do you buy special ornaments for your kid(s)? If so, where do you shop for them?