Gardner Village is a place where tradition meets charm. Nestled in West Jordan, this village has an old-fashioned feel highlighted by old homes turned into shops, brick-lined paths, and a running river. A historic mill sits in the heart of it all.
Gardner Village is named after Archibald Gardner who was one of the early Mormon pioneer settlers of 1847. His family built and ran a mill together and eventually, after the mill passed through a few owner’ s hands, Nancy Long took over the property. Her dreams of turning the old mill into a restaurant came true as Archibald’ s restaurant, which is now listed on the National Historic Register. This laid the foundation for the Village to come to life. Present day Gardner Village is filled with antique buildings, giving it the feel of an early Utah village. There are over 20 operating shops offering clothing, chocolate, jewelry, home décor, antiques, and many other goods.
The Chocolate Covered Wagon is one delight of many. They are known for their pulled salt water taffy and fudge, and were featured on the Food Network several years ago. Families, friends, and people from all over come to take part in the treats and relaxing atmosphere.
Jane Saylor, manager at a holiday décor shop called Celebrations, says that she has a lot of locals, tourists, and visiting family members who come for the adventure.
“The atmosphere is the funnest! There is always stuff going on and it’ s just a fun place to walk around and hang out,” said Saylor.
Gardner Village is filled with seasonal magic all year long, but right now until the end of October, the Village is decorated with witches, brooms, spooky decorations, and all things Halloween. “My favorite part of Gardener village is the Halloween décor!
“The environment here is a very intimate village with welcoming store owners. I love Gardener village because you won’t find another place like it. It’ s very unique,” said Amy Castleberry, who was out for a night of fun with her main witches.
Bill Alder, owner of clothing store Shopaholics, explains that there are many different events that take place during what is called “Witchfest.”You can have breakfast with a witch, bring your kids to Six Hags, attend a dinner and show, participate in the witch scavenger hunt, shop around for scary good deals, or participate in other sinister activities. Two weekends of October, a show is put on, a DJ is brought in, and thousands of humans dress up as witches to come party.
Halloween isn’ t the only themed season. Elves appear around Christmastime, and in the spring they hold a Woodland Fairy Festival. Adults and children alike will enjoy the atmosphere. “Well you know the theme of Gardener Village is ‘ small shops, big experiences,” says Alder. “So if you want something unique, come to Gardner Village. That’ s where you’ ll find it.”