14 Things to do in Grapevine, Christmas Capital of Texas
The historic and darling town of Grapevine is the Christmas Capital of Texas. It spreads holiday cheer loud and clear with 1,400 Christmas themed events over the course of 40 days. If you are not interested in celebrating the holidays, Grapevine in December is not for you. However, Christmas fans will be wowed by this quintessential and wholesome town’s contagious holiday spirit!
Grapevine is located 20 minutes from Dallas, the 7th largest metropolitan city in the United States with the 3rd largest airport. Its small-town charm is quite the opposite of Dallas’ hectic pace of city life, which makes it a hot spot for people wanting a quick getaway for the weekend or holidays.
Without further adieu, let me share with you what all Grapevine, Texas has to offer during the Christmas season. Parades, painting, wine train rides, ice displays, snow tubing, vintage railroad trains, and a hot chocolate bar are just a few of the 14 exciting activities that can have when you visit the Lone Star State this holiday season.
#1 Glass Blowing at Vetro Glass
Have you ever made your own holiday ornaments? Probably in some form, but doubtful in a glass form. At Vetro Glass, one of the nation’s premiere glass studios, the audience has a chance to assist professional glass handlers to create their very own souvenir ornament. This is a rare and fun event for the whole family. Come create your own work of art that can be proudly displayed for years to come.
#2 Christmas Shopping on Main Street
Even the savviest shoppers can complete their holiday shopping while strolling Grapevine’s historic main streets. The 80+ locally owned stores and boutiques found here offer unique gifts and stocking stuffers. Pop in the One Posh Place for home accent pieces, Bermuda Silver & Gold for exquisite jewelry, and Good Things for All Seasons for all things Christmas! Visit Main Street after sunset to enjoy all of the twinkling Christmas lights and holiday displays the store owners have shared.
#3 Grapevine Wine Tours
With the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and sightseeing, or working extra hard at your job to finish up the end of the year projects, you have more than likely worked up a thirst.
In Texas wine country, there is only one cure for thirst: wine. Grapevine Wine Tours have prepared a lovely itinerary that brings you to local wine tasting rooms, via trolley, ending with a fabulous dinner. Wineries on the tour may include Messina Hof, Bingham Family Vineyards, and Winewood Grill. Wine tastings, dinner, and transportation are all included in the price of your tour. What a fun way to sample wines from this Texas region!
#4 The Gaylord ICE!®
Slip on a parka and step into the Gaylord Texan’s blustery 9-degree ice extravaganza. The Gaylord’s ICE! depicts Christmas themes and scenes with 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures. The Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town displays are so vivid that you will leave puzzled by how they were created. Would you like to snow tube while in Grapevine? On your way to ICE!, stop by Santa’s Wild Workshop and do just that. Santa’s Workshop also offers shopping, sweet treats, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, and an Ice Bar (age 21 +). Hint: Bring your own mittens and a hat.
#5 Victorian Christmas at Nash Farms
Nash Farms is a living history house and farm in the historic part of Grapevine. Christmas comes alive Victorian style at this gorgeous place, featuring an old-fashioned Christmas that we can all admire and appreciate. Come to Nash Farmhouse on the Grapevine Prairie Merry Christmas and see how Laura Ingalls Wilder would have celebrated the holidays in her day and age. Be sure to visit the animals while you are there and see how our ancestors might have celebrated their holiday season.
#6 Hotel Lobby Tour at Gaylord Texan
Everything is bigger and better in Texas; The Gaylord Texas Resort goes all out with their Lone Star Christmas. Come see larger than life trees, hanging crystal ornaments, wine country holiday decor, gingerbread house, and much more at Grapevine’s biggest and best hotel. Paid activities that you will not want to miss include Glacier Glide Ice Skating, Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast (Zeppole), photos with Santa (near Oil Derrick), and Gingerbread Decorating Corner (Retail corridor).
#7 Drive by Lights
Grapevine’s residents embrace living in the Christmas capital of Texas and contribute by decorating their homes. Drive through downtown and see all of their fabulous displays. It goes without saying that Grapevine’s locals play a part in their town’s holiday festivities. When you find your favorite decorated home, send an email to the Grapevine CVB and share your thoughts with them.
#8 Painting with a Twist
A fun outing at downtown Grapevine’s Painting with a Twist involves creating a holiday-themed painting with step by step instructions from a friendly guide. You are sure to create many fun memories and have lots of laughs as you put your artistic skills to the test by drawing freehand and painting your own canvas masterpiece.
#9 Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge, the epitome of family fun, has special offerings during the Christmas season: incredible holiday decorations, a life-size gingerbread house that you can dine in, Great Clock Tower Holiday Show starring the classic GWL characters, and witness a snowfall inside of this massive hotel. Be part of the fun as families gather to participate in caroling sing-alongs and make wonderful memories.
#10 Parade of Lights
This annual downtown parade takes place the first Thursday of December. Crowds start forming the morning of the parade to guarantee the best seats on the street for this hour-long festivity. The parade includes a collection of bands, recognized community members, and 100+ Christmas themed floats. Both visitors and locals gather to ring in the holiday Grapevine style with plenty of fun and flashing lights. Pets available for adoption even walk in the parade!
#11 Christmas Wine Trains
Board the Grapevine Vintage Railroad for a ride full of Christmas cheer and lots of wine pairings. Book this popular event early, as there are only a few dates available. Your tour includes a train ride, 2 glasses of wine from Messina Hof Grapevine Winery (winery switches annually), souvenir glasses, and a fabulous meal. Guests must be 21 to participate.
#12 The North Pole Express
Children will adore taking the beautiful holiday decorated vintage rail coaches to the North Pole with Mrs. Claus on route to meet and greet Santa and his elves. Enjoy a fun train ride, special performance, souvenir Silver jingle bell, and memory mug of his Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk as you make family memories that will last a lifetime. Wear your pajamas! Anything goes at this event that sells out as early as July. This event is presented by Great Wolf Lodge.
#13 Palace Theatre
Grapevine’s gorgeous and stately Palace Theatre comes alive with the magic of Christmas through classic films (A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life), live performances (An Elvis Hometown Christmas and the Texas Tenors), and more.
#14 Hot Chocolate Bar at Dr. Sue’s Chocolate
Dr. Sue’s Chocolate is so popular that it has been featured on TV and in magazines, due to her healthy approach (all natural dark chocolate) to consuming everyone’s favorite sweetness…chocolate. At Christmas, she introduces hand-crafted hot chocolate tastings with favorites such as Peppermint and Mexican Hot Chocolate. Be sure to pick up stocking stuffer size boxes of Dr. Sue’s chocolate fruit barks while you are there.
Visiting Grapevine, Texas is a Holiday Activity Must
This is only a sampling of the amazing activities that make Grapevine the Christmas capital of Texas, a name that they are proud to boast and endorse. Visit Grapevine’s website for a list of all activities and be sure to hashtag your holiday fun with #GVChristmas.
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Special thanks to the Grapevine CVB for the hospitality, meals, and for allowing me to visit. I did not receive any other form of compensation for this post. As with all posts on this site, all opinions are 100% my own and unbiased.