The More the Merrier
By Karon Warren | Photography courtesy of Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau
With more than 1,400 events and activities in 40 days, Christmas definitely is bigger in Grapevine, Texas.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Grapevine certainly does its part to bring truth to that statement when it comes to Christmas. With more than 1,400 events and activities in 40 days, it’s not surprising Grapevine is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas. From millions of twinkling lights along Main Street to classic Christmas movies at the Historic Palace Theatre, to train rides for kids and adults on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad and so much more, a visit to Grapevine goes a long way in boosting holiday spirits.
“Grapevine, as the Christmas Capital of Texas, is a great place to experience a classic, traditional Christmas,” says Paul W. McCallum, executive director of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau. “People will see a massive Christmas tree on our new Peace Plaza and millions of lights and enormous ornaments along Historic Main Street. They can cozy up to hot mulled wines in our renowned wine tasting rooms, or enjoy the world-class tastes and aromas of Christmas dining and crafted holiday drinks at our area bistros and cafes.”
For Drew Floyd-Pinion of Frisco, Texas, that mix of Christmas décor, activities, and treats was actually what they wanted when visiting Grapevine last year.
“We heard there were lots of picture opportunities, wine tasting and crafts,” she says. “It sounded like a great time, and the weather was perfect.”
During her visit, Floyd-Pinion shopped, took pictures, and drank wine and enjoyed appetizers at Messina Hof Winery, a great start to their visit. Of course, there are several new offerings this year to keep things fresh.
For 2021, the Gaylord Texan Resort’s Lone Star Christmas welcomes “Mission: Save Christmas Featuring Elf,” where guests are invited to help Buddy the Elf save Christmas. This multi-sensory experience is perfect for the entire family, who can help power the Kringle 3000 with Christmas cheer, take their best shots in the virtual snowball fight in Central Park, and participate in more than 10 other interactive elements.
The resort also hosts Merry & Light, a new walk-through outdoor Christmas lights attraction with more than 400,000 lights, a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree, and a North Pole display complete with falling snow.
For an old-fashioned touch of Christmas, stop by the Christmas Village, where visitors can explore with Herman the Elf using their Grapevine Christmas Passport. Guests can take home a handmade cookie cutter, create metal tinsel at the Grapevine Tin Shop, decorate wooden train ornaments at the Cotton Belt Section Foreman House, and stamp a brass luggage or gift tag at Millican’s Blacksmith Shop.
Speaking of unique Christmas souvenirs, visitors are invited to learn how to make their own glass-blown Christmas ornament creations at Vetro Glassblowing Studio. Open to everyone age 12 and older, these classes are a great way to make memories with the whole family and create a wonderful, timeless memento to hang on the tree each year.
And for those ready to warm up, head to Dr. Sue’s Chocolate for hand-crafted hot chocolate at the Hot Chocolate Bar and Happy Hour. Pick a flavor such as old-fashioned, peppermint, or Mexican spice and top with whipped cream, marshmallows, spices, and more. Don’t leave without sampling and buying some of the handmade chocolate featured at the store.
Families with young children also will love Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland, which features indoor snow showers, holiday stories, seasonal crafts, and a nightly Frost Fest Family Dance Party. For those who decide to stay at the resort, wearing pajamas to the dance party is a must.
This just barely scratches the surface of everything there is to see and do at the Christmas Capital of Texas.
“People can immerse themselves in holiday movies and shows on the big screen at the Palace Theatre, enjoy family-friendly holiday events, and explore a shopper’s paradise for unique holiday shopping,” McCallum says. “We have 40 days of events and activities that offer something for every interest, whether people are looking for festive fun for the whole family or a relaxing, holiday getaway with someone special.”
For Floyd-Pinion, Grapevine offers so much more than events and activities.
“We loved the fun atmosphere and enjoyed being out and about after many months of things being cancelled,” she says. “We love the ‘old meets new’ vibe that Grapevine feels like. It’s fun. It feels nostalgic. It’s a great place for dogs and kids.”
When planning your visit to the Christmas Capital of Texas, there’s a wealth of information at the tourism website, which includes hours of operation for shopping and restaurants as well as scheduled events, plus ticket and admission prices (if required).