Bright red fireworks illuminate the back of a purple-white building with a crowd of people in front
The Carol of Lights takes place in downtown Grapevine every holiday season. Photo courtesy Grapevine CVB.

Situated a 10-minute TEXRail train ride from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Grapevine is known for its resorts and conference centers, charming downtown area filled with wineries, and sheer enthusiasm for Christmas. In 2009, the Texas Senate honored Grapevine’s festive spirit by designating it the “Christmas Capital of Texas” on account of its more than 1,000 annual holiday events. Grapevine still lives up to its reputation of seasonal merriment 12 years later, but the town also offers diverse diversions to enjoy year-round.

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A collage of places and things to do in Grapevine, including a steam locomotive parked in a brick archway, glass ornaments, a downtown scene and a sticker reading "Texas Star Dinner Theater"
Photos by Tiffany Hofeldt

Stay

Eat

See

Learn

Shop

Drink

1 / Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Chug on over to the “North Pole” via the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Take in the spirit of the holiday with a pajama-clad hourlong train ride with Mrs. Claus, or book an adults-only two-hour journey on the Christmas Wine Train.

2 / Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery
Create your own wine glasses, bowls, or ornaments during a class at the studio. The hands-on experience of firing and sculpting your own glass creations brings out your artistic side and equips you with a new skill.

3 / Harvest Hall
This food hall sets a romantic tone with its Grand Central Terminal-inspired design and live music. Sample a variety of cuisines at different food stalls including Arepa TX, which offers sandwiches made with the Latin American corn-based bread.

4 / Gaylord Texan
This resort is an ideal stay for families. The atrium hosts replicas of the Alamo and River Walk, and becomes more magical during winter with programming like “Merry & Light,” a walk-through attraction with more than 400,000 glittering lights.

5 / Texas Star Dinner Theater
The cast at this theater performs hilarious whodunits while guests enjoy a three-course meal and solve a murder mystery. Performances of A Cold Hearted Christmas run Friday and Saturday nights from Nov. 19 through Dec. 26.

6 / Hotel Vin
Located near the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, this luxe, 120-room lodging is attached to Harvest Hall food court. The hotel’s restaurant, Bacchus Kitchen + Bar, offers wine tastings that complement family-style dishes like ricotta ravioli and the 18-ounce rib-eye steak.

7 / House of Shine
Claudia Beeny, who spent her career in education, opened her interactive self-discovery museum “dedicated to the study of you” in 2020. The cheery yellow space has exhibits to help guests find their strengths and interests, while monthly events offer guidance on topics like journaling.

8 / SEA LIFE Aquarium
Though Grapevine is not close to an ocean, you can still learn about sea creatures at this locale, which features a 360-degree sea tunnel. During Christmas, the Scuba Diving Santa invites children to make wishes while he checks his list inside the aquarium tank.

A green farmhouse

A Victorian Christmas

Nash Farm takes visitors back to the 19th century in its 1869 farmhouse and barn that houses chickens, sheep, and turkeys. Visitors can join the festivities every day in December to bake and sample historically accurate cookie recipes and make crafts and decorations to take home. “Nash Farm is a great way to step back to an old-fashioned Christmas experience—lots of fun and festivities for people to experience, and they can get a little history education,” says Cody Jolliff, Grapevine’s manager of heritage museums and education programs. “We try to make everything as hands-on as possible.”

grapevinetexasusa.com/nash-farm

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins

On the shores of Grapevine Lake, this campground features spacious spots for RVs and includes amenities such as kayak and bicycle rentals, a fishing pier, and nature trails. Main Street is less than 2 miles away. 1501 N. Dooley St., Grapevine. 888-329-8993; vineyardscampground.com

From the December 2021 issue
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