Being named the Christmas Capital of Texas is not a designation taken lightly by the city of Grapevine. From mid-November until the New Year, over 1400 events are hosted city-wide, drawing more than one million people to create magical memories with family and friends in this Dallas suburb during the holidays. You don’t want to miss a Grapevine Christmas!
Christmas is Bigger in Texas
While many towns may decorate for the holiday, or dedicate a park area to the spirit of the season, the entire city of Grapevine is transformed from a North Texas suburb to ‘North Pole South’ as enormous ornaments appear along the parkways, swags of lights drape across Historic Main Street, and storefronts are decorated to draw both your awe and business.
Activities for Everyone in the Christmas Capital of Texas
Holiday festivities begin at the Gaylord Texan in mid-November where over two million pounds of ice are transformed into a glistening wonderland of holiday fantasy. You’ll be bundled into a warm parka before you step into the 9°F ICE! exhibit where larger-than-life-sized ice carvings depict timeless holiday tales and ice slides entice the young and young-at-heart to take a quick slide.
Warm up with beloved characters during meet and greet sessions, create (and eat!) gingerbread masterpieces, and enjoy winter activities like snow tubing and ice skating! Don’t leave without wandering through the glittering holiday wonderland in the Texan’s atrium. From poinsettias planted along the winding pathways to the twinkling, lighted ornaments hanging from the towering ceiling, the property is transformed into a Lone Star Christmas.
The twinkling lights at the Texan are only outshone by Grapevine’s Historic Downtown where over a million lights brilliantly illuminate Main Street. The Carol of Lights, held the Monday before Thanksgiving, is the official lighting event and includes musical performances and fireworks. From here, make your way to the Town Square Gazebo for the Light Show Spectacular, a nightly light show featuring singing trees and even more stunning light displays.
Looking for more lights? The Parade of Lights, the biggest small-town parade you are likely to witness, takes place the first Thursday in December. Come early to claim your spot along Main Street, grab a cocoa from one of the cafes, and enjoy the largest lighted Christmas parade in north Texas.
Even more activities take place along Main Street during the day with hot chocolate tastings at Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, holiday themed projects at Painting with a Twist, and ornament workshops at Vetro Glassblowing Studio. Of course, the boutique shops and wineries in the historic downtown buildings are decorated for the season and ready to welcome you, while the restaurants, cafes, and wineries provide welcome substance to prevent the ‘drop’ as you shop.
Across town at Grapevine Mills you’ll not only find some of the most popular retail shops, but also LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium where kids can participate in the ‘Holiday Bricktacular’ or dive into an ultimate aquarium experience.
If you’re yearning for more classic Christmas entertainment, the Palace Theatre features live Christmas concerts and a line up of Christmas movies including White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and A Charlie Brown Christmas through the month of December.
One of Grapevine’s most eagerly anticipated family activities is the North Pole Express. Climb aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Victorian rail coaches and be transported to the North Pole- with a little help from Mrs. Claus and her merry elves. A Christmas Show awaits at the North Pole, where you will get to meet Santa! It’s a magical afternoon filled with lasting memories.
For parents lucky enough to have child care, the Christmas Wine Trains are an exceptional escape from the busyness of the season. The evening excursion includes dinner and wine, and priceless adult time. (Tip: both train events sell out quickly, so do sign up for Grapevine’s newsletter if you are planning a Christmas trip to Texas.)
Just a glance at the Christmas Capital of Texas website shows that these events are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to celebrating Christmas in Grapevine, Texas. You can see why this is the Christmas Capital Texas comes to when they want to celebrate the holidays.
Best Hotels to for Your Stay in Grapevine: Christmas Capital of Texas
As an airport hub city the hotel selection in Grapevine is extensive. No matter your budget you’ll find a comfortable place to lay your head.
But for visiting the Texas Christmas Capital a few lodgings stand out.
The Gaylord Texan Resort is incredible any time of the year, but at Christmas time it becomes magical. Stunning decorations, character breakfasts, and activities abound. Hotel packages include tickets to ICE! and other on-site attractions.
If your kids judge a hotel by its pool, you’ll want to choose Great Wolf Lodge. Additional holiday activities include Snowland in the Grand Lobby and the chance to dine in a life-sized gingerbread house! Book a Snowland Suite for extra holiday cheer- and evening milk & cookie delivery!
The Cabins at Vineyards Campground are a wonderful option if your family likes togetherness with a little bit of extra space. The one and two-bedroom furnished cabins include a kitchen- and some even have a fireplace perfect for adding ambiance to the chilly evenings.
How to get to the Christmas Capital of Grapevine
Grapevine is very easy to reach by plane as the DFW airport is actually located in the city of Grapevine! After getting off your flight and retrieving bags you can be at your hotel in a mere 15-20 minutes.
Arriving by car is just as easy as interstates 35 and 30 both pass within miles of the city.
And if you are looking for more to do than just holiday activities, check out this post from our friends at Trekaroo.
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.