Grapevine is the premier destination in North Texas for its year-round attractions, fine dining, fabulous hotels, and great shopping. While Grapevine has a reputation for being a prospering family-friendly destination, its small-town charm shines most brightly during the holidays. There’s no doubt you’ll feel the magic of Christmas in the city. Grapevine is about 20 minutes northwest of Dallas and minutes away from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, making it the perfect spot to spend the holidays with family and friends.
Fun Fact: In 2009, the Texas State Senate officially declared Grapevine as the Christmas Capital of Texas. Every year, the city holds to its title by providing memories-in-the-making holiday events for the whole family.
From mid-November to the first of January, travelers and locals visit Grapevine each year to marvel at the beautiful display of lights and Christmas decorations and create Christmas family traditions. These eight fabulous reasons to visit Grapevine are just the beginning of your holiday adventure in the Christmas Capital of Texas.
1. Spectacular Holiday Lights
Week Of Thanksgiving
When day turns to night, Historic Downtown Grapevine lights up with twinkling lights, music, and snow flurries — okay, fake snow flurries, but still, it comes trickling down from the sky, and you can catch it in your mouth and pretend it’s real as you sing along to your favorite holiday songs. Doesn’t that sound fun? Park anywhere downtown and head toward City Hall, where the fun begins. Last year, my girlfriends and I happened upon this, and we felt the magic in the air immediately as we were singing and holding our mouths open to catch the snow. A little wine makes it so much more fun!
While you’re here, be sure to explore the World of Whoville at the Town Square Gazebo. It’s a photo opportunity with the entire Who family (as cut-out characters) that you won’t want to miss.
2. Holiday Shopping In Historic Downtown
Throughout The Holiday Season
Every year on Main Street, some of the local shops compete for the best holiday window display. Oh boy, are there some doozies. These shops really know how to brighten up the spirit of Christmas with everything from mistletoe and sleigh bells to the old jolly man himself. And if shopping is on your agenda, grab a sweater and take a deep breath before stepping out onto the streets of downtown. From north to south on Main Street and side streets, there are approximately 80 locally owned shops offering their holiday wares and gift-giving ideas for everyone on your list.
Be sure to stop in Good Things For All Seasons on Main Street to see their Department 56 Village display, Old World Christmas glass ornaments, and more. It’s not hard to miss because the outside of the store will be all decked out in holiday lights and wreaths all around. And, it’s here that the jolly ole man will be greeting everyone at the door.
Pro Tip: One of the best parts about downtown Grapevine is free public parking on Main Street and all side streets. Don’t worry if you can’t parallel park; there are many places to park for free in the area.
3. Christmas At Gaylord Texan
Holiday magic is in the air and better than ever when Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan begins. Young to old will enjoy the spectacular hotel atrium when it’s decorated with the fabulous Christmas tree, millions of twinkling lights all around, and electric trains going around and around. And who can resist sitting on Santa’s lap for a photo! It’s truly the most magical place to spend your holidays. The hotel inside and out is so mesmerizing that you can’t help but feel Christmas’s true meaning. My family and I visit every year, and we haven’t missed a year in 14 seasons. We have made so many memories at the Gaylord Texan during the holidays, and it’s truly our family tradition every year.
Every year, snow tubing, ice skating, gingerbread decorating, snow throwing, and many more activities are happening throughout the hotel. And, why yes, adults love to do it all! New this year is the outstanding I Love Christmas Movies interactive pop-up experience and an outdoor walk-through light attraction featuring your favorite Christmas movie scenes from A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and more.
Pro Tip: If you want to book a room here, know that they do sell out fast, especially closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
4. A Holiday Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner
The Texas Star Dinner Theater presents Dismay in a Manger — a Wild West holiday interactive murder mystery dinner experience that will fill your belly and your glass. The experience includes a plated dinner and a holiday dessert. After that, stroll up Main Street to be a part of the festivities.
Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect: “There are sounds of the holiday season dancing upon the evening air, Christmas carols being sung by a choir, sleigh bells ringing on the horses passing by, and fighting in the town square. What!? Oh no, there is dismay in the manger at the annual Christmas Pageant rehearsal”!
Make plans to see this hilarious holiday show, and see if you can figure out whodunit.
5. Christmas Open-Air Market
Weekends After Thanksgiving
Local artisans bring their Texas-made holiday goods to an open-air market at the Town Square Gazebo located in downtown Grapevine. There will be row after row of locally made sweets, hand soaps, Texas hot sauce, gifts, holiday ornaments for the Christmas tree, and more. I stop by here every year, and I always buy way more than I need! There are fabulous local artists, and I’m a sucker for homemade goods, especially if it’s in the form of chocolate! No doubt, you’ll pick up some homemade Texas treats.
6. Music And Movies At The Palace Arts Center
For over 30 years, the Palace Theatre was the place to see movies. In 2001, the Lancaster Theatre (next door) joined forces, and now it’s become the Palace Arts Center, offering music, theater, dance, cinema, and more. It’s certainly an iconic venue in Grapevine and is now the premier place for music and entertainment. In late November, there’s nothing but Christmas entertainment for your enjoyment.
Get into the Christmas spirit with some live holiday music at the Palace Theatre in historic Grapevine and catch one of seven Christmas concerts and shows. Or perhaps grab some popcorn and watch your favorite Christmas movie that we have all loved and adored for many years. For under $10, you can see your favorite classic movies such as A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and more. This entertainment will surely light up your holiday spirit.
7. Christmas On The Farm
For the full month of December, expect nothing but Christmas traditions on Nash Farm, a historic working farmstead. Step back in time with a Victorian Christmas Tour, then around the middle of December, look for a Farmstead Christmas Celebration with traditional holiday music, ornament making, refreshments, and more. Later in the month, you can enjoy a Christmas Parlor Social that includes holiday sweets, tea, and coffee. How fun! For tickets and more information, visit Nash Farm online.
8. Festive Grapevine Wine Tours
All Season Long
Grab your Santa hat, hang silver bells around your neck, and hop on the bus for a festive wine tour! With Grapevine Wine Tours, you will have fun going from winery to winery while learning about the history of Grapevine, all the while doting at all the sparkling lights and decorations on Main Street. The tour partners with wineries, restaurants, and hotels in Grapevine to bring their guests the best experience. Get your girlfriends, family, and friends, and book the whole bus for an adult-only lunch or dinner wine tour. The tour will help you get in the spirit of Christmas with wine in-hand, of course.
With hundreds of holiday events and activities happening in Grapevine (way too many to mention here), you may want to start your holiday adventure by visiting the Grapevine Visitor Information Center located at 636 South Main Street. It’s a delight in itself with its massive display of lights and decorations inside and out. Not only can you pick up every known brochure imaginable for every holiday event happening in Grapevine (and other towns), you can get firsthand information so you can enjoy your time in Grapevine to the max. The visitor center will also have souvenir Christmas ornaments for sale, along with other Grapevine mementos. Nice, clean restrooms are inside, too.
Don’t miss our other recommendations while you’re in Texas!