Grapevine… The Christmas Capital of Texas
Events include Lone Star Christmas, North Pole Express
By Rich Lopez, Midland Magazine | Published 5:23 pm, Friday, December 1, 2017
A simple road trip this season can result in an abundance of holiday cheer. Beginning this month, Christmas takes over in Grapevine — so much so that the North Texas city has been deemed the Christmas Capital of Texas.
Whether for a weekend or a family vacation, Grapevine hosts more than 1,400 holiday-themed events through January. With that many options, it should be easy to create memories and traditions through the most wonderful time of the year.
In addition to the following attractions, Grapevine has a variety of shopping options that include locally owned stores in downtown, Grapevine Mills (with Christmas and New Year’s Eve events), Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World with Santa’s Wonderland and Grapevine Towne Center. The city has more than 200 restaurants and urban wineries that offer tastings and refreshments.
LONE STAR CHRISTMAS FEATURING ICE! AT THE GAYLORD TEXAN RESORT
Now in its 14th year, Lone Star Christmas is perhaps the centerpiece of the holidays in Grapevine. The resort’s holiday displays and decorations feature 1.5 million lights, 12,000 ornaments, a 52-foot Christmas tree and a gingerbread house made of real gingerbread.
The Gaylord also hosts ICE!, which features more than 2 million pounds of hand-carved sculptures in a 14,000-square-foot exhibit hall and huge ice slides.
Temperature inside the exhibit is 9 degrees (parkas are provided).
Events continue through Jan. 1 Gaylord Texan Resort is at 1501 Gaylord Trail. See gaylordtexan.com for ICE! Hours and ticket prices.
THE NORTH POLE EXPRESS
North Pole Express is presented by Great Wolf Lodge. Families can visit the North Pole aboard Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Mrs. Claus will join the ride and give children a silver Santa bell. When the train arrives at the North Pole, guests walk along a Christmas tree forest and visit with the elves and Santa Claus over a mug of frosty chocolate snow milk. Families can have their photo taken with Santa.
North Pole Express is Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 1-23.
Grapevine Vintage Railroad is at 705 S. Main St.
SNOWLAND AT GREAT WOLF LODGE
Guests can enjoy Snowland that features North Pole University, a life-size gingerbread house the Polar Wolf Walk and the Great Clock Tower show. If it gets too cold, guests can visit the largest indoor waterpark in Texas where it’s a comfortable 84 degrees.
Snowland is Nov. 26-Jan. 1.
Great Wolf Lodge is at 100 Great Wolf Drive. Greatwolf.com.
DR. SUE’S HOT CHOCOLATE HAPPY HOUR
What better way to warm up than with a mug of hand-crafted cocoa? Head to Grapevine’s Historic Main St. to visit the hot chocolate barista for a menu that includes peppermint, old-fashioned and Mexican hot chocolate flavors made with premiere European cocoa. For those who need their mugs with a bit extra can customize their chocolate with a variety of flavorings and toppings. Happy hour is 3-6 p.m. daily between Nov. 24 and Dec. 23. $4 per person.
Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, is at 417 S Main St. drsueschocolate.com.
CHRISTMAS WINE TRAIN EXCURSIONS
Adults can hop aboard Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s wine train that departs from the Cotton Belt Depot. Ride through historic downtown amid the decorative lights while enjoying a boxed dinner with wine.
The rides are 7 p.m. Nov 30 and Dec. 14.
The railroad also hosts a ride in the Fort Worth Stockyards at 7 p.m. Dec. 7.
Tickets are $45 per person for those 21 and older. These rides sell out fast, so early reservations are key.
Cotton Belt Depot is at 705 S. Main St. grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas for reservations.
CHRISTMAS SHOWS AT THE PALACE THEATER
The historic Palace Theater is a throwback venue that hosts concerts, theatrical productions and vintage movies.
The holiday season of shows includes Dallas artist Ricki Derek’s Christmas show – “A Merry Little Christmas Show with Ricki Derek.” Derek pays homage to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. He performs a mix of his own holiday songs with Christmas classics. “A Merry Little Christmas Show” is 8 p.m., Dec. 2. Tickets are $27.
Other holiday shows at the theater include “An Elvis Christmas Classic starring Kraig Parker,” Dec. 3; “A Grapevine Opry Christmas” with Rocky Gribble, Dec. 9; Gentri: The Gentlemen Trio, Dec. 14-16; “A Forever Young Christmas,” Dec. 17 and 18. Classic
Classic Christmas films will be shown Dec. 1-23.
The Palace Theatre is at 300 S. Main St. Palace-theatre.com.
Leave it to the Christmas capital to feature parades that take place on land and water. The Twinkle Light Boat parade features decorated watercraft at the Twin Coves Marina, which is visible from the Glass Cactus Nightclub at the Gaylord and the shores of Lake Grapevine. The parade is from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 2.
The Parade of Lights, with the theme Holiday Memories, features more than 100 floats and marching bands trekking down Main Street. The parade is 7 p.m. Dec. 7.
WHOVILLE IN GRAPEVINE
Grapevine’s Town Square Gazebo turns into Whoville from Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” See Who-houses, the post office and even a certain green character’s lair. Whoville is Nov. 21 through early January.