Grapevine, TX

While this city makes for an amazing year-round destination, you definitely MUST visit during Christmas.  After all, Grapevine is the official “Christmas Capital of Texas” and if everything is bigger in Texas, that definitely includes CHRISTMAS!!! To download this episode or purchase it on DVD – CLICK HERE.

During this season, the entire town comes to life with decorations, lights, Santas on every corner (explain that to your kids), and tons of activities.  Of course all the shops are decked out from top to bottom, including that always festive Good Things for All Seasons.  One year they covered the entire storefront in tinsel.  Just walking around Main Street is an activity in itself.

As far as other activities go, check the Grapevine website for a comprehensive list.  There are simply too many to list here.  But, you definitely don’t want to miss the ICE display at the Gaylord Texan Resort.  Artists from China come in and spend countless hours making amazing displays out of solid ice, including a giant slide.  They keep the sculptures in a conference room with the thermostat set to 9 degrees.  That’s ICE cold. (rim shot please).  While it isn’t officially an “outdoor” activity, there is also a 25 foot indoor snow tubing hill that will make you think you’re on the side of a mountain.

You’ll find another can’t miss activity at Vetro Glassblowing, where visitors get a chance to be part of the glassblowing process and make an actual ornament.  And then there’s the North Pole Express which transforms the Grapevine Vintage Railroad into a train ride to the North Pole.  Santa, elves, frosty chocolate snow milk.  It’s fun for kids of all sizes (aka grown up too).

Of course the name Grapevine comes from somewhere, so there are lots of wineries in town that can all pour you a glass of merriment.  I love Cross Timbers Winery, not just for the wine, but because it’s located in an 1800’s house with a ghostly experience reminiscent of A Christmas Carol.  Just keep your eyes peeled for those merry ghosts.

Finally, when (not if) you get hungry, there are some great restaurants in town.  I always start any day in Grapevine at the Main Street Bakery and Bistro which makes the most amazing french pastries and breakfast.  And if that doesn’t sound hearty enough for you, order the croque madam a sandwich with ham, eggs, and cheese.  Let me know if you finish it….I’ll be waiting.  If the weather suits (or not), get a “Bowl of Red” (translated Chili) from Tolbert’s.  This is a Texas institution started by the famed writer and chili expert Frank X Tolbert.  Despite what some may believe, chili is the official dish of Texas, so grab yourself a classic bowl of Texas.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and to enjoy it in Grapevine may make it the most wonderful day trip too.