From USA Today

Family Travel Expert

Christmas decorations in the atrium of Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith

Named the “Christmas Capital of Texas,” Grapevine begins celebrating the season almost two months in advance! Over one million people visit during the holidays to explore the city’s events and Christmas offerings.

Big on Christmas

This town of 50,000 may be small in its population, but it’s larger than life for Christmas. As they say, “Things are bigger in Texas.” Here, every day of the holiday season feels like it’s the day before Christmas.

Grapevine may just be the most wholesome place to celebrate Christmas. 

Historic Main Street is transformed into a Christmas Wonderland. Almost all of its 80 shops, restaurants and stores go for gold with their holiday lights and decorations.

Holiday lights everywhere — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith

Walking down Main Street’s quiet, friendly corridor at night, you’ll find families fresh off the North Pole Express, Grapevine’s transformed Historic Vintage Railroad, donning pajamas and Santa’s Frosty Chocolate snow milk.

This is just one of many events Grapevine celebrates during the holidays. In fact, during the season, the city boasts more than 1,400 events in 40 days!

Things to Do

Here’s a list of some other festive activities you can enjoy with the kids while in town:

The Parade of Lights in Historic Grapevine: Pull up a chair on any sidewalk on Main Street, and watch more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands go by. You’ll see students from local high schools and elementary schools, public officials and the local fire department waving with Christmas cheer.

Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery: Grab a blow torch at Vetro’s studio, and make your own glass Christmas ornaments for the season. You’ll get a quick lesson in glassblowing, choose your preferred colors and within 15 minutes walk out a novice glass ornament maker. 

Glassblowing, a new way of doing crafts with kids — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith

Breakfast in a Gingerbread House: If you book a stay with the kids at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, ginger plums don’t only have to dance in your head: you can surround yourself with them for breakfast.

This full-scaled authentic gingerbread house takes over two weeks to make, and it’s a draw for families with younger kids. Reservations are required, and all proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. You’ll have a chance to literally surround yourself with ginger plums!

ICE! and Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan Resort: The Gaylord Texan is a destination of its own. Add holiday celebrations, and it becomes a full-fledged attraction.

ICE! offers a Frosty the Snowman-inspired ice exhibit, with over two million pounds of ice shaped into sculptures by visiting Chinese artisans. You can even watch how the magic unfolds in a live ice carving zone. 

ICE! Frosty the Snowman sculptures — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith

Enjoy snow tubing after wandering through the maze that is the exhibit. Then, make your way to a special area to decorate gingerbread houses and cookies before walking down to the Gaylord Texan’s atrium, which is filled with two million twinkling lights; 15,000 ornaments; a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree; and an eight-foot-tall gingerbread house. 

A visit to Grapevine, Texas, for the holidays is definitely a fun start to the holidays, complete with Christmas cheer. 

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