Spending the Day In the Christmas Capital of Texas

Spending the day in Grapevine is one of our favorite things to do. Historic buildings, cute little boutiques, wineries, and fabulous restaurants keep us coming back. We were surprised to find out recently that Grapevine is officially the Christmas Capital of Texas.

We were determined to find out why Grapevine was the hautest Christmas spot in the state.

It could be the small town atmosphere or the fact that they have over 1,400 Christmas events during the season. It might be the plethora of decorations all over town, the animated characters, or the millions of sparkling lights. Or perhaps it’s the determination of the residents to maintain their title of the Christmas Capital of Texas. Whatever it is it works.

The North Pole Express

One big reason is the North Pole Express event. Guests begin at the historic Cotton Belt Depot platform and board “Puffy” an 1896 steam locomotive. Once you are settled in to the plush seats of the beautifully decorated Victorian Rail coaches the train departs and the elves welcome you with Christmas songs. As the train nears the North Pole, Mrs. Claus appears to give each child a “We Believe” silver Santa bell. Once at the North Pole guests walk along the snowy Christmas Tree Trail and wait for an appearance by Santa. When he arrives he shares his Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk and gives a memory mug to all the children. Tickets sell out fast so we’d suggest putting this on your calendar for next year and grabbing those tickets early. By the way, they also have a wine train for the good mommies and daddies who need a little Holiday spirits.

All is not lost if you happen to miss out on the North Pole Express. You can still take a shuttle to the North Pole Neighborhood where you can meet Santa, experience all kinds of Holiday magic, and shop

Handmade soap from Willow Cottage? Yes please!
Handmade soap from Willow Cottage? Yes please!

Photo Credit: Marye Audet

The Shopping

The shopping is exhilarating. There are more than 80 locally owned shops in the historic downtown. Each is unique and provides holiday shoppers with unique items for those on their gift list. When you need a bread stop into one of the wine tasting rooms to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. One of our favorite Texas wines was represented here, Messina Hof has a gorgeous wine tasting shop and they are very friendly, too. Our other favorite was the Grapevine Olive Oil Company which features over 60 premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world.

If you still have some shopping to do remember that you won’t be far from Grapevine Mills — over 1.6 million square feet of shopping euphoria for the really committed shopper. Neiman Marcus’s Last Call, H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, and hundreds more are all there waiting for you.

We enjoyed a flight of red wine at Sloan and Williams Winery.
We enjoyed a flight of red wine at Sloan and Williams Winery.

Photo Credit: Marye Audet


So many other things to do! The Magic of Christmas Light show runs through January 3, 2016. Thousands of lights are choreographed to holiday music and you can sing along. Milk and cookies with Mrs. Claus at the Gaylord Texan, and plenty of classic Christmas movies at the Palace Theater, a restored 1940s era movie theater. Dining is easy… there are plenty of great spots. We are especially fond of Main Street Bistro, which serves a raspberry tart that we cannot get enough of.

Take a day off and go hunt down the Christmas spirit in Grapevine.