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Experience a Magical Grapevine Christmas in 2023

Grapevine, Texas is known as the “Christmas Capital of Texas” for a good reason! A Grapevine Christmas is the most festive holiday you can enjoy in the Lone Star State! Every year, the city transforms into a winter wonderland filled with holiday cheer, festive lights, and unique events. They host over 1,400 events in just 40 days!

One highlight is the Parade of Lights, which is one of the largest lighted parades in North Texas! Another popular event is the North Pole Express, which will take you on a magical train ride filled with festive treats and souvenirs.

We finally experienced a Grapevine, Christmas last December and we fell in love! The twinkling lights, smell of pine in the air, wide variety of family-friendly activities, and adorable photo opportunities sprinkled around town made our holiday so magical. One family member expressed that we have no choice but to return every year now – because it just won’t feel like Christmas without a getaway to Grapevine!

We strolled through the charming historic downtown area, which is decked out in millions (literally!) of Christmas lights and decorations. Bustling bistros and wineries were also part of our Christmas fun. Our children loved the train in the Visitor’s Center and they watched the town clock on the hour every night.

This adorable town has so much to offer and we can’t wait to share it all with you to help you plan your own Christmas getaway to one of the very best Christmas towns in Texas. We live just thee hours from Grapevine, but even if you have to travel further, I promise that it is worth it!

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Christmas in Grapevine, Texas | Visitor's Center

Visiting soon and planning in a hurry? We’ve got you covered!

Best Things to do:

Best Places to Stay:

  • Hotel Vin (best location + upscale rooms + private meals in igloos!)
  • Gaylord Texan (beautiful grounds + convenient to activities)
  • Hyatt Place (budget friendly + free breakfast + great reviews)

History of Christmas in Grapevine Texas

Grapevine, Texas, has a rich history of Christmas celebrations dating back to the early 1900s. The town’s charming historic downtown area has been the center of Christmas festivities for over a century.

In 1974, the city of Grapevine began hosting an annual Christmas parade, which has become one of the town’s most beloved traditions. The parade features festive floats, marching bands, and of course, Santa Claus himself.

Over the years, Grapevine has continued to expand its Christmas celebrations, earning it the name “Christmas Capital of Texas.” They received an official document from the Senate in 2009 awarding them this special title.

One of the town’s most popular attractions during the holiday season is its Main Street, which is adorned with larger-than-life Christmas decorations. We spent hours strolling this area marveling at all the festive details and, yet, I know we didn’t see them all!

Grapevine’s historic downtown area is also home to several Christmas-themed attractions, including the North Pole Express train ride and beautiful outdoor ice rink. Visitors can also take a tour of the town’s beautifully decorated historic homes and buildings, which offer a glimpse into Grapevine’s rich history and holiday traditions.

Grapevine Visitor's Center at night with Christmas lights

Top 2023 Christmas Events in Grapevine Texas

Grapevine, Texas, or the Christmas Capital of Texas if you prefer, and it’s easy to see why. With over 1,400 Christmas events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during the holiday season.

Here are some of the top Christmas events in Grapevine Texas:

Kick off the Grapevine Christmas Season with the Carol of Lights

Head to Main Street with 25,000 of your closest friends to kick off the holiday season. Explore the downtown shops and décor, and then watch the highly anticipated moment when the historic area comes alive with a bazillion twinkling, colorful lights. Main Street makes up some of the best Christmas lights in Texas!

The event starts with seasonal crafts, bounce houses for the kiddos, and tons of delicious food. Head to Peace Plaza at 6:30pm for the downtown Tree Lighting. Live music and fireworks top off the main event at City Hall at 7:30pm and 8:30pm as the streets are illuminated and officially ready for the season.

North Pole Express Train

Grapevine Train Station Polar Express

Hop aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express Train for a magical journey to the North Pole! Kids will love meeting Santa and his elves, singing Christmas carols, and enjoying Santa’s Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk and freshly baked cookies (all while the train stays in the station).

All children will take home a festive mug, a souvenir ticket, photo with Santa, and a silver “We Believe” bell to remember their merry evening.

Christmas Photo  Spot in Grapevine

Before hopping on board, check out the wintery forest filled with plenty of festive, adorable photo opps for keepsake images in your favorite pjs.

This event runs from mid-November through December. Tickets go on sale July 25, 2023 @ 10am CST and they sell quickly- so mark your calendar if this is on your Grapevine Christmas bucket list! Update: Tickets are already sold out for 2023. You can join the waitlist here.

Parade of Lights

Don’t miss the largest, lighted parade in North Texas! Watch as 100+ lighted floats make their way through downtown Grapevine, Texas, to the sounds of live music and singing. This tradition has been alive since 1979 and is a Grapevine Christmas favorite.

Scope out your spot early and then grab some tasty food to-go for something to munch on throughout the evening. The parade route is on Main Street between Northwest Highway and Hanover Drive. Watch for Santa Claus at the end of the parade!

Visit ICE! at Gaylord Texan Resort

The Gaylord Texan Resort transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. With twinkling lights, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, a gazillion activities, and photo ops galore, it’s a great place to get into the holiday spirit.

The highlight though is always this – ICE! A walk-through exhibit made entirely of TWO MILLION pounds of ice. The theme changes every year, but one things stays the same. It is COLD inside and incredibly beautiful. Plan on slides made entirely of ice, a beautiful nativity scene, and fun, colorful themed exhibits at this Gaylord Texan Christmas event.

The display stays a whopping 9 degrees inside, so while you can use a provided parka, you may also want to prepare in layers and proper shoes. Don’t forget your camera and your mittens!

Please note that this exhibit is insanely popular. Tickets on weekends will sell out so plan in advance. Weekends and holidays tend to be so crowded that it is hard to enjoy the exhibits fully. Weekday tickets are easier to snag and make for a much less crowded experience and better viewing of the ice sculptures. The images in this article were all taken early afternoon on a Tuesday.

It can take some time to park in the large parking garage and make your way to the ICE! exhibit via shuttle so we highly recommend arriving well before your reserved time slot to eliminate significant frustration – as in at least one hour early.

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect place to enjoy some winter fun in Texas. During Snowland, the resort is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with falling snow, holiday crafts, and festive shows.

Kids will love meeting characters like Wiley the Wolf and Oliver the Raccoon as well as having a dance party in their PJs. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop and howl to get your free wolf ears!

Watch the Twinkle Light Boat Parade

Watch as boats decked out in twinkling lights make their way around Grapevine Lake during the Twinkle Light Boat Parade. This event takes place in early December and is a unique way to experience the holiday season in Grapevine from the shores of the lake.

Christmas Passport Elf Adventure in the North Pole Neighborhood

Explore historic Grapevine, Texas, and complete fun holiday-themed challenges with the Christmas Passport Elf Adventure. This event is perfect for families and runs from late November through December. Children can make ornaments, craft festive décor, and more.

The price is $10 per participant and advance tickets can be purchase here.

More Christmas Activities in Grapevine Texas

Grapevine, Texas is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas and offers a variety of outdoor activities during the holiday season. Visitors can enjoy activities such as ice skating, snow tubing, Christmas photo ops, Nash Farm, and the Log Cabin.

Enjoy Christmas Activities at Gaylord Texas Resort

Many visitors head to the Gaylord to see their infamous ICE! show (and for good reason!). But, did you know that there are plenty of other activities to enjoy there too?

Tour the gorgeous grounds this Christmas at Gaylord Texan and sit on a bench with a hot cocoa to soak up the festive views. Book an escape room adventure or tour the resort on a scavenger hunt. Decorate a gingerbread house or go tubing on slides of snow. Walk through a lighted wonderland, take photos with Santa, and go ice skating.

Skate on the Peace Plaza Outdoor Ice Rink

  • 2023 Dates: November 20, 2024 – January 7, 2024
  • Peace Plaza

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Grapevine is ice skating on their outdoor rink at Peace Plaza. Beautiful in the daylight, and when the sun goes down and the lights start twinkling, the scene becomes even more magical.

Advance tickets available here.

Ice Skating at Christmas in Grapevine, Texas

See a Performance at the Historic Palace Theater

Buy tickets in advance to see a live Christmas show! Dress in your best and be prepared to sing along with The Texas Tenors, Elton & Cher’s Christmas Show, Reba – The Christmas Tribute, and the Elvis Christmas Show. And no Christmas is complete without The Nutcracker, of course!

Classic Christmas movies also show on the big screen with plenty of choices from” Elf” to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Create Fun Photos with Christmas Photo Ops

  • 2023 Dates: The season kicks off on November 20th!
  • Main Street

Grapevine offers SO MANY opportunities for visitors to take festive photos during the holiday season. You can take photos with Santa Claus at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express or at the Gaylord Texan Resort’s Lone Star Christmas activities. You can also snap photos in front of the city’s giant Christmas tree, located in the Town Square Gazebo.

Do you see my little photobomber on the bottom left image? It cracks me up every time I look at this photo!

Mistletoe Booth in The Christmas Capital of Texas in Grapevine, Texas
Cute Photo Spots at Christmas in Grapevine

Stroll Main Street in the daylight and at night for two completely different perspectives! Every time you walk around downtown, you are sure to find a cute spot that you missed the first time.

Hop on over to the North Pole Neighborhood before your Polar Express Train Ride with some extra time built in to snap some adorable photos with all of their cute sets in the wintery forest. So much creativity and adorable spots – my kids were definitely over saying “Cheese!” after all my requests. We are certainly not above a little bribery in these situations!

Santa Claus photo opp spot at the Polar Express forest in Grapevine
Gnome Christmas vignette at Polar Express in North Pole Neighborhood in Grapevine Texas at Christmas

Explore Nash Farm

Nash Farm is a historic farm in Grapevine that offers visitors a glimpse into what life was like in the 19th century. During the holiday season, visitors can take a tour of the farm’s historic buildings, which are decorated for Christmas.

Nash Farms in Grapevine Texas decked out in holiday décor

As we approached this gorgeous farmhouse, we were so thrilled to find an old-fashioned Christmas inside to discover and explore. Staff dressed in historic attire, Christmas trees with historic decorations, and antique cookie making supplies in the kitchen were so merry and festive.

The farm often hosts events throughout the season as well, where you can make Victorian Christmas gifts, enjoy cocoa and cookies, and listen to Christmas carolers. Watch their calendar to sign up for events!

Old fashioned Christmas tree at Nash Farms in Grapevnie, Texas
Bedroom scene at Nash Farms, Grapevine

Tour Grapevine’s Torian Pioneer Cabin

The Log Cabin in Grapevine is a historic cabin that was built in the 1840s and also offers a unique opportunity to see history represented in a tangible way.

During the holiday season, visitors can take a tour of the cabin and learn about what life was like for the early settlers in Grapevine as well as enjoy the holiday decorations.

Visit the Visitor’s Center

Okay, ya’ll. Grapevine’s Visitor’s Center is seriously the most beautiful and festive Visitor’s Center I have ever seen in my life! So gorgeously decorated with so many fun things to explore.

Christmas decorations at Grapevine Texas Visitor's Center

Plan to take some photos (perfect spot for a Christmas card!), and then spend an hour exploring the intricately designed model train village. The details are amazing and kids will love pushing the button to get it started up.

An adorable photography village is available for a $1 entry fee. Several sweet scenes offer a festive spot to pose and capture fun memories. The boys in our family were all photo-d out, so my daughter and I went in and had a great time! Sneak peek below!

Visitor's Center Grapevine
Visitor's Center Grapevine
Grapevine Visitor's Center

Holiday Shopping in Grapevine Texas

Grapevine Texas is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas for good reason. During the holiday season, the city comes alive with festive lights, decorations, and events.

Grapevine offers a wide range of shopping options, from historic Main Street shops to modern malls. Here are some of the best places to shop in Grapevine during the holiday season.

Historic Main Street Shops

Grapevine Main Street Christmas lights

The historic downtown area of Grapevine is home to many charming shops that offer unique gifts and souvenirs. Visitors can find everything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing to artisanal chocolates. Some of the most popular shops on Main Street include Good Things for All Seasons and Ooh La La!. These shops offer a wide range of holiday-themed items and trendy clothing.

Grapevine Mills Mall

For those who prefer a more modern shopping experience, Grapevine Mills Mall is the perfect destination. This massive mall features over 180 stores, including many popular brands.

During the holiday season, the mall is decorated with festive lights and decorations, and many stores offer special deals and discounts. In addition to shopping, visitors can also enjoy a variety of dining and entertainment options at Grapevine Mills.

Texas General Store

For a truly authentic Texas shopping experience, visitors should check out the Texas General Store. This store offers a wide range of Texas-themed gifts and souvenirs, including hats jewelry, ornaments, gift items, and toys. The Texas General Store is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique Texas gift or souvenir.

Boutiques and Bistros on Main Street

After shopping, visitors can relax and enjoy a meal or treat at one of the many charming bistros on Main Street, such as Mason & Dixie or Main Street Bistro & Bakery.

Wine Tasting and Wineries in Grapevine Texas

Grapevine, Texas is known for its charming historic downtown area and its award-winning wineries. Visitors can explore the city’s Urban Wine Trail, which features several winery tasting rooms with a diverse range of flavors that will please any palate.

Christmas Wine Train

Join in on an incredible decorated vintage train filled with festive fun! Indulge in a selection of tasty snacks and a yummy dessert. Raise a toast with two complimentary glasses of exquisite Texas wine from the renowned Grapevine Winery tasting room, elegantly presented in a souvenir glass. And for those who desire more, additional wine options are available for purchase, ensuring your glass is always brimming.

Grapevine Wine Trails

The Grapevine Wine Trails are a must-visit for wine lovers. The Urban Wine Trail is a self-guided tour that takes visitors through downtown Grapevine, where they can sample wines from local wineries. The Cross Timbers Wine Trail, on the other hand, takes visitors on a scenic drive through the countryside to visit several wineries in the area.

Vineyards

Winery Tasting Rooms in Historic Downtown Grapevine

Messina Hof Winery

Messina Hof Winery is a family-owned winery that has been producing award-winning wines for over 40 years. Visitors can tour the winery and vineyard, sample wines in the tasting room, and even attend a wine and food pairing event.

Bingham Family Vineyards

Bingham Family Vineyards is a family-owned winery that produces a variety of wines, including Cabernets and Merlot. Visitors can sample wines in the tasting room while strolling Main Street.

Where to Stay in Grapevine Texas for Christmas

Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas, offers a wide range of accommodation options for visitors who want to experience the holiday season in style. From luxurious resorts to cozy downtown hotels, there is something for everyone. Here are a few options to consider:

Gaylord Texan Resort

Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine
Gaylord Texan Resort Christmas tree , Grapevine

The Gaylord Texan Resort is a premier destination for those who want to experience the magic of Christmas in Grapevine. The resort features over 4.5 acres of indoor gardens, 1,511 guest rooms, and a variety of dining options. During the holiday season, the resort hosts a number of events, including ICE!, a winter wonderland featuring ice sculptures and slides. Guests can also enjoy a Christmas Light Show, Gingerbread Decorating Corner, and more.

Hotel Vin and Harvest Hall

Hotel Vin at Christmas
Harvest Hall at Christmas

Hotel Vin and Harvest Hall is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Grapevine. The hotel offers 120 guest rooms, a rooftop bar, and a farm-to-table restaurant. Guests can enjoy a variety of holiday events, including a Wine Walk, Christmas Market, and Breakfast with Santa. Harvest Hall, located adjacent to the hotel, features a food hall with a variety of dining options.

Hotel Vin igloos

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is a family-friendly resort located in Grapevine. The lodge features an indoor water park, arcade, and a variety of dining options.

Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine

During the holiday season, the lodge hosts a number of events, including a Snowland celebration featuring indoor snow showers and a life-size gingerbread house. Guests can also enjoy a visit from Santa Claus and other holiday activities.

Ready to Plan your Christmas in Grapevine, Texas?

Grapevine, Texas is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the magic of Christmas. From the Main Street Lights and the North Pole Express train to the Nutcracker performances and Santa’s Workshop, Grapevine is the place to go during the holiday season if you want to get into the holiday spirit.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Grapevine Christmas Spectacular start?

The Grapevine Christmas Spectacular usually starts in mid-November and runs through December. This event is part of the Christmas Capital of Texas celebrations in Grapevine and features a variety of holiday-themed performances and activities.

What are the top Christmas events in Grapevine?

Grapevine hosts over 1,400 Christmas events in 40 days, making it the Christmas Capital of Texas. Some of the top events include the North Pole Express train ride, Main Street Carol of Lights show, and the Parade of Lights. Visitors can also enjoy ice skating, live music, and holiday shopping.

Are there Christmas lights in Grapevine?

Grapevine is known for its stunning Christmas light displays. The Main Street Light Show Spectacular features over 1.5 million lights synchronized to holiday music. Visitors can also enjoy the Twinkle Light Boat Parade and the Christmas Wine Train, both of which offer beautiful views of the holiday lights.

What are some Christmas events at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine?

The Gaylord Texan Resort hosts several Christmas events, including ICE!, a holiday-themed exhibit featuring over 2 million pounds of ice sculptures. Visitors can also enjoy snow tubing, ice skating, and a gingerbread decorating workshop. The resort also hosts a variety of holiday-themed dining experiences and live entertainment.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Grapevine Texas Family Christmas Photo | Very Truly Texas

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