Experience Holiday Magic in Grapevine, The Christmas Capital of Texas

Hallmark Channel, this town is calling your name.

Christmas can't be officially trademarked, but historic Grapevine, Texas, just north of Dallas and Fort Worth, has given it a shot. The state senate issued a proclamation more than a decade ago declaring this town the Christmas Capital of Texas.

Over the holiday season, Grapevine hosts 1,400 events in just 40 days, including the biggest Christmas parade in North Texas, that features more than 100 floats. You'll see enough string lights to outshine the runway at DFW Airport. To round out your Christmas getaway, visit the town's many shops and boutiques, as well as bustling bistros and wineries, that are all in on the festive fun.

Grapevine, TX Main Street Decorated Shops
Robbie Caponetto
Grapevine TX Christmas Window
Robbie Caponetto

But Christmas in Grapevine is about a lot more than food and retail. While meandering through town and checking out over-the-top storefronts, Chris Garcia says it reminds him of the German Christmas markets he saw growing up, when his U.S. military family was stationed overseas. "If you're coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it's really the town to visit," he says.

Santa kitsch and cowboy pride mingle with reason-for-the-season displays, like the wooden Nativity scene in the window of Holy Grounds Shop, which sells coffee along with Christian books and gifts.

Grapevine, TX
Robbie Caponetto

All this holiday cheer requires months of planning on the town's part. Grapevine's goal is to make every storefront a photo op for shoppers to use for Instagram pics or family photos, says Jessica Cruz, who owns the Texas General Store and is vice president of the Historic Downtown Grapevine Association. "The Main Street experience is interactive—it's more than just shopping," she says.

On a chilly North Texas night, you'll see couples strolling from one winery tasting room to another. Stopping in for a classic holiday movie screening at the restored Palace Theater is also a treasured tradition. For those looking to shop for local goods and produce, the Farmers Market of Grapevine stays open into the evening.

Grapevine, TX Santa and Light Tunnel
Robbie Caponetto

The overall holiday spectacle here attracts locals as well as tourists. Many show up for big events, like the lighting of Main Street in November and the Christmas parade on the first Thursday in December, while others just enjoy cruising through town to see the lights. "It's my kids' favorite thing to do over winter break," says Grapevine native Kate Burkhart. But about 20 years ago, Main Street wasn't exactly humming. It took a community effort to make it a destination.

Grapevine TX Market on Main
Robbie Caponetto

One recent win was the opening of Hotel Vin, a six-story, 120-room hotel that hit the scene in the summer of 2020, becoming Grapevine's only boutique property. The hotel is part of Grapevine Main, a mixed-use project that also includes a TEXRail depot, parking deck, and a massive dining and entertainment venue called Harvest Hall.

With more opening in this festive town each year, it's sure to become a favorite holiday destination you'll return to for Christmases to come. Here's how to spend a spirited weekend in Grapevine, Texas.

Grapevine TX Whoville Gazebo
Robbie Caponetto

What To Do

Board the Grapevine Vintage Railroad's Christmas Wine Train for a date-night dinner with complimentary vino. (The train also caters to families with its North Pole Express rides.) On the Urban Wine Trail, sample vintages from Messina Hof, Umbra, Sloan & Williams Winery (which has live music on weekends and touts its tasting room as the largest in town), and Bingham Family Vineyards (producing wines made entirely from Texas-grown grapes). Grapevine Wine Tours can help cultivate the ideal tasting day with customizable four-hour excursions.

Red Shed Cottage Chic Antiques in Grapevine, TX
Robbie Caponetto

Shop at Good Things for All Seasons to find your deck-the-halls necessities. Look for stylish coats, jewelry, and more at clothiers like Ooh La La! and The Palm Tree Boutique. For a French flea market experience, visit Red Shed Cottage Chic Antiques on Church Street, just one block off Main. "You have to leave Main Street to get to undiscovered gems," says co-owner Valarie Jolly. Find gifts for all your favorite foodies at Grapevine Olive Oil Company. Also not to be missed are the gourmet confectionery Dr. Sue's Chocolate, Hole in the Wall gift shop, and Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Fine Art Gallery.

Grapevine TX Restaurants
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Where To Eat

Winewood Grill serves comfort food with a twist, like their creamy mac and cheese with smoked Gouda sauce and Chicken Cordon Bleu with rosemary blue cheese sauce. Great Scott specializes in "whole animal butchery." Select the cut of the day, or go for espresso-rubbed elk or Texas redfish with herb sauce.

For casual options, try chef Gabriel DeLeon's inventive fusion of Mexico City classics with the flavors of Santa Fe and Tex-Mex cuisine at Mi Dia from Scratch. Head to Fireside Pies for a Burrata Pesto or Prosciutto & Parm pizza cooked on an open-flame firepit. At bustling Chez Fabien, owner Fabien Goury's menu is an expansion of popular Main Street Bakery & Bistro next door. Revelers gather at Hop & Sting Brewing Co. for craft brews like the Remedio Southwest Wit that's brewed with Texas-grown sage and lavender.

Given the authentic Texas flavor of this place, you can imagine Santa trading his red cap and black boots for a Stetson and a pair of Tony Lamas before landing here. And if Rudolph is feeling poorly, not to worry. Dasher and company can just follow all the 747s flying into DFW airport.

Grapevine, TX The Sanford House Inn & Spa
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Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center
Robbie Caponetto

Where To Stay

Grapevine has family-friendly lodging, while nearby Arlington is home to inns great for couples. Try Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, for those who want to experience a major holiday extravaganza. The Great Wolf Lodge, with its indoor waterpark, is perfect for keeping the kids entertained. For grown-ups who want to enjoy a bit of privacy and luxury, The Sanford House Inn & Spa is your spot.

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