With more than 1,400 holiday events, this Texas town's Christmas spirit is off the charts (and totally contagious).
With a population of approximately 52,000 people, you may assume that Grapevine, Texas, hosts a charming, small-town holiday celebration each year. And you’d be right. The city’s holiday events do have an intimacy and warmth to them that you only find in small towns. But, as they say, everything’s bigger in Texas, and the holidays are not exempt in Grapevine.
This tiny city hosts more than 1,400 Christmas events in a little more than 40 days, making it the self-proclaimed Christmas Capital of Texas. Take a ride on the North Pole Express with the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, check out the latest sculptures at ICE! at Gaylord Texan, or enjoy classic holiday movies at the Historic Palace Theatre.
Everyone and every business gets involved in this annual tradition, and it’s a wonderful place for visitors and locals to celebrate the season.
One business in Grapevine’s holiday scene is Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, a specialty chocolate shop featuring all-natural dark chocolates. Since its opening in Grapevine four years ago, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate has actively participated in the Christmas Capital of Texas events, this year hosting a Hot Chocolate “Happy Hourâ€ daily from 3 to 6 p.m. from Nov. 24 through Dec. 23.
“We’re really excited about expanding it this year to actually be a separate, freestanding bar in the shop,â€ says Sue Williams, owner of Dr. Sue’s Chocolate. “We will have a dedicated barista for custom hot chocolates featuring peppermint, Mexican spices and chiles, pumpkin pie spice, marshmallows and whipped cream.â€
In addition to the Hot Chocolate Happy Hour, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate also has partnered with local wineries for chocolate and wine events during the holiday season. Plus, to further support the Christmas Capital of Texas theme for this year – “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” – Williams decorated her shop window with a winter scene featuring Lucy’s iconic psychiatric stand and various Charlie Brown characters. She does all these things because she feels the transformation of Grapevine into the Christmas Capital of Texas is an important event.
“The family-friendly and festive holiday atmosphere creates not only a destination for a great outing, but also the opportunity for a special Christmas memory for years to come,â€ Williams says. “Grapevine is a community of artisans, so visitors have the opportunity to enjoy glass-blowing, art classes, hot chocolate tastings, vintage movies plus great food and wine. There is literally something for everyone. As you walk down the street, you’ll enjoy the sound of Christmas music, and most every shop will be decorated. My personal favorite activity is watching classic Christmas movies in a historic movie theater on Main Street. It really puts you in the holiday mood.â€
Everywhere you turn in Grapevine, you’ll find festive windows, twinkling lights and lots of holiday decorations. Head to Liberty Park for a wealth of photo ops ideal for next year’s Christmas card photo. For instance, snap a picture with Santa, capture a kiss at the Mistletoe Booth or pose with the oversized Christmas ornaments scattered about.
“Christmas has become many things to many people, and certainly technology has changed the way some cities decorate,â€ says Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate. “In Grapevine, however, we cling to those traditional decorations and celebrations. Along Main Street, for example, we still show ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at the Historic Palace Theatre. And you can also see ”Twas the Night Before Christmas’ at the ICE! extravaganza at Gaylord Texan Resort. Bring your family to Grapevine to celebrate the magic of Christmas this holiday season.â€
Each year, Christmas events usually start in mid-November and run through the first week of January. With so many activities, there’s more than enough for visitors of all ages, from families to girlfriend getaways to multi-generational to couples and everything in between.
One thing’s for sure: if you need a crash course in Christmas spirit, there’s only one place to go: Grapevine.