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12 Reasons to Celebrate in the Christmas Capital of Texas. Each year Grapevine, Texas bundles up dozens of family-friendly activities, adds millions of twinkling lights, festive music and packs the 40-day calendar with more than 1,000 festive events. grapevine, Texas Christmas parade

I live within driving distance of Grapevine and I am always impressed with the creative efforts which make the city sparkle during the last six weeks of the year. The city’s tapestry of color and light provides a magical atmosphere embracing holiday traditions with a Texas-style charm. The traffic can become chaotic and the sidewalks sometimes crowed but nevertheless it’s a sure bet for making memories.
I am passing along a dozen highlights for the 2015 holiday season.SeaLife CenterSanta in Grapevine Texas
1. Join the action at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium. The Octonauts, the team of undersea adventure heroes from the hit animated TV show will undertake a special mission to train new members for the member of the Octonauts. Bonus Points: Find out who has been naughty or nice when Scuba Diving Santa returns. 

2. Build good cheer at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. Take your kids to the Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in December. Guests are invited to write their own letter to Santa and post it onsite and to test skills by helping the Master Model Builder create a Winter Wonderland.Santa and the Grapevine North Pole Express

3. Ride the Rails on the North Pole Express®. Board the beautifully decorated Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Victorian rail coaches and begin your journey to the North Pole. Elves will welcome the guests and sing traditional Christmas songs. As the train arrives at Reindeer Ridge, Mrs. Claus boards the train and presents each child a “We Believe” silver Santa bell. After the train arrives at the North Pole, guests walk along the snowy Christmas tree trail to enter Santa’s workshop, where a cast of elves and Santa’s helpers are busily fulfilling Santa’s toy requests. Finally, Santa arrives and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and then shares his Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk served in Santa’s special memory mug. Bonus Points: Families will also receive a voucher for a complimentary family photo with Santa. Limit one per family. Tickets for the North Pole Express are on sale now. Advance purchase recommended.

4. Enjoy the best of classic Christmas movies.
This season at Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theater see A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and double feature A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  

5. On your mark, get set, go shopping.
From opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night to a variety of exciting holiday events, Grapevine Mills offers even the most dedicated shopper a holiday paradise. The 1.7 million square feet of shopping euphoria includes: Coach Factory, Disney Outlet, Express, J. Crew, Gap, Gymboree, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call and many more. Bonus Points: Special Santa events include Santa’s arrival, crafts and cookies with Santa caring Santa (Available for children with disabilities who prefer a calm and less crowed Santa experience), and breakfast with Santa at Rainforest Café.
6. Experience green love.  Santa will be resting in the Wonderland at Grapevine’s Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World free activities, crafts and games abound. Located across the street from Grapevine Mills, you can also see special Christmas visitors throughout the season on weekends.

7. Participate in Texas heritage Christmas at Nash Farm’s Victorian Christmas. Nash Farm is a terrific spot for families any time of the year. During the holidays special programs reveal the origins of many current holiday traditions and invite each visitor to make a Victorian ornament to hang on their own tree.  Bonus Points: Farm tours begin at the pole barn, where visitors may enjoy hot cider and cookies, to the front door of the farmhouse, through the parlor, bedroom, dining room and kitchen, then outside by the burning yule log and back to the pole barn on December 5, 2015. Grapevine Texas Christmas Time Letters to Sanata

8. Sparkle at the Settlement to City Museums. Take the entire family to Grapevine’s Settlement to City Museums’ Christmas SPARKLE and enjoy glitter and glam family Christmas crafts and activities, including painting, making cotton wreaths, printing on the 1881 printing press and more. Bonus Points: Don’t miss the ornament scavenger hunt (December 8 – January 3, 2016). 

9. Watch Christmas Parades on Land and Water. Whether you’re a fan of parades on land or water, Grapevine is the place to be this holiday season. On December 3, see more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands in the Parade of Lights. See the beautiful Twinkle Light Boat Parade with watercrafts decorated in all of the finest sparkling lights to celebrate the season. Bonus Points: Watch the nightly Magic of Christmas Light Show with an all-new enhanced singing tree, and magical lights on Main Street and Dallas Road.

10. Join the fun at Christmas on Main.
Step back in time amid a backdrop of the Victorian-style buildings adorned for the holidays. Bonus Points: Climb aboard a tractor-drawn wagon ride behind the Town Square Gazebo, 325 S. Main St.  The ride will take you through the seasonally decorated historic neighborhoods on the east side of Main Street.
11. Celebrate the Season at Gaylord Texan Resort’s Lone Star Christmas Featuring ICE! (November 12 – January 3, 2016). The celebration includes two million holiday lights, two million pounds of snow, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, magical miniature train sets, five two-story-tall ice slides, 25-foot-tall Nutcrackers, and oodles of decorations. The resort provides complimentary parkas for both adults and kids who wish to take part in the fun. Bonus Points: Additional family-friendly activities include The Elf on A Shelf Scavenger Hunt, Santa’s Wild Workshop Snow Tubing, Gingerbread Decorating Corner and Milk & Cookies with Mrs. Claus. Details at

12. Pack for hot and cold.  Great Wolf Lodge guests will enjoy the 84-degree indoor waterpark, the largest indoor waterpark in Texas, along with special visits from Santa, North Pole University activities, a life-size Gingerbread House, Santa’s Letter-writing Depot, daily Polar Wolf Walk, Great Clock Tower holiday show, nightly snow land-themed story time and much more. Bonus Points: Look for the daily indoor snowfall right in the lobby.
Make it happen. Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau, toll-free 1-800-457-6338, (817) 410-3185 or visit

Content and images provided by Grapevine CVB with comments from Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Copyright 2015.   

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