From Texas Lifestyle Magazine:
Texas has a winter wonderland – you just have to know where to find it. A magical North Pole exists just between Dallas and Fort Worth, in Grapevine. Grapevine proudly calls itself the “Christmas Capital of Texas”. After visiting the delightful little town, you’ll understand why.
The Gaylord Texan is at the center of the celebration, just six minutes from the DFW Airport, next to Lake Grapevine. Amid the country flare, you can make holiday memories that feature lights, decorations, music, and ice.
Travelers come from all around to see the hand-carved ice exhibit. More than 40 carving artisans from China travel to the Gaylord Texan in early fall and begin chipping away at 2 million pounds of ice. This year’s theme is Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
To handle the 9-degree temperatures (which most Texans are not used to), each visitor gets a large parka to wear as they walk through, so as not to freeze. The Gaylord Texan’s 4.5 acres of indoor gardens also feature a 54-foot Christmas tree, constantly running train sets, a life-sized gingerbread house, 2 million holiday lights, 5,600 feet of garland and 25-foot tall toy soldiers.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to visit this exhibit. However, you’d be missing out to not stay in one of the more than 1,500 guest rooms. The hotel wants to make sure its holiday visitors soak up all the joy and nostalgia of the season.
Other hotel highlights include character buffet breakfasts, gingerbread decorating, and cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus. During your stay at the Gaylord Texan, make sure you also dine at their contemporary Southwestern cuisine restaurant, Zeppole. Their renowned chefs spend all day crafting unique dishes, which include an array of grilled, hand-breaded and seasoned-to-perfection savory surprises.
A Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan runs through New Year’s Day.
While you’re in Grapevine, don’t forget to spend some time strolling along the main street of this quaint little town. You’ll be filled with the joy of the season as you meander in and out of Grapevine’s shops. The shops are fancily decorated for Christmas and are ideal for holiday shopping. You’ll find unique hand-crafted goods and dazzling items that you’ll feel are “must-haves.”
You’ll work up an appetite and crave some good ‘ole-fashioned comfort food. Stop into Tolbert’s Restaurant & Chili Parlor, named for its founder, Frank X. Tolbert, whose chili recipe put the eatery on the nation’s culinary map. Tolbert’s “Bowl of Red” is the perfect dish on a cold day – it’s hot and hearty. Featured in a 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine and a 2008 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray, Tolbert’s “Bowl of Red” is also served in a Frito Pie.
Other holiday festivities in Grapevine include the Carol of Lights, Parade of Lights, The North Pole Express, Twinkle Light Boat Parade, Christmas movies at the historic Palace Theatre, The Texas Tenors and Main Street Live Christmas Spectacular.
All in all, you have to experience Grapevine’s Christmas spectacular. You’ll want to make your reservations early and plan your other holiday travels around this winter wonderland extravaganza.