Celebrate the Ho-Ho-Holidays in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas®

by Brook Benten on November 28, 2022 in Travels,

They say everything is bigger in Texas.  When it comes to Christmas, cities like Wimberley, Fredericksburg, Salado, and Burnet all get a nod for spreading cheer across the Lone Star State.  But no one does Christmas better than Grapevine.  Here’s what makes the Ho, Ho, Holiday come alive in the DFW suburb.



Hotel Vin sits at the crown of Grapevine’s Main Street.  It is an award-winning Autograph Hotel with welcoming class and nostalgia. The decor features hues of brass, copper, variations of gray, and jet black, all enhanced with warm lighting. It is the place to enjoy refined luxury that’s inviting to the whole family.

Winter Wonderland Bubbles

These iconic Bubbles are the perfect Winter Wonderland experience for a date night or a fun time out with friends. Photo Courtesy Hotel Vin.

Christmas fanatics can augment the North Pole experience at Hotel Vin’s Winter Wonderland. Dine in one of eight “bubbles” outdoors, among an evergreen forest, decked out like a ski-lodge with fur blankets and heaters. Last year, these bubbles were perched on Hotel Vin’s rooftop. But this year, they’re on the front lawn, with views of the railway and Main Street, a yurt with a bar, and a fireplace with first-come-first-served (free) seating and an actual ski lift for snapping pictures! Warm, savory cheese fondue paired with a bottle of wine make for the perfect snacks and sips in your bubble (Happy Hour special available). Apart from the pure ecstasy of wine + melted cheese on bread, the ambiance of Winter Wonderland will ring your Jingle Bells.

Bacchus Kitchen + Bar Gets Festive

Get in the holiday spirit at Bacchus Bar with special drinks like Jingle Juice, Aperol Spritz, and Prosecco. Photo Brook Benten.

If the weather outside is frightful, grab a night cap indoors at Bacchus Kitchen + Bar, the house restaurant named after the Roman God of wine. Festive holiday cocktails are so artful and expertly crafted that even if you usually pass on cocktails, in favor of wine, instead, you should try both here. (By-the-glass wine menu includes Caymus, Luis M. Martini, and Orin Swift. Bottle menu is 20-pages long!) A few holiday cocktails you should try are:

Jingle Juice: Tito’s Vodka, Cranberry, Prosecco (Jingle Juice is among Bacchus’ “Cocktails for a Cause.” $1 of your $12 drink is donated to a local charity organization).

Aperol Spritz: Bacchus Bar offers non-alcoholic aperol and non-alcoholic vodka. The aperol spritz pictured center above is alcohol-free! We appreciated that they offer options for dry-drinkers.

White Christmas Margarita: Tequila, Cointreau, Coconut Milk, Tres Agaves Agave. The glass rim is garnished with shaved coconut. It’s a $15 margarita, and worth every penny! This is an absolutely unique, delicious, and frosty festive take on a margarita!

Winter Berry Gin & Tonic: Botanist Gin, Domaine Canton, Betties, Smoked Rosemary, Fresh Ginger, Ginger Ale, Fresh Lemon. This detox/retox drink will get even the non-gin fan loving a Gin & Tonic. $18.

Guests can enjoy Brunch with Santa at Bacchus Kitchen + Bar, led by executive chef Juan Pablo Silva, every Saturday in December leading up to Christmas. Make cherished holiday memories including photos with Santa while enjoying fluffy pancakes and cups of coffee with Kaluha while the kids enjoy Carl the Snowman hot chocolate.

NEW! Peace Plaza Ice Rink

Enjoy skating on the new Texas-sized ice rink in Grapevine. Photo Brook Benten.

The highly anticipated outdoor skating rink, outside of Hotel Vin, just opened! Skate on the new 4,500 square foot ice rink with your children and bask in the joy of Christmas spirit in their eyes. Secure your tickets in advance online at ChristmasCapitalofTexas.com. $20 per person (skate rental included).

All Aboard

The North Pole Express is a popular excursion aboard vintage railroad cars. Photo Courtesy Hotel Vin.

A real vision was the vintage railroad that could be seen directly from a second-floor hotel room (pro tip: request a guest room facing downtown).  Hotel Vin is located across the street from Grapevine’s Historic Vintage Railroad.  The North Pole Express takes over the train for the holidays.  This long standing tradition beckons passengers from near and far to board the train.  Tickets open the last week in September and sell out within hours (so mark your calendar). 

The festive train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus is magical for children of all ages. Photo Brook Benten.

This festive locomotive takes a trek about 20-minutes out to pick up the Big Guy from the North Pole. While on board, Mrs. Claus graciously serves fresh chocolate chip cookies, takes selfies (“elfies”) with passengers, and gives them a commemorative necklace with a bell.  The train employs two conductors, one in First Class and one in coach.  {Interesting side note: one of the conductors is a retired VP of Verizon who became bored upon retirement and has been conducting this train for 11 years. The other conductor was a former chef for the Four Seasons– some serious talent, I’d say}.

After the train ride, get a souvenir picture made with Santa. Photo Brook Benten.

Santa boards the train, a’hauling surprises: commemorative mugs and chocolate milk to kids of all sizes. Upon return to the station, passengers debark to a winter wonderland of artificial snow blowing through the air. They are escorted to Santa’s workshop for a complimentary photo with Santa and 4”x6″ print.

Deck the Halls with Harvest Hall

Harvest Hall is a popular food and entertainment destination in Grapevine with a variety of cuisine to choose from and live entertainment at night. Photo Courtesy Hotel Vin.

On a sugar high from Santa and the Mrs.’ confections, your children and you may need supper on the fly. Cross the railroad tracks and you’ll be at Harvest Hall, a melting pot of several restaurant concepts. Whether you have a hankering for Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Chicken & Waffles, or Gourmet Burgers, Harvest Hall has you covered. (We live in the ATX, so eat a lot of tacos and pride ourselves as connoisseurs. The chicken tacos at Arepa, with finely chopped white onions, cilantro, and lime are some of the tastiest healthy tacos we’ve ever had). Finish dinner with a mini-M&Ms sugar cookie from Main Line.

Hurry to Hotel Vin and you can skid your sleigh to a halt just in time for the Holly Jolly Bar at Harvest Hall. The gastronomy hub will transform to a gingerbread wonderland of joy and delight to host Grapevine’s Gingerbread Construction Zone December 1-2. Guests can choose from Building a Mini Gingerbread House on December 1 or a Gingerbread Train Station on December 2. These events come complete with all the essentials to build a cookie, candy, frosted, sprinkled home fit for a highfalutin gingerbread man (but we won’t judge if you nosh on building supplies as you go – mine will be missing most of its clear gumdrops).

While Visions of Sugar Plums Dance In Their Heads

Hotel Vin is a luxury boutique hotel convenient to many of the holiday experiences in Grapevine. Photo Courtesy Hotel Vin.

After a full day of shopping local at the boutique shops on Main Street (most open at 11 a.m.), riding the North Pole Express, and filling your bellies at Harvest Hall, you’ll be ready to hit the hay. Hotel Vin is connected to Harvest Hall, so you’ll just be an elevator ride away from your heavenly bed, vintage radio (I’d recommend tuning it to static to serve as a lullaby of white noise), and thick blackout curtains from ceiling to floor that will have the whole family sleeping soundly.

Hotel Vin an award-winning Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel.
It is located at 210 East Dallas Road Grapevine, TX 817-796-9696.  info@hotelvin.com.

Hotel Vin opened in 2020 and is proud to be Grapevine’s only boutique hotel.  Rates start at $250. 

Reservations can be made at https://www.hotelvin.com/.

Find an entire list of Grapevine’s Christmas 2022 events at www.ChristmasCapitalofTexas.com.

Your children will love Hotel Vin’s Winter Wonderland which brings the holidays to life with their igloo bubbles overlooking the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Photo Brook Benten.


Cover Photo Courtesy Hotel Vin.

Brook Benten, M.Ed. is an exercise physiologist in Austin, TX. She is mother to two young children, Hayes (9) and Julie Anna (5). Follow her on Instagram for fitness inspiration, wellness travel, and a helping hand in lifting the motherload.