All I Want for Christmas
Schedule your holiday trip to The Gaylord Texan now
A winter wonderland in Texas? There surely is, you just have to know where to find it! A magical little frosty North Pole exists at The Gaylord Texan in Grapevine (between Dallas and Fort Worth). Grapevine proudly calls itself “the Christmas Capital of Texas”. After visiting the delightful little town, you’ll understand why and you’ll want to make a visit to Grapevine part of your yearly holiday festivities.
At the center of the celebration is The Gaylord Texan, just six minutes from the DFW Airport and sitting along Lake Grapevine, which will host the 10th Annual Lone Star Christmas in 2010. With a country flare, you can make family holiday memories that feature lights, decorations, music, and …ICE! The Gaylord Texan’s 4 ½ acres of indoor gardens, winding waterways and lush landscaping is jazzed up with all the sugarplum drops you can think of for the holiday season.
Beginning in mid-November and lasting all the way through New Year’s, your family can visit and experience Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan, complete with a 50-foot rotating Christmas tree, constantly running train sets, a life-sized gingerbread house, 1.5 million holiday lights, and the fan-favorite, ICE!
ICE! is a sight to been seen, and travelers come from all around (those not even staying at the Gaylord) to visit this hard-carved ice exhibit. More than 40 carving artisans from China travel to the Gaylord Texan in early fall and begin chipping away at the 5,000 blocks of ice creating a bigger and more spectacular vision each year. Centered around a theme (2009 was the Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”), these artisans create a walk-through exhibit which showcases characters from that year’s theme, featuring life-size ice sculptures. The most impressive aspect is the three-level ice chutes, filled with children and adults alike. Visitors climb to the top of the stairs and ride down the ice slide, most squealing with delight all the way. To handle the 9-degree temps (which most Texans are not used to), each visitor gets a large parka to wear as they walk through, so as to not freeze the tourists! 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 1,511 guestrooms, which include 127 suites, at the Gaylord Texan. The hotel wants to make sure its holiday visitors soak up all the joy and nostalgia of the season. Therefore, you could simply hunker down in your spacious and comfortable room, order room service and watch a flick on the in-room viewing system; or you could also get out and take in all of Lone Star Christmas. Other highlights include:
Breakfast with the Grinch (or the theme character for that year)—Enjoy a themed buffet breakfast at their main restaurant, Ama Lur in the Hill Country Atrium. Reservations are recommended at this hearty breakfast celebration. The kids will love dishing up their own morning goodies, and they can even come in their pajamas.
Gingerbread Corner—Filled with the delicious smells of Christmas, kiddos can purchase a holiday ornament and decorate their own gingerbread house or gingerbread man cookie. There is a separate fee but reservations are not needed.
Cookies & Milk with Mrs. Claus—This festive storytime is a treat for the kids. The fee includes storytime with Santa’s wife, cookies & a carton of milk, and their own storybook. Check on times as this happens most evenings during the season.
During your stay at the Gaylord Texan, make sure you dine at their contemporary Southwestern cuisine restaurant, Ama Lur. The world-renowned chefs spend all day crafting their unique dishes, which include an array of grilled, hand breaded and seasoned-to-perfection savory surprises. You can eat in the restaurant or dine in the bar area (if the wait is long) and enjoy music and people-watching in the courtyard.
Other Highlights in the Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine:
While you’re in Grapevine, don’t miss the quaint little village of a town that’s perfect for a day of strolling along the main street. You’ll be filled with the joy of the season as you meander in and out of Grapevine’s shops. Grapevine is a smaller, less crowded version of Fredericksburg, Texas. The shops, fancily decorated for Christmas, are the ideal location for holiday shopping, complete with unique hand-crafted goods and dazzling items that you’ll feel are “must-haves”. You’ll discover more gift options here than any other place south of the North Pole!
You’ll work up an appetite and crave some good ole fashioned comfort food. Stop into Tolbert’s Restaurant, 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: 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 with a Mexican dish or in a Frito Pie.
Other holiday festivities in Grapevine include: Carol of Lights, Parade of Lights, The North Pole Express, Twinkle Light Boat Parade, and the historic Palace Theatre’s Home for the Holidays, Family Christmas Movies and Grapevine Opry 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. You’ll make family memories that will last a lifetime!
If You Go:
The Gaylord Texan
Historic Downtown Grapevine