Grapevine is famous for two things: Christmas and wine. That sounds like a perfect place to us. Wine aside, the city is full of family-friendly attractions and fun things to do all year. From a lake to an extensive indoor water park, this town has something for just about everyone. Enjoy a day filled with good food, good music, and great wine in this town that has held on to its historical charm even today.
Dr. Sue’s Chocolate
Dr. Sue’s is a cozy little chocolate shop that will wrap you up in a gentle nostalgia for your favorite childhood candy shop. The warm, inviting atmosphere will have you perusing the tables with a sense of glee, so make sure you come with an appetite. Unlike many gourmet chocolatiers in the DFW Area, Dr. Sue keep her candy at a reasonable price, so if you decide you can’t live with just one piece of that s’mores bark? Don’t worry, you can buy as many as you’d like.
The best part is that Dr. Sue really is a doctor- and a woman on a mission. You won’t find any sickly-sweet confections in this joint. Everything is all-natural dark chocolate designed to make living healthier easier! Dr. Sue’s also avoids any preservatives or artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, so you know that you’re only putting premium, good-for-you ingredients into your body.
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
Swimming has some disadvantages. Whichever season you go, you’re either dealing with the sun, the wind, the rain, or the cold. The people of Grapevine don’t have to worry about that, though, as the city is home to the largest indoor water park in Texas. All the year round the place is kept at a comfortable, sun-free 84 degrees.
There are water slides stacked up to the ceiling and other rides that might appeal to the adrenaline junkie in your life, but there are also swimming pools and water features you might expect from a larger outdoor park. For those who like a more relaxed water experience, enjoy some time in the “hot springs” or take a float on the Crooked Creek lazy river. However you like to spend your time in the water, one thing’s for sure; you won’t have to worry about the sunscreen.
Ferrari’s Italian Villa & Chop House
Pass by the Olive Garden if you’re looking for an Italian restaurant in Grapevine, because Ferrari’s Italian Villa is serving up some of the best pastas and other traditional Italian dishes in the region. With recipes that hail from Sardinia, owner and founder Francesco has created a food experience unlike many. Anybody can boil pasta, but not many have a recipe for that pasta with 100 years of tradition embedded in the taste.
Now that the restaurant is run by his three sons, you can often still be greeted with a cheery “Buona sera, how are you?” from Francesco or his wife, Jane. That cheery welcome feeling continues throughout the rest of the restaurant, as well. Despite being a larger dining space, it still manages to feel intimate. The Secci family has fully embraced the idea of Southern hospitality, and it certainly shows. If you want to feel cared for, this is the restaurant to visit.
Though Grapevine retains a certain small-town charm, it’s still undeniably part of the DFW metroplex, which means it can be difficult to find a wide-open space for some well-deserved relaxation and fresh air. Lake Grapevine happily provides approximately 8,000 acres for this exact purpose, however. With a number of parks, campsites, and water attractions, the lake lends itself well to a number of outdoor activities.
There’s always lots of fun to be had on the water, including fancier excursions such as chartered sailing, or those closer to the simple joys of swimming near the bank. The lake is a popular fishing spot, either in a marina or on a boat, for catching largemouth or white bass. Don’t like the water but like the lush North Texas scenery? There’s also 9 miles worth of hiking trails to explore. In the water or out of it, the lake is the perfect place to unwind and free yourself from the city for a while.
Messina Hof Winery
With a city name like Grapevine, you know there’s bound to be a number of vineyards nearby. If you like your wine paired with a side of history, then Messina Hof Winery is the go-to. Located in the historical Wallis Hotel, built in 1891, the winery still holds true to the building’s original 19th century charm… even though the building is actually a replica, but they can tell you more about that when you get there.
Even if you’re not quite as interested in the décor, you should definitely be interested in their wines. Messina Hof has earned thousands of awards, and with good reason. Their award-winning legacy began with a medal in the Texas State Fair for a Black Spanish-Cabernet blend! With a family and business motto of “Anything is possible!” Messina Hof wines are exceptional both in quality and creativity. At the winery you can set up a tasting or even stop in to shop gifts and apparel.
Texas Star Dinner Theater
The Texas Star Dinner Theater sells itself as a place “where historical meets hysterical”, and we have to admit, that’s a pretty spot-on description. If you’ve got an extra 90 minutes to spare, this is one of the best (award-winning) ways to spend it in Grapevine. Dinner and a show is a classic combination for a reason, after all, and nobody puts on a show quite like the fun murder mystery you’ll find at Texas Star.
As the scene unfolds you’ll receive a number of laughs and clues. The show is interactive, so you’ll get to put any sleuthing skills you have to good use. Set in the wild west that was Texas in the 1880s, expect a lot of accents and colloquialisms. You can even take photos with the cast after you’ve had your dessert and solved the murder case!
With a name as sweet as “JudyPie” you’re bound to find some even sweeter food inside. JudyPie isn’t your average pie shop, it’s a vintage pie shop, and that makes a big difference. It means they do things the slow way. You won’t find any pre-made crusts or fillings here, no sir.
They have quite the following, and they’ve earned it. There are some pie varieties that you can grab year-round, but others only come out during certain seasons. Everything is made from scratch, fresh each day, and that kind of effort results in some outstanding pies. This is a great place to finish off any evening on a high note, and we’ve got to say, they’ll probably give your grandma’s pies a run for their money.
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Formerly known as the “Tarantula Train”, the ambience of the Grapevine Vintage Railway is a far cry from its previous creepy nickname. The trains are charming, all 1920s era coaches and simple wooden benches. The ride starts at Main Street Station, and from there makes the journey to Fort Worth for a fun day trip experience.
The trains stops at the Fort Worth Stockyards, home to the world’s only daily cattle drive of Texas Longhorns. Watch the horses and cattle parade down the street before hopping back on the train for a look at the Trinity River before departing for Grapevine once more. Even better, the railroad is known for hosting a number of themed rises throughout the year, from a “Polar Express” ride to a “Jazz and Wine” ride!
Looking to enjoy the nightlife of Grapevine? This is where you’ll find it. Glass Cactus is a 39,000 sq. foot dance club at the Gaylord Texan resort, perfectly curated to house one of the best parties in town every weekend.
On the main stage you’ll find a ton of top names as well as up-and comers, but all come with one purpose; to make you dance. The 2,000 sq. foot dance floor has more than enough room for however you want to move. Need to get away for a second? Don’t worry, there’s also a giant two-tier deck that allows for conversations without having to yell over the music. And did we mention that the five bars offer the largest selection of tequila in Texas? Yeah, we’ll have another paloma, thanks.
Bonus: Celebrate Christmas
If you’re heading up to Grapevine during December, you’ll find the town completely decked out in lights and decorations, because Grapevine goes above and beyond this season. Known as the “Christmas Capital of Texas”, Grapevine offers an average of 1,400 Christmas-related events each year. Visit in December to see a true winter wonderland!