True Western Towns
Touring our #10 town of the year during the Christmas season.
- Written by Sallie Andrews
- Published November 05, 2012
1. See a Victorian Christmas come to life at the 1859 Nash Farm. You can make traditional handmade Christmas ornaments, hear holiday stories and enjoy delicious hot wassail and homemade cookies.
2. Starting in 1888, Grapevine was a stop on the Cotton Belt Railroad between St. Louis and Fort Worth. Today’s Grapevine Vintage Railroad features Victorian-style coaches that run a regular route to the Fort Worth Stockyards. During December, the kids can visit Santa via the North Pole Express, while the adults may taste wines on the Christmas Wine Train.
3. Watch a gunfight re-enactment with a twist—animatronic characters shoot it out from the Grapevine Glockenspiel. Nat Barrett and Willy Majors attempt their lucrative train heist every day before noon and 6 p.m.
4. If you’re looking for a unique gift with Old West flair, pick up some forged kitchenware or a wrought-iron sculpture at the Grapevine Blacksmith Shop.
5. Continue your Christmas shopping at Coyote Cowboy. With selections from Corral Boots, Double-D Ranch, Lucchese, Tasha Polizzi and Old Gringo, you’re sure to find your sweetheart the perfect gift.
6. Reward your generosity with a bowl of Original Texas Red Chili at Tolbert’s, run by founder Frank Tolbert’s daughter Kathleen. This staple of North Texas cuisine is popular with locals. Live music is offered most nights.
7. Western art aficionados should stop in at the Great American West Gallery, located in a restored 1897 building. You’ll see artworks by Tom Browning, Roy Anderson, Charlie Russell and Grapevine native Tony Eubanks.
8. Love the combination of Country-Christmas music? Head over to the Palace Theatre for live performances that include a Fabulous Fifities Christmas, a Texas Christmas, Letters from Santa, Christmas Wonderland and New Year’s Country Eve.
9. Give yourself the gift of history by visiting the 1844 Torian Cabin to see how Grapevine’s pioneer families lived. Then find out what wildlife thrived on these prairies when the first settlers arrived here in 1844 by checking out the wildlife bronzes in the Wilderness Welcome zone.
10. You can’t leave the wine industry headquarters for Texas, the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the nation, without drinking some wine! History fans appreciate the Cross Timbers Winery, housed in the 1870s Dorris and Brock homestead. For the holidays, white wine connoisseurs should order the Muscat Canelli, while red wine drinkers should try the bold Tempranillo or the sweet Grapevine Red, both of which are legendary among locals.
Sallie Andrews has lived in Grapevine and the North Texas area for 21 years. As a member of the Grapevine Historical Society and Grapevine Heritage Foundation, she works on many of the city’s historical projects.