Located just outside of Dallas, a couple of decades ago the town of Grapevine, Texas felt more or less like a sprawling field. Fast forward 20 years and the small town has developed into a pretty active city!
The Grapevine of today is popular with visitors due to its small-town feel, status as the Capital of Christmas in Texas, the fact that it’s home to some of the best family resorts near Dallas, and thanks to the many fun things to do in Grapevine.
Here’s what to do in Grapevine!
Fun Things to Do in Grapevine, TX
Take a walk down Main Street.
Main Street in Downtown Grapevine is very much an old school classic. You’ll find small shops and restaurants with their own signature items. You can get some of the best hand made pies in Dallas, a bowl of original red chili, freshly made ice cream with hand-rolled waffle cones, perfectly curated olive oils and spices, and the list goes on.
It is the perfect spot for a dinner date or an outing with friends and family. The small shops have all sorts of fun clothing items or trinkets. You’ll find lots of great Texas-themed souvenirs if you’re from out of town.
There is a beautiful gazebo in the main square that has some sort of event happening pretty frequently. You might catch some live music or an outdoor festival. You can also find open tents occasionally which have fresh goods like house-made hot sauces or spice rubs.
With the local wineries and dessert shops, you can cap your evening with something sweet and luxurious. Its versatility makes it the perfect destination.
Take a ride on the Vintage Railroad.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is a blast from the past, situated right at the entrance of downtown Grapevine. This railroad line gets refurbished as the Polar Express during Christmas time with hot chocolate and candy canes to boot!
The railroad ride goes between downtown Grapevine and the Fort Worth Stockyards. The preserved rail cars nicknamed “Puffy” and “Vinny” are some of the oldest in the South. They are decorated in the styles of the 1920s and 1930s.
This attraction is not available in January and February due to maintenance and inspection needs. The railroad is also only available on weekends, but they have a bunch of special events that happen throughout the year depending on holidays and other special interests.
The main coaches are split up into separate classes. The touring class doesn’t have AC so if you’re traveling in the summer be sure to keep that in mind! You can also purchase some light concessions such as chips or cookies on the ride!
Visit the Grapevine Botanical Gardens.
These botanical gardens are a beautiful getaway spot and one of the best places to visit in Grapevine. They are perfect for an afternoon picnic lunch or a casual stroll. There is no admission fee to get in so feel free to stop by whenever you please from dawn to dusk.
There are a few walking paths and a sitting area. With the restaurants of Main Street so near you can easily pick up a piping hot meal to-go and be at the park in 2 minutes by car! There are picnic pavilions to provide some shade, and ponds with fish to keep little ones entertained.
Occasionally there are concerts in the park as well along with events associated with the butterfly sanctuary. If you’re interested in photography this is a great spot to take photos or have them taken!
Try a local food tour.
Grapevine food tours are some of the most popular in the DFW area. They have a huge amount of diversity in their selections from bars to restaurants to dessert shops.
If you’re looking for a tour especially focused on the wine they have that too! With the number of local wineries, you can really find a tour that matches your tastes.
This is a really fun adults-only excursion, typically tours try to keep their numbers small to allow a more private experience so if you have a larger group be sure to call ahead and make arrangements!
The tours offer a historical view of several of the establishments but also the city as a whole. This is a great idea for a small group that has multiple likes and dislikes in terms of food.
Go for a hike up North Shore Trail around Lake Grapevine.
North Shore Trail is a magnet for hikers and bikers all over North Texas. This trail might require a little bit of experience as it is not a completely smooth trail. The trail is roughly 10 miles and can be entered from one of three parks.
Rockledge Park, Twin Coves Park, or Murrell Park all have trailheads with parking attached. Rockledge Park and Twin Coves Park will have a fee to enter, so it’s cheapest to park at either Murrell Park or on the outer perimeters of the parks in a nearby neighborhood and walk over to the trail.
Some of the trails are located right up next to the water and you can get great, sweeping views of the lake.
Take a tour around the Gaylord Texan Resort.
The Gaylord Texan Resort has displays and homages to all things Texas. From a little riverwalk to lone stars in the decor, there is a full Texas heart behind the ambiance. The glass ceilings and indoor garden make space open up and feel beautiful.
This is definitely worth a stop any time of the year but most especially during Christmas. The displays here during the holidays are breathtaking and you won’t find something like this anywhere else in the state.
From large ice sculptures to an ice rink there are so many fun activities to do! The lighting displays are world-class and you’ll find classic Christmas decorations like the train set and nutcrackers woven throughout the hotel.
The whole building is perfumed by the scent of candied pecans and hot chocolate. It makes you feel like a kid all over again. There are tons of kid-friendly activities from snow tubing to cookie decorating, everything is a dream!
Want to spend the night? Check rates & book your stay at the popular Gaylord Texan Resort!
Book a wine tasting at a local winery.
Grapevine is the site of the largest wine festival in the southwest, the aptly named Grapefest. This is one of several festivals for local wine lovers. Texas is the 5th largest producer of wine in the country, as such, there is definitely a dedicated history preserved through local winemakers in the area.
You can do a wine tour or tasting in individual wineries as well as do a sampling of many wineries on the Urban Wine Trail. The Urban Wine Trail features tastings at several different locations. The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association is housed in Grapevine and they continuously put on events throughout the year to attract wine lovers from all corners of the state.
Visit an art gallery.
There are several art galleries along the downtown area of Grapevine. You can explore different subjects and time periods all in the same area. There are a variety of mediums from paintings to glass blowing and more.
All in all, just on Main Street there are 20+ galleries, theatres, workshops, and more dedicated to the arts.
While it’s plenty of fun to observe, why not participate as well? Several of these locations offer in-house workshops or classes for a fun afternoon or evening of creativity.
Spend the day swimming at one of the major waterparks.
Lucky enough, in the hot and humid Texas summers, there are tons of great swimming spots in Grapevine, TX. The waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge is probably the most notable. However, there are several additional locations that have great spots.
Spend an afternoon cruising down a lazy river or experiencing the rush of a water slide.
The bigger hotels have day passes available for purchase if you don’t plan on actually staying at the hotel for a night. Online retailers will occasionally have discount tickets available as well! It is definitely worth the stop if you’re in town during the summers.
Go boating on Lake Grapevine.
Lake Grapevine has great weather nearly year-round. The opportunities to go boating or fishing are pretty endless and it makes for a great, relaxing day out. There are plenty of marinas to dock a boat, or if you are in need of equipment there are tons of rental spots as well.
The lake is over 8,000 acres and offers surfing, hiking, and camping amenities. There are charters available to take a ride out on a yacht to watch the sunset.
If hiking or biking is more your thing you can jump on a trail and head out exploring. Several parks on the shores of Lake Grapevine have parking, restrooms, and grills available for a cookout or maybe to make s’mores after a day out on the water!
Visit the DFW Founders Plaza.
Without a doubt, one of the most unique things to do in Grapevine is to visit the DFW Founders Plaza!
Here, from a safe distance, you can watch planes take off from DFW while enjoying a pretty park. A loudspeaker plays the radio traffic control from the runway, adding to the ambiance.
Where is Grapevine, Texas?
Grapevine, Texas is located in the general DFW metroplex area, about 25 minutes northwest of Dallas and 25 minutes northeast of Fort Worth (assuming traffic cooperates, of course).
Exploring some of the fun things to do in Grapevine makes for an excellent day trip from either city–especially during the Christmas season!