Blog Debut: Christmas Capital of Texas

Ladies and gentleman, can we get a drumroll please…………………..it’s here!  Our blog debut!  Each Wednesday, we will bring you a sparkling new review of places to go around the area (and beyond) with your children.  

This blog is the product of two friends who found themselves asking others before every new excursion, “Have you ever been?…” .  

We just needed to know if that great, new museum had a place to park close enough to not need a stroller.  Or if there was a changing table in the Men’s room so the guys in our lives could take our baby.  We want to answer these questions, and more,  so you can get excited to get Out and About with your kids!

There are AMAZING places to take your kids all over Texas and beyond.  AMAZING.  But for our very first entry here at OutandAboutFriends.com, we knew it had to be something special.  Something incredible.  A place unlike any other.

HOW CAN YOU BEAT THE CHRISTMAS CAPITAL OF TEXAS?

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Nestled smack dab in the middle of the whole DFW metroplex is Grapevine, Texas.  I am sure you have heard of spectacular places like The Gaylord Texan (review to come soon!), Great Wolf Lodge and Grapevine Mills Mall.  But let’s take a minute to talk about the part of Grapevine that is a Main Street kind of town, with tons of charm and character to boot on any old day.

But during Christmas, HOLD ON TO YOUR SANTA HATS.

 

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Main Street is transformed from charming to incredible. Even Google says it is the Christmas Capital of Texas!  The lights, decorations and shopping alone are enough to amaze you and your children. The city’s schedule of events is just the whipped cream on already awesome Hot Cocoa.  Who doesn’t love scheduling their pictures with Santa?! (I am not kidding, you really can.)

They even have a real North Pole Express train you can ride.  Yep, think the movie and the bookThe Polar Express, but in real life! If your kids like trains, Christmas, Santa, bells, hot chocolate, Christmas Shows, singing Christmas carols, or all of the above, this is for you. If you are lucky enough to score tickets to this event (they sell out crazy fast-like people literally buy tickets in September), get ready for a memorable holiday experience for you and your little(s).  The website does an excellent job of providing information on the experience, but here are a few things to help:img_1465

  1. You cannot take your stroller onto the train, but they DO have stroller parking! You park your stroller, get a ticket, and come back when you are finished.  (Who is doing a happy dance?)  This was a great option for us because we walked around for a bit after the ride with our 2 year old and newborn.
  2. Depending on your perspective, this can be awesome… or AWESOME!!  There are food trucks available during your wait!  If you’ve got a starving little or husband or mama, grab a hotdog…or if you are my kid, the pouch I brought works great too.
  3. Public bathrooms are available near the waiting area.  Real bathrooms. With a changing table.  And a sink. SCORE. There is even a nursing and changing tent located adjacent to the bathrooms for additional convenience.
  4. Shopping is near the entrance to the train.  Plenty of things to do while you wait, but just be prepared to wait.  If you get there early like they suggest (and I HIGHLY recommend you do), you’ll need a little entertainment.
  5. If your kids are sensitive to noise, bring a pair of headphones (we love these).  Our train car music was exceptionally loud. Most kids seemed totally fine with it, but not mine 🙂
  6. Santa is available for pictures.  Keep an eye out on the lines and try to pick a down time if you can. Or, BOOK YOUR TIME!! Yes, you can SCHEDULE your session!!
  7. The train ride (actual moving portion): cool, but not the most amazing view out the windows.  Definitely don’t expect snow in the Rockies, or even decorated trees. However, the interior is trimmed to the nines, full of Christmas music (you’ll be singing by the way) and Mrs. Claus who will bring your child a souvenir silver bell.
  8. Once you depart from the train, you’ll be at the North Pole, complete with the smell of real pine trees, (fake but fabulous) snow, and a short musical with Santa and his Elves. At the end of the show you’ll also receive a cup of cold coca with a souvenir mug.thumb_img_4547_1024

If the train ride is not in the cards for your family, the Magic of Christmas Light Show at the corner of Main Street and Dallas Road runs nightly through January 8, 2017! The 20-minute show runs continuously from 6 to 11 pm and lasts about 20 minutes.  Check out the amazing decorations, lights, grab a bite to eat and shop all at the same time.

You just can’t get much more festive than Grapevine Main Street around Christmas time.  We hope you get a chance to get Out and About during this holiday season! Stay tuned next Wednesday for our review of another Grapevine location (we promise we go to more places than Grapevine) at the Gaylord Texan, including ICE.

Your Out and About Friends,

Kristen and Tiffany

Where is your favorite place to take your kids at Christmastime?


The Gist

What? The Christmas Capital of Texas

Where? Main Street Grapevine during the Christmas Holidays

When? December 2016-Jan 8, 2017

Cost? Dependent upon activity

Level of crowds? Vary throughout the day

Restrooms?  Public restrooms for the North Pole Express *with a changing table

Recommended age? All

Food Options? Tons of restaurants on Main Street, or within a short drive

Stroller friendly? Yes (Stroller parking for North Pole Express)

Safety concerns? The street can get quite busy (it is Main Street afterall), parking is across the street for many activities, always use the desginated Cross Walk

Coupons/Discounts? Pictures with Santa (701 S Main St) are 20% off Monday-Thursday on Non-Train days. Pets are WELCOME Monday-Thursday.

Check out https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas-capital-of-texas/ for more information

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