glassblower crafts a Christmas ornament at Vetro
Glassblowing Studio in Grapevine, Texas.
Texas ó Everythingís bigger in Texas ó be it
Christmas, or ice storms, Texas doesnít mess around.
Grapevine, known as the Christmas capital of the state,
really showed its stuff this winter, but the ice didnít
keep a good city down. Grapevine still got its holiday
groove on ó albeit about 50 degrees cooler than it might
be used to.
all know that sometimes things donít go as we plan when
we travel. Whatís fun to do in Grapevine, even if the
weather doesnít cooperate? Plenty.
I arrived in early December, snow was falling and flights
were being canceled. I decided to grab some dinner and
headed out to the highly recommended Winewood Grill.
Winewood Grill has a good variety of food (and spirits) as
well as a friendly staff. The ribs were amazing, but the
smoked Gouda mac and cheese was far and away the best
entree of the night. It is also one of the restaurantsí
most requested items, and for good reason. Creamy, warm
and with a bacon topping, there was nothing not to love
about this comfort food created for grown-up palettes.
Worth the calories ó share with a friend if you are
running out of steam, or get a few and spread the wealth
with the table.
out Grapevine Mills, a huge shopping mall accessible by
city buses for almost nothing. Itís one of the many
stops they offer as a convenience for travelers. The mall
boasts hundreds of shops, stores, restaurants and
amusements. We ate lunch at the Rainforest Cafť, always a
fun stop for those with kids, with a consistent menu and
atmosphere. A short walk inside the mall is the SEA LIFE
Grapevine Aquarium. Despite the mall setting, the aquarium
was not scaled down or minimalist; it is fully functional,
with a walk-through tunnel, hands-on education center,
play area and gift shop. This mall also has rides (like a
ferris wheel), a LEGO center, 3-D movie theater and much
more ó it was a great place to spend an indoor day with
kids, or with friends.
of the coolest (or as it were, hottest) places in
Grapevine is the Vetro Glassblowing Studio, where I was
able to watch it done. Afterward, we each got to make a
Christmas ornament of our own, choosing the colors. (Donít
worry, the experts handled the iron and the ovens.) It was
enormously fun and interesting to watch the process, which
dates back into the last century BC. This is a great place
to stop and make a Christmas gift for anyone on your list,
and the price was right, too. They came out amazing ó
you would think I knew what I was doing! If you prefer to
buy your art, thatís fine with Vetro, which has a large
and constantly rotating art and gift store. You can
custom-order pieces for your home or business.
also made sure to have dinner at the Texas Star Dinner
Theater, where I tried to solve a murder mystery while
enjoying a meal. Not so much murder, no drama, and very,
very funny, this is for everyone and every age. The cast
interacted with the audience in, yes, corny ways, but that
just made it enjoyable for even the youngest diners. With
updated, family friendly humor, nothing crass was uttered
but the room was kept in stitches. At the end of the
night, the room is divided by tables, and each is asked to
guess "who done it," with the winners receiving
a certificate and T-shirt.
has festivals and celebrations every month (sometimes more
than one). To learn more, visit http://www.grapevinetexasusa.com