I hope you’re enjoying our “See the USA” series. Hopefully you caught the best of Fairfax County, Virginia last week and Eugene, Oregon the week before. We’re continuing on alphabetically with letter G and Grapevine, Texas. I am delighted to have Jody from Family Rambling sharing the top 5 family friendly things to do in Grapevine, Texas. If you’re looking for fun in the Dallas/Forth Worth area, Grapevine’s the place!
Top 5 Family Friendly Things to Do in Grapevine, Texas
When family travel takes us to – or through- North Texas, it’s not the bright-lights-big-city that my family seeks. Instead we set our navigation to historic Grapevine. Located between Dallas & Fort Worth, Grapevine is not only a perfect base for touring these ‘sister cities’, but offers plenty of fun for your family.
Over the years we’ve explored so much of what Grapevine has to offer and, with the help of my girls, this is what we recommend.
Take a Ride on the Rails
Hop aboard the steam-powered Grapevine Vintage Railroad to experience travel in the days of the Wild West! The biggest decision on this restored Victorian train is whether you will enjoy the cushioned seats of the First Class coach or the wooden seats, but open air experience, of the Touring Class coach. (I can tell you which the kids will vote for!) The ride, approximately 90 minutes each way, takes you to the Fort Worth Stockyards where you can meet real cowboys and have your photo taken on a Texas Longhorn! Just be careful if you ride the train on summer weekends as train robbers have been known to stop the train!
If you want to enjoy a train ride but not visit the Stockyards try one of the Special Events trains – including a Day out with Thomas, the Grapevine Fun Train and the North Pole Express®!
Meander Down Main Street
The heart of Grapevine lies along half a dozen blocks known as Historic Main Street. It’s a shopping paradise filled with quirky boutiques, incredible artisans, and fantastical shops to delight all ages.
Even the most hesitant shoppers will love this stroll because it also includes a run in with would-be train robbers, a chance to shut their siblings (or parents) in a pioneer jail, and plenty of sweet places to stop like Hip Pop for frozen treats, Napoli’s Confectionary for handmade chocolates & gelato, and Main Street Bistro Bakery for pastries.
Be sure to visit the Grapevine Visitor Information Center as they have rotating exhibits with family-friendly themes. And, if you’re really lucky, you might catch sight of the winged unicorn nearby!
Be Part of Texas’ Living History
Nestled into the rows of houses between Texas Highway 114 and Grapevine’s Historic Main Street sits Nash Farm, the place where Grapevine began.
A self-guided walking tour offers amazing insight into what life was like for early settlers on the Texas prairie in the mid-1800s. But the farm truly comes to life during the dozens of ‘living history’ events it hosts annually. From spring planting to fall harvest and through Christmas families be a part of daily life on a pioneer farm.
Get Up Close with Art
You’ll want your most comfortable walking shoes on before you set out along the Public Art Trail. Bronze statues stretch between the Cotton Belt Depot and Northwest Highway – a very walkable area – sharing scenes of historic Grapevine and the people who helped shape the city you are strolling through.
More Than A Mall
Don’t be deceived by the great shopping at Grapevine Mills. Sure, you can shop til you drop here, but you really come for the family fun!
Begin by taking your budding architects to the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center where they can build skyscrapers, cycle high on Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, race through the Forest Ranger Pursuit, or explore Tatooine in Star Wars: Episode IV MINILAND.
Follow this with fishy fun at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium, just across the hall. The 45,000 square foot aquarium will delight fans of Dory and Shark Week – and everyone in between! Before you leave be sure to stop into the Turtle Rescue Sanctuary to visit Roxy and Squirt, two endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, in their permanent home.
Have a teen who rolls their eyes at this type of ‘kiddie’ entertainment? Promise them a visit to Round 1 and turn them loose in the arcade while the rest of the family enjoys a round of bowling.
Where to Stay in Grapevine
Dallas/ Fort Worth Airport (DFW) is just minutes from Grapevine, so lodging options are plentiful.
I’ve yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love a pool, and Great Wolf Lodge has two amazing waterparks- as well as other fun activities- on site! Fun themed suites give kids their own space in tents, cabins, or even wolf dens.
Want to stay in a real cabin? The Vineyards Campground has fully furnished cabins near the shores of Grapevine Lake. Enjoy the great playground and beach, or just relax on your front porch with a glass of wine (this is Grapevine, after all) while the kids toast marshmallows over the fire.
Have you been to Grapevine? What’s your favorite thing to do?
A rambling soul who would love nothing more than to call her RV home, Jody Halsted ‘lives the dream’ in Iowa with her husband and two daughters (along with a small menagerie of furry friends). Never one to follow the path most traveled, family adventures usually involve quite a bit of driving, a lot of hiking, and some sort of meal cooked over fire. Get more Fun. Family. Travel. from Jody at FamilyRambling.com.