Good Times in Grapevine - MetroFamily Magazine
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Good Times in Grapevine

by Mari Farthing

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

Just a short trip down I-35 brings you to Grapevine, Texas. This small town, tucked between Dallas and Fort Worth, is a fun-packed destination with something for all ages to enjoy. From the metro, head south on I-35 and when you reach the East/West split, take the west leg to Texas 114; there is some construction but the drive is quick and easy, delivering you right to the heart of downtown Grapevine and close to fun attractions.

Grapevine is home to the best of both worlds: historical attractions and modern fun that will keep everyone in your family engaged. Here are must-see highlights for your trip.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is a family-friendly resort jam-packed with adventure. The highlight is water fun—indoor and outdoor water slides, pools and hot tubs—but other fun activities such as the MagiQuest adventure (additional fee required) and daily free activities (such as the Clock Tower Show and pre-bedtime Story Time) will keep you occupied when you’ve had enough time in the water. Parents, if your children are old enough to slide by themselves, the adults-only area includes tables and a hot tub for relaxation.
The Lodge has several food and drink venues, but the in-room fridge makes it easy to cut costs by packing your own snacks and drinks.

Other places to stay: The Gaylord Texan Resort is just across the road from Great Wolf and offers many amenities, including themed family activities during school breaks and holidays. If your family prefers a more rustic venue, try the Vineyards Campground & Cabins on Grapevine Lake, which offers camp and RV sites along with fully-furnished cabins.

Historic Main Street

Downtown Grapevine is a treat not to be missed. On the corner of College and Main, the Clock Tower Glockenspiel features animatronic would-be train robbers putting on a free show each day at noon and 6:00pm. All along Main Street, the historic storefronts have been restored to provide a great venue for walking, shopping and eating from dawn until dusk.
Stop by the Main Street Bistro and Bakery for breakfast, where you can get everything from fruit or bacon and eggs to freshly-baked treats (be sure to try the almond croissant—it came highly recommended by the locals and is delicious!).

At lunch, stop by Chicago-style Weinberger’s Deli for one of 120 different sandwiches that guarantee you will not leave hungry. We recommend the Reuben or the Cheeseburger sub, a local favorite.

For dinner, Esparza’s offers authentic Mexican fare just off Main Street in a historic renovated home. The ambience is relaxed and friendly and first-time visitors will be made to feel at home.

Have a craving for Italian food? Try Napoli’s Cafe and Confectionary on Main Street for great Italian menu items (including personal-size pizzas) that are generous enough to share but so delicious that you might not want to. Save room for dessert—their homemade treats include gelato and pastries.

Grapevine Vintage Railroad

The free museum at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad Depot features historic (and some prehistoric) items that tell the story of Grapevine. Purchase a ticket for a 90-minute ride on the vintage open-air or closed coaches to the Fort Worth Stockyards and spend a few hours exploring before returning. Round-trip rides are scheduled every day—but be advised that the train runs on working railroad tracks, which may cause delays.

Grapevine Opry

Housed in the restored 1940s-era Palace Arts Theatre on Main Street in the historic downtown, the Opry is home to live performances each weekend. During our visit, we enjoyed an evening of Elvis music that was fun for ages 8—108.

The theater also hosts a First Friday Film Series, featuring a classic film each month for just $5—bring a receipt from any Grapevine restaurant for free popcorn with your movie

Grapevine Mills Mall

Featuring over 180 stores in more than a million square feet of space, Grapevine Mills Mall is just down the road from historic downtown.
Enjoy a wild lunch at the Rainforest Café, which provides an unforgettable rainforest setting to enjoy while you dine. This is a popular place to eat, so be sure to arrive early or allot for ample time (up to several hours) to wait for a table.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Inside the mall, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a great place to shop and explore. A small-LEGO-themed indoor park, there are rides to enjoy (including a Kingdom Quest ride where the whole family can compete to rescue the Princess), a Forest Ranger Pursuit ride, the MINILAND exhibit that brings the Dallas/Fort Worth skyline to life in miniature and plenty of opportunities to build and explore.

Be sure to have your kids bring a mini figure along for the trip—they can trade with a LEGOLAND employee for one of the figures on their name bagde. A great way to get out-of-circulation figures.

Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium

Just across from the LEGOLAND attraction in the mall, the Sea Life Aquarium contains an amazing display of marine life, including a 360-degree walk-through tank that highlights sharks, starfishes, rays and sea turtles.

Hands-on activities for the kids and easy-to-reach viewing windows make this accessible for all abilities. Unique attractions include a room of jellyfish and a room of seahorses. Lots of fun for all ages!

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

Grapevine is perhaps best known as the home to the Dallas-Fort Worth World Airport and the headquarters of American Airlines, so it’s fitting that Grapevine would pay homage to the brave flight crews who lost their lives on 9/11. This larger-than-life bronze statue can be found on Texas 114, just east of the historic downtown.
No matter what type of adventure you seek, Grapevine offers all that and more, a convenient short drive away.

Find It:

Great Wolf Lodge
100 Great Wolf Drive

Grapevine Opry at the Palace Theatre
300 S Main Street

Main Street Bistro and Bakery
316 S Main Street

Weinberger’s Deli
601 S Main Street

Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano
124 E Worth Street

Napoli’s Italian Cafe & Confectionary
311 S Main Street

Grapevine Opry
300 South Main Street

Grapevine Mills Mall
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway

Rainforest Cafe
Grapevine Mills Mall

LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Grapevine Mills Mall

Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium
Grapevine Mills Mall

The Gaylord Texan
1501 Gaylord Trail

Vineyards Campground & Cabins
1501 N Dooley Street

Mari Farthing is the editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

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