21 things to do this holiday in Northeast Tarrant County

By David ArkinNovember 22, 2023No Comments

21 things to do this holiday in Northeast Tarrant County

By Joy Donovan
Photo courtesy of Gaylord Texan

Grapevine may be the Christmas Capital of Texas, but as sure as Santa keeps a list of good girls and boys, the surrounding cities in Northeast Tarrant County boast their share of fun activities at the holidays, too. 

Grapevine sets a high bar with 1,400 events in 40 days, according to city spokeswoman Elizabeth Schrack. But holiday activities abound in other cities, too. Whether a family is looking for festive fun or adults want a special evening on the town, between now and Dec. 31, an array of activities will jingle all the bells for friends and families from Bedford to Colleyville to Hurst. So as not to turn a holiday grin into a grimace, pay close attention to parking restrictions. Websites offer specific directions for where free parking is available and where not to even think about it. Here’s looking at you, Grapevine and Hurst. But jingle on, friends. Even if the weather is too warm for snow, Santa and reindeer will be turning Northeast Tarrant County into its own special version of a winter wonderland. 

Grab a calendar. Time to make some holiday plans. Season’s greetings, y’all

Christmas standup comedy To be sure, comedian William Lee Martin’s “Revenge of the Nutcracker” is not a ballet. His show is a Christmas standup, set for 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Palace Theatre. Wearing his signature cowboy hat, the adult comedy will offer Martin’s take on American life as a husband, father and friend. Tickets are $35 and $45. Tickets and other information: grapevinetexasusa.com 

Kraig Parker’s “Elvis Christmas Special” The King of Rock and Roll will take the Palace Theatre stage at 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Entertainer Kraig Parker will bring his popular show the “Elvis Christmas Special.” With his Royal Tribute Band, Parker will recreate the sounds of Elvis mixed with holiday tunes. Ticket prices range from $15 to $42. Tickets and other information: grapevinetexasusa.com

“Holiday Tribute to Elton and Cher” “A Holiday Tribute to Elton and Cher,” a Las Vegas team of Gene Sironen as Elton John and Heidi Thompson as Cher, will entertain at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Palace Theatre. Christmas comedy, holiday songs and six decades of popular songs are part of this tribute show. Tickets are priced at $44. Group purchase for at least 20 people is available at $40 per person. Tickets and other information: grapevinetexasusa.com

“Merry Little Christmas Show with Ricki Derek” Christmas standards backed by an orchestra will entertain in a traditional holiday style when Ricki Derek brings his 14th version of “A Merry Little Christmas Show with Ricki Derek” to Palace Theatre for a show at 8 p.m. Dec. 2. Tickets for the show, inspired by the talents of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, cost $32. Group pricing is $27 per person for groups of 20 or more. Tickets and other information: grapevinetexasusa.com

Nutcracker-Short and Sweet North Central Ballet will present an abbreviated version of the traditional holiday ballet, 3 p.m. Nov. 25-26 at Palace Theatre. Reserved tickets $15. “Instead of the longer version of the beloved classical ballet, families have the opportunity to introduce children with a shorter version,” said Les Jordan, artistic director of North Central Ballet. Even with this production held to an hour, the audience will be treated to Tchaikovsky’s famed music, the “Waltz of the Flowers” and the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” grapevinetexasusa.com

Euless Parade of Lights With a theme of “A Very Merry Grinchmas,” the City of Euless’ Parade of Lights surely will lean toward a lot of green. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2, starting at Trinity High School and move eastbound on Midway Drive. Organizations can enter floats by registering here: https://forms.eulesstx.gov/Forms/parade

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party North Central Ballet is presenting “The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party,” 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Lancaster Theatre, 300 S. Main St., which becomes for one afternoon the Kingdom of Sweets. Refreshments will be served while dancers mingle among the tables. General seating tickets cost $12. Grapevinetexasusa.com

ICE! at the Gaylord Texan With 2 million pounds of ice, the immersive experience “ICE!” will return to the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine Nov. 10 and continue through Dec. 31. Visitors will get to wear blue parkas to take a chilly walk through ice-sculpture scenes from Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Related activities at the hotel, 1501 Gaylord Trail, will include a Grinch character breakfast, ice skating, gingerbread decorating and an eight-lane tubing hill. Ticket information: christmasatgaylordtexan.marriott.com

Christmas at Daystar More than 2 million Christmas lights will twinkle during Daystar Christmas at Daystar Television Network, a sprawling campus at 3901 State Highway 121 in Bedford. The free display will be open to the public from 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 24 through Dec. 31. A life-sized nativity scene, a Christmas light maze and interactive displays will be ready for families to enjoy. Coffee, cocoa and snacks will be available at an on-site café from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 19 through 23. Santa will pose for photos from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16. Strollers are allowed, but four-legged friends are not.

Grapevine Parade of Lights For 44 years, Grapevine’s Parade of Lights has been held on the first Thursday in December. This year, bands will step off at 7 p.m. Dec. 7, walking north on Main Street. More than 100 floats will travel from Hanover Street through Historic Downtown Grapevine and end at Northwest Highway. The last float always features Santa Claus waving to the crowds. Grapevinechamber.org

Letters to Santa Claus Getting those letters to Santa Claus is very important, and the City of Bedford wants to help. The North Pole Air Mailbox will be ready to receive those lists between Nov. 20 and Dec. 4 at Old Bedford School Porch, 2400 School Lane, 76021. Hoping for a reply from Santa? Make sure to include the name and complete address of the sender.

“Grinch” steals Christmas in Bedford Hot cocoa, provided by Bedford Parks & Recreation, helps make Outdoor Movie Night fun for family and friends. Bring a blanket for the outdoor showing of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 8 at Old Bedford School, 2400 School Lane. Vendors will sell snacks and drinks, with popcorn provided by Movie Tavern in Bedford, while supplies last

“American Idol” finalist Ellen Petersen Haygood Featuring “American Idol” finalist Ellen Petersen Haygood on vocals and banjo, “Christmas with the Petersens” will bring family entertainment to Palace Theatre at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9. The group, now boasting 10 seasons of shows in Branson, Mo., also has toured internationally with its bluegrass sound of banjo, guitar, fiddle, bass and mandolin. Tickets cost $36-$46 for individual admission and $31 for groups of 20 or more. Tickets and other information: grapevinetexasusa.com

Hurst Tree Lighting with “Snow” White Christmas? Pretend it is at the City of Hurst’s Christmas tree lighting from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Hurst Conference Center, 1601 Campus Drive. “Snow” will be brought in for free tubing so Texas children can feel like they’re in the north. Children’s crafts, outside vendors, costumed characters, face painting, a petting zoo, a food court, fireworks and Santa Claus are part of the fun. General parking is available in the Tarrant County College parking lot off Campus Drive. Information: hursttx.gov

Colleyville Tree Lighting Family-friendly activities are planned for Colleyville’s Christmas Tree Lighting, set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 1 on the Plaza at City Hall at 90 Main St. Local children’s choirs, reindeer, rides and Santa will highlight the evening. Information: colleyville.com

Bedford Tree Lighting School choirs, children’s activities, a holiday market, live reindeer and photos with Santa Claus are all part of the City of Bedford’s tree lighting event, set for 4-7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Old Bedford School, 2400 School Lane. The tree lighting will occur at 6:20 p.m. Information: bedfordtx.gov

Ice Skating in Downtown Grapevine An outdoor ice rink, measuring 4,500 square feet, will set the holiday mood Nov. 20 through Jan. 7, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Located at Grapevine Main Station’s Peace Plaza in Grapevine, the rink will offer skaters hour-long sessions. The $20 per person tickets include skate rentals. Information: grapevinetexasusa.com

Grapevine’s North Pole Express already booked The North Pole Express will welcome passengers aboard Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 with departures leaving the station at 707 S. Main St. in Grapevine. It’s a festive train ride on vintage train coaches, complete with a visit from Santa, but shucks, the trains have been fully booked for months. Want to know more for next year? Read about it here before July next year: grapevinetexasusa.com

Colleyville Woman’s Club holiday home tour returns Ideas for Christmas decorations on steroids will abound Dec. 3 when the Colleyville Woman’s Club’s holiday home tour returns for the 35th year. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the public can view three private homes and the historic Webb House and its caboose, a city-owned site featuring a structure from 1914, all decorated to the rafters for Christmas. Even though it’s a decades-old event, the tour, chaired by Kim Harrison, features a new twist. Free shuttles will transport visitors from home to home, eliminating the traffic snarls that formerly was a not-so-fun tradition. The tour will begin with a check in at the Colleyville Recreation Center, 5008 Roberts Road, where the shuttle service begins. Have some extra cash for refreshments at Santa’s Sweet Shop or to purchase a raffle ticket. Tickets cost $40 in advance online at c-w-c.org/events/home-tour and $45 the day of the tour at the city’s recreation center. Proceeds will benefit the club’s charity projects and college scholarships

“Wish” Screening at Tinseltown Even though Nov. 25 is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there’s a movie showing that mixes a little bit of Santa with a little bit of summer. The Walt Disney movie “Wish” will be screened at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 at Cinemark Tinseltown Theatre in Grapevine, 911 Texas-114, as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Summer Santa. Admission, which includes a small drink and popcorn, is $15 for children 2 to 12 and $20 for those 13 and older. Proceeds will go toward back-to-school shopping and summer camps for underprivileged children. Summersanta.org

“White Christmas” at the Palace There is just no substitute for seeing some movies on the big screen. In the Christmas classic “White Christmas,” the costumes sparkle on a movie screen much more than on TV. See for yourself at Grapevine’s Palace Theatre, 300 S. Main St., which is showing Christmas classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and, yes, “White Christmas.” The lineup begins Nov. 25 and ends Dec. 29. Here’s a Christmas present, too. Admission is $6. Showtimes and other information: grapevinetexasusa.com