By Decima Mullen

Arlington is the ideal destination for a getaway, no matter what season! With our mild wintertime weather, plentiful events and year-round activities, this North Texas city is just as exciting to visit in January and February as it is during summer or football season. Below are just a few of the reasons to book a trip during this festive time of year.

 Texas Christkindl Market

While spring, summer and fall certainly have their attributes, there is no time of year quite like the holiday season. The air is brisk, the mood is jolly, and the chocolate is hot. Arlington is legendary for being the destination for fun and when it comes to the holidays, the city literally lights up with unique activities that will create life-long memories.

One of our most cherished Arlington traditions is the Texas Christkindl Market. Just stepping into this German-inspired holiday market will immediately put you in the holiday spirit. Picture festive decorations, holiday music, yummy treats and traditional, timeless gifts you can’t find anywhere this side of the Atlantic. Eagle eye shoppers will specifically want to look for exclusive Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decorations and designs from the renowned Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Village in Germany. An annual favorite, the market will run from November 29 through December 22 at the North Plaza at Globe Life Field.

Traditional Glühwein Recipe

But it’s not just the shopping that makes us countdown the days to the market…did we mention the food? We spend our lunch hours sampling German treats such as juicy brats, creamy spaetzle, Jager fries, and strudel (and no, we’re not sharing). And considered the unofficial drink of the German Christmas markets, no trip to Texas Christkindl is complete without a cup of glühwein, a traditional hot spiced mulled wine best enjoyed while selecting gifts for your loved ones. Recreate it with our recipe below and pair with a side of warm cinnamon nuts:

Ingredients:

1/2 medium orange

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

20 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 whole star anise

1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine

Rum or amaretto (optional)

Recipe:

  1. Using a peeler, remove the zest from the orange in wide strips, avoiding the white pith; set aside. Juice the orange, which will be used for step 2.
  2. Combine the water and sugar in a large saucepan and boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce the heat and add cloves, cinnamon, star anise, orange zest, and orange juice. Simmer until fragrant and syrupy, about 1 minute.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the wine. Let it simmer on low for at least 20 minutes but longer is ideal. Be careful not to let it reach a full simmer.
  4. Strain and serve in holiday mugs, adding a shot of rum or amaretto and garnishing with orange peel if desired. Enjoy!

The Sanford House Inn & Spa

Sneak away with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day to Arlington’s most luxurious boutique hotel, The Sanford House Inn & Spa. With its 12 elegant accommodations, fine dining restaurant and full-service spa, a stay here is a quaint, quiet and extremely romantic. For added ambiance, ask for the “Try a Little Tenderness” package that includes silk rose petals, tea light candles, bubble bath and bath salts for $59 that will be set up in your room prior to arrival.

Sanford House owner and general manager, Valerie Landry, welcomes guests from all over the world, who choose the charming bed and breakfast for its European feel and friendly staff, many of whom are Landry’s own family members. Guests are encouraged to make the Sanford House their own during their stay, whether that means enjoying a glass of wine in the gazebo nestled next to the grand courtyard, luxuriating with a spa treatment or sharing a romantic meal at Restaurant506. Simply cuddling by the fire in the Manor House is always an option, too…