Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Pony Express Rides Again…into Gruene!


Ever heard of the Pony Express?
We’re sure you have, but just in case, here’ s a little history:

The Pony Express began on April 3, 1860 and only lasted about 19 months. By utilizing a short route and using mounted riders rather than traditional stagecoaches, letters traveling between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California were delivered in just 10 days. It was extremely fast for it’s time, but also extremely expensive. Once the telegraph arrived on the scene in October of 1861, the Pony Express became obsolete and ceased operation two days later.


On Saturday, December 2nd we will have our very own Pony Express stop! We will welcome riders from the Heritage Trail Ride Association of New Braunfels who will ride into our historic little town as members of the Pony Express. At 10 am riders will relay the official “Christmas Greetings” from the Governor of Texas. Immediately after, a pop-up US Post Office branch will be set up right next to Gruene Outfitters where you can get your stamps cancelled with the 2017 commemorative stamp representing Gruene. That means it’ll be postmarked Gruene, Texas! There is only one day a year our “post office” is in business and December 2nd is it!



Once you’ve had those Christmas cards stamped hang around for pictures with Cowboy Kringle and our Gruene Town Lighting happening later that very same day. You can also stop by Cotton Eyed Joe’s to get a Cowboy Kringle postcard and some Gruene Hall stamps!


For our full holiday event schedule-> www.holidaysingruene.com



Monday, November 13, 2017

Cowboy Kringle

Jingle. Jingle. Jingle.
It’s time for Cowboy Kringle!!

Since the 80s, Cowboy Kringle has been a part of our Christmas celebration here in Gruene so of course he will be here this year too- WOOHOO!

Create a Christmas memory with our own brand of Santa. Cowboy Kringle is decked out in cowboy gear and even rides in on a horse for our annual town lighting on December 2nd.  He’s quite a site to behold!



Pictures are printed on site and available almost immediately. Talk about instant gratification! You can even pick out, purchase and take home your Christmas cards the very same day. Packages start at just $15. Proceeds from sales on November 18th and 19th benefit Communities in Schools of South Central Texas.

2017 Dates and Times:
Saturday, November 18: 10am-5pm
Sunday, November 19: 12pm-5pm

Friday, November 24: 10am-5 pm
Saturday, November 25: 10am-5pm
Sunday, November 26: 12pm-5pm

Saturday, December 2: 10am-4pm
Sunday, December 3: 12pm-5pm

Saturday, December 9: 10 am-5pm
Sunday, December 10: 12pm-5pm

Saturday, December 16: 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 17: 12pm-5 pm

Friday, December 22: 10am-5pm
Saturday, December 23: 10am-5pm


For our full holiday calendar, check out http://gruenetexas.com/holidays.php

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Holidays in Gruene Sip-N-Shop

Holiday Kick Off!

It’s that time of year again! Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we’re so close to Christmas we can almost smell the yule log and taste the hot cocoa.



Here at Gruene, we LOVE the holidays. Our annual celebration kicks off with our Sip-N-Shop on Tuesday, November 14th.  From 5-8 enjoy complimentary beverages at participating stores, pick up your Kringle Cash, and get a jump start on your Christmas shopping.


What’s Kringle Cash, you ask? It’s only the best thing ever! One word: COUPONS. Loads and loads of coupons to use at shops around our historic town. Sip-N-Shop is the perfect time to start using your Kringle Cash and get a head start on Christmas shopping.


Participating merchants include:
§  Cotton Eyed Joe's
§  Gruene General Store
§  The Grapevine
§  Dancing Bear
§  The Gruene Olive
§  Gruene with Envy
§  Element 29
§  Tipsy Gypsy
§  Pookie Jane's
§  Gruene Outfitters
§  The Pomegranate
§  Gruene Antique Company
§  The Gruene Haus
§  The Gruene Rose
§  Gruene Coffee House
§  Gruene Mansion Inn
§ Black Swan
§ The Gruene Kid
§Got Toys
§The Company Store


Mark your calendars, grab your friends and family and come see us!

For our full holiday calendar check out www.holidaysingruene.com




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Great Outdoors

Excerpt from New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung by Robin Blackburn, May 2016

Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
One of the blessings of life in Central Texas is the spring and early summer weather. Sunny days and balmy nights beckon us outdoors for camping, picnics, parties, fishing, swimming, tubing, hiking or simply taking a walk through the park or downtown.
This time of year is also perfect for enjoying outdoor dining. New Braunfels residents have plenty of options when it comes to restaurants with patio seating — from casual to upscale. And with the variety of restaurants New Braunfels has to offer, you can eat Southern comfort food, seafood and more in the great outdoors.

"People have an innate desire to be in nature, and the closest they can get is dining outside," said Mary Jane Nalley, co-owner of The Gristmill in Gruene. "It's always kind of been a thing, I think. You can't usually go for a walk in the woods once a week. And there's a part of us that wants to connect with nature, even if you don't feel it consciously."

Nalley said that particularly with today's hightech, fast-paced lifestyle, people sometimes want to get away from it all and relax in the fresh air and feel more in touch with nature.
Cantina del Rio

Particularly in Central Texas, Nalley said, outdoor dining is popular because of the climate.

"Our weather, for the most part, is really nice," she said, noting that up north when winters are longer and colder than they typically are in this area, outdoor dining is harder to find and harder to enjoy.

Moreover, she said, "I think dining is a big part of people's entertainment these days, and the more experiential you can make it, the more enjoyable it is."

For example, people eating at tables on the sidewalk outside a downtown restaurant can enjoy people-watching and soaking in the atmosphere, and diners on a patio out in the country can find shade in a canopy of trees and enjoy being outdoors, Nalley said.

The Gristmill itself has vast outdoor seating capacity — about 300 people can dine among the trees at the historic site. Nalley said there are several different areas outside, which keeps diners from feeling like they're in a huge crowd. There is an outdoor biergarten where bands play on the weekends, dining areas covered by trees provide shade and smaller covered outdoor areas.

"It sort of has a treehouse effect," Nalley said. "It overhangs the bluffs, with the river below, and it's almost like being in the woods.

"It's really comfortable to be out there," she said. "You can hear the birds and the river."
The River House
Tucked away off of the main road in Gruene is The River House, whose outdoor dining area can seat about 50 people. The recently expanded patio also includes a bar where patrons can order beer and wine, and there's live music on the patio on Sundays. The patio backs up to a wooded area, putting nature within reach.

"There are times when you'll see 30 to 40 deer hanging out back there grazing," said Chef Collin Campion.

The outdoor area is particularly popular this time of year, Campion said. "For dinner, we fill this area up before we fill the inside."

Campion said people enjoy the patio for its nice, simple feel and relaxing atmosphere.

"This is a nice place to meet up and take a break from shopping," he said.

No matter what part of town you're in or what kind of food you're craving, take the opportunity to enjoy some of New Braunfels' outdoor dining spots. With the variety of cuisine and settings available, you have plenty of chances to get in touch with nature with food and friends.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Disney Artist Designs Gruene Hall Poster for Loretta Lynn!

"My name is Paul Briggs and I'm a big fan of Gruene Hall"....  We get a lot of emails that start out this way, but what we read next was very unexpected and frankly, pretty exciting.

You see, Paul Briggs, a San Antonio native and proud Texan, has been working with Disney Animation for the past 20 years. He's worked on Disney films Moana (2016), Big Hero 6 (2014), Frozen (2013), Tangled (2010) and many more.


Upon a recent visit, Paul stopped in Gruene Hall to see Pat Green. As fate would have it, the next day in SA, Paul happened upon some Gruene Hall posters at a local eatery. Paul wrote, "..and it occurred to me that I would love to do something for Gruene Hall. ..If you would be interested..."

Um, YEAH we're interested!!

Paul responded and said that he would "really love to start with the Loretta Lynn show coming up in March."  The next thing we knew, we received the most beautiful poster art. We passed it by Loretta's management who gave quick approval and we went to print.


220 posters arrived the afternoon of her first show and they looked AMAZING!

Paul flew to Texas to see the show and was surprised to be able to meet the "Honky Tonk Girl" in person. Miss Loretta Lynn herself noted that "Of all the posters done for me, this one's my favorite."

Turns out they have even decided to hang the poster in her museum!



As expected, the posters sold out about as quickly as the doors opened, but we look forward to seeing future Gruene Hall posters designed by this very talented Disney artist / proud Texan.

...Come to think of it, we should probably send that San Antonio restaurant a thank you note!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

George Strait Returns to Gruene Hall!

Back where it all began, George Strait returned to New Braunfels' Gruene Hall Wednesday night (Nov. 16.) and performed a nearly two-hour set in celebration of Strait Out of the Box: Part 2, available Friday, Nov. 18 exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com (HERE).

Taking the stage just after 7 p.m., The King of Country Music with his band, The Ace in the Hole Band, kicked off the surprise performance with "Here For A Good Time," a song Strait co-wrote with his son, Bubba Strait, and Dean Dillon.

For the first time, Strait performed the two brand new songs from Friday’s upcoming release, “Kicked Outta Country” and “You Gotta Go Through Hell,” both of which he co-wrote.

As awareness of the surprise show grew, a frenzy erupted in the historic township with fans flocking to the dancehall to see and hear Strait through the dusty side screens of Gruene Hall. 


 As the show came to a close, Strait paused for a moment – taking it all in – before walking one final time along the stage’s rim thanking those fans that helped celebrate his return to the storied hall.



Fans wanting to see Strait live will be able to purchase tickets to 2017’s newly announced 2 Nights of Number 1’s, a limited-engagement concert series at T-Mobile Arena across four weekends (April 7-8; July 28-29; Sept. 1-2; Dec. 8-9), with tickets on sale beginning Friday, Dec. 2 at StraitToVegas.com.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Get in the SWING!

Written by swing dance teacher, Michelle Simmonds; Photo by Pauline Stevens for Moxie Magazine

This spring, I am starting my ninth year of teaching a one-hour Swing Dance class each week at Gruene Hall. In those years, I have seen people of all ages come and dance, from little children to men and women in their 70'S and 80'S. My parents, Lew and Pat Simmonds, have been loving my class for years, and they are in their early 70'S.

What I notice is how much fun people are having while getting a great cardio workout! They don't even realize they are exercising! Swing dancing strengthens muscles, improves eye-hand coordination and improves balance and flexibility. You might even lose a few pounds having all that fun!

Listening to music you enjoy causes your brain to release dopamine, a "feel-good" neurotransmitter. When you combine this with dance, you can improve the quality of your life in numerous ways:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Lift your mood 
  • Boost your health 
  • Enjoy better sleep 

Dancing has a huge beneficial effect on our brains. A New England Journal of Medicine study of 11 physical activities found that dancing was the only one that lowered dementia risk by a whopping 76 percent.

What are you waiting for? Grab a partner and head to Gruene Hall and get your swing on! It's the most fun you'll ever have getting in shape!
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Join Michelle at Gruene Hall during the summer months on Tuesday evenings at 6:00. The hour-long class is followed by live music with Two Tons of Steel. It's a great way to practice your moves!

Click here for more information.