Enjoy A Taste Of Texas
Whether youre a craft beer drinker, wine lover, or fan of the hard stuff, youll find something local to tickle your taste buds in Waco. If you prefer beer, the taproom at Bare Arms Brewing is the place to be. Fill your pint glass with one of Bare Arms year-round brews like the light-bodied American-style lager Lux or the dark and brooding Java Joule coffee stout or try one of the seasonal offerings. Waco Ale Companys grapefruit- and tangerine- 7th Day IPA or its Amber Avenue ale with notes of caramel and vanilla make an afternoon well worth your while as well.
Born in Waco, Brotherwell Brewing offers locally made craft beers in their taproom and beer garden and hosts frequent fun events. Families are welcome. New to Waco is Pivovar, a Czech-style brewery with beer garden, restaurant, and hotel located next door to Magnolia Market. Their beers include a light pilsner lager, Vienna lager, dark lager, and more.
For wines red and white, settle into the tasting room at Valley Mills Vineyards. Not one to leave a style of beverage unrepresented, Waco is also home to Balcones Distilling, makers of award-winning bourbons, rums, and whiskeys . Youll need to reserve your spot on a tour in advance to visit the distillery. Not only will you get a behind-the-scenes look at the distillery and the distilling process, youll sample several spirits and leave with a souvenir tasting glass.
Dr. Pepper Museum
The Kids Experience At Katy Ballpark At The Silos
Even though the historical significance of the place may have been lost on them, our kids thoroughly enjoyed playing with other kids at the Katy Ballpark. After they played for an hour or so, we ended up getting some soda and cotton candy at the concession stand before making our way back to the car and heading home. They were all sound asleep on the way back!
If youre visiting Waco, and your kids enjoy sports, then make sure this is on your list of fun things to do in Waco with kids, because theyll enjoy every minute of it. Especially if you throw in some cotton candy at the end!
If you really wanna take the day to the next level, you can stop at The Sweet Station candy shop across from Magnolia at The Silos, or one of the many other delicious dessert places in Waco.
Note: I would recommend bringing your own whiffle ball because the whiffle ball there was near its last breath as it had clearly been smashed to pieces throughout the day. If we had stayed there much longer, we probably would have flagged down some of the Magnolia staff, and Im guessing they would have been able to bring out a new ball.
The Magnolia Market At The Silos
If you want to go shopping while in Waco, theres one place thats on everyones list, Magnolia Market, curated by Joanna Gaines. Find a complex of shops, each with a different focus, like bath and body, stationary, clothing and more.
Located at 601 Webster Ave. Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Texas Ranger Hall Of Fame & Museum
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum is the Texas Rangers official museum and has been since 1968, as appointed by the states Public Safety Department.
Since that year, it has been sponsored by the city of Waco and is now one of the top points of interest in the state, welcoming over three million guests since its grand opening.
The Hall of Fame and Museum takes up 30 acres and was actually first named Fort Fisher, after a Ranger camp that was set up in the closeby area.
It boasts a traditional hill country design to match the 19th-century state trend.
The museum itself has two mission statements, both involving the education and instilling of appreciation for the Rangers and the objective of serving as a historical archive of the Rangers and their history.
The Hall Of Fame is a fantastic memory to the Rangers who have contributed to the service of this law enforcement organization.
It also has a memorial roll of all Rangers that have passed away during their duties between the years 1823 and 2004.
Address: 100 Texas Ranger Trail, Waco, TX 76706, United States
Magnolia Market At The Silos
While many people think of the Magnolia Market as a place primarily designed for adults to visit and get an up close and personal experience with the internationally famous Gaines family, the Magnolia Market is designed with the whole family in mind.
This is evident by the massive green space with artificial grass where adults can spend time together in the shade, or sit on huge bean bags while the kids play with the various games and balls that are put outside by the Magnolia team each day.
My wife tends to enjoy visiting all of the various shops in peace, so whenever were visiting The Silos in Waco, I usually bring the kids to the green space and let them frolic around while she does her thing.
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Check Out The Magnolia Silos
The Magnolia Silos are arguably the most notable landmark and thing to do in Waco with kids. There is, of course, a market there where you can buy all kinds of wares from Chip and Joanna Gaines Magnolia line. The Magnolia Silos also features a garden with gardening-related items for sale, including growing kits designed for kids.
But there is a ton to do there just for kids! There is a big, green lawn in front of the silos where kids can run and play freely. The property was expanded this year in 2021, so there are even more food trucks at the silos serving family-friendly fares like BBQ, hot dogs, cupcakes, and more. In addition to the lawn games , there is a complete baseball diamond there. Let the kids play an impromptu round of softball while visitors cheer and clap with as much enthusiasm as an MLB game.
Enjoy Kayaking In Waco
In downtown, you will find two excellent paddling trails the Bosque Bluffs trail and the Brazos Bridges paddling Trail.
These easy trails are perfect for beginner kayakers.
You can rent canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards from various places downtown and enjoy an amazing day on the Waco rivers.
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Waco Family Friendly Activities
Waco and the Heart of Texas region offer a variety of sights, sounds, and activities. Waco has a thriving arts scene, one-of-a-kind shopping centers, a dizzying array of dining options, a plethora of outdoor activities, and attractions that any big city would be proud of.
Waco is a treat for all senses, surrounded by the natural beauty of central Texas and home to two picturesque rivers. Below are just a few of our favorites!
Hunt For The Downtown Murals
If you love amazing murals, then Waco is the city for you!
In the citys bustling downtown, you will find several amazing public artworks that are perfect backdrops for Instagram photos.
Some of the famous murals include the Dr. Pepper mural inside the museum Courtyard, the welcome to Magnolia silos mural, the city with the soul mural, and the Greetings from Waco mural outside Twisted Root Burger Co.
Looking for these delightful murals is a treasure hunt in itself and you will never know what you will find!
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Cool Off At Hawaiian Falls
If you happen to be visiting Waco with kids in the middle of the summer, consider a visit to Hawaiian Falls. The 10-acre park is packed with fun water activities like the 800 ft long lazy river, the six-lane water slide, and the water fortress with the ever iconic splash bucket. Theres even a spray ground for the little ones. The park is seasonal and only open during the summer though so be sure to check their website prior to your visit.
Things To Do In Waco With Kids
If youre the type of family that loves traveling together, and always looking for new places to go and do with your kids, this article of things to do in Waco with kids will give you some great ideas!
Waco is situated in the heart of Texas and is home to some of the most amazing landmarks. It is a district with plenty of cultural attractions and rich history that can entertain and educate families.
Waco offers family experiences that children can enjoy with their parents. From cultural museums to fantastic and immense zoos, Waco can create the most amazing memories for you and your kids.
Visitors who spend some time in Waco leave with a bucket full of memories and stories to tell.
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The River Walk & Wacos Historic Suspension Bridge
Im a complete sucker for a nice walk along a beautiful riverside, especially when its so accessible from downtown Waco. But river walks arent necessarily something that every kid enjoys, and that is what makes the Waco River Walk unique. The kids have a lot of fun checking out all the various animal sculptures that artists from around the world were commissioned to create and install along the riverside.
While the adults get to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing walk along the river, the kids enjoy exploring and playing around with all of the animal sculptures along the way.
No matter what route you take on the river walk, even if you cross to the North side of the river, there are things to stop and do or see along the way. Whether its murals, kids parks, restaurants, cafes, war memorials, or historic sites, theres something along the river for everybody to enjoy not just the kids!
Admire The Waco Suspension Bridge
The historic Waco suspension bridge is another of our favorite things to do in Waco.
The bridge was built in 1870 and has become an icon of Waco.
It was built to carry cattle over the Chisholm Trail across the Brazos River and was then used for vehicular traffic.
Today, it is a pedestrian only bridge that has a panoramic view of Waco.
It is a great place to watch the Independence Day fireworks in the city.
Surrounding the bridge you will find two large parks Indian Spring Park & Martin Luther King Junior Park.
They are great for taking a walk and admiring the views of the bridge.
A number of Chisholm Trail sculptures, artworks, and monuments are located near the bridge.
The bridge address is 101 N University Parks Dr, Waco, Texas 76701.
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Branding Of The Brazos Sculpture
The Branding of the Brazos sculpture depicts the epic journey of cowboys and their cattle along the Chisholm Trail. With larger-than-life depictions of cattle and cowboys, its a favorite among kids.
Located in the Indian Spring Park along University Parks Drive between Washington and Franklin Avenues. Open from dawn to dusk. Free.
Enjoy Hiking At Lake Waco Wetlands
Lake Waco wetlands is an ecological nature preserve located on the North West side of Lake Waco.
The park has a 1 mile boardwalk surrounded by trees, marshes, and wildlife such as deer, blue herons, turtles, and more.
You can also hike around the trails to enjoy the views of wetlands and learn about the ecosystem.
The research and education center has several interesting exhibits for kids.
Best part? The Preserve has free entry all year long!
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See The Mclennan County Courthouse
An often forgotten gem in the heart of downtown is the McLennan County Courthouse.
This majestic building was inspired by the St. Peters Cathedral in Rome and has splendid Beaux Arts Renaissance Revival style architecture.
The courthouse dome has a statue of the Greek god Themis and soaring eagles around the base.
The building is definitely worth a visit and one of the best things to do in Waco for art and architecture lovers.
Waco Tours One Of The Best Things To Do In Waco Texas
- If you take the Classic Waco Tour with Waco Tours, youll learn the significance of this buildingbeyond the fact that it makes a great Instagram photo! Photo credit: Jill Robbins
If you are a true Chip and Jo fan, you need to do the Classic Waco Tour. Do it your first day in Waco I promise you will not be sorry. The tour will help you get your bearings and give you recommendations on places to eat. And, if youre in Waco for more than one day, you will probably want to eat at more places than Magnolia Table or Silo Baking company. Theres some really good food in town this tour will show you where to find it. Bonus: Youll come away from the tour with some discount coupons!
The tour includes a stop for refreshments and a complimentary ice cream or coffee drink. It also features a stop at Harp Design. If youre familiar with the show, you know Clint Harp is a craftsman who often works with Joanna Gaines. His shop is full of goodies. I prefer it to the Magnolia Market. The merchandise is really fun and creative and it isnt the mob scene that Magnolia can be, especially on the weekends.
- If you want to get a feel for where the locals go in Waco, take a Waco tour. Photo credit: Jill Robbins
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Urban Air Adventure Park
One of my kids favorite things to do in Waco is go to the Urban Air Adventure Park.
Especially when its hot outside, which is like 90% of the year.
Urban Air Adventure Park features about 10 different activities inside ranging from trampoline basketball to a ball pit obstacle course that reminds me of a kids version of American Ninja Warrior, to a massive 2-story playscape.
In terms of cost, its pretty expensive to just buy day-passes. Youre actually much better off just purchasing the monthly pass, even if youre only going one time .
For example, here are the one-time ticket prices:
- 5 & Under: $11.99 per kid
- Deluxe Ticket: $20.99 per kid
- Ultimate Ticket: $25.99 per kid
Whereas the monthly prices are:
- Parent Membership: $3.99/mo
- Deluxe Membership: $8.99/mo per kid
- Ultimate Membership: $11.99/mo per kid
You can save 60% or more by doing the monthly rate, even if youre only going one time.
Just keep in mind that you HAVE to wear Urban Air socks , so if you dont have some already, youll need to buy them. They keep them in stock at the trampoline park so you can pick them up when you go.
Last time I had to buy some it was around $3.50/pair.
When its 100 degrees outside, this will quickly become one of your favorite things to do in Waco with kids.
Go Back In Time At The Mayborn Museum Complex At Baylor
After you take your Junior Ranger pledge at the Texas Ranger museum, walk along the river just a few blocks to the Mayborn Museum Complex at Baylor. Our favorite section here is the Natural History exhibit. From the humpback whale skull to the giant sea turtle skeleton, there is a lot to see here for your roadschooling adventure. You can also catch a view of Mammoth casts here, if you dont get a chance to visit the National Monument.
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Wild Lights At Cameron Park Zoo
For a city of its size, Waco has a fantastic zoo inside the beautiful Cameron Park. As the holidays near, the Cameron Park Zoo gets into the Christmas spirit with Wild Lights, its holiday lights spectacular.
Here, guests can stroll through the beautiful zoo grounds at night and see festive displays of thousands of Christmas lights. Visits with Santa, Christmas carolers, and holiday treats are also a big part of this Christmas celebration.
Be sure to come early to see all the wonderful animals at the zoo during the day!
Free Things To Do In Waco
A trip to Waco need not break the bank. You can leave your wallet behind if you check out:
Baylor University – If you plan to explore the region’s history through its landmarks, put this one on your itinerary.
The Texas Collection – Plan a visit and find out the significance of this place to the community.
Brazos Park East – Revitalize your mind and body by spending time in nature.
Built around the Waco Suspension Bridge, Downtown Waco is the cultural hub of the city. Explore the Cultural District, which spotlights local art and entertainment through galleries, performance venues, and public art installments. The Dr Pepper Museum, where you can learn about the origins of the drink, is also located in Downtown.
One of the largest city parks in Texas, Cameron Park is a beautiful green space where families can go to relax. Spread over 416 acres , the park sits on the Brazos River and features trails for walking or biking, a disc golf course, and the Cameron Park Zoo.
The Silos is located near downtown and is home to Magnolia Market, the farmhouse-style design mecca created by Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna. When you’re not browsing for unique interior décor in the market, grab a bite from the on-site local food trucks or the Silo Baking Co. before sprawling out or playing games on the lawn.
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