This week the open road took us to Waco, a city of 135,000 nestled between Dallas and Austin along IH-35. Home to Baylor University and most recently the stage for the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. I haven’t spent much time there myself, and saw this as the perfect opportunity to explore the area and see what fun activities we could find that kids would love. Just 110 miles north of Austin, the drive took us just under 2 hours and the kids were pretty happy the entire way. Here is how to spend A Day in Waco with Kids!
To make sure we got to see as many animals as possible we made Cameron Park Zoo our first stop. Temperatures reached 102 while we were in town so I’m glad we did this first. Cameron Park Zoo has all of my favorite animals. We say giraffes, a rhino, black bears and a cheetah. There is a children’s playground complete with a small splash pad area and covered pavilions that would be great for a packed picnic. The great thing about this zoo is that you can take one walking path that will take you through out the entire zoo. You will regularly be routed through buildings with aquariums, reptiles and night life to the local area, bonus all of these buildings were air conditioned so it was a pleasant break from the heat. There is a small cafe where you can buy snacks and picnic tables about half way through the walking path. There is also a gift shop at the entrance that has tons of cute stuffed animals and items that the kids will love, they also have bottled water and a variety of sunscreen, you know in case you forgot that.
Next up was the Dr Pepper Museum. As a long time drinker of Diet Dr Pepper I thought this was super fun. Make sure you visit their site before you visit to snag a $1 off admission coupon. There is a memorabilia area, fun gift shop and of course a soda fountain. They even offer some awesome summer camps that are all about science, free enterprise and FUN!
The Waco Mammoth National Monument is a park of the National Park system and was the site that a Mammoth was unearthed in 1978. After the discover the site was explored and between 1978-1990 the remains of 16 Mammoths were found! Visit the site and see the areas that this amazing discover took place. The monument is indoors and handicap accessible. This is a great place to introduce your kids to the National Parks, Junior Ranger program. Stop by the front desk and pick up your free work book, fill it out as you explore the monument and return it when done. Kids will be sworn in as junior rangers and receive their badge.
Another great stop with the kids is the Mayborn Museum Complex. Kids will love the natural science discovery rooms and the many hands on exhibits. Including a Play Waco area where kids can pretend while doing every days tasks like working in the post office or buying their groceries.
Next up was Magnolia Market at the Silos, if you follow the Fixer Upper show you know that Chip and Joanna Gains have converted two old Silos in the heart of downtown Waco into their Market area. The grounds are complete with the Market itself filled with every farm house decor item you could ever dream of. The yard area had local food trucks to pick from along with games the kids will enjoy. Make sure to stop in their newest addition the Magnolia Bakery and try
six one of their fresh and delicious cupcakes with flavors like lemon lavender or peach pie.
From the Silo District we caught the free trolley and rode it to the first stop on Austin Ave. Now you can ride the trolley through downtown and end up right back at the Silos but we had business to tend to. We made the short walk to Hey Sugar the local candy shop with everything you could imagine to chose from. We filled our bags with yummy gummies and headed back towards the Silos.
We had an amazing time and headed home from there to avoid too much traffic. So pack your bags and hit the road for a fun filled day in Waco with kids.
We brought a little bit of Waco home with us to share with you! We are giving away a copy of the Chip and Joanna’s book, The Magnolia Story and a $20 gift card to Magnolia Market. The book is amazing and tells the cutest story of their romance and beginning together. You can check out the Magnolia Market online and start doing some window shopping.