Best Waco Playgrounds

Ellen Grant
• Saturday, 16 January, 2021
• 9 min read

Since 2013, the Gaines family has basically “fixer upped” the city of Waco with their wholesome stamp of Texan appeal. After years of remodeling the “worst houses in the best neighborhoods,” property values are up and tourism is booming.

harrill recreation complex ben playground pasco county fl
(Source: www.pascocountyfl.net)


Weekends are chock-full of visitors on the hunt for homemade cupcakes, farmhouse cake stands and fluffy throw pillows. Chip and Joanna have opened multiple business in addition to their home-flipping services showcased on HGTV, creating a whole Magnolia empire.

For Fixer Upper fans, there’s one place you must put on the top of your list: The Silos Waco ! The Silos are the retail and entertainment hub of the Magnolia Home empire and just two minutes of I-35, it’s an easy detour if you happen to be driving from one big Texan city to another.

The main Magnolia Market store has different rooms and designs change seasonally, even if you came last spring, another visit wouldn’t be a waste of time. PRO TIP: If you know Chip and Joanna, you won’t be surprised that the Silos are closed on Sundays.

If you think watching Fixer Upper gives you too many ideas of how to turn your home into a ship lapped farmhouse, just wait until you’re there in person, touching every curated texture, photographing every Instagrammable planter overflowing with fresh herbs and eating every handcrafted baked good you can get your paws on. There are also spring and Christmastime events, so you could reasonably go back to Waco on a quarterly basis and never get bored.

There are fewer screaming children (most of the time), much better food and so much design inspiration you can’t help but spend more than you intended. They’ve gone from dilapidated relic of agriculture days gone by to the most bustling hotspot in town.

waco parks recreation department wacoan magazine
(Source: www.wacoan.com)

PRO TIP: The weekends are very, very busy with thousands of visitors, so plan to arrive early or come later in the day when the crowds die down a bit. Depending on how much you plan to buy, you can also park in downtown Waco and take the Silos District Trolley.

It wouldn’t be a Fixer Upper trip without a tour of the homes Chip and Joanna have remodeled for the show over the years. We tried our lots of places around town and the food was good, but the next time we visit Waco there’s a solid chance Magnolia Table will get our business for every breakfast and lunch.

It was that good, and between the clean farmhouse decor and the friendly service, it’s as close as we’re getting to eating at Chip and Jo’s house. Out back, it’s basically the ideal backyard for fun with fire pits, picnic tables, Corn hole and giant Jenna all under shady trees.

Just imagine the shenanigans you could have in a ship lapped kitchen with subway tile and original wood floors. Hotel Indigo Waco is only a couple of years old, and one of my favorite things about the brand is that they change out decor, scents and tastes seasonally, and there’s always a focus on local culture.

Hotel Indigo Waco was ideal for our group of three ladies and one pup. There’s an indoor pool, ample free parking, and it’s close to all things Magnolia.

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(Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com)

I’m sure the citizens of Waco would like everyone to know that there’s more to their town than Magnolia, so here are a few ideas of things to do when you’re not paying for the Gaines children to go to college. We stumbled upon Cameron Park while on our self-guided driving tour of Magnolia homes and were in awe.

It’s a 416 acre urban park with two winding rivers, boat ramps, tons of playgrounds and miles of hiking and biking trails. If you’ve come to Waco for Chip and Joanna purposes, you’ll already be in the mood for browsing and shopping for unique home wares.

90 shops under one roof in a restored warehouse, featuring antiques, housewares, gifts and more. If that song doesn’t sound familiar, I guarantee you won’t be able to get it out of your head after visiting the world-famous Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco.

Waco is located almost halfway between Dallas and Austin on I-35, so if you happen to be in either big city for a conference, a wedding or just a long layover at DFW, it’s an easy two-hour drive from either spot. Check out our other posts from the Lone Star State: Sadly for all of us, Fixer Upper isn’t on HGTV anymore (except in re-runs), but Chip and Joanna aren’t going anywhere.

Thank you to Hotel Indigo Waco for hosting and supporting independent content creators like us! And thank you, readers, for supporting the partners that keep Angie Away and The Jet Sisters a free travel resource.

killeen tripadvisor
(Source: www.tripadvisor.com)

While your kids are having fun, you can relax in our café, use our free Wi-Fi or lounge on one of our many comfy couches in the gym. History buffs will fall in love with the numerous museums and historic monuments open to the public, where you can learn more about the region’s background dating back to the original settlers, a Wichita Indian tribe known as the Waco.

However, the persevering heart of Waco shown through, and it was finally completed and ready to debut as the first major suspension bridge in Texas. Appropriately named, the Texas Collection is a fantastic archive of documents and materials that are important to Texan history.

It’s the oldest special collections' library at Baylor University, and you can access many of the documents online as well. The house was built in 1866 by a Waco physician named Josiah Caldwell, and it was originally lived in by he, his wife Maria, and their five children.

In its day, this house was such an important part of the Waco social scene that local people knew of it and its famous parties well. Inside the house, you’ll see family heirlooms as well as watercolor paintings by Waco artist Charles H. Cox.

Entrance to the house is by guided tour on certain days of the week through the Historic Waco Foundation. Sometimes, it’s no surprise that Chip and Joanna Gaines were able to help put Waco on the map with their real estate knowledge and design work.

story wintergreen synthetic grass entrepreneurial launching instincts decided industries moore ashley ten follow winter years service
(Source: www.wintergreengrass.com)

He designed it in Greek Revival style and created a gorgeous combination of ionic columns and cypress shutters. In 1970, the house became a part of the National Register of Historic Places, and it used to be a museum for the public to come and learn about Waco’s history and the Fort family.

Recently, Fort House was actually purchased by Chip and Joanna, so stay tuned on what it turns into next! Wandering through the building itself is a real treat, as the architecture is Italian renaissance and the gleaming golden hues everywhere are really beautiful.

Especially if you’re on a girl’s retreat to Waco or perhaps have a college kid at Baylor, it’s helpful to know where you can go to both get the essentials and the fun stuff. Located in Downtown Waco just a few streets over from Magnolia Market is Spice Village, a unique collection of over 60 boutique shops selling everything from home decor to dog toys.

It’s also a great place to get some snaps for Instagram as the bold colors and decor inside the building made it a sight to remember. If it’s a Saturday morning any month of the year or a Tuesday afternoon in the right season, you should run, don’t walk to the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market.

This Farmer’s Market has been going since 2011 and is conveniently located on the riverside at South University Parks Drive. Local vendors sell everything from fresh produce to iced tea to adorable handicrafts.

(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Whether you want to just browse around or are looking for that one perfect piece for your home, you’re guaranteed to find antique shops to keep you occupied while wandering around Waco. Whether you’ve spent the whole day antiquing or want somewhere to sit down with your best friends and chat about all the latest happenings in your busy lives, Waco has got you covered for awesome places to eat, drink, and be happy.

They’ve combined live music and local wine tasting to make for a memorable experience in Downtown Waco. This is an amazing place to unwind with a group of friends or celebrate a birthday or special occasion.

From delicious pub style food to the pool tables and shuffleboard, this is a place where you can leave any stuffiness behind and just relax and unwind. The most popular times to visit are for dinner and late night food, as the fully stocked dinner menu gives you an option to really stuff your face while the late night food menu has tons of great snacking options.

This is one of Waco’s favorite Tex Mex options and their family recipes add an extra layer of authenticity to everything they serve. Sometimes finding the best things to do in Waco involves getting outdoors and soaking up the beautiful Texan sunshine.

Along the Brazos River is a wonderful place in Waco to visit if you’re venturing out on the boat or want to play a round of horseshoes. In addition to some open spaces, this park has plenty of boat ramps and a dedicated area for playing horseshoes.

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(Source: www.facebook.com)

Don’t miss panoramic views of the city at Circle Point, the gorgeous oak trees and open fields at Lawson’s Point, or the incredibly unique staircase called Jacob’s Ladder that has 100 steps to the top (I’m out of breath just thinking about it, so meet you in about 10 hours at the top!) The trail was built on top of an old railway line, giving it a bit of charm and atmosphere, and cyclists are welcome as well if you want to explore on two wheels.

From evening entertainment to tours by experts, here are some of the best cultural things to do in Waco for people of all ages. In order to be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, you have to first go on the ballot and then be one of the top vote getters.

Waco Hippodrome is one of the city’s premier cultural venues, acting as both a movie theater and a space for live events. It was in 1945 that the Waco Little Theater worked with the Baylor Drama Department to create the plans for the civic theater.

Book tickets to see one of its main stage products that range from Broadway musicals to amazingly funny comedies, or stop in for a one-off event put on by local artists or the children’s theater troupe. Past productions include Shakespeare in Love, The Wizard of Oz, Newbies and Steel Magnolias.

If you’re a public visitor to Waco, you and your family are more than welcome to come explore Baylor’s campus and find out why it's so special. You can start by keeping an eye out for the historic markers spread around campus that tell the university’s history stretching back to 1845.

You can also take your photo with Judge Baylor and by the Cypher bear sculpture or jump into the BSB fountains. Have a race down the Pineapple Express on a high-speed mat, chill out and float down the river at the Kong Cooler, or have the thrill seekers scream all the way down the two 65-foot free fall slides at the Monsoon and Typhoon.

For the little ones, they can hang out in Kali Love with the tame slides, awesome whirlpool, and miniature lazy river. The zoo is open all year round except for a couple of days, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, and you can purchase your tickets online ahead of time.

Dedicated to the history of soft drinks, the Dr. Pepper Museum is the perfect family-friendly day out in Waco. Collections include signs, bottles, toys and advertising related to lots of different soft drinks, not just Dr. Pepper.

Inside you’ll find articles, exhibits and artifacts relating to the Texas Rangers and information about how they have become a symbol of the American West. There are admission discounts for children, seniors, and military, and there’s also a gift shop, so you can purchase the perfect souvenir for someone you know who also loves and appreciates the Texas Rangers.

In the Jeans Discovery Center, have a play in the Discover rooms where you can learn about everything from the weather to the pioneer in a bright, interactive way. Stop by here with the whole family when you start your trip to get maps, brochures and real first-hand knowledge from Waco experts on where to go, what to do, and how to get there.

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