Waco is a mid-sized city located in the heart of Central Texas. It’s been a popular tourist destination, and for a reason – at least 10 reasons, in fact! Buckle up, because you’re about to explore a handful of amazing things to do in Waco.
See the Baylor University Campus
Baylor University is a private research university located in Waco. The university was founded in 1845 and is the largest Baptist university in the world. The campus is home to a variety of historical buildings, including Pat Neff Hall and Armstrong Browning Library. The campus features a variety of architectural styles, including traditional red brick buildings and modern glass and steel structures. The campus is also home to a number of sculptures and public artworks, including the “Bear Down” statue, which is a popular photo spot for Baylor students and visitors.
Visit the Mayborn Museum Complex
The Mayborn Museum Complex is located on the Baylor University campus. It’s a world-class facility that offers something for everyone, from fascinating exhibits on natural history and anthropology to interactive children’s exhibits and IMAX movies. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to capture your attention. The complex is open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is free for everyone.
Take a Tour of the Cameron Park Zoo
This is a great thing to in Waco with kids. The Cameron Park Zoo It features a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, and bears. The Zoo is also home to the largest collection of chimpanzees in Texas. Visitors can also take a train ride through the park and see the animals up close. Some of the exhibits include the African Savannah, Asian Gardens, Cameron Drive-Thru Safari, and the Children’s Zoo. The zoo is open every from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Admission rates are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (62 and over), $5 for children (ages 3-12), and free for children 2.
Visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the legendary law enforcement agency. The museum chronicles the Rangers’ long and storied past, from their early days as a frontier militia to their modern-day role as one of the state’s most respected law enforcement agencies. Visitors can see firearms, uniforms, and other artifacts. The museum also features a variety of interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what it’s like to be a Ranger.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique day out, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is sure to impress. The site is open from Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, and on Sundays from noon to 5pm. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), and $5 for children (ages 4-17). Children age 3 and under are free.
Explore Waco’s Cameron Park
Cameron Park is a 305-acre park located in Waco. The park features a variety of amenities, including hiking trails, a swimming pool, and a golf course. Visitors can also take a ride on the Waco Cable Railway, which runs through the park. There is also plenty of open space for people to enjoy nature, as well as numerous picnic spots throughout the park, making it a perfect place to spend an outdoorsy day with family or friends. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset. Cameron Park is also a free park. However, there are fees for using the playground, waterpark, and golf course. And while you’re there, you can go ahead and…
…Take a Ride on the Waco Hippodrome Carousel
Whether you’re travelling with kids or you’re a kid at heart yourself, be sure to check out the Waco Hippodrome Carousel. This carousel is over 100 years old and is one of the few remaining functional wooden carousels in the country. It was originally part of a traveling carnival that came to town each year, but then the carousel was donated to the city. It’s been designated as a National Historic Landmark, too. Apart from riding one of the 36 hand-carved animals, you also get to listen to music from a 1908 Wurlitzer band organ! The Waco Hippodrome is open from 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday, and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays. Admission is just $1 per person, making it a great value for families.
Take a Walk Across the Waco Suspension Bridge
Located in downtown Waco, the bridge was built in 1870 and spans the Brazos River. It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is open to pedestrian traffic, allowing visitors to admire stunning views of the river and surrounding countryside. It’s free, too!
Explore the Waco Mammoth National Monument
The Waco Mammoth National Monument is a paleontological site located in Waco, and a must-see for anyone looking for historical things to do in Waco. The site features the remains of a herd of 24 Columbian mammoths that lived over 12,000 years ago. Visitors are given the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the fossils, which are remarkably well-preserved. There are also hiking trails and a nature preserve on the property. There is no better place to learn about the creatures that once roamed the earth. The Waco Mammoth National Monument is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for all visitors.
Splurge at Magnolia Market at the Silos
Magnolia Market at the Silos is a marketplace located in Waco. The market is owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the popular television show “Fixer Upper.” The couple opened the market in 2015 as a home decor and lifestyle shop. The market also hosts regular events, such as live music and movie nights. And in case you get tired of picking from a wide selection of clothes and decor, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks on site. Opening hours vary depending on the time of year, so be sure to check the market’s website before your visit. Admission is free, but parking can be a bit of a challenge. Be sure to arrive early to snag a spot!
Have a Drink at Dr Pepper Museum
Located in an old bottling plant, this one-of-its-kind museum is dedicated to the history and production of the legendary soft drink and a great thing to do in Waco with family. Visitors can learn about the history of Dr Pepper, see vintage soda machines, and even taste some products. There’s also an extensive gift shop on-site, so you can take home some Dr Pepper-themed souvenirs. And best of all, admission to the museum is free! Opening hours vary throughout the year, so be sure to check the museum’s website before you visit.
Things to Do in Waco – Summary
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Waco, Texas: be it a 100-year-old carousel, a scenic bridge, a natural history museum, or a market. There really is no way to be bored in this vibrant city. So, if you’re looking for a fun and interesting place to visit, be sure to add Waco to your list!
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