10 Fun & Creative Family Activities for Spring Break in Waco!
by Rebecca Edwards
In Waco for Spring Break? You are in luck! There are some wonderful ways you can have some creative fun with your family – no matter what age they are! Here is my personal top 10 list. What would be on yours?
#10 The Dr. Pepper Museum with its Wild West Exhibit – Aside from all the history of Dr. Pepper, there is a great homage to the cowboys and cowgirls that have helped market the soda. Sweet treats in the oldfashioned soda fountain, too. On March 7th, the DPM begins its “summer” hours, meaning it’s open on Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 5pm. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students, Seniors & Military $7
#9 Cameron Park Zoo – (Be sure to take advantage of the zoo shuttle – the parking lot fills up quickly.) On Sunday, March 13th, 11am to 2pm, the zoo will host “Spring Forward for Amphibians” with special activities. But the rest of the week will be wonderful to walk the grounds and gaze at our animals living right here in the city! Playgrounds and the gift shop offer the weary some rest. The Zoo is open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is $10 for Adults, $7 for children 412 years old, $9 for Seniors (Children 3 and under are free and Military discounts are offered).
#8 Art Center Waco: GS DeFoore Exhibit, Cookies & Coloring, sculpture trail AND Spring Break Pottery Class – Okay, the Art Center is one of my favorite gems of Waco. Above Cameron Park and the river, the views are spectacular, the grounds (with walkable sculpture trail) are inspiring, and the gallery space is inviting and peaceful. Aside from the permanent structure of the Art Center itself, the goingson inside are also enticing. The GS DeFoore Exhibit just opened and will be up through May 27th. On Wednesday, March 9th, Doreen Plott of Mammoth Creek Pottery will be hosting a pottery class from 9am to noon. (Limited to 10, Registration $50). And on Friday, March 11th, free Cookies & Coloring will be back from 3pm to 5pm to explore the work of Jackson Pollock and eat cookies! What’s not to love??? The Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. Admission is FREE!!
#7 Magnolia Silos and Food Trucks – In case you didn’t know, there’s a little HGTV show that has made Waco a destination city. And Magnolia Market at the Silos is its base camp! I like the store and all, but the “park” like feel of the grounds and the beauty of community are what have drawn me to the silos. The food trucks (looking at you, Luna Juice Bar and Club Sandwich) are a great excuse to drop by and have lunch while the kids run and tumble on the astroturf lawn with its old fashioned games. The store and grounds are open Monday to Thursday 10am to 6pm and Friday & Saturday 9am to 6pm. Closed Sunday. Admission is FREE!!
#6 Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University – This grand library may be an odd suggestion for children on Spring Break, but the current exhibition of the library’s collection of children’s literature is worth checking out. The building itself is a masterpiece of architecture, and the grounds around Baylor are perfect for strolling, biking, or scootering. The library is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, and on Saturday 10am to 2pm. Admission is FREE!!
#5 THE Waco Hippodrome – If you haven’t checked out the beautiful renovations done to our Grand Old Dame, the Hippodrome is worth a visit. Offering firstrun movies, delightful old favorites, and a delicious menu (you can eat WHILE watching a movie), it should be pretty high on your list. Especially with the free concert coming up on March 7th at 7pm: The Air Force Celtic Band! Advanced tickets are available on the website—for FREE. (Did I mention this concert is free?) The Hippodrome offers lunch Monday through Friday 11am to 2pm, and the kitchen & bar are open Monday through Friday beginning at 5pm and Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11am (for awesome brunch!). Admission for most movies and showtimes is $5, First run movies in the evening are $8.
#4 Mayborn Museum at Baylor University – Every. Single. Day. The Mayborn has special Spring Break activities planned in the Bill & Vera Daniel Historical Village every single day of the week. Monday is Chore Day, Tuesday is Grinding Day, Wednesday is Planting Day, Thursday is Candle Making, and Friday is Game Day! These activities are only from 1pm to 3pm in the village, with some days featuring a horsedrawn carriage or animals in the village. But if you miss that, don’t worry. The Mr. Potato Head & Tinker Toy exhibit are also worth the visit! Not to mention the chance to see DisneyPixar’s Toy Story in the museum theater at 11am and 3pm every day. AND Mr. Potato Head himself will make an appearance every day at 10:30 and 2:30. Aside from the traveling exhibits and special events, the regular exhibits are what keep our family members to this treasure of a museum. We like to feel small next to the mammoth skull and giant turtle skeleton in the Strecker wing. We like to explore the wonders of light and water and magnetism in the discovery rooms. And the museum store is a favorite spot to spend allowance money! The Mayborn is open from 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday, with extended hours on Thursdays until 8pm. Open Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Admission to the traveling exhibit includes regular admission Adults: $10.00, Children(18 months to 12 years of age): $5.00 Seniors (65 years and older): $9.00.
#3 The WacoMcLennan Public Library’s Spring Break Programming – From the time my oldest was a toddler, we have been taking advantage of the FREE programming at the Waco Library. Toddler time, Preschool Storytime, Summer showcases, special interest clubs. There is something for every age child. In fact, there are just too many to list here. Check out the library website for details about the Zooniversity visiting the South Waco Library or the Board Game club at the West Waco Library or the Family Kite Worksop at Central Library (preregister for that one!). And the regular programming isn’t letting up just because it is Spring Break! Toddler Time and Story Time are still happening! Plus, Books! Movies! Audiobooks! Free Wifi and computer use! Get a library card because it will take you places without having to actually travel. I am a HUGE fan. The Libraries are open most days from 10am to 6pm, with each branch having extended hours on certain days. Admission AND Library Cards are FREE!!!
#2 Sightseeing WacoTown’s Public Art – Waco is changing! It is becoming a place of vibrant art and culture—if it hasn’t always been, the cocoon is cracking. I want to encourage anyone to walk or bike along the Suspension Bridge and marvel at the Branding the Brazos sculptures that capture the scenes of the first crossings of our famous bridge. Find the Freedom Fountain at the Waco Convention Center and try to read the word “FREEDOM” in all the languages that surround it. Find our “You look Nice today, WacoTown” mural at 7th & Washington. Seek out our art. Support our artists at galleries like the Art Center of Waco, Anthem Studios, Art Forum, Martin Museum of Art, and Studio Gallery. See what artists have been doing in our city and celebrate! Go to the public art outside ANYTIME. For the art galleries, check their hours. Admission is FREE!!!
And the NUMBER ONE event in Waco during Spring Break is….
#1 FIRST FRIDAY!!! – Okay, so it doesn’t last all week, but it does start on the very first evening of Spring Break: Friday, March 4th! And the event is all over and really all afternoon and into the evening. Something for everyone and a chance (excuse?) to check out new places in town, like the Findery. Or maybe not even new ones—what about spots that have been around but there’s never been a chance to see what they are all about? Use this First Friday as a ticket to explore what downtown has to offer! Different venues have different hours. Admission is FREE!!!
Rebecca Edwards grew up in West Texas and has lived in Waco for the better part of 24 years. After graduating from Baylor, she married Joel and they have three children. After careers in banking and travel, her titles now include Wife, Mother, Substitute Teacher, Photographer, Arts Enthusiast, and Craft Dabbler.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.