Want to get out of town, just for a day? We’ve got a fantastic little kid-friendly day trip to Waco for you to check out!
I took my boys (7 and 5) and my mom (who was in town visiting from Phoenix) up to Waco for a day over Spring Break. It wasn’t too far (about an hour and a half), but was just far enough to be special and new. Fixer Upper fans have probably heard of Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, but we stuck to more kid-friendly activities for this day trip. If you have more time, that would be a fun addition to a trip to Waco!
We started at the Mayborn Museum (1300 S. University Parks Dr., Waco). It’s a children’s museum on Baylor University’s campus. Admission is $6-8 and they are open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday (’til 8:00 p.m. on Thursday) and from 1-5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The museum wasn’t huge, but a good size to get through the entire place in a couple of hours.
My boys loved the Bubble and Water Room (you may want to remember to bring a change of clothes if your kids like to get wet). I feel like they got to play for a long time in each area and yet we still moved at a reasonable pace and were able to explore the whole museum.
We got there right at 10:00 a.m. and stayed until noon, which was when our tummies told us it was time for lunch. We decided to try the favorite local sandwich shop, Schmaltz’s (105 S. 5th St., Waco). The place was packed, but we managed to stalk a table just in time. The sandwiches were fantastic and the shop was close enough for us to walk to our next adventure, the Dr. Pepper Museum (300 S. 5th St., Waco)!
My kids were mostly interested in just getting Dr. Pepper (a special treat since we rarely do soda), so we decided to skip touring the museum and just go to the soda fountain part. You can usually find a Groupon to lower your admission cost if you’d like to do the full tour. If you’d like to save time in order to do more in Waco (or have kids who just want the soda and don’t care for the tour), I recommend just getting some treats at the soda fountain and snapping some pictures in front of the cool truck out front.
Once we were well-sugared and ready for our next adventure, we drove over to the Cameron Park Zoo (1701 N. 4th St., Waco). Admission is $7-10 (children 3 and under are FREE) and they are open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The zoo is just the right size for little kids and is easily doable in a couple of hours. Over the zoo’s 52 acres you will find over 1700 animals in natural habitats. One of my favorite features of this zoo was the little playground in the middle of it, where the kids can run around and play and you can take a break from walking if you’d like.
We left when we felt ready to eat dinner and grabbed a bite to eat before driving back to Austin. We even made it home in time for baths and bedtime, making it the perfect day trip for kids! If you have more time or different interests, you could also check out the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, Waco Mammoth National Monument, or the Magnolia Market at the Silos (as mentioned above).
We hope you have fun on your day trip to Waco! There is so much to explore! Check out the Greater Waco Chamber for more attractions.