Over the years, Waco, TX has grown into a popular tourist destination that provides a centralized location to other great places in Texas. And those visiting in the winter are in for a treat – the city offers a ton of festive things to do around Christmastime.
If you’re considering coming to Waco this Christmas season, be sure to check out these 10 things to do to help make your holiday visit exciting and memorable!
1. A Magnolia Christmas at the Silos
As Waco’s must-see attraction, the Silos have developed into a lively community center of shopping, dining, and entertainment. In December, the area transforms into Christmas at the Silos, with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, concerts, photos with Santa, and other holiday festivities.
Visitors to this magical place in December will love the endless opportunities to find quality Christmas gifts in all the shops while sipping warm cocoa or eating a Christmas cookie from the Magnolia coffee shop or bakery.
Decked in all its Christmas glory, you’ll want to snap several selfies and photos of your experience at the Silos. Be on the lookout for the occasional Chip or Joanna sighting!
The Silos are a Christmas in Waco treasure you don’t want to miss!
2. Christmas on 5th Street at Baylor University
Each December, Baylor University, located in the heart of Waco, hosts Christmas on 5th Street, a community festival that brings holiday cheer to students, locals, and tourists alike. Visitors will love strolling Baylor’s beautiful campus at night all decorated in Christmas lights and trees.
Festival goers can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, kids’ activities, Christmas carolers and choir concerts, a live nativity scene, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a Christmas market with local vendors and food trucks.
The culmination of the event is the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the historic Burleson Quad. Always merry and inviting, Christmas on 5th Street makes a great kickoff to each Christmas season.
3. Holiday Make-A-Soda and a Visit to the Dr. Pepper Museum
The iconic American soft drink Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco in the late 1800s, and today you can visit Waco’s historic Dr. Pepper Museum to experience its storied history firsthand.
Waco visitors at Christmastime should stop by for the unique immersive soda exhibits and experiences the museum offers, including the special Holiday Make-A-Soda. This event allows museum goers to get creative and make their own soda using festive holiday flavors.
4. Waco Wonderland
The lively Waco Wonderland Christmas celebration brings the holiday spirit to downtown Waco every year.
In addition to the Christmas tree lighting in Heritage Square, visitors can enjoy a variety of holiday festivities like:
- Ice skating
- Ferris wheel and carriage rides
- Writing letters to Santa
- Live holiday music
- Fireworks show
- Christmas parade
- Food trucks and Mistletoe Market
- Wonderland Fun Run & 5K
While downtown, be sure to head over to Waco’s Suspension Bridge, one of the city’s most beloved landmarks. Crossing the Brazos River, the bridge is a special place to view the city skyline and take holiday family photos.
5. Christmas with Waco’s Oldest Residents at Waco Mammoth National Monument
Want to take a fascinating break from some of Waco’s more traditional Christmas festivities? Consider heading over to the Waco Mammoth National Monument to celebrate Christmas with the city’s oldest residents.
Here you’ll see fossilized mammoths that resided here about 65,000 years ago. These mammoths make up the only Columbian mammoth nursery herd found in the US, with 24 mammoths in the area still in their place of original discovery.
The guided tour at the dig shelter is a great way to see these mammoths up close!
6. Local Holiday Kolaches and Fruitcakes
A short drive away, the Czech Stop in the small town of West draws tons of Wacoans and Texans all over for its famous fresh-baked kolaches.
Best for a holiday breakfast, choices abound at this local roadside gas station and bakery. You can’t go wrong with jalapeno sausage and cheese, in my opinion!
Want something more traditional? The Collin Street Bakery’s world famous fruitcakes are always a big draw at Christmas. They’re so good they ship internationally to 196 countries!
7. Christmas Ornament Glass Blowing at Stanton Studios
Ever wanted to blow your own Christmas glass ornament? Well, you can do just that at Waco’s Stanton Studios at Christmastime.
Master glassblowers work alongside you to make the process easy and help you create your very own unique Christmas ornament to take home!
Be sure to book your appointment in advance for this one of a kind Christmas in Waco experience suitable for all ages.
8. Wild Lights at Cameron Park Zoo
For a city of its size, Waco has a fantastic zoo inside the beautiful Cameron Park. As the holidays near, the Cameron Park Zoo gets into the Christmas spirit with Wild Lights, its holiday lights spectacular.
Here, guests can stroll through the beautiful zoo grounds at night and see festive displays of thousands of Christmas lights. Visits with Santa, Christmas carolers, and holiday treats are also a big part of this Christmas celebration.
Be sure to come early to see all the wonderful animals at the zoo during the day!
9. Holiday Tours of Waco’s Historic Homes
Each December, the Historic Waco Foundation offers holiday tours of its three historic homes: the Earle-Napier-Kinnard House, the East Terrace House, and the McCulloch House.
Guests can see these magnificent homes adorned with holiday decor and heirlooms from the period and take a step back in time to learn more of Waco’s history.
The Historic Waco Foundation holds a special weekend in December called Christmas on the Brazos, with holiday dinners in the historic homes, breakfast with Santa, arts and crafts, and other festivities.
10. Christmas Lights in the Village at the Mayborn Museum
The Mayborn Museum provides year-round natural science and cultural history exhibits focused on Central Texas, as well as a special discovery center that kids will love.
Full of special events, at Christmastime the museum hosts Christmas Lights in the Village at its life-size outdoor historic village exhibit reflecting village life in the 1890s.
Guests can experience the cozy village decorated in Christmas lights, as well as a petting zoo, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and local food vendors.
Did we miss any of your favorite things to do in Waco at Christmas?
Let us know in the comments so we can add more to the list!