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Things to do in Waco, Texas for Families

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Most people who take the family on vacation to Texas probably don’t have Waco as one of their must-do locations. But with its convenient location on I-35 between Dallas and Austin (and San Antonio a little farther south) and its unique attractions, it might be worth checking out for a night or two. So, without further ado, here are my picks for fun things to do in Waco, Texas for families:

1.  Cameron Park Zoo

For a small city, the Cameron Park Zoo is really top notch. It’s great especially for the small kids since there are many great natural-habitat exhibits but you can see all of them in 2 or 3 hours. There are also some play areas spaced out amongst the exhibits. My favorite is the otter slide. The kids can slide through the otter tank where the otters often swim playfully around while the parents can relax in rocking chairs all under a covered building. Restrooms and vending snacks are also available at this particular play area.

2. Dr Pepper Museum

The Dr Pepper museum is interesting, but the real treasure in my opinion is the old-time soda fountain. Old fashioned root beer float with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream? Yes, please! Read here for more on our fun visit to the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco.

3. Mayborn Museum

Another big hit with the smaller visitors, the Mayborn Museum is a fun, interactive children’s science museum. There are sixteen themed rooms where children can dress up, climb around, explore, and test what’s around them. Don’t let them know that some of it may teach them something and you’ll all have a good time. There’s also the Gov. Bill & Vera Daniel Historic Village just outside the museum which will have the kids singing “Home, Home on the Range” in no time. For more information on a visit to the Mayborn Museum, see our other article on Fun Things to do in Waco, TX with Kids.

Things to do in Waco Texas - Mayborn Museum

Kids will love the hands-on activities at the Mayborn Museum on the Baylor campus.

4. Waco Suspension Bridge

Be sure to bring the camera along for this stop. The Waco Suspension Bridge offers some of the most beautiful backdrops for photographs in town. Stroll along the bridge, watch the Brazos River flow underneath, and let the kids climb on the big (like, Texas-big) statues of cattle. While there may not be things to actually see or do, it’s a great place for pictures and running around in general.

5. Baylor Athletics

Admittedly, my college team of choice is about 90 miles south of Waco, but no one can dispute the fact that Baylor Athletics has it going on right now. Check out what games are in town and you might just get to see the next National Championship basketball team or the next Heisman Trophy winner in action.

6. Special Events & Attractions

Check the Chamber of Commerce or Waco Events Calendar for annual events and attractions around town. The Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo each fall offers an inexpensive way to see a great rodeo, amusement rides, and an exhibits hall. Nearby Homestead Heritage has interesting tours and festivals throughout the year. You never know what might be coming through at the same time you are!

For a convenient and scenic hotel option, be sure to check out Hilton Waco located just across the street from the Waco Suspension Bridge.  Stop by Brazos Grille, the restaurant inside Hilton Waco, when you’re ready for some delicious food.  You might just find that Waco is more of a destination than you ever imagined!

Have more fun in Texas:

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Robyn fell in love with travel before kids and has found it even more wonderful since her kids have joined the family. She is married to an amazing…

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