Carved through by the weaving Brazos River, Waco TX is most commonly known for being the home of Magnolia Market at the Silos, but we were thrilled to find things to do that aren’t as well-known and just as memorable! If you’re wondering what to do in Waco this weekend or on your next vacation through the Heart of Texas, we’ve curated a fantastic list of things to do that will give you a taste of its culture, art, and the outdoors in one weekend, easily. And the list of where to eat in Waco is extensive as well! You’ll likely have to come back, and we guarantee one weekend will leave you wanting more of Waco anyway! We found it to be the perfect getaway if you’re looking to add adventure, leisure, or both to your visit in this up-and-coming, thriving arts city.
A Culture of Rebuilding and More!
Waco TX is filled with so many unique and impressive experiences that many tourists aren’t aware of. Its extensive history is a key part in what has shaped the city’s culture into what it is today. A common theme that was pointed out to us by the leaders of our “Classic Waco Tour” (shout out to Harrison and Red with Waco-Tours) was how Waco has had its fair share of tragedy, but it has continued to bounce back and is blossoming as we speak! Add these to your list of things to do in Waco this weekend for a glimpse at what makes the city’s culture one you won’t find many other places.
@mycurlyadventures So many fun reasons to visit Waco! This barely scratches the surface #texas #waco ♬ Running Up That Hill – Trinix Remix
Experience Uptown Luxury
A trip to Waco isn’t complete without a visit to Sironia in the Uptown area. The building once housed Sachs Austin Avenue in 1954 after its original location was destroyed in the devastating tornado that ripped through downtown Waco on May 11, 1953. Now, it’s filled with charming boutiques, a cafe serving Texas comfort food, and even a loft you can stay in!
Pamper yourself as you explore every corner of Sironia! All the items at the Sironia Cafe are made fresh in-house daily. Remember not to skip out on their famous desserts, including meringue pies, triple-layered cakes, and their top-selling strawberry cake! After enjoying a delectable meal, pick out something nice at one of their many local shops to remember your one of many weekends in Waco.
Stay in Uptown Waco
Uptown Peach consists of four brightly decorated suites that each make a unique statement of their own. At the center of the property is a shared, outdoor courtyard with firepits, murals, swinging chairs, a grill, picnic tables, and fairy lights. Read more about our stay at Uptown Peach and consider staying here the next time you’re in Waco!
Book a Tour of Waco’s Wine Scene (and more!)
Waco is home to some of the most delicious craft wines and spirits in the region, so a wine tour is an activity you have to add to your list of things to do this weekend. With options ranging from vintage and private tours to brewery tours, Waco Wine Tours gives guests a taste of only the best! As you visit the different vineyards and breweries in Waco, there won’t be any shortage of tastings!
One of the vineyards that you’ll get a chance to see on your next Waco Wine Tour is Valley Mills Vineyard, a beautiful winery on the outskirts of Waco that overlooks the grapes as they grow. You can walk through the vineyards and glimpse the same grapes that end up beautifully bottled not long after. There is also a winding staircase that leads up to a small porch on the roof where you can sip on your choice of wine. It’s the perfect spot for pictures! We love that all their wine is made from 100% Texas-grown grapes, with a variety of flavors, like Mourvedre and Vermentino. If you choose to add a Waco Wine Tour to your list of things to do in Waco, you’ll also get a behind the scenes look at how the wines and beers are made along the way.
Stay at a Czech-Inspired Hotel
The Pivovar Hotel will give you a taste of a European vacation without ever having to leave the country! Inspired by Czech culture, Pivovar operates as a full-service hotel and restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor patio, a Czech bakery, coffee bar, and an on-site Czech brewery. The entire building is a nod to Czech culture and Pilsner Lager’s roots and conception are featured throughout the hotel. You’ll notice pieces of art are displayed (and for sale) throughout the hotel, so you can even bring a piece of the Pivovar home with you! The rooms are filled with antique furniture, like a writer’s desk, different color schemes and themes, extravagantly spacious walk-in showers, and complementary robes and slippers for you to use. From your window, you’ll have amazing views of booming West Waco.
Bathe in Beer
One of the highlights of our stay at the Pivovar was the beer spa. You’ll soak in a copper bathtub filled with beer yeast and hops while sipping on a beer of your own! Beer yeast has many health benefits, including nutrients like iron and vitamin B. You can even add a massage if you’d like! Samples of beer soap, beer body milk, hair products, and shampoo are also available for guests of the hotel to use during their stay!
You can still book a beer spa experience if you aren’t staying at the Pivovar this weekend, so if you have the time, we highly recommend adding this to your list of things to do in Waco.
@mycurlyadventures ?Who knew beer could be so good for you!? One of the coolest spa experience we’ve had in Texas #texas ♬ Feel No Ways – Drake
Shop at the Magnolia Market at the Silos
A trip to Waco isn’t complete without a visit to the Magnolia Market. Encompassing two city blocks in downtown Waco, Magnolia Market at the Silos is a charming spot filled with personally curated collections, whether you’re seeking inspiration or a new statement piece for your home. From the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, you can bring Chip and Joanna Gaines’ vision into your own life!
Check out the refurbished church and silos at the heart of the market. The shops themselves are filled with everything from home decor and essentials to plants and paper goods. There is a baseball field you’re invited to enjoy along with cornhole games, soccer balls, bean bag chairs, and picnic tables with umbrellas, perfect for the entire family. Multiple food stands and trucks are on-site as well, with a variety of offerings to fuel you as you explore. We really enjoyed the iced tea from the Alabama Sweet Tea Company! It came in the cutest mason jars that we got to keep! Refills are only $2, so it was definitely worth it!
Stay in Waco’s Newest Boutique Hotel
Coming soon to downtown Waco is Chip and Joanna Gaines’ antique, boutique hotel. It’s rumored that it will have a French cafe, a full-service restaurant, and a ballroom! Save our list of things to do in Waco for updates.
Learn All About Texas’ Favorite Soda
As the birthplace of Dr. Pepper, you have to add the Dr. Pepper Museum to your list of things to do in Waco this weekend. This non-profit museum takes you through one of Waco’s marks on history, from Dr. Pepper’s humble beginnings to how it is enjoyed worldwide. As you’ll continue to learn, there are a number of things to do in Waco that the city should also be known for!
And Become a Beverage Chemist
Book a soda appointment ahead of time to try your hand at being a beverage chemist. You’ll learn about the traditional way that they used to mix sodas and how to properly keep a shaken soda from exploding on you. You can taste your chosen combination of syrups from their provided list before adding it to some carbonated water. However, be warned, the syrups will be super concentrated before adding them into some carbonated water, the base of any bubbly beverage. Once you’ve mixed them, you’ll have your own, unique soda to enjoy!
The soda lab is retro themed, and you’ll even be gifted with a paper beverage chemist hat to represent your newly acquired skill. Name your soda and create a logo and ingredient label to remember what you added for next time! Don’t forget to grab your coupon for a free bottled, Dr. Pepper from the soda parlor at the end!
@mycurlyadventures Such a fun make your own soda experience #texas ♬ Soda – Ikson
Make a Mess Without the Clean-up
If the reason for your next trip to Waco is centered around de-stressing, add the Waco Rage Room to your list of things to do in Waco this weekend. It’s the city’s first, themed rage room where you’re free to completely demolish everything in sight. Has work been wearing you out? Are you dealing with a breakup? Maybe you just want something new and fun to try? Whatever the reason may be, the Waco Rage Room has all the equipment necessary to assist you with releasing your pent-up emotions. All you need to do is show up and be ready to do some damage. The best part, leave the mess behind you, a metaphor for the stress in your life on your next weekend getaway to Waco.
Shop Inside This Boutique Wonderland
Check out some of Waco’s best shops at Spice Village, an indoor shopping district filled with over 60 boutiques and local vendors. Conveniently located in the Downtown Cultural District, we absolutely loved the Texas themed items and unique Waco souvenirs, as well as the cute merchandise, from clothing and jewelry to pet supplies and home decor, that we found as we explored every inch. It is the perfect place to add to your list of things to do in Waco this weekend for some unique, locally made finds, all in one place!
Visit the Birthplace of Texas’ First Whiskey
Enjoy tasting locally crafted whiskey at Balcones Distilling, an active brewery during the week that you can also tour on the weekends. The high Texas temperatures give Balcones Distilling’s whiskeys their intense and bold flavors they are famous for. If you take a seat inside their tasting room, you can select the spirits you’d like to taste from their menu. You’ll be given proofing water so you can play with the flavor of the whiskeys, or if they’re a bit too strong for you. When you’re done, go across the street to Milk Bottle Cookies for a sweet snack, which you can read more about on our list of where to eat in Waco!
Support This Historic Barbershop in Waco
The Jockey Club Barbershop is the oldest black-owned business in Waco. While it originally opened in 1920, the barbershop has been through its fair share of challenges, including relocation after the historic 1953 tornado and a temporary closure in 2011. Throughout the trials and turmoil of its history, the Jockey Club powered through it all and was actually reopened in 2016! Even celebrities have stopped in to get a haircut from the pristine talent at the Jockey Club, including baseball player Jackie Robinson!
The original setup and barber chairs are still in use after undergoing some reupholstery. Customers can learn about the history of the establishment via the tributes all over the shop. The Jockey Club serves as a staple in the community and is definitely worth a visit this weekend, whether you’re due for a haircut or not.
Visit a Castle in Waco
Another gem brought to you by Chip and Joanna Gaines is Cottonland Castle. The century-old castle was renovated by the duo and is now open for tours. You can see the beautiful architecture of each of the rooms in the building while learning about the history of the castle and its renovation. One-hour house tours are $50 and run from July 21 to October 26, so be sure to book your tickets as soon as possible! If you happen to miss out, the next time you’re in Waco, add a “Classic Waco Tour” with Waco-Tours to your list of things to do this weekend and you’ll still have a chance to see the outside of Cottonland Castle!
@mycurlyadventures Only a short for getting to tour this beautiful castle #texas #fixerupper ♬ Howl’s Moving Castle – Merry-Go-Round of Life – Vitamin String Quartet
Tour Waco with a Cocktail
What better way to explore Waco this weekend by pedaling through it? Waco Pedal Tours offers a fun expedition around the city on their 16-person party buses. Stopping at some of Waco’s top destinations, the tours allow guests to enjoy a unique, alternative way of sight-seeing. Bring a group of friends and get a nice leg workout in while enjoying drinks and learning all about what makes Waco one of the best cities to visit this weekend in Texas!
Shop for Seemingly Endless Handmade Goods
At Homestead Heritage, take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. There are many different shops with quality, homemade goods that you can take home with you, including a market, quilt barn, a general store, a basket shop, and a coffee shop. There’s also a cheese shop that sells a variety of handmade and aged cheeses, oils, honeys, caramels, and jams. We grabbed some goodies for our next garden party from here and they were phenomenal!
Homestead Heritage is also an immersive experience with different events and demonstrations. At the Homestead Gristmill, you can watch a water-powered stone mill grind up flour while learning about the history of whole wheat versus white flour and how a stone mill works! They also have a functioning herb garden and a seasonally operating sorghum syrup mill. Around Thanksgiving, they host a Homestead Fair that you should definitely add to your list of things to do in Waco, in addition to other events like the Annual Labor Day Sorghum Festival, when they harvest their raw sugar cane and make it into pure sorghum syrup right before your eyes that you can try!
Visit This Gaming Haven
In combination with the restaurant, Butter My Biscuit, is King’s Landing Games: a wonderland for gamers of all kinds. You’ll find board games, themed merchandise, and decor from all sorts of video games and universes, such as Harry Potter, Lord of Rings, Pokémon, and Overwatch. You’ll also find retro games, collectibles, RPG games, and a backroom where you can play their stash of communal board games. You’ll be overwhelmed by all the displayed collectibles and even retro arcade games like Pac Man!
If you happen to get hungry, simply walk to the front of the store and order something from Butter My Biscuit. Read more about their themed menu items and our other restaurant recommendations on our list of where to eat in Waco.
@mycurlyadventures Biscuits and board games end up being the perfect combo with a little bit of Harry Potter theme ?? #texas ♬ Fame – Irene Cara
King’s Landing also hosts a variety of themed game nights and tournaments throughout the week. Check their website or subscribe to their emailing list to stay up to date!
Explore the Abundant Art in Waco
When it comes to creativity and craftsmanship, Waco is at the top of the list. The emerging art scene in the city is the perfect opportunity for you to tap into your creative side. If you’re on the lookout for fun things to do in Waco this weekend, visit these artistic destinations!
The Workshops at Homestead Heritage
As well as shopping, you can also sign up for classes, workshops and activities at Homestead Heritage. They are variously priced, but some can be as cheap as $3! Almost all of the shops have an active workshop inside where you can try your hand at some of the homesteading skills too! They offer workshops like wood-making, various pottery classes (some as short as 15-minutes), and forging. If you live nearby, some shops offer longer classes that you can attend weekly for a more in-depth learning experience. Ask for more information the next time you’re in Waco!
Paper Crown Creative Hub
After visiting Paper Crown Creative Hub, Waco’s premier location for craft supplies, you’ll want to revisit that hobby that you haven’t done in a while or maybe even pick up a new one! The boutique is locally owned, offering the highest quality supplies in the area, including paints, stationary, prints, and gifts. They also offer classes to help guests hone their creative abilities! You can try out a variety of lessons, from punch needle art classes to water coloring. They even host birthday parties!
Hammer and Stain
Get your creative juices flowing with a visit to Hammer and Stain, a DIY arts and craft studio offering a wide selection of paint and sip sessions, craft parties, and workshops. These sessions are so much fun and are open to artists of all skill levels. You don’t have to worry about your creative abilities because a trained instructor will help guide you step-by-step through the process. This is a great date idea or something fun to do with friends!
Immerse Yourself in the Outdoors
Waco has many attributes that will bring the city to life on your next trip, but its connection to nature is definitely at the top of the list. With so many scenic areas and outdoor recreational activities, you won’t run out of fun things to do this weekend while exploring the city.
Bike the Brazos
Ride around Waco in style and rent an e-bike with Bike the Brazos. Choose from a variety of motorbikes to find the perfect fit for you. They have amazing features like removable batteries, comfy handlebars and seats, and high visibility, LCD displays. To top it all off, riding e-bikes emits up to 140 times fewer pounds of greenhouse gasses than a car, making it a more environmentally friendly option to explore Waco this weekend. Rentals can vary from two to four hours, and you can either go on a solo adventure, a ride with your partner, or with a group of four!
Spend a Day at the Beach
Waco may be nowhere near the ocean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a beach day. Twin Bridges Park is a cute little swimming area that is reminiscent of the beach, complete with sand, picnic sites, and lots of options for water sports and fun. To access Twin Bridges Park, just pass over the lake on the Twin Bridges and take the first exit. The park is right off the access road. There is a $5.00 fee per vehicle to enter the day-use area.
Kayak at Sunset with Pura Vida Paddle
There’s no better way to spend time in nature than enjoying a lake day, so make sure you note this one on your list of things to do in Waco. Pura Vida Paddle offers rentals for all your water recreation needs. With an abundance of paddle boards and kayaks for rent, it has never been easier to have a day of fun in the sun. Pura Vida Paddle also offers classes and tours to help guests truly experience the beauty of Waco’s waters. Sunset paddle is one of the tours that they provide, allowing guests to experience a gorgeous Waco sunset.
See a Piece of the Chisholm Trail
A trip to the Waco Suspension Bridge should definitely be on the top of your list of things to do in Waco this weekend. Completed in 1870, this historic suspension bridge served as a crossing point for transporting longhorns along the Chisholm Trail. To commemorate its part in Waco’s history, you’ll see 25 longhorn statues, representing the 60,000 that crossed the first year. The bridge goes over the Brazos River, offering a stunning view of both the Brazos and Waco. Take a drive across the bridge or picnic at one of the surrounding parks!
Play with Otters
What better way to spend the weekend than with a day at the zoo? The Cameron Park Zoo houses a plethora of animals, both native to the area and from around globe. Ranging from vultures, orangutans, and bobcats to elephants, giraffes, and marine life, the zoo has an abundance of species to interact with, keeping everyone entertained. Splash pads and playgrounds are also available along the way for the little ones in your group to burn off some energy and keep cool. Be on the lookout for the snacks, drinks, and ice cream that are sold when you’re ready to refuel.
Our favorite part was the otter slide outside the otter habitat, which gives you a 360° view of the otters as they swim around you. You can feed the giraffes on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-2pm too! Check their website for more details and other events.
@mycurlyadventures Now if I can just find an otter slide thats at least 20 feet long #texas ♬ So Good – Halsey
Go Horseback Riding
Devote time on your list of things to do in Waco to soaking up the natural beauty of central Texas at Brazos Bluffs Ranch. A working ranch, you can book activities like horse-drawn wagon rides and horseback riding.
We did “The Lone Star” Horseback at Sunset tour and loved how accommodating the staff were in order to make it the best experience possible. Horseback riding is open to all skill levels, with a basic lesson beforehand so you’re comfortable with your horse, and drinks and snacks when you reach the bluffs overlooking the Brazos River. The view at sunset was unbelievable! You can even spend the night on the ranch, with lodging options such as a log home and a ranch house, the perfect place for an escape from the stresses of everyday life.