Things to Do and Places to Visit In Waco
Waco might be smaller than the urban centers that surround it, but the city is filled with things to do and places to visit.
Arts and Culture
Several museums and art centers are scattered throughout the Waco area, such as The Art Center of Waco. A small, non-profit gallery, the Art Center hosts two-month-long exhibitions featuring different artists. Visitors are invited to view the exhibitions for no charge.
An exciting time in Waco occurs each fall! The Cultural Arts Festival is a fun, imaginative interdisciplinary approach to art and cultural. There are performances in music, words, film, science and dance featuring many area artists.
Another exciting place to visit is the Waco Civic Theatre. Here, visitors can see beautifully staged theater productions with world-class actors. From plays written by William Shakespeare to Ken Ludwig, theater fans will get to enjoy watching one of the theatre’s main stage productions.
Founded 1962, the Waco Symphony Orchestra serves Waco, Texas, and surrounding communities with the best in classical and pops concerts. Maestro Stephen M. Heyde is the conductor/music director of this superb group.
The Waco Mammoth National Monument is definitely one of Waco’s most exciting and interesting attractions. This paleontological site represents the nation’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths. Visitors can view “in situ” fossils including female mammoths, a bull mammoth, and a camel that lived approximately 67,000 years ago.
The Dr Pepper Museum holds one of the finest collections of soft drink memorabilia in the world and is a unique cultural and entertainment asset to Waco and Central Texas. The building itself is the historic home of the nation’s oldest major soft drink – Dr Pepper. It was created, manufactured, and first sold in Waco during the late 19th century.
Home of more than 300 Texas legends, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame is truly representative of the athletic history in Texas. The museum also houses the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame and Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. Each spring new inductees are announced including only the best athletes in Texas history.
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum proudly honors those who have served or are serving in the Texas Rangers. The Museum collects and exhibits historical materials and encourages study and research into the history of the Rangers.
This is truly a wonderful museum to visit!
Recreation and Entertainment
The Waco Hippodrome, first built in 1914, is a unique entertainment experience featuring movies, concerts and theater acts. In addition there is full service in-theater dining and a mezzanine level restaurant and bar overlooking Austin Avenue in downtown Waco.
Near downtown Waco, Cameron Park is an oasis with towering trees, two rivers, breathtaking cliffs and a National Recreation Trail system. Since the William Cameron Family donated the parkland more than 100 years ago, the 400-acre park has been constantly used for parties, festivals and sporting events.
Cameron Park Zoo is one of Waco’s biggest attractions! Covering a total area of 52 acres, the Zoo is home to over 1,731 animals including endangered species such as Orangutans, Komodo Dragons, and Sumatran tigers. The animals are amazing and, of course, the zoo upholds exceptional standards for animal care and management.
For fun water recreation, go to Hawaiian Falls Water Park, which features several fun rides and special pools! Attractions include the 800-foot-long Kona Kooler lazy river, Central Texas’ first large-scale wave pool called Breaker Bay, and the six-story Tempest Tower.
The Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo is an event held each October at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. It features the All American Pro Rodeo plus mutton bustin’. In addition, there are competitive events like the livestock show, the academic rodeo and the calf scramble. There are rides and carnival booths and great food. Everyone has a great time at the Fair and Rodeo!
Located in downtown Waco on the west side of the Brazos River, Indian Springs Park is home to several festivals and events each year. The park features the historic Waco Suspension Bridge and the Branding the Brazos statue series sculpted by nationally renowned Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas.
One of the downtown highlights of the spring and summer in Waco is the Brazos Nights concert series. For 30 years, the free concerts have provide Central Texas with good times and great music with a wide range of outstanding musicians. The concerts are held next to the historic Suspension Bridge, and people of all ages enjoy this festival-like atmosphere.