Family

Texas Bucket List: Waco

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WACO — Just an hour from Fort Hood, Waco is the perfect place for a day trip to get the family outdoors, and spend some quality time together. Several parks dot the city, providing the opportunity to get moving and have fun. Bigger attractions cater to niche interests, with something in Waco for every member of the family.

Prominent HGTV designer, Joanna Gaines, calls Waco home with her family. Those who are familiar with her home design series Fixer Upper, or her newer Magnolia Network shows, have likely heard of the Silos before. For those that haven’t, the Silos are a beautifully renovated outdoor space where you will find various food trucks, shops, a baseball field, bakery, coffee shop and Gaines’ Magnolia Market. The market itself is full of beautiful home décor designed by Joanna herself. When the weather is nice, the green (a big open field with seating) is a great place to lounge and relax with family and friends.

A trip to the Silos is best spent first with a walk around the shops, where you can purchase anything from clothes, to furniture, to intricately scented candles or even seeds for your garden. To follow up your shopping, pick up lunch at one of the many food trucks on the grounds and accompany this with a glass of tea from The Alabama Sweet Tea Company (Pro tip: The holiday tea tastes like Christmas in a glass).

To beat the heat, take a break inside one of Waco’s oldest structures: The Old Church. The church was relocated and renovated to where it now sits on the grounds at the Silos. With as much kept original as possible, it’s a great place to take a quick quiet moment during your visit. Finish off your Silos trip with a cupcake, or five, from Silos Baking Co.

To help the children burn off excess energy, Cameron Park is a short journey away and encompasses 416 acres of beautiful trees, trails, waterfront, playgrounds, statues and more. After a visit to the Silos, cool off with some fun water-play surrounded by lush trees and cradled by The Brazos River. Pecan Bottoms, Anniversary Park and The Northern Gateway all house playgrounds, with Pecan Bottoms also featuring a splash pad.

There are several look-out points throughout the park, the most popular being Lovers Leap. A folktale surrounds this scenic beauty, involving a star-crossed Native American couple from enemy tribes. As the legend is told, when confronted by family, the couple embraced and leapt from the cliff together as opposed to facing a lifetime apart. Throughout the park, there are several walking/hiking trails that will be sure to help you get your steps in. If you’re looking for a challenge, Jacob’s Ladder has nearly 100 stairs leading to the top of a bluff.

The Silos are a great place to spend some time experiencing some Texas charm and Cameron Park will sure to have the children napping during your one hour car ride back to Fort Hood. These features, along with countless others, make Waco a Central Texas gem.

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