Happy December, Waco! The end of the year starts with a plethora of fun, holiday events. Make your way around town, have fun and relax. Let us know what you’re doing by tagging us @WACOAN and using our hashtag, #WacoWeekend. You just might be featured in our Monday Recap. Enjoy!
Get into the holiday spirit with downtown’s Waco Wonderland celebration. Join in the fun-filled weekend of food trucks, Santa, train rides and Mistletoe Market. Located in Heritage Square, the gates open at 5 p.m. Friday. Don’t miss the Cocoa Crawl along Austin Avenue between 5 and 7 p.m. Friday before the Tree Lighting Ceremony and fireworks show start at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the gates will open once again from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The annual Waco Holiday Parade will begin at 10 a.m. and travel down Austin Avenue from 11th to 3rd Street. Dreaming of a white Christmas this season? Tube down the snow hill, which is open 3-10 p.m. Make sure to stay for the showing of the Christmas classic “Elf” on the big screen. Sunday, the gates and snow hill are open 12-6 p.m. Admission to the event is free, but wristbands for attractions like the snow hill and ferris wheel cost $5. For more information and the holiday entertainment stage schedule, visit wacowonderland.com.
Enjoy three days of live music at The Backyard’s Winterfest. This exciting series of shows will feature over a dozen performers, including Holly Tucker, The New Offenders and Josh Abbott. Tickets cost $20 each day or $50 for a three-day pass, or $25 and $55 respectively for attendees under 21. Shows begin at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Visit backyardwaco.com to purchase tickets and to view the full lineup.
Baylor’s School of Music will host A Baylor Christmas, featuring the combined choirs of Baylor University and the Baylor Symphony Orchestra at Glennis McCrary Music Building. Performances will be held Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at baylor.edu/music.
The Ballet Frontier of Texas presents “The Nutcracker,” bringing this classic Christmas tradition to the Waco stage with a captivating performance. BFT, a Fort Worth-based dance company, will partner with dancers in Waco and with the Midway Camerata Orchestra to present this captivating show at the Midway ISD Performing Arts Center. For an enchanting experience, attend a performance Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or catch the matinee Sunday starting at 2 p.m. Tickets cost between $35 and $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit balletfrontier.org.
The Waco Civic Theatre presents “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.” Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig transforms the classic tale of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” into a fast-paced comedy. Enjoy the mayhem and fun as five actors portray more than 40 characters. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost between $16 and $20. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit wacocivictheatre.org.
Thursday, November 30
Kick off your weekend and your Christmas season with a special Baylor tradition, Christmas on 5th Street. Activities begin at 5:30 p.m. and include a Christmas Marketplace with local vendors, a petting zoo, a live nativity and pictures with Santa. Be sure to stick around for the tree lighting beginning at 8:15 p.m. There is no cost to attend this event. For a full listing of activities and parking information, visit baylor.edu/christmason5th.
Waco’s own Los Roachez will open at The Backyard Bar Stage & Grill at 7:30 p.m. Then, at 9 p.m., catch Milligan-Vaughan Project, or MVP. This band’s combined mix of blues and rock and roll will be a great way to start off the collection of live music happening this weekend. Tickets cost $10 for attendees over 21 and $20 for those under 21. Visit backyardwaco.com to purchase tickets.
Cameron Park Zoo presents A Griswold Family Christmas Movie Night at 5 p.m. The movie of the night is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Moviegoers should note this movie is rated PG-13. Seasonal adult beverages will be available at a cash bar. Tickets cost $5, but children 3 and under are admitted free. For tickets, visit cameronparkzoo.com.
Friday, December 1
December’s First Friday falls on the 1st! Venture downtown to experience the many events happening. Businesses of all kind will keep their doors open late with many specials, including Balcones, Dr Pepper Museum, Waco Hippodrome, Cultivate 7TWELVE and the Waco Hilton. For a full list of participating businesses, visit facebook.com/FirstFridayWaco.
Kick off the holiday season at the 11th annual A Dr Pepper Christmas at the Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute at 6:30 p.m. Food, music and Christmas crafts are sure to keep everyone in the family happily busy. Be on your best behavior, because Santa will stop by. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Sponsorships are also available. Visit drpeppermusuem.com for details.
Saturday, December 2
Communities in Schools of the Heart of Texas will host the Waco Wonderland Run in Downtown Waco. The 10K starts at 8 a.m. and costs $50. The 5K starts at 8:15 a.m. and costs $40. The one-mile race starts at 9 a.m. and costs $25 for individuals and $50 for a family 4-pack. Each race begins and ends in front of City Hall at Austin Avenue and 3rd Street. For more information and to register, visit cishot.org/wonderlandrun.
What better way to spend a lazy Saturday morning than strolling through the Waco Downtown Farmers Market? Grab breakfast or snacks from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Farmers Market is located at 500 Washington Ave.
Celebrate Christmas at the Silos from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy the free, family-fun events. Take pictures with Santa, paint ornaments, watch “The Polar Express” and enjoy more holiday activities. Magnolia Silos will close at 4 p.m. before reopening at 5 p.m. for ticketholders. The nighttime concert is sold out. To learn more, visit magnoliamarket.com or call 235-0603.
Stop by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame for two events this weekend. The Bicentennial Book Signing presents three authors to sign and discuss their new books. Darren L. Ivey will present 1:30-2 p.m. Bob Alexander and Donaly E. Brice will present 2:30-3 p.m. Book signings occur 3-4:30 p.m. Big 95 (KBGO-FM) and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame have teamed up to support Compassion Ministries combat homelessness at the 8th annual Big Texas Christmas Present. From 1-3 p.m., the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame will accept donations of children’s toys, household goods and gifts for teens and adults. Each item donated equals free admission to the museum. For a list of donation suggestions and to learn more about Compassion Ministries, visit compassionwaco.com.
Sunday, December 3
Natalie Morphew’s Bentwood Realty will sponsor Designer Purse Bingo at Melody Ranch. Enjoy appetizers and refreshments while playing bingo for a chance to win designer purses including Vera Bradley, Kate Spade, Tory Burch and more. You won’t want to miss the Louis Vuitton Raffle! Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and bingo begins at 6:30 p.m. This event benefits the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims & Children. Visit advocacycntr.org or call 752-9330 for details and to register.
Whether you’re looking for a night on the town or a way to kick back and relax, Waco’s live music selection has got you covered this weekend! Thursday night, jazz duo Pat McKee and Trammell Kelly will be performing at DiamondBack’s 6-9 p.m.
Friday night, Jason Fletcher will take the stage at Kissing Tree Vineyards with a combination of country and rock 7-10 p.m. Meanwhile, folk and indie artist J Wagner will be performing at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits 8-10 p.m.
Saturday evening, catch country singer Jayme Wade at Kissing Tree Vineyards 7-10 p.m. Valley Mills Vineyards will also be hosting their Sip & Swirl 8-11 p.m. End your evening with some Texas two-stepping at Melody Ranch as 35 South takes the stage at 10 p.m.