The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Top Things to do in Waco this Weekend

December 22-25

1 year ago

By Chris Klimkowski

Waco Weekend – December 22 – December 25

Merry Christmas to all! No doubt, we’ll all be busy with our own holiday plans and travels this weekend. But there’s no Christmas like a Waco Christmas, and there will be some fun and festive activities planned around the city, as well as opportunities to give back to the community, to make this the best Christmas Waco has seen yet.

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Through the Weekend

The Cameron Park Zoo will be holding special hours for the “Wild Lights” display. You can see these magical lights illuminate the zoo on Thursday and Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. There will also be food trucks serving warm drinks and sweet treats while you enjoy your experience. The lights will be closed for Christmas Eve and Day. Tickets can be purchased here for between $10 – $15.

Waco will have thousands of beautiful lights shining throughout the city, but mapping out the perfect driving route to admire them is such as hassle. Thankfully, we have the Waco Trolley Christmas Lights Tour! This 90-minute tour will bring you to the best light display in the greater Waco area. There are tours available for Thursday through Saturday. Times and prices can be found here.

Ready for some holiday magic? Then drive through West’s Christmas Light Park for a brilliant display of holiday lights. Either drive in your own vehicle or ride a trailer through the Christmas scene trail featuring over a million lights! Take photos with the 20-foot Santa, enjoy sweet treats, make delicious s’mores, mail a letter to the North Pole and run through the Christmas light maze in this wonderful experience. More info and pricing can be found on their website here.

Thursday – December 22

If your halls need a little extra decking, then swing by the Waco McLennan County Library to make a delightful holiday ornament as a part of their come-and-go Ornament Extravaganza! Staff will provide instructions and materials to make different ornaments. Stop by anytime between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Craving some tasty tacos? Then hit up Stay Classy Waco for their weekly Vinos & Tacos night. Stop by anytime between 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. to buy a package of six tacos and a bottle of wine for just $35.

The East Waco Empowerment Project will be hosting its 7th annual Feast in the East event. They invite everyone to gather outside the City of Waco Multi-Purpose Facility at 2 p.m. The Feast in the East strives to provide every family in East Waco with a hot Christmas meal and items to help people stay warm through the winter. The feast will last four hours and all are welcome. Visit their website here to get involved and help!

Friday – December 23

Want to celebrate the holidays with your pup? Then bring your furry friend to the Christmas Yappy Hour at Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming from 5 – 7 p.m.! There will be big sales, refreshments and even a visit from the Grinch. Follow their Facebook page for more details.

It’s Santa’s last day at the Silos before he packs up and heads back to the North Pole to get ready for the big day! So, this is your last opportunity for a photo and to give him your Christmas wish list. Santa will be at the Silos from noon until 5 p.m. Walk-ups are welcome, but everyone is encouraged to reserve a time here.

Saturday – December 24

Looking for a place to have a delicious Christmas Eve meal with the family at a restaurant, but not sure what’s open? We recommend some Waco local businesses! Parks Family Buffet will be open from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. for lunch, The Backyard Bar Stage and Grill will have its kitchen open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Pivovar will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. for lunch and dinner.

Sunday – December 25

The Salvation Army needs your help serving a traditional holiday meal to those in need this Christmas day! From 7 a.m. – 9 a.m., their community kitchen will be serving a Christmas breakfast, and then from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m, they will be serving a holiday dinner. Sign up to help here or call 254-756-7271. They need volunteers through January, so make sure to sign up for other days if you can afford to help as well!

The Greater Waco Baptist Church invites all to The Very Special Christmas Service. A homemade breakfast will be served at 10 a.m. followed by an uplifting Christmas service at 11 a.m. Bring your family and join your fellow Wacoans to celebrate the traditional Christmas story!

Christmas should be a time for celebration and joy, so if you’re struggling this Christmas, we would like to point you in the right direction for help. No matter the struggle, please know you’re not alone this Holiday season. Here’s a list of a few resources to use if you’re in a tough spot, as well as contact information and a clickable link to their websites:


  • Advocacy Center: (254) 752-7233 (crisis hotline), website
  • Family Abuse Center: 1 (800) 283-8401 (crisis hotline), website
  • Unbound Now: (254) 414-0815 (24-hour crisis hotline, call or text), (888)-373-7888 (National Human Trafficking Hotline), website

Food Assistance:

  • Caritas: (254) 753-4593 (general inquiries), website
  • The Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry: (254) 722-9517, website
  • Columbus Ave Baptist Church Pantry: (254) 752-1655 (main office), website

Poverty/Homelessness Assistance:

  • The Cove: (254) 207-0789 (help hotline), website, flier
  • Compassion Ministries of Waco: (254) 755-7640 (general inquiries), website
  • Salvation Army’s Sally’s House: (254) 756-7271 (general inquiries), website
  • My Brother’s Keeper Homeless Shelter: located at 1217 Mary St. Behind Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, applications are taken at the Meyer Center (
  • HeART of Texas Homeless: (254) 297-8929 (housing assistance), website

Family Care and Assistance:

  • Methodist Children’s Home: 1 (800) 964-9226 (help hotline), website
  • United Way: (254) 752-2753 (general inquiries), website

Alcohol/Drug Addiction:

  • Sunshine Recovery House: (254) 307-2732 (general inquiries), website
  • Medmark Treatment Center: (254) 755-6411 (general inquiries), Facebook page
  • Waco Detoxification Short-Term Adult Inpatient – Cenikor: (888) 236-4567 (general inquiries), website


Live Music

  • Thursday, December 22
    • Bobby Dean & Timeless Country at Junction on Route 36, 6 – 9 p.m.
  • Friday, December 23
    • Kayla Ray at Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon, 7 – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 24
    • Darrell Ray at Parsons Marina at Lake Whitney, 7 – 10 p.m.