The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Top Things to Do in Waco This Weekend

December 28—December 31

6 months ago

By Avery Ballmann

As we wrap up Christmas now is the chance to see the lights before they’re gone! Also don’t miss Waco’s various New Year’s Eve celebrations. Wherever you choose to explore in Waco, make sure to tag us @Wacoan and use #WacoWeekend for a chance to be featured. 

Through the Weekend

Tears of Relief: 507 Gallery 

507 Gallery, located in Thrst Coffee Shop, 1500 Colcord Ave., has a new exhibit! This exhibit features photos made on Polaroid film. Tears of Relief is free and open to the public and you might as well grab a coffee while you look!

Wild Lights

It’s your last chance to see the spectacular light show at Cameron Park Zoo! Join for the New Years countdown on the 31 dressed in your PJs to celebrate the end of the year. Get tickets here

Lights of West

Families can create Christmas magic at the Lights of West with many other attractions like pictures with our twenty-foot Santa or Snowman, or photos with the live Santa on select weekends. Concessions, a light maze, and letters to Santa are sure to keep your kiddos entertained. New this year, roast marshmallows and enjoy a Christmas movie under our lighted pavilion. The park will be open nightly, 6—10 p.m.

Christmas at the Silos

It’s a month of merry at the Silos, 601 Webster Ave.! They’ve got all sorts of fun planned to keep you in the Christmas spirit. Gather your loved ones and delight in the holiday season together. For more information visit their website.

A New Moon Rises

The Mayborn Museum, 1300 S University parks Dr., is hosting a new exhibit through April 14 filled with highly detailed photographs of the moon. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore dramatic landscapes, majestic mountain ranges, lunar poles and much more.

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness

The Mayborn Museum, 1300 S University Parks Dr., has a new exhibit all about understanding emotions. This interactive exhibit is perfect for families and is open until January 7, 2024. Ticket prices are available on the museum’s website

Thursday, December 28

Boot Scootin’ Dance Club

If you’re a cowboy, cowgirl or someone who enjoys country music and dancing, the Boot Scootin’ Dance Club is the place to be. Styles of dance include two steps, polka, waltzes and a special appearance—the chicken dance. Guests will meet at the Sul Ross Senior Center, 1414 Jefferson Avenue, from 7—9:15 p.m. there is a $6 cover charge. 

Songwriter night with Jonna Mae, Texas Music Cafe, 7 p.m. 

Trivia Night

It’s Thursday which means it’s Trivia Night at Brotherwell Brewing, located at 400 E Bridge St. Trivia is from 7—9:30 p.m. and each week covers different trivia topics. Be sure to bring a team that has a wide variety of knowledge!

Darts Tournament 

Clicks’ Billiards, 1200 Richland Dr., is hosting its weekly darts tournament starting at 7 p.m.

Friday, December 29

Music on the Patio

Take a sip of fresh coffee while you enjoy live music from local Waco artists at Magnolia Press, 418 S 8th St. Take a seat on the patio anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to experience this true Waco sound. To learn more, visit

Frosty’s Funday Event

Texas Dynasty Cheer and Gymnastics, 800 Schroeder Dr., is hosting a free play Christmas-themed PJ party! Pre-registration is required and the event starts at 2 p.m. 

Bird & Friends Improv Show

Internationally known improviser Michael Bird creates an improv show with the audience where anybody can jump into his set at any time. As the Brazos’ holiday gift to you, tickets are free, but you must reserve your spot! Reserve your ticket here.

Saturday, December 30

Cean Ballou and Rodney Pyeatt, Slowrise on the Brazos, 6 p.m. 

Holly Tucker, The Tipsy Lion Bar & Grill, 7 p.m.

AJ Castillo, Missions Waco Inc., 7 p.m.—1 a.m.

Sunday, December 31

Countdown to 2024

For the families that can’t wait up until midnight, the Mayborn Museum Complex has a celebration just for you! From 1—3 p.m. families can explore the museum, create crafts and celebrate the Mayborn’s 20th Anniversary. The countdown will begin at 2 p.m. with a confetti-filled balloon drop to kick off the new year. Visit the Mayborn’s website for information about the museum. 

New Years at Barnett’s Whiskey House

Barnett’s Pub has placed in the top three of the Best of Waco’s New Year’s Celebration for the past four years and their lineup shows why. Start the evening off with a specially crafted dinner of oysters, filet, truffle potatoes and more decadent items. Once you’re full, mingle outside with games and live music. There are several ticket options including VIP passes and general admission, for more information and to purchase, click here.

Open Mic Night, Lakeside Bar & Live music, 6—11 p.m.

Rock the Clock New Year’s Party

The Backyard Bar Stage and Grill is starting the night early at 6 p.m. and is partying all the way into 2024! Entertainment will not be lacking because there will be live music from Honey, Suede and the Chris Low Band. General admission starts at $15, but be sure to order your ticket online to avoid the $10 upcharge at the door.

New Year’s Eve at Twisted Sisters

Twisted Sisters Patio Bar, 115 Mary Ave., is putting their hat into the New Year’s Eve celebration ring. Their party begins at 6 p.m. and the excitement will build with their prize drawings every hour starting at 8 p.m.! Tickets are only $15 if you buy them online and they will be $20 at the door. 

Bertie’s New Year Eve Bash

Bertie’s on the Rooftop hasn’t been around for long, but it is not going to miss celebrating the new year with Waco. Bertie’s is located on the rooftop of the newly added 1928 Hotel. As the clock hits midnight, enjoy a complimentary champagne as you watch fireworks light up the Waco sky. To purchase your tickets, click here

NYE Palladium Black and Gold Party

The Palladium, 729 Austin Ave., is asking its guests to dress up in best black and gold outfits, the winner of best dressed receives $100! The Palladium is starting their celebration at 7:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $60. 

Fuzzy Friends’ Barkin’ Ball

Celebrate the New Year at a fundraiser for our local animal shelter at the BASE at the Extraco Events Center at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets ˇ.

Skellington New Year’s Eve Masquerade 

For the first time, the Waco Hippodrome will transform into a space with aerial and fire performers thanks to Skellington Curiosities. General admission starts at $30 with VIP packages available. This is an 18+ event and it will begin at 9 p.m. 

Time Warp: Journey Through the Decades

Southern Roots and Rogue Media want to take its guests through the decades before they ring in the new year. Your $25 ticket not only includes good tunes but also a local artist raffle, decades inspired cocktails and a champagne toast to welcome 2024. 

Meet at Midnight: Swiftie New Year’s Eve Party

Calling all Swifities! Freight Yardbar and Ice House is ending the 2023 era and entering 2024 with you! From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. enjoy drink specials, a costume contest and a champagne toast.