The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Top Things to do in Waco This Weekend

September 29 - October 2

2 months ago

By Chris Klimkowski

There’s creativity in the air! The weather is going to feel fantastic so get out and enjoy the return of Waco’s  Cultural Arts Fest as well as performances by the Waco Symphony Orchestra, several local theatre performances, Oktoberfest, live music and so much more. Start planning your perfect weekend in Waco with our top things to do in Waco this weekend!

Remember to tag us @wacoan and use #WacoWeekend for a chance to be featured! 

Through the Weekend

Create art, enjoy music, poetry, science and more as we celebrate the richness of our city at the Waco Cultural Arts Fest. All day from 10 a.m. to  6 p.m., Indian Spring Park and Waco Convention Center will host this annual event showcasing various artists, poets, musical performers and even scientists from around Waco. There will be a Music Fest, Word Fest and more! Admission is free. For details, click here. 

The McLennan Theatre performs “She Kills Monsters,” a bizarre and fantastical play following Agnes Evans, a girl who comes across her late sister’s Dungeons & Dragons journal. Upon reading it, she unleashes a mystical world of monsters and magic which she must traverse. Written by co-writer of Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon,” Qui Nguyen, this is not an adventure to miss. Performances are Friday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $12 and can be purchased by emailing or call 254/299-8200.

The Baylor Theatre is putting on their own fantastical production as well this weekend. See “Amélie,” a serendipitous story about community, connection and kindness on the magical streets of Montmartre in Paris. Join Amélie, a quiet but extraordinary young woman who lives loudly in her own mind, in her story based on the 2001 movie of the same name. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday evening and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased here.

Thursday – September 29

Why should humans have all the fun? That’s the question Freight Icebar and Yardhouse asked before announcing their Good Dogs Night out. Your pup deserves a night of fun, so bring them to Freight from 5 – 8 p.m. for a night of socializing, agility courses and treats. Dog merchandise will be sold too and proceeds will go to the Humane Society of Central Texas.

It’s time to “Tailgate & Celebrate” at Cove’s 6th birthday celebration! Join former Baylor star quarterback, Seth Russell, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for dinner, games, music, cornhole, a bounce house and more. Proceeds go to The Cove in hopes of helping them hit their $50k fundraising goal to aid teens dealing with homelessness. Admission is free for all but you can make a donation here.

Feeling lucky? Then join Bare Arms Brewing for their Bingo & Bites game night for a chance to win fabulous prizes! For $140 a ticket, play eight games of bingo with a meal starting at 5:30 p.m. to support the Texas Lions Camp. Prizes include a 2-Night stay at Moon River Ranch, a mountain bike, a luxury spa package for two and more! Call 254/420-1880 for all ticket purchases.

Barnett’s at Bear Ridge is hosting a Wine Feature Dinner at 6:30 p.m. For $50-$65, enjoy this five-course fancy meal with a main course of either seared rabbit in a red wine sauce or seared flounder in a lemon cream sauce. Reservations can be made here.

Ride your bicycle out for the Cameron Park Road Ride, a weekly bike ride to test your mettle as a cyclist. The track includes four laps with about 600 feet of climbing per lap. Cyclists will meet at the Bicycle World parking lot at 7 p.m. and ride until about 10 p.m. Front and rear lights, as well as a helmet, are required for safety.

Friday – September 30 Say goodbye to summer and welcome the autumn season at the Harvest Festival hosted by the Greater Waco Baptist Church. From 5 – 8 p.m., enjoy this family-friendly evening with hayrides, bounce houses, inflatable obstacle course, giant maze, pony rides, face painting and more. Food, games and rides can be purchased for $3 each or an unlimited access wristbands for $15. Admission and parking are free to all.

Grammy and Avery Fisher prize winner Gil Shaham is coming to Waco with his “Bowed Magic” show, conducted by Stephen Heyde. Gil Shaham has dazzled people with his violin around the world and has appeared in many orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see him perform! Tickets can be purchased here for a 7:30 p.m. show at Waco Hall.

Reserve Lighthouse Coffee & Wine’s special Friday Night Dinner for a delicious treat. The four-course chef-prepared meal costs $25 per person. Dine-in or pick it up to-go. Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to get in the spirit than a witchy movie at sundown? The long awaited Hocus Pocus 2″ will be showing at Cultivate 7Twelve for their 3 Witches Picnic event. Throw on your witchiest hats and spookiest robes and join fellow Halloween-lovers at 7 p.m. for a witchy watch party! Special guests and vendors will be there to sell Halloween goodies and merchandise. Follow their social media page for any updates on the event. Tickets can be purchased here for $20.

If you’re looking for delicious cajun food, live music, drinks and dancing all, while supporting a good cause, head on over to The Exchange Event Center at 7 p.m. for the Down on the Bayou fundraiser. Proceeds go to Youth Connection, an organization which advocates for positive life choices in Waco’s youth. Tickets are $75 per person with a discount price for groups of eight. Call 254/202-8480 or 254/300-3646 to purchase tickets.

Saturday – October 1

Head downtown any Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to browse The Waco Farmers Market. Food is plentiful and there are several stalls to shop from. Produce is locally grown and many artisans sell their handmade products. The market is held in the McLennan County Courthouse Parking lot.

It’s not too late to join in on Oktoberfest fun. Barnett’s is hosting their annual Oktoberfest Bash all day from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. The celebration will begin with a Baylor football game tailgate with cornhole and other yard games with a Waco Transit shuttle transporting patrons to the game. Later in the day, there will be a Hammershlagen tournament, brat-eating contest and a Stein holding competition. Don’t miss it!

To celebrate the journey of motherhood, Bloom is an event for new and expecting mothers in Waco. Designed to connect moms to local businesses, come sip and socialize at the vendor fair at 10:30 a.m. and then enjoy a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. There will be a Q&A panel of local business owners and industry professionals during the luncheon. This event will be held at the Ridgewood Country Club. Kids are welcome, but children ages 3 and up will need a ticket. Tickets can be purchased here.

It looks like Waco Ale Co. also wanted in on the Oktoberfest fun! From 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., they will be hosting a raging celebration to toast the Autumn season. There will be food, games, music, a raffle and, of course, plenty of drinks to go around.

Sunday – October 2

The Backyard Bar Stage and Grill loves its patrons, and they want to show it. Join them for their Customer Appreciation Sunday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. for a watch party and live music throughout the day. The Cowboys vs. Commanders watch party starts at noon and will be followed by live music from Dave Fenley and Lane Smith performing at 7:30 p.m.

The First Presbyterian Church of Waco is hosting a Creature’s heART project to explore how artwork and other creative expressions inform the discovery and development of spiritual well-being. There will be several other sessions later in October and November, each focusing on a different fruit of the spirit. This session will run from 4 – 6 p.m. and reservations can be made at their website.

It’s Sunday Funday at Old Chicago! Every Sunday from 8 – 11 p.m., stop by for delicious food, live music, drinks and cocktails and more. 

Live Music

  • Thursday, September 29
      • Kyle Mathis at Backyard Bar Stage and Grill, 5 – 8 p.m.
      • CeCean Ballou & The Dirty Crawfish at Coach’s Smoke, 6 – 9 p.m.
      • Old Friends at Sul Ross Boot Scootin’ Dance Club, 7 – 9:15 p.m.
  • Friday, September 30
      • Fenix Theory, American Merit, Scott Strickland Band at Indian Spring Park, 6 – 9 p.m.
      • The Bill & Phil Show at Southern Roots Brewing Co., 7 – 9:30 p.m.
      • Johnny Joes & Tha Band at Barnett’s Public House, 7 – 10 p.m.
      • CeCean Ballou & The Dirty Crawfish at Sunday’s Caribbean Oasis Sports Bar & Grill, 7 – 10 p.m.
      • Darrell Ray & Michael Saldana at Rocky’s Roadhouse, 7 – 10 p.m.
      • Sanger Heights Blues All-Stars at Freight Icehouse and Yardbar, 8 – 10 p.m.
      • David Johnson at Twisted Sisters Patio Bar, 8 – 11 p.m.
      • Kin Faux at Backyard Bar Stage and Grill, 8:30 – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 1
      • Treble Soul at Freight Bar, 8 – 10 p.m.
      • Calder Allen at Backyard Bar Stage and Grill, 8:30 – 11 p.m.
      • Karaoke Night at Chapter 11, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Sunday, October 2
    • Open mic night at Lakeside Bar, 6 p.m.
    • Karaoke and Service Industry Night at Freight Bar, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
    • Dave Fenley w/ Lane Smith at Backyard Bar Stage and Grill, 7:30 p.m.

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