This article is a part of the 2023 Winter Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more winter travel destinations and events here.

The holidays snuck up fast, didn’t they? Are you ready? Regardless, if you need to kick your holiday shopping into gear or are looking for the best way to make this year’s holiday season special, it’s time to head into the heart of Texas. The little town of Waco beckons travelers with its unique blend of history, culture, and holiday festivities. Whether you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Baylor Bears, or simply seeking an unforgettable holiday experience, it’s easy to believe in the magic of the holidays in Waco. 

Merry and Bright

How long have you wanted to visit The Magnolia Market at The Silos? Make your first—or fiftieth—visit to The Silos even more magical with a visit during the holidays. With towering Christmas trees, inviting fire pits, and of course a holiday market filled with artisanal goods, there’s no doubt that Waco is the ideal spot to immerse yourself in holiday cheer. So come sip hot cocoa, peruse unique gifts, and let the kids meet Santa Claus himself.

The Magnolia Market at The Silos at holiday time.The Silos in Waco at holiday time.

The holiday magic spills over into Downtown Waco with the start of Waco Wonderland, an annual event that turns the streets into a festive paradise from late November through December. Stroll along the riverwalk, revel in the outdoor ice skating rink, and witness the grand Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Don’t miss live entertainment and delectable food vendors that add to the celebration. It’s the perfect backdrop for creating cherished stories with loved ones.

Waco for the holidays. Stroll along the riverwalk, revel in the outdoor skating rink, and witness the grand Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Waco takes its holiday lights seriously, with several must-see displays throughout the city. Cameron Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights features enchanting light displays and festive entertainment for the whole family. The Christmas on 5th Street Parade showcases beautifully decorated floats and a special appearance by Santa Claus himself. These events will surely fill you with the wonder of the season.

Don’t miss the “Zoo Lights” holiday light display at the Cameron Park Zoo.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Your heart will grow three sizes the day you see all the shopping options around Waco. If you’re on the hunt for one-of-a-kind gifts, Waco offers a wealth of boutique stores and markets. Spice Village is a shopper’s haven, housing over 60 boutique vendors under one roof. You can discover handmade crafts, exquisite jewelry, stylish clothing, and more. Additionally, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market is the perfect place to pick up fresh local produce and artisanal gifts while supporting the community.

Spice Village is a shopper’s haven, housing over 60 boutique vendors under one roof.
Find unique holiday gifts for that special someone.

Seeing that no visit to Waco is complete without indulging in its vibrant culinary scene, you can let the diet wait until the new year. Savor mouthwatering Texas barbecue, sample farm-to-table dishes at local restaurants, and savor holiday-themed treats and beverages. Don’t forget to try the famous kolaches at the Czech Stop or visit the Waco Winery for a relaxing wine-tasting experience. And yes, the rumors are true—Dr. Pepper does taste better in Waco. 

Enjoy the best Dr. Pepper you’ve ever tasted in Waco!

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