Fixer Upper, Travel, Waco, TX

Not your typical Fixer Upper

When I was a little girl, the only time we were allowed to drink coke was during our road trips. The taste of coke still brings me back to road tripping with my family. Fast forward twenty years later and now I’m taking road trips with my family. Our boys love getting up early, grabbing their pillow and discovering something new! This was the case last weekend.

Thank you Carla at Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau for sponsoring our trip. Our first stop was of course, West Texas. It’s the perfect place to stop and stretch our legs since it’s half way between Dallas and Waco. If you haven’t been, your missing out. The Czech Stop  is known for their kolaches. Since they’re open 24/7 we usually stop for breakfast and for dessert on the way back.

After fueling up on coffee and kolaches, we headed for our first stop, Waco Mammoth National Monument.  The Mammoth museum has a guided tour every 30 minutes and there’s no need for a reservations. Since they’re open 7 days a week from 9-5pm, it’s perfect for this active family. When we arrived our tour guide Ben, introduced himself to our group of 30. There was a Boy’s Scout troop who had the same idea that we did!

The tour starts at the Welcome Center, goes down a 300 yard paved path to the Dig Shelter where the mammoth fossils are in situ.  During your tour, you will learn about the Ice Age, how our fossils were discovered, and why we are one of the most important paleontological sites in North America.

 

 

The first thing on our hour tour was a 250-year-old Live Oak Tree. This set the president of what we were about to see. Ben walks us to a bridge where the original fossils were found of the Columbian Mammoths. Two local men were wandering  the dry creek bed and made this discovery. I hope they later changed their names to Indian Jones! For those who don’t know, Columbian Mammoths (Mammuthus columbi) lived during the Pleistocene Epoch (2.5 million years to 10,000 years ago). They grew to more than 14 feet in height and weighed up to 10 tons (20,000 lbs).

Then, Ben walks us inside the Dig shelter where the fossils are still being excavated. They still haven’t figured out how the Columbian Mammoth made it to Waco, Texas or why there was at least 19 mammoths from a nursery herd trapped and drowned. I don’t want to ruin the tour and tell you all the fun facts that Ben has to share with you, but believe me, he’s worth the drive. The Dig shelter will impress your kid’s and get them excited about fossils, mammoth’s and history. My 16-year-old was even listening instead of playing on his cellphone. That should tell  you something! Tip #1, wear comfortable shoes. There’s isn’t a lot of walking, but after your tour, you can walk around their trails or enjoy a family picnic. Tip #2, Don’t forget to take a picture next to the Columbian mammoth mural. This will give you and the kids an idea of how massive these mammoths were!

Our 2nd stop on this whirlwind Waco tour leads us to Magnolia Market at the Silos. Did you really think we would drive to Waco and not visit the Silos? Just like the rest of the world, we are fans of Chip and Joanna and watch Fixer Upper on a weekly basis. We were crushed to hear they were in the process of filming their last season, but all good things must come to an end.

The Magnolia Market has something for everyone. While I shopped and browsed around, the boys and Brady explored the lawn. They have swings, bean bags, corn-hole and other fun activities for the family. The Magnolia Market isn’t as big as I thought it would be, but you can see Joanna’s touch all around the store. My only complaint is the price. A beautiful wreath will run you $98 dollars and a t-shirt is $26. I walked around for a good 20 minutes and left empty-handed. Don’t let this discourage you from visiting the Silo’s it really is a fun, relaxing place to hang out with your family. My favorite part of the Silo’s was the gardens. It was full of beautiful flowers, herbs and something that I like to describe as “Tinker bell’s home”. You’ll see the pictures below. It’s a beautiful tent like opening covered with greenery. Tip #1, don’t pass up the opportunity to take a family picture inside Tinker Bell’s home. Tip #2, arrive early and try the new Silo’s bakery. The line was too long when we arrived but the cupcakes looked amazing! Tip #3, if you get hungry, walk across the street to Hecho En Waco. It’s a new Mexican restaurant that offers a variety of food for all the picky eaters in my family. Try, the pineapple margarita, you’ll thank me later!

Our final stop was the Dr. Pepper Museum. This was Christian’s favorite stop during our trip. He is OBSESSED with Dr. Pepper! (notice the t-shirt) . The museum is open everyday of the week and is only closed on Holidays. It’s a self guided tour but if you have a party of 10 or more, you can schedule a guided tour. This needs to be done at least 1 week in advance. The tour is held in two different buildings and covers 3 floors. You’ll get to read about the history of Dr. Pepper, how it was bottled and the revolution of this drink. The kids loved seeing the different glass bottles and how they have evolved to what it looks like today. They also have old vending machines. One of the vending machines was used for a Thor commercial and it’s split in half. They don’t offer free samples of Dr. Pepper but, there’s a Frosty’s Soda shop that will cure those urges. You can purchase shakes, meals and sundaes. The kids ordered a Dr. Pepper float inside a souvenir cup. Liquid Laboratory is inside the same building as Frosty’s Soda shop. You can explore the science of soda pop at the daily Liquid Lab demonstration and it’s free with your general admission. Tip #1, make sure you eat/drink before joining the fun at the Liquid Lab. No food or drinks are allowed! Tip #2, take your time walking around. There’s lots of unique facts about Dr. Pepper and you’ll miss it if you go too fast. I would set aside 3 hours to see everything. So, if you’re a Pepper like my kids are, this is the perfect museum for you! Where’s your favorite place to visit in Waco, TX?

I was a guest of the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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