The holidays are known for travel—millions of Americans pack their bags to visit friends and family for the festive season. This year, with the rising inflation rates triggering travel costs to skyrocket, you may be choosing to stay home. If this is you, your “staycation” doesn’t have to be boring! You may just have the most memorable holiday yet.
If you’re experiencing your holidays in Waco this year, head downtown and explore some of the traditions the city has to offer. Get bundled up and head outside for the Mistletoe Market at the Heritage Square this December. Food, shopping and arts and crafts activities are on the agenda for this family-friendly, Christmas-themed market. Come early and catch the tree-lighting ceremony and then visit Santa’s workshop for a family photo. Admission is free!
Hit the town like a tourist during your staycation. Consider booking a Waco Pedal Tour through the city. The tours are BYOB and take riders around downtown bars. This is the perfect outing for those with visitors in town who want to learn a little more about the city. If you’re looking for something more laid back than a pedal tour, head to the Hippodrome for a Christmas show! You can watch “Christmas With C.S. Lewis” or other holiday movies all month long.
Commemorate your time at home with a souvenir from Spice Village, the downtown shopping center with dozens of vendors offering accessories, clothes, furniture and more. There’s something for every style at Spice Village. You may even get some of your Christmas shopping done! Once you’re shopped out at Spice Village, head down Austin Avenue and peruse through the locally-owned small businesses that call the street their home. With wine shops, boutiques, antique stores and art galleries, you could spend hours walking up and down this historic part of downtown Waco.
Getting hungry? Kick back and get a taste of the city at Southern Roots Brewing Company. With locally crafted beers and oven-baked pizza, this casual dining experience feels straight out of a slow-paced vacation. If it’s too early for pizza and beer, hit up Milo All Day for brunch. With locally-sourced ingredients and made-from-scratch meals, there’s no better place to enjoy a staycation breakfast with the family.
Once the kids are in bed, you’ve got to stop by Dichotomy for a drink during their “Miracle” pop-up holiday celebration. Each year, the coffee shop and bar hosts Wacoans in a decked-out version of their usual storefront with Christmas-themed drinks amidst hundreds of lights and decorations. Make sure you call ahead and make reservations, as tables fill up fast, especially on weekends.
These attractions are just the tip of the iceberg. With constant entertainment and the best dining around, it’s safe to say your staycation will be one of your favorite holiday memories so far.