Fireworks, a parade, an appearance by Santa, a Ferris wheel, and a snow hill to sled down. These are the things Christmas dreams are made of, and the seventh annual Waco Wonderland event is set up to deliver these fantasies to the children and families of Waco, TX.
Starting the evening of Friday, Dec. 6, downtown Waco will become the center of the holiday fun with the annual tree lighting by local dignitaries at 7 p.m. The lighting ceremony will be followed by a fireworks show that has become one of the event’s most popular attractions.
There will also be music to enjoy on one of the downtown entertainment stages, and patrons will have the chance to sample local cuisine from food trucks and shop local retail booths.
Bright and early Saturday morning, Dec. 7, Waco Wonderland will host the Communities in Schools Wonderland Run, which is a 10K, 5K, and family fun run that helps to kick off the events of the day. Participants are encouraged to wear their most festive gear while they’re jogging downtown.
And as soon as the run has come to a close, the event continues with a Christmas parade that will make its grand entrance on Austin Avenue at 10 a.m. The route begins on 11th Street, so there are numerous locations to catch a glimpse of the festive floats as they glide down the road. You might even spot Santa waving from his sleigh.
When the parade wraps up, the fun continues in Heritage Square. Although the event is free to the public, families can purchase $5 wristbands to have all-day access to the event’s attractions. Children can get a bird’s eye view from the 65-foot Wonder Wheel, blast down the Snow Tube Hill (which opens at 3 p.m.) or take a train ride.
The gates stay open until 10 p.m. on Dec. 7, so Wacoans can celebrate the season late into the evening and watch as the Christmas lights blink on once more.
Waco Wonderland resumes at noon on Sunday, Dec. 8, and is open until 6 p.m., with food trucks, the Ferris Wheel, appearances by Santa, the Mistletoe Market, and even a petting zoo.
But the fun doesn’t stop when the gates close at 6 p.m. that day. The seventh annual event is just the beginning of the December festivities in downtown Waco. Check out www.wacowonderland.com to see what other Christmas-themed events are happening in the area.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.