Spotlight on Waco Wonderland | Attractions | Hooray for Family
Fireworks, a Ferris Wheel, reindeer, and a snow tube hill are just some of the attractions and happenings in downtown Waco during the 11th annual Waco Wonderland celebration. From Dec. 1 - 3, Central Texas families can head down to Heritage Square to kick-off the holiday season.
“It’s just a wonderful community tradition that brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to enjoy the spirit of the holidays in a fun and festive atmosphere,” said Jessica Maxwell, Events and Promotions Specialist for the City of Waco Parks and Recreation Department. “We really strive to create a memorable experience for our guests each year.“
The festivities begin Friday, Dec.1 at 5 p.m. with food vendors, Santa, and the Mistletoe Market. Attractions also include a Ferris Wheel, train rides, an entertainment stage, and a kids’ craft station.
“We’ll also have live reindeer from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” Maxwell said. “That’s something we’ve done for a couple of years now and it’s really popular. I mean, who doesn’t want to meet Santa’s reindeer?”
Friday night also includes a tree lighting ceremony with city leaders, along with a fireworks display at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the event will open at 10 a.m. with the Waco Wonderland parade, presented by the Family of Faith Worship Center, that travels down Austin Avenue from 11th to 3rd Street.
“Our other big attraction on Saturday is the Snow Tube Hill and the Kiddie Hill,” she said.
The three-lane sledding experience opens at 3 p.m. and is available until close. And while you’re waiting in line for a ride, you might spot “Grouchy Santa” sneaking around and causing mischief.
On Sunday, the event opens at noon and goes until 6 p.m. The Snow Tube Hill will be open all day, and patrons can also enjoy a free petting zoo from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“Admission to Waco Wonderland is free, but visitors can purchase a wristband to ride the attractions for $10,” Maxwell said. “The attractions include our Ferris Wheel, our train, and the Snow Tube Hill. Wristbands get them unlimited rides on the day of purchase for all three of those rides.”
When you’re finished soaking up all of the festive fun at the Waco Wonderland celebration, you can venture into downtown and peruse all the shops and eateries Waco has to offer.
“There really is something for everyone to enjoy at the festival and our goal is to keep it affordable for families and bring the holiday magic to the community,” she said.
For more information about Waco Wonderland or to purchase wristbands ahead of time, visit www.wacowonderland.com.
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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.