Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Toddler-Friendly Day Trip: Waco

Now that E is doing better in his car seat, we've started venturing farther out on the weekends. About two weeks ago, we decided to take a day trip to Waco (an hour away from our house). I'd read about a farmer's market online and wanted to check it out, although we went cautiously since we've been burned before (I'm looking at you "farmer's market" in Austin).

Right, so the farmer's market website made it sound amazing and...it was! One of the best features is that the market is run on an 80/20 ratio meaning that 80 percent of the products being sold have to be agricultural. This is perfect for us because while I don't mind skimming a handmade soap booth, I really go to the market for food (much like our dog, this is one of my primary motivators). 

The market is also in a great location (downtown by the water) and they had several food trucks throughout the area. We stopped for crepes (Nate got the seasonal peach one and it was amazing. My blackberry one was just OK), but there were other hot options like a brick oven pizza (literally saw an oven there), breakfast burritos and a tempting bakery truck. We also picked up a basket of peaches, some blackberries and a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. There was something for everyone, especially if that something falls into the organic meat, wine, sweets, tamales or kimchi arena (yes, even kimchi). 

One of the other things I really liked about the market was that you could buy wooden tokens if you didn't have cash (we never have enough cash). We used our credit card to buy $25 worth of tokens and managed to use them all (they won't give you a refund because the tokens are good forever, but if you get change from a booth it's typically cash).

After the farmer's market, we made our way to the Collin Street Bakery (crepes do not equal lunch). If you've ever driven through Waco you've no doubt seen the billboards leading into the city that advertise this place. We always drive straight past it, but since it was only a few miles north of the market we decided to stop there for lunch. 

We had roast beef sandwiches on bacon bread (say what now) and since the sandwiches were so good I had to buy some bacon bread to bring home (side note: it also makes a killer grilled cheese sandwich). We bought baked goods after lunch, but I wasn't impressed. My cookies were just OK and Nate said his brownie was "alright." They're known for their fruit cake, but eh, no thanks. If you go, get a fresh deli sandwich and an iced tea (my half and half was awesome).

After lunch, we went to the Mayborn Museum, which is part of the Baylor complex. They have a temporary dinosaur exhibit and I thought E would like to see dinosaurs up close. I was wrong. 

But before we get to that, if you're military you can get discounted tickets. The active duty service member gets in for free and as a spouse, my ticket was discounted as well. E was free so the three of us got in for less than $10. I also have it on good authority that the first Sunday of the month is free admission for everyone (I would probably call to double check though. My memory isn't what it used to be and it could've been third Sunday. Hmm...). 

Unfortunately, the dinosaur exhibit was subpar. There were only two animated dinosaurs (the t-rex scared E. He was clinging to us for dear life) and the rest of the exhibit was mainly video games. It was fun to "eat" other dinosaurs, but I expected a lot more. 

Fortunately, the rest of the museum had some cool exhibits. They also had interactive computer games (they were ancient machines though) and if you collected four letters, you won a prize (we did this and E got a free dinosaur glider at the gift shop). They also have a historical village outside, which was fun to see. E wasn't impressed with the buildings, but he did burn some energy running around the grounds (I'll take it). 

As we finished up, we realized there was an entire discovery wing for kids where they had some reptiles/insects/fish and interactive exhibits. You could pretend to be a news anchor or play on typewriters or see a tornado funnel cloud appear. They also had an area for smaller kids that had a lot of toy cars, play food with shopping carts and outfits to play dress-up in. If we go back, I'd hit this area first because by the time we got there E was cranky. He'd only napped for 30 minutes in the car and he was at his limit. We actually missed the entire second floor because he was about to reach meltdown mode and no one likes meltdown mode. No one.

E slept the entire way home (and then some) and we made it back before 4 p.m. It was a nice, quick day trip that we all enjoyed (um, hello, bacon bread). 

If you're looking for something to do one weekend, head to Waco. It actually has a lot to offer.


1 comment:

  1. You're right it's the first Sunday :)