COVID Conscious Mini Vacation Destinations in Texas

0

Sometimes you just need a mini vacation to look forward to, right?

Whether it is a package you’re expecting at the door or a little trip to break up the weekly replay of your routine. With COVID spoiling so many of our plans and vacations this summer, but some have still figured out ways to make it happen. For those of of us who might need a little instruction or inspiration. Here are three ways to get out of town for the weekend:

MAMA OR GIRLS WEEKEND: The Joule Hotel & Spa in Dallas 

IMG_1197
fullsizeoutput_b21
IMG_1198 2
fullsizeoutput_b20

There are few things I love more than a good hotel stay. Fresh sheets, a glass of champagne at check in, a new environment to try on for night or two – it’s wonderful. Brody and I lived in Dallas for several years prior to moving to Waco and that city really sparkles for us. We promised we would go back as much as we can for the occasional dose of glamour and boy does the Joule deliver! You are right down the street from a fun, urban, shopping experience at the OG Neiman Marcus or 1424, lots of fun parks with food trucks or outdoor cafes to sip cocktails and enjoy the scenery. Or you can just hang out in the lobby bar, the coffee shop, the restaurant – It’s all fantastic.

But the SPA. The spa at the Joule is unmatched in my experience. Plan to stay for at least an hour before or after your service and don’t forget a swim suit. You can get lunch or there are free snacks and tea. It really is a wonderful escape. Pricing is not cheap, but in a COVID world – you can get a good deal and the entire place filled with a team of true professionals who will make sure you are well taken care of! My massage therapist might have let it slip that this place is a favorite of our own Joanna Gaines – and as we know, her taste is on point. 

COUPLES WEEKEND: BIG BEND

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
IMG_5329
Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Just to clarify, I didn’t do this myself, but I thought a friend’s trip looked so amazing that I had to share it (look at how cute they are in their pics!). It’s a 9 hour drive that is long, but beautiful. Three days and two nights is a great amount of time to really enjoy yourself, but if you have an extra night to spare – spend it in Marfa on your way back!

They stayed in Terlingua, which is a historic, tiny, mining, ghost town that went bust way back when and was abandoned. If you are up for the Air BnB route, there are options for all budgets from hip tiny houses to ultra luxury yurts.

Once there you can do the National Park OR there is the State Park in the event that the National Park gets closed due to COVID (which is what happened to my friend). You can enjoy free hiking or guided experiences like kayaking and horseback riding. Lots of yummy and food and restaurants! Kids could enjoy this but if you are like me, I worry about a lack of resources with kiddos in tow, but it looked like an amazing couples trip. The wide open space of West Texas means no need for masks when out of doors – it really is social distancing (together) at its finest!

FAMILY TRIP: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines 

IMG_6800
IMG_6764
IMG_6771
IMG_6836

We LOVED our weekend at Lost Pines! Only an hour and 45 minutes away, near Bastrop and has a real Austin crowd so everyone was great about social distancing and masks when necessary. We were lucky enough that it was practically empty while we were there and I can imagine now that school has started, the weekends will still be great too!

They just finished a remodel that doesn’t show on the website so be prepared for a super cute room. We just got a double queen (make sure you get one of the patio with pool access rooms for an easier time kiddos!) OR my parents got an awesome “Hospitality Suite” for my little brother’s 16th birthday party that walked out to the Hummingbird Garden and petting zoo. That’s right, petting zoo! SO many outdoor activities for kids from the usual pool, splash pad, lazy river, and water slides, to meet and greets with alpaca, goats, longhorns, etc. There are even activities like horseback riding for ages as young as 2, and kayaking on the Colorado River or biking through the piney trails. 

We can’t wait until this is all over to enjoy our time together and make memories. You will enjoy it and so will your family! 

Welcome, Amazon! Amazon facility opening in Waco

Who loves Amazon??

While there has been speculation about a national company coming to Waco, it has been confirmed that Amazon is in fact opening a facility in Waco!

As you know, Amazon uses fulfillment centers to sort, fill, and ship orders. We do not know any additional details at this time, but the Governor will be in Waco this Friday to make the official announcement.

Waco Moms will continue to share the details as we hear it.

8 of the best Airbnb’s in Waco, TX

One of the most popular frequently asked questions is “Where should we stay in Waco?” This is a loaded question because Waco is fortunate to have many options! Clean hotels, Airbnb’s, and more. However, we are going to focus on a few of our favorite Airbnb’s in this post. Waco is a central location that many choose for bachelorette weekends, mom’s night out, staycation, weddings, baby showers, and more. That’s right- South Haven recently hosted their very own wedding!

Why are these particular Airbnb’s our favorite? It really boils down to the owners. Sure, location is always important but so is the host. You want a host that will make your stay one to remember. We can also guarantee that their properties are safe and clean (which is also crucial during a pandemic!). One thing to note is savvy Airbnb guests look for when searching for a property is ratings on cleanliness.

We encourage you to click on each one to find the best fit for your weekend getaway or staycation. The Airbnb’s listed below are all unique in their own way, but equally as beautiful!

Haven House

Play in Waco but retreat to Haven House! Enjoy this simply but beautifully decorated 3 bedroom farmhouse that sleeps 6-7 with everything you need to have a wonderful trip. We design our homes with storybook themes in mind, and this home is The Princess Bride. You will find little nods to the fairytale throughout the home.
Cookies will greet you and soft sheets will comfort you! There’s coffee in the freezer and carefully crafted eating, shopping, and home guides waiting for you on the counter. We are 1.9 miles from the Silos & Baylor and 12 from BSR. Our guests are so kind and loyal, and many return over and over again.  We are family friendly with a pack n play and high chair for your child. Come and Be Our Guest!

South Haven

Breathtaking Southern charm with blue and white decor to make you feel right at home in central Waco, Texas. Play in Waco, but retreat to South Haven! This century old two-story 4 bedroom home sleeps 10-12 people. Cookies and wine are served upon arrival, beds are plush and comfortable, and a pack n play is available for your child. Our homes are designed with themes in mind, and this home has subtle nods to Gone With the Wind downstairs, and Johnny & June Cash upstairs, as Southern influences.
The house is 2.3 miles to the Magnolia Silos and downtown Waco, 1.7 miles to Little Shop on Bosque, and 12 miles to BSR Cable Park. Easily accessible to all sectors of Waco from this location, it is an easy place to come and go!

Cameron Park Farmhouse

This home was custom built in 2020. Spacious 1680sqft home with fireplace, raised ceilings, 3 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, laundry room,  and off-street parking. Generously furnished with all the amenities and luxury bedding. Located near Cameron Park, Waco Zoo, Baylor University, and Magnolia Silos. Smoke free. Pet free.

Glen Haven

A Modern Lodge style retreat for forest lovers and Robin Hood fans! This newly renovated, stylish home has 4 bedrooms and sleeps 12. It is located 2 minutes from Baylor and close to everything downtown, especially Cameron Park Zoo and historic Earle-Harrison House and Pape Gardens. BSR Cable Park, one of the nation’s leading surf parks, is 11 miles away.  Enjoy the feel of being in a forest in the living room with a feature wall painted by local artist Carrie Stout. You will also recognize the story and theme of Robin Hood throughout the home. This is the perfect place for a family or group of friends to get away together and explore downtown Waco. Cookies and wine served upon arrival, and a pack n play is provided. We are ready to host you!

100 Year Old Home

My 100 Year Old Waco Home is the perfect place to stay in Waco. Located one mile from Magnolia Silos and Market and Baylor University, the home was completely remodeled in 2019. While updating 100% of the home, the home still has original wood floors and ceilings, and shiplap. A new wrap around porch was added overlooking a beautiful oak tree. The home has state of the art appliances and electronics, a gourmet kitchen plus luxurious linens and all new furniture.

Morrow House

The Morrow House is perfect for your Waco getaway! The home was toured by Chip & Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper, featured on the cover of Cottage Style Magazine and called “Our Favorite Fixer Upper” by Modern Farmhouse Magazine. The home is beautifully decorated and perfectly situated just a couple of miles from Baylor University, Magnolia Market, Cameron Park, great shopping and delicious food. The attention to design and detail makes for a great guest experience.

Poppy and Rye

Bright, light and airy with pops of poppy red and handcrafted pieces, it’s the best of the old with the luxury of the new. The interior was thoughtfully designed by Dana with original shiplap, bead board, and hardwoods that are beautifully blended with all new modern decor. Rye — a Harp Design Co-trained craftsman — has crafted one-of-a-kind pieces throughout the home.

We have 3 bedrooms with 3 FULL bathrooms (a rare find!). Two bedrooms have their own connected baths in “suite style” for privacy. We’re located in the heart of downtown Waco, a short walk to the Silos, on the next block over. Relax with friends and family on not one, but two, of our large porches (front & back!), or enjoy the private fire pit area in the backyard.

Waco House Boat

Fun houseboat at Lake Waco Marina. Great place for families to get away from the city.
Great for fishing or just hanging out. 10-15 minutes from downtown.
Houseboat is close to a restaurant, The Minnow, which is open April – October.
There is usually live music on the weekends. The houseboat is stationary and is not capable of leaving the dock.

Waco is a patchwork of neighborhoods and if you want to stay in a place that is close to downtown and easily accessible markets, you may not be staying in a neighborhood that looks like your own at home. And no way does that mean it is not safe, but there are generally friendly people next door willing to help you out in any way. We highly encourage people to check out street views of the neighborhood they will be staying at before they come. Airbnbs are not like hotels or other places where you get 100% refund if you show up and “don’t feel safe.” Owners will honestly answer questions about the neighborhood and people around it, and then you will find out why we love our town so much. Humble many of us may be, but friendlier than most towns you’ll ever visit. We take pride in our hometown and are happy to share it with you.

Let us know when you stay in Waco – we hope you feel right at home!

How to Find Serenity During the Holidays

As an alcoholic, I say the word “serenity, at least once a day.

Serenity is defined as: the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. 

I know, I know…I can hear you from here; “Kristine, have you lost your mind? I have kids, a husband, family coming (some of them I don’t even like), I need to decorate and cook and….OH, at some point find “SE*REN*I*TY?!?”

No, I have not lost my mind, fact is, in the depths of a severe addiction, I was able to FIND my mind and put it at peace, even when the winds of a hurricane (aka the Holidays) are upon me.

In recovery, we say The Serenity Prayer, quite often. For me, it’s a few times a day, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Now, our goal is serenity, but let’s be real, serenity doesn’t make a problem disappear, achieving serenity simply means that we CHOOSE to make peace with our circumstances and we’ve developed the ability to cope and thrive, in spite of the challenges.

Like many things in life, serenity doesn’t just fall from the sky like unicorn glitter, landing on the “lucky ones”. Serenity is a learned skill that requires effort and consistency and a commitment to try to make your mind a safer place to be. It’s a simple thing, but sometimes it’s not easy. Interestingly, it’s the simple things that usually fly out the window in the face of a crisis, or struggle.

I have 5 adult children, that have their own families, so holidays are an adventure in my family! It took me many years to learn to find serenity.

Here are a few suggestions for capturing serenity, even when everything around you seem chaotic and falling apart:

Give Thanks

No matter how bad things seem to be, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. There are some days that the best I can do is thank God for the air I just breathed. Try writing down 5 things you’re thankful for. You can’t be anxious and thankful at the same time.

Get Enough Sleep

Do you ever wish you could throw yourself on the floor of Target and throw an epic fit, because you need a nap? Both your physical and mental health will improve when you are getting enough rest. I carry a photo of Me as a child. There are times, I need to take care of that little girl and put her to bed early, to make sure she gets enough rest, so that she will awaken with a relaxed and clear mind.

Look for the Lesson in Troubles

So many times, I hear people say, “why is this happening to me”, or “why is this happening now”? Imagine if we exchanged that thinking for “God, what are you trying to teach me”, or “God, what are you protecting me from”? Sometimes LIFE just happens. You see, the problem isn’t the problem; your attitude towards the problem is the problem.

Practice Acceptance

Acceptance isn’t giving up or giving in. Acceptance is recognizing what you can and can’t change. Acceptance is taking things as they are, not as you would have them be. Acceptance of people means allowing them to be themselves, not what or how you would have them be. Sometimes God places people that are “heavenly sand paper” in our path, to smooth over our rough edges. God is God and you are NOT. Adopting the saying, “Live and Let Live” has saved many a relationships in my life.

Feed Your Body Properly

Garbage in= garbage out. The saying, “you are what you eat” is TRUE! If you feed you crap, you will feel like crap. Caffeine can cause the jitters, alcohol can cause depression, dehydration can cause headaches….get the point? Eat what God made! If it comes from the earth, it’s good for you! STEP AWAY FROM THE PROCESSED FOODS!

Be Kind

I was told a long time ago, “keep your words sweet, because you never know when you will have to eat them”. There is no situation or scenario in which being kind will NOT benefit you. Yelling at your kids or husband may get their attention temporarily, but in the long run, the scars that harsh words cause, last a lifetime.

Feed Your Soul

Feeling anxious, go outside. Pause. Look around. See what God has made? Name 3 things that you’re grateful for that God has made. See a beautiful flower? Look at how detailed a little flower can be. Hear a bird, or see one flying? Stop and imagine what a miracle that is. As a child of God, if He cares for the flowers and birds, IMAGINE how much He cares for you!

Get Out of Self

By nature, we are born selfish creatures. We are conditioned to cry out loud when we are not happy, or we are uncomfortable. Try getting OUT of yourself. Do something kind for someone else. Pay for a stranger’s coffee, pay a compliment to a young woman, call and check up on a family member, just to say. “I’m thinking about you”, take cookies to a neighbor, or write Holiday messages for nursing home residents. I know it’s not politically correct to say, but it’s true….it’s not all about you. 

Are you a mess in a mess?

Clean your living space. Put away clutter. Get rid of excess stuff that is no longer serving you. You can’t relax, or have peace of mind, in a place that looks like a tornado hit it.

 Don’t try to do everything by yourself.

You are ONE person. I have found that a lot of the stress I feel around the holidays is stress I have given myself by taking on way too many tasks. Delegate! Give others in your family assignments. 

 

Did you know that the Serenity Prayer has more verses to it? The full prayer is as follows:

 

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen

May God bless you and your family and my prayer for you is that you take the time to find serenity this holiday season. You and your family will be happier and more joyful because of it. So, grab a piece of peace, make some memories, and enjoy this special time of year with your children!

For the Waiting Mom: In Honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

 

Please note: This article references pregnancy and infant loss and provides brief examples of what trauma is and how it can impact individuals and families. Please take care of yourself accordingly. A local Waco-area non-profit organization called Cradled provides support groups for parents and mamas experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. In addition, Postpartum Support International (PSI) has online support groups and resources relating to perinatal anxiety, depression, PTSD, and perinatal mental health concerns. 

———–

Many of us recently learned about or read of the pregnancy and infant loss of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. Hearing of their loss brought up familiar feelings of grief and loss in many parents and families. 

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before.” Chrissy wrote in her Instagram post. Chrissy bravely opened up about her experiences on social media in our culture of silence regarding the loss of her baby midway through pregnancy. 

For many, experiences of miscarriage and stillborn birth often lead to continued feelings of shame, isolation, and stigma – especially if individuals, family members, and communities around parents have been unable to and/or unwilling to hold space for grief. 

1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage, yet we don’t often talk about this concern that impacts so many. Experiences of miscarriage can impact all parents and family members and can lead to continued experiences of self-blame, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. 

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and I recognize for many it can be a month filled with grief, sadness, and reminders of what you had hoped for and expectations of what was to come. 

I stand with you in recognizing your pain and trauma.

For many of you, you may have gone through multiple miscarriages, unexplained infertility, and been repeatedly told by healthcare professionals and individuals what you are not doing enough of and/or what you need to do more of.

So many have been told that it’s your fault and made to feel as if something is permanently wrong with you and your body. As a trauma therapist who specializes in trauma and perinatal mental health, I work with parents – moms and dads – who have experienced infertility, miscarriage, birth trauma, postpartum depression, anxiety and PTSD.

You are not permanently damaged, though it may feel like it.

You are not to blame for what has happened.

I see you, I hear you, I stand with you in your sadness and grief, and acknowledge that there may not ever be the right words to say when it comes to your experiences.

My hope and desire is that more mamas who did not need to wait may acknowledge our privilege and to live in a deeper gratitude toward being a mother. My hope is that our community may become more trauma informed and acknowledge the ways that words that may be well-intentioned just may not land. It is okay to feel grief, sadness, hurt, and whatever other emotions come up for you this month, even if you have had a rainbow baby and/or additional pregnancies since your loss. Just because you have continued to be able to get pregnant again does not mean you did not experience trauma, grief, and loss. 

And to the mamas waiting for their first baby and/or rainbow babies after miscarriage and/or infant loss, I see you and stand with you as you wait. Your persistence and perseverance as you continue rising each day in hope for better days to come display strength and courage. 

To the mamas who have lost your child(ren) to natural disasters, accidents, illness, cancer, violence, and/or other traumatic events, I am holding space for you in my heart as you continue grieving. May we be a more caring and empathetic community that holds space for each of you. 

To the mamas who continue to get up each day, even in the midst of your grief and loss, showing up in therapy, in support groups, in your communities, your workplaces, your homes to work on healing – even though you wish none of it even happened, I see you and stand with you as you allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come up for you. 

In the words of Postpartum Support International (PSI), “You are not alone, you are not to blame, and with the right support, you will get better.”

Save the date: Fall Mom’s Night Out is November 5th!

We will host this Fall Mom’s Night Out event at Old Bethany to welcome moms in Waco at our highly anticipated Mom’s Night Out event. Waco mamas can expect swag, giveaways, food, alcohol, music, and all the usual fun we have at our events!

Waco Moms is known for producing high quality events for Waco moms and families, and we are excited about what’s in store! We look forward to seeing you soon and also encourage you to join the Facebook Event for additional fun updates! Please note: We want to reiterate that we will be following all guidelines set by the State of Texas regarding public events and safely. Right now this means we will be observing 50% capacity inside of the venue and maintaining social distancing guidelines. We will also be respectful of the Waco city ordinance to wear masks unless you are eating or drinking.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!

 

Our 2020 Fall Mom’s Night Out simply wouldn’t be possible without our amazing partners. We are grateful to Premier ER & Urgent Care, Primrose School of Waco at Woodway and WacoWork for all of the support they show to us Waco mamas!

Title Sponsors :: Fall Mom's Night Out

Food & Beverage Sponsors :: Mom's Night Out

Booth Sponsors :: Fall Mom's Night Out

Swag Sponsors :: Mom's Night Out

At our Fall Mom’s Night Out, we’ll be supporting Foster Village Waco. In exchange for moms bringing much needed supplies for babies and toddlers to support this important cause in Waco, we’ll hand out raffle tickets one for one. Below are the brands providing products and gift certificates for some lucky Waco moms to win!

Giveaway Sponsors :: Fall Mom's Night Out

Special Thank You :: Mom's Night Out

***We will not be issuing ticket refunds if our Fall Mom’s Night Out event is canceled due to inclement weather, but we will be ensuring that all ticket holders receive their swag bag. *** 

How I handle my anxiety as a mom during a pandemic

0

As a mom, anxiety is that guest that always overstays their welcome. They stay and make themselves at home, when you really want to have alone time. But, we can’t seem to find the words to ask them to leave. So we just deal with it and clean up after all their messes. Does this sound familiar?

When you are alone, when you have time to think, you get bombarded with all the thoughts. All of a sudden you’re overthinking all of your choices and questioning everything. You focus on all that could go wrong. That then puts you on edge, with yourself and your family and friends. Now you’re left to clean up the messes that were caused by overthinking and you don’t really know how to stop it.

After dealing with anxiety almost all of my life and even more now as a mother during a pandemic, here is how I get through.

  1. Have grace for yourself. It’s ok to not be perfect 100% of the time, I promise. You can lift so much weight off of your shoulders by repeating and believing that.
  2. Talk to someone you trust. A councilor, a pastor, a friend. Thoughts held in can be vindictive, but expressing them and talking through them, helps them lose their power. A councilor can help you with reachable, helpful ways to work through anxiety.
  3. Keep a journal and write whatever you want, for however long you want. You only have a couple of minutes? That’s ok, use it! You want to write for an hour, do it! Don’t let it become another burden, but it can help sometimes to put pen (or washable marker) to paper. As you journey through, it sometimes helps to look back and see what you’ve overcome.
  4. Take time for you. I know easier said then done, but it can be done. It can be something like going to get a massage, getting your hair trimmed, getting a new book, and so on. Or it can be setting the alarm to wake up 10 min earlier than everyone else and drinking your coffee while it’s hot. It can be taking 5 min to put mascara on or having a light night to catch up on adult tv while the kids sleep. Do something you like for 5 min a day. This makes you a better version of yourself and a better mom.
  5. Breath and unclench your jaw. We hold some much emotional tension in our upper body. Go outside sit in the sun (yay, natural vitamin d) and take a couple of very deep breaths.  Doing that can clear your mind and help yourself live in the moment. Yes things around you can still be chaotic, but at least your more in tune with yourself.

Doing these simple things can you become a better you, filled with less anxiety. And being a better mom, wife, friend, family member, that all falls after. You got this!

What COVID-19 has changed for the better

I think we can all agree that COVID-19 has changed so many aspects of our daily life. From masks in public to the possibility of no fall sports or even not seeing your elderly grandparents because the risk is too great.  We have all had to adjust to a new normal, at least for now.  Although there are many things we wish could go back to normal, there are also many things this virus has changed for the better.

 

  1. Family time

We were forced to stay at home and spend more quality time with our families minus all the hustle and bustle of summer/fall activities.  We learned how to just be at home.  We all got creative and learned to bake, make chalk mosaics, craft and ride bikes without training wheels. We all took our pets on more walks and put together endless puzzles.  This was a time for us to grow closer as families and enjoy one another. For those us unable to see loved ones, it makes us value those relationships that much more.

 

  1. Take-out/Curbside

Every restaurant is offering curbside or take-out.  For moms this is a game-changer.  More options for meals when we don’t feel like cooking, but don’t feel comfortable eating inside a restaurant.  There are endless options now for us to choose from. And not only for food, but most stores are making it an option as well.  There’s nothing better than doing quick order pickup from Target or places like Home Depot when you don’t want to haul everyone inside for something like air filters.

 

  1. Virtual Dr. visits

All the moms are singing Hallelujah.  Nobody wants to bring their child for a well-child check and in turn end up catching something from the waiting room.  Obviously, some appointments need to be in person, but the option of not having to go wait in a room of sick people is amazing.

 

  1. Outdoor seating

I know we live in Texas and the window for comfortable outdoor dining is small, but I love having the option of getting out of the house and eating out with less risk.

 

  1. Drive-up Meet the teacher

Some might argue with me, but I personally loved this change.  Meet the teacher is usually so hurried and crowded.  Trying to see all your children’s teachers in a short time and at least introduce yourself is hard.  This way you got to wait in your car in the AC and wait for your turn to talk to your teacher.  Your child was somewhere they feel comfortable and could open up more. I felt like teachers had more time with the kids in the drive thru than they do in the classroom setting.

 

  1. Social Distancing-6 ft away

I don’t like crowds and I need my personal space, so this was a welcomed change for me. People are more aware of others bubbles and are willing to give each other the room they need to feel comfortable.

 

  1. Online church

Although many churches offered live-stream services prior to COVID, this forced many others to go online for a new kind of worship.  This made services more available to everyone and you could enjoy service from your couch.

 

I know COVID-19 has changed our lives and so many things are new and different, but lets take the time to remember how many positive changes have come from this virus and slow down and enjoy family time a bit more now.

 

 

Waco Guide to Outside Dining

0

Who loves outdoor dining? Enjoy your meal while taking advantage of the upcoming fall temperatures in Waco (**we all say a quick prayer) and the safety benefits of being outdoors during this pandemic.

Please note that many of these have limited outdoor seating, so be sure to call ahead and/or specifically request it.

Distinctive Dining

DiCampli’s Italian Ristoriante – The side patio offers a lovely shade and opportunity to enjoy a nice breeze with your meal.  Reservations accepted (and encouraged!)  Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday and Sunday brunch.

135 Prime – A variety of outdoor seating is available including intimate bistro tables, large group seating, and cozy chairs for conversation with drinks.  Reservations recommended.  Open for dinner Monday-Saturday.

1424 Bistro – A naturally-shaded porch offers seating for smaller groups.  Reservations recommended.  Open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday.

Backyard Waco – Designed as an outdoor venue for dining, concerts, and generally a good time, this location provides shaded pavilions boasting benches, tables, and bars to enjoy the great outdoors of downtown Waco. Be sure to check their calendar, as they often host concerts and a ticket is required for entrance.  Open for lunch and dinner daily, plus late nights Friday & Saturday.

Tejun: The Texas Cajun – You’ll feel at home down on the bayou out on the covered deck watching the fish and turtles swim in the pond below.  Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Sunday.

Hat Creek Burger Co. – Known for being a fast-casual, family-friendly burger patio, they provide a cooled & heated patio for the whole family to enjoy.  Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Cajun Craft – Naturally shaded outdoor seating offers a cajun oasis in the midst of downtown Waco.  Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday

Vitek’s Market – Grab a Gut Pack, bring your dog, and join your friends on the Biergarten back porch, complete with covered shade, stringed lights, and the best football game on TV. Open for lunch Tuesday – Thursday, as well as dinner on Friday & Saturday.

Patios Available

Union Hall –  Vendors’ hours vary, but venue is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Revival Eastside Eatery – Open for lunch Tuesday – Thursday, and dinner on Friday & Saturday.

Shorty’s Pizza Shack – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

Billy Bob’s Burgers – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

The Mix Cafe – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

Chuy’s – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

On the Border – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

Walk-Ons – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

BJ’s Brewhouse – Open for lunch and dinner daily.

 

 

 

 

10 locations to take family photos in Waco

Fall is approaching and the holidays are right around the corner.  Tis’ the season for family pictures, and Waco has some beautiful places to find the perfect setting.

Cameron Park

Cameron Park is 400 acres of open space, wooded areas, benches, trails, and overlooks that provide stunning backgrounds.  Photographers love the large oak trees that line the park and create balanced lighting.

Located at 4th and Herring

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a popular trail and staircase located in Cameron Park.  The stone staircase is lined with a natural wood handrail that provides a combination of color and texture to create a gorgeous setting.   The wooded area provides a heavy canopy of shade perfect for the lens.

Located on Cameron Park Drive in Cameron Park

Suspension Bridge

Waco’s Suspension Bridge has become an iconic symbol.  Pictures can be taken on the north or south banks of the Brazos River at Doris D Miller Park and Indian Springs Park to capture the bridge in the background.  Restrooms are located at Indian Springs Park which is helpful during a family photo shoot. Taking pictures on the bridge entrances sets an interesting backdrop to showcase the city.

Located in downtown Waco along Franklin Avenue and N. University Parks Drive.

Brazos Park East

Brazos Park East is another scenic area where pictures can be taken with the river in the background.  The plush woods on the opposite side of the river also showcase the beauty of the Brazos.  Trees hover on the north bank to provide natural shade.

Located on the north side of the Brazos River along N. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Baylor University Campus

Baylor Campus is always a great spot for students and alumni who want to capture their Alma mater for their family photo.  However, the lush manicured lawns and landscape make the Baylor campus a beautiful backdrop for anyone taking pictures.  Baylor campus is lined with an array of flowers, old brick buildings, and oak trees that are over a hundred years old.

Located along I-35 and University Parks Drive

Carleen Bright Arboretum

The Carleen Bright Arboretum is a gorgeous little park with flower gardens, trails, a gazebo, a rustic barn, and a traditional white chapel that offers a classic backdrop.  During the fall bright leaves carpet the trails and the trees provide a canopy of spectacular lighting.

Located in Woodway at the intersection of Estates Drive and Bosque Blvd.

Poage Park Gazebo

Nestled in the heart of Woodway is a tradition white gazebo in Poage Park.  Behind the gazebo are giant oak trees that offer good lighting and a pretty background.  This quaint park area also has a large playground so when family photos are finished kids can enjoy their earned playtime.

Located in Woodway at the corner of Poage Drive and Highway 84

Woodway Park

Woodway Park showcases the scenery of Lake Waco.  Lake Waco is lined with heavy wooded trees and highlights the beauty of Central Texas.  Sunsets over Lake Waco are stunning and paint the sky bright pink and orange.  The park provides a play area, pavilion, and picnic benches so families can take a picnic after a family photo session.

Located in Woodway at the end of Estates Drive

The Waco Mural

The Waco Mural displays the creative arts and the culture of the city. The bold artwork is painted on an old brick building and creates an eclectic hometown vibe.  Using the art as a backdrop highlights the city and creates a modern family photo.

Located on the side of Barnett’s Pub at 5th and Franklin Avenue

“City with a Soul” Mural

The City with a Soul Mural emulates the ambiance of Waco.  The canvas for this artwork is on the back of an old Waco building and popular accessories store called “The Findery Marketplace”.  The phrase “City with a Soul” expresses the personality of the people who who call Waco home.  Framing the mural for a family photo creates a story and brings to life the characteristics that make Waco unique.

Located on the back of the The Findery Marketplace in downtown Waco on Webster Avenue

Stay Connected

8,093FansLike
4,004FollowersFollow
82FollowersFollow
306FollowersFollow

Parenting In Waco

How We Homeschool: Making the Best Decision for Our Family

0
How we Homeschool. I enjoy striking up a conversation with other Moms around the city. We share introductions and start the typical "first time Moms...