This 8-day event brings holiday cheer to downtown Waco December 5-12. Waco Wonderland will kick off on December 5th with a tree lighting ceremony at Heritage Square featuring a new and larger tree with bright LED lighting and more than 30,000 lights decorating the trees of the square to create a Wonderland of Lights. Waco Wonderland hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fireworks will light up the sky the first evening as revelers take to the ice skating rink, Ferris wheel, carousel, and carriage rides and enjoy holiday entertainment.
Free daily activities include:
- Visits with Santa – Mr. Claus will make a special stop to Waco to visit be visit with children in a life-size Santa House. Bring your phone or camera so you can take FREE pictures with Santa. Santa will be onsite during event hours.
- The Santa Mail Station – Bring your children to write out a wish list and place it in Santa’s Mail Box for direct delivery to the North Pole.
- The H-E-B Kids Tent – Make Christmas cards and receive free goodies like reindeer antlers and more.
- Waco Wonderland Holiday Parade – This year’s holiday parade will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 12th. The parade is a downtown tradition and travels down Austin Avenue, from 14th Street to Heritage Square. Each year, 100 cars, floats, and bands bring in the holiday spirit.
- Holiday Entertainment on the Wonderland Stage – Expect to hear gospel choirs, student choirs and orchestras, and other live holiday performances.
Ticketed daily activities include:
- Tickets for skating can be purchased online in advance. Tickets for all rides will be sold on site, however event planners recommend purchasing skating tickets online and in advance as many scheduled sessions sell out. Visit the event website to purchase tickets online.
- Ice Skating Sessions ($5) – Yes, ice skating in Waco, Texas! Skaters can lace on ice skates and glide around a 40’ x 100’ synthetic ice rink. The eco-friendly synthetic ice rink is a product of Artificial Ice Events and is a high-tech plastic that you can skate on. The rink is designed so that skate blades glide as smoothly as they would on real ice. Skating sessions will begin at the top of each hour and will last approximately 40 minutes. Each session is limited to 100 skaters. Skaters will be required to sign a waiver of liability before receiving the skates. Any skater under the age of 18 will have to have a parent or guardian sign for them. Waivers can be downloaded and print from the event website, or can be completed at the waiver table on site. Note – many sessions sell out quickly. Skaters are advised to purchase tickets online in advance to guarantee their desired time slot.
- Ferris Wheel Rides ($4) – Ride the 65-foot Waco Wonderwheel to catch a birds-eye view of Downtown Waco. Tickets sold only on site at the event ticket booth.
- Carriage Rides ($5) – Cruise up and down Austin Avenue in a horse-drawn carriage. Tickets sold only on site at the Legacy Carriage booth.
- Carousel ($3) – New this year. This vintage attraction is fun for all ages. Tickets sold only on site at the event at the event ticket booth.
- Caricature Artists (Prices Vary) – Local artists draw a perfect holiday gift. All fees are to be paid on site only and directly to the artist.
- Waco Wonderland Marketplace – Food Trucks will converge on Heritage Square and craft vendors and community partners will offer their wares.
In addition to the daily events and activities, each day will have a different theme or featured event or activity. Theme nights include Cowboy Christmas with a petting zoo, Gospel, H-E-B Feast of Sharing, Glow Night, Bad Sweaters & Good Spirits, an outdoor showing of the movie Polar Express, and a laser light show. Be sure to visit the event website or Facebook page for the must current schedule of events.
Parking in the downtown area and gate admission are free.
In the event of inclement weather, there will be no refunds issued for the ticketed activities. Normal activities will resume when weather permits.