Over the weekend my family and I headed to Waco, TX to visit what I refer to as “The Mothership,” the Magnolia Silos. Haha! My family has always been a fan of the show Fixer Upper – my own home is a fixer upper – but beyond that, I really enjoy the authenticity of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their family. They are not afraid to show their faith, love God, and love each other. It may sound silly, but with so may reality TV shows that trivialize love and marriage, it is nice to see a couple who genuinely enjoys each other’s company and works every day to make their marriage and family stronger. They make beautiful homes and designs together, but put their family first. It is no wonder why their show, designs, and overall lifestyle has become so popular. (I learned that the Silos even gets more visitors that the ALAMO, y’all. This is hilarious and also terrifying to me.)
If you’re a fan like me, here are some tips to ensure you have a great time at the Magnolia Silos yourself.
1) Go early or on a weekday – If you are trying to avoid the crowds, the best time to arrive is a little before the store actually opens in the morning. On most days, the store unlocks it’s doors at 9:00am, so if you arrive around 8:30, you will be just fine. Weekends naturally see higher numbers of people, but that is when my family and I went, and Santa even came that day, and we still found a picnic table to eat at, go to play with the lawn toys, and do everything else we wanted without any trouble. If a weekend is the only time you can go, just go early. Besides, arriving beforehand also meant we got to snap some great pics without people everywhere. This is also something to keep in mind.
2) Visit the bakery first – Speaking of early, the Silos Baking Co., sometimes referred to as Magnolia Flour, opens at 7:30am and would be the perfect way to kill some time before heading over to the Magnolia store. My family and I got to the bakery around 8:15 am and there was no line or waiting, and the shelves were still stocked with ALL their tasty treats! I tried the cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, almond roll, and a cheddar bacon biscuit and I have to say, they were all realllllyyyyy good. Like, I am contemplating driving another 3 hours just to get their almond roll again. I’ve never tried anything like it. The food items did not come heated up, and I’m not sure if it is something they offer, but if you go, ask because it will make everything taste better. You could also stash an ice chest or cold bag in your car to put all your treats in if you want to take them home and don’t want to carry them around all day.
3) There is plenty of FREE Parking – Driving up Webster Avenue near the bakery there are a TON of parking lot areas for $10. Pass these up. There is plenty of parking on the streets, it is surprisingly close to downtown Waco, and even other lots are free. There is also a trolley that will shuttle you to the Silos at no charge.
4) The stores do not sell furniture or antique items – If you love all of the antique and handmade pieces that add character and charm to a home, you will not find these in the store. (I was really disappointed there was no furniture for sale or even larger structural wall pieces!) In my opinion, most of what was for sale is what I would call knick-knack items. There were small decor pieces, wall art, a few cups and coffee mugs, plenty or shirts and caps, and cake stands. I think maybbeeeee there was a chair or two for sell, but I mainly wanted all the beautiful, reclaimed wood tables used to display the knick-knacks! LOL! I ended up only purchasing a shirt, hat, and Christmas ornament because I didn’t need decor pieces and most of the other items cost a little more money than I wanted to spend! (Tip inside of a tip…. Check your bank account before you go! Hahaha!) If you are on the hunt for furniture, Clint Harp Design Co. isn’t too far away, and the antique store The Findery is just around the corner from the Silos and within walking distance.
5) You can bring your own water or pack a lunch – The Silos are extremely family friendly and you are more than welcome to bring strollers, bottled water and even a packed lunch or snacks onto the grounds. We had our own water, but took advantage of some of the food trucks for lunch. For the kiddos to play, you may also want to bring extra footballs of your own because the shared ones there go fast.
6) Lines move quickly – We pretty much did everything there was to do at the Silos and finished eating our lunch by around 11:30am. (Definitely plan other things to do in Waco if you plan on staying for the day. I recommend checking out the riverwalk on the Brazos River.) By this point, The Magnolia store had a large line, as did several of the food trucks, and the line for the Silos Baking Co. was wrapped around the building! We were fortunate enough to avoid this, but if you do see a big line, don’t get deterred. The average wait time is between 7-15 minutes, which isn’t all that bad.
7) Know the photo spots – There are three famous photo spots at the Silos, and since we went during Christmastime… 5!
The first is the painted mural which is just outside the bakery in the dining area.
The second is the rustic magnolia sign beneath the silos. This is just to the right of the main gate entrance.
The third is the #MilestoMagnolia photo opp. This one is outside of the bakery eating area and inside the gate to the right. This one was in the direct sun when we went, though, so the pics did not come out very well.
The bonus fourth for us was in the garden area outside of Magnolia Seed + Supply. The Santa set-up they made was so adorable! Since we arrived early, we got to snap pics here before Santa arrived at 10am. And… If you do have little ones, photos with Santa are FREE, you just have to use your own camera. 🙂
And the final fifth was a fun jeep that was full of holiday spirit! This may be around all year, I’m not sure, but the extra holiday decor makes it more photo-worthy than just standing near a car! Haha! You can find it right outside the garden area.
I hope these tips help you out on your journey to the mothership… or the Magnolia Silos, and that you all have a fabulous time! For those of you who have already been, what advice would you give?