Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tips For Visiting Magnolia Market + Garden!


If you frequent HGTV, then no doubt you are VERY familiar with the hit show Fixer Upper. In fact, it might even be your favorite show! #shiplap #demoday #magnolia #joannagaines #whocouldforgetchip!

Perhaps for the first time in your entire life you have been dreaming of going to Waco, Texas. And who can blame you! #silos #thegardens #barnraising #littleshoponbosque #livegoats

This Spring our family was making plans for our biggest road trip yet, that would begin in early June 2016 taking us all the way from Minnesota to many places in Mexico. I saw that Texas was a big part of our route and quickly realized that we would be passing right through Waco, Texas! We added Waco as one of our pit stops and the rest is history...well kind of. 

I remember the whole time prior to the trip wondering...

How much time should we plan our visit to Waco for? 

Where should we stay? 

Will there be crowds? 

Now after experiencing and LOVING our pit stop in Waco, I thought I would pass along what we experienced to help others who might be planning an upcoming visit!


There was a debate between Sam and I about how much time was needed for our stop to tour Magnolia Market + Garden. I said, "a whole day!" Sam said, "let's plan for four hours." 

In the end, we were there for just over one hour.

We actually drove into Waco late on Monday night. We had reserved a hotel through Orbitz at Quality Inn & Suites. The hotel room was tight and had some interesting lingering smells. But since we were only there to sleep and would be checking out early the next morning...the inexpensive price had been worth it to us...the complimentary breakfast didn't hurt either. ;-)

In the morning after everyone was fueled by breakfast we headed over to Magnolia (601 Webster Waco, Texas). The hotel wasn't more than 8 minutes away. I was actually surprised to see how big Waco was. I had pictured it as a small town, but with the beautiful Bailor University campus right there, as well as a whole host of other shops and restaurants it didn't feel like small town at all.

We had checked out the website (full of helpful information...for instance that the grounds are closed on Sundays.) The summer hours had everything opening at 9am. We arrived shortly after 9:30am. Coming up to the area there were a handful of parking lots with signs marked $10. The lots were pretty empty so we knew that we might have hit a really good time to visit. We drove just a little over a block away and were able to find free street parking.

As we walked up to the corner, right away we saw the new bakery that will be opening soon. They are still in the middle of construction and were working on laying the patio and doing landscape around that area.


There was a tour bus just ahead of us that was letting off a large group of people. We mixed in among them, holding the kids' hands, and were greeted by many friendly faces of employees as we entered the grounds.

Our first stop was Magnolia Market. We were able to go right in. The store had many people walking around, but thankfully there wasn't a line to get in.


From watching the show I had always pictured the market being located right inside the silos. And I had always wondered how exactly they remodeled and did that. But in fact, the market is located in a large white building across from the silos. You can see the side of the large white building pictured here. The silos are located to the left.


As you come into the Market you are greeted again by many friendly employees. They were passing out bags to collect items in for shopping. I asked at the desk if the bags were for sale but unfortunately they weren't. The Market immediately makes you feel like you could re-create one of the living rooms from Fixer Upper with all of the things to choose from. I didn't take many pictures of the Market so that you could see it all for yourself. There were lots of large wooden signs with thoughtful and welcoming sayings...


And there was a fun wall of metal signs created by Jimmy Don.


I kept brainstorming a wall at my house that I could put something up on, but nothing came to mind so I just kept soaking it all in envisioning decorating someone else's home. In the end, I walked away only purchasing a mug for the coffee bar and a t-shirt...#shiplap, of course. ;-)

Heading out of the Market we headed over to the lawn area. The kids ran straight to the large wooden swings. We saw the barn that was just built to offer some extra shade and picnic tables for guests.


The boys found the balls and frisbees.


It was definitely a hot day and I wanted to complete our tour before everyone started melting. So next we headed over to the garden area. Heading that way we passed the entrance to the many food trucks lining the back of the property. Since we had just enjoyed the breakfast at the hotel we kept walking to the gardens but it did look like there were many great choices to pick from!


The gardens were beautiful and I really liked how various things were labeled so that you could see exactly what was growing.


The brand new Magnolia Seed + Supply shop was open. It is air conditioned and offered a nice cool break from the outside. However, the shop itself is very small. So basically what you picture below was the width of the shop and then back maybe 12 or 14 feet. It only took a few minutes to walk through. 


The shop had different seeds and garden supplies in it and then also had a cute display of things you could purchase to create a fairy garden (you could buy the items right there, so no need to go back through the Market to pay.) I definitely enjoyed walking through the shop but if there had been a long line and I was short on time, this is one place that I would probably skip.

There were multiple fairy gardens outside that were fun to look at. 


One of the kids favorite parts was seeing the two goats next to the seed + supply store. One of the goats was named, Marigold. :-)


Our final stop was to find the Mangolia sign to document our trip. It was actually on the back corner of the Market building outside of the main entrance. Thankfully there was a curb for people to stand on who have taller husbands...


And for five kiddos to jump off of to get out some extra energy before they head back on the road. :-)


We did make one last stop before heading out of Waco since the kids had done so well walking around the grounds...and really...mom and dad just wanted an excuse to grab ice cream on a hot Texas day. So we swung by Heritage Creamery right as it was opening at 11am.


We were the only ones in the shop and the kids got to taste test some flavors before choosing one.


All in all, our pit stop to Waco, Texas was an absolutely wonderful experience!

Walking the grounds you get all the feels of what the Gaines family and the show, Fixer Upper is all about. We were eager to get back on the road and continue our road trip, so our tour ended there. However we will most likely be driving back through Texas in late August and have already talked about stopping in again to see the Bakery if it is open and to drive around and see some of the other landmarks from the show. (You can find a map on the website that shows you where to drive to see the old shop on Bosque street and Harp Design Co., etc.) 

So to answer some of the questions that I had prior to visiting...

How much time should we plan our visit to Waco for? 

We were able to tour the market and gardens in 1 hour with no lines. 

Where should we stay? 

We found a hotel that worked well through Orbitz that was 8 minutes away. Another fun option would be finding a place through Airbnb. We actually found a home that was remodeled on the show, that was available to stay at. However, it didn't seem kid friendly for our crew and because we were just swinging by we went with a more affordable option that also had free breakfast. :-) 

Will there be crowds? 

That is the million dollar question. :-) There were no lines on the day that we visited, which was a Tuesday morning right after the store opened. We did hear some local people say that during Spring Break there were lines 3 hours long. So I guess I would suggest visiting on a weekday morning if you can to try and beat any crowds and bring water to keep everyone hydrated in case you do run into lines or if you plan to stay longer and enjoy playing on the grounds.

Enjoy!

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