As a local, my family and I are always looking for things to do in Waco, Texas. Recently, we spent a Saturday afternoon at Homestead Heritage. This craft and agrarian village is located just a few miles north of downtown Waco, including the Silos. We love visiting Magnolia, but there are so many different restaurants, shops and places to visit in our hometown.
With that being said, Homestead Heritage is not new. Actually, the small christian community has been around for 35 years and is open year round for visitors. There is a cafe, coffee shop and grocery store full of fresh and natural foods. We brought home sourdough bread, homemade caramel candy, local honey, cheese, stoneground corn meal and grits. In addition, you can tour the craft shops, where you can usually find a few friendly folks working on their craft. For instance, you can find basket making, woodworking, metalsmithing, ceramic pottery, and fiber arts like quilting and weaving.
After grabbing coffee, we visited the gristmill which is a water wheel powered mill. You can walk inside to see the entire process of the huge stone grinding grain into flour and find a great selection of stoneground flours and baking mixes. If you are not visiting or local, you can still buy these online, here.
Next, we stopped in Brazos Valley Cheese to see the huge cheese vats – where cheese is made. Plus, we sampled a variety of cheeses before deciding which ones we loved. Then, we walked to the cheese cave where we found aging cheeses. There are vegetable gardens and a peach orchard nearby.
Then, we toured the fiber arts barn where two women were working on the loom. One was making a patterned dish towel and was quick to share the process with us. In all of the craft shops, there were demonstrations from a woodworker building a beautiful Windsor chair to a group of young women in the pottery studio making ceramic bowls.
The people are very friendly, which is one of things that we loved about visiting. They do offer a few ‘make your own’ activities for a small fee. However, you can schedule some classes online in advance. I want to take a bread making class, while my husband plans to take a knife making class with my son at the forge. Find classes, and even some free video courses, here.
Next we stopped in ‘The Barn’ gift shop where my daughter couldn’t resist the handmade soaps, bath salts and candles. Here, you can find a variety of the handmade crafts from baskets to handmade furniture. The prices of products are not cheap, but we love to support local and small businesses. Plus, we think the quality of handmade is worth it. I bought a beautiful set of measuring cups with hand turned Texas mesquite wood handles. These will last for generations!
If you are looking for things to do in Waco,Texas, visit Homestead Heritage year round. However, if you are visiting in November, they host an annual Thanksgiving homestead fair which will be a great learning experience for young and old. For instance, the event includes craft demonstrations, agricultural exhibits, activities for kids, music and lots of homemade foods and shopping. We definitely plan to attend.