An Unexpected Trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas

Holy crap you guys, I needed to get away.  Taxes, kids who don’t listen, an unexpected fit of spring cleaning and just life in general was too much so a little weekend getaway with my childhood friend Holly was just the thing I needed.  We both needed.  Everyone needs. 

The Trip

Holly’s very wonderfully accommodating friends Mary and Mike live in Arlington, TX and their mid-century retreat backs up to a wooded area making their back porch and pool a getaway unto itself.  But when I discovered that Waco, TX – home of Fixer Upper icon Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos – was a short drive away I was pretty excited.   And even more excited when everyone was cool with a trip there, yes, even Holly who had somehow never heard of Joanna or Fixer Upper.  Yes, such people do exist.

Since it was spring break for area schools we got up bright and early to avoid the crowds and show up right when the Market opened at 9 am.  We picked up a breakfast of kolaches (a Czech sweet yeast bun wrapped around a sausage – oddly enough there’s a large Czech population in Texas) plus a couple of little cinnamon donuts from the Wonderful Donut shop and we were on our way.  We just missed our 9 am arrival time, so I’m not sure at what time we would have had to have been there to be the first ones in line. 

The football stadium at Baylor University in Waco, TX. My neighbor on the plane said any visitor to Texas should try to check out a Friday night high school game.  They apparently are large and intense.  Next time, random dude.

The football stadium at Baylor University in Waco, TX. My neighbor on the plane said any visitor to Texas should try to check out a Friday night high school game.  They apparently are large and intense.  Next time, random dude.

Waco

When entering Waco we were greeted by McLane Stadium, Baylor University's stadium.  The university itself is really, really nice and BIG.  Chip and Joanna speak about it often on the show and I can see why.  It pretty much is the cornerstone of the town. 

Boasting a population of about 130,000, Waco is a fairly large city and the Silos are just off of the interstate and near the downtown area.  Kind of like the Equity is in proximity to downtown Effingham.  In my mind the Silos were located at the edge of town but it’s actually surrounded by the downtown area and older somewhat dilapidated neighborhoods, so not at all what I thought.  There is ample free parking on the street and we had just a short walk to the Silos.  Luckily it was a perfect day for being outside.

There she is on the left.  Holly, the one person in America who hasn't heard of Joanna and Chip Gaines or Fixer Upper.  I love her anyway.  She and Mike and Mary were so kind to have waited patiently the entire morning.  

There she is on the left.  Holly, the one person in America who hasn't heard of Joanna and Chip Gaines or Fixer Upper.  I love her anyway.  She and Mike and Mary were so kind to have waited patiently the entire morning.  

What to Do At the Silos

The Silos consist of the Magnolia Market store, the Silos Baking Company, Magnolia Seed & Supply shop and garden, a large lawn/play area, stage, food trucks with seating and a big ole covered patio where the line forms.  Like I said, we were there at about 9:30 am on a Saturday but we still waited about 45 minutes to get into the Market, which went somewhat quickly.  There was excellent people-watching to be had what with the families playing in the yard and just pretty people in general.  Holly even commented on how many beautiful people were there.  I was thinking the same thing, not your average crowd of mediocre-looking folk.  Oh, and there was live music.  Great touch. 

The lawn area is straight ahead and the barn waiting area is to the right, the stage is under the Magnolia sign.  The lawn is actually bigger than this pic makes it look.  This was taken right when we arrived and the lawn was completely packed by the time we got out.

The lawn area is straight ahead and the barn waiting area is to the right, the stage is under the Magnolia sign.  The lawn is actually bigger than this pic makes it look.  This was taken right when we arrived and the lawn was completely packed by the time we got out.

On the weekend we were visiting, the Silos hosted an outdoor market consisting of small shops from around the country.  They were all set up in small white tents in rows on the perimeter of the property.  This was my favorite part.  So many cool things to look at and more to do while there.  Holly said all of it combined looked like Fresh Digs.  That was a nice compliment.  I found quite a few businesses willing to wholesale to us, so be on the lookout for new products found at the Silos.  And now our new goal is to somehow get Fresh Digs into one of those tents.  Why not?!  : )

One section of the outdoor market.  From my understanding this was taking place because area schools were on spring break that week.  Not sure if it's held during other holidays.  I hope so, it's a fantastic add-on.

One section of the outdoor market.  From my understanding this was taking place because area schools were on spring break that week.  Not sure if it's held during other holidays.  I hope so, it's a fantastic add-on.

Oddly enough there isn’t actually anything inside the silos.  According to the website they’re still trying to figure out what to do with them.  For now, they’re serving as a fantastic landmark and backdrop.

Magnolia Market

Onto the main event - Magnolia Market!  This is the store where you can find all of the lovely things Joanna uses in her show, Fixer Upper.  Only so many people are allowed in at a time but the place was still really full.  We meandered around taking it all in.  I tried my best to see everything and snap some pics.  Long story short, I did my best considering the quick flow of traffic, sheer number of people inside and an iPhone that kept telling me my storage was full so I had to constantly try to delete pictures in order to take more.  Photographically speaking, it was a sh*tshow.  Oddly enough, I don't want to use many of the indoor pics.  I don't want to ruin it for you.  

I'm going to share just this one pic of the inside of Magnolia Market.  You're going to have to go and see it for yourself.  

I'm going to share just this one pic of the inside of Magnolia Market.  You're going to have to go and see it for yourself.  

We entered on an upper level that contained botanicals, home décor, leather purses and jewelry and kitchen items.  On the lower level is Chip’s Corner with tools and man stuff, paint, signs, a kids’ section, t shirts and more home décor.  Check out stations are available on both floors. 

Vases, clocks, letters, signs, Joanna’s magazine, candles, etc. – it was all there.  It was cool to see that we carry at Fresh Digs a number of the same product lines as she does.  The kids’ items were totally adorable, the botanicals included cotton, anemones, roses, tulips and other spring-like florals.   What I didn’t see, however, were any of her awesome vintage finds she integrates into her designs.  Perhaps when Salina and I make it there with our tent we can bring some.   : )

Although I didn’t get a gander of Joanna or Chip, Jimmy Don the steel sign maker from the show was in the shop taking pics with people.

Well, I will share this.  Jimmy Don is a local steel sign maker Joanna uses on the show and he was in the shop taking pictures with people.  

Well, I will share this.  Jimmy Don is a local steel sign maker Joanna uses on the show and he was in the shop taking pictures with people.  

Tips

Planning on going?  Here’s my two cents.

·         Plan to hang out in Waco for at least a day.  We were at the Silos for about four hours but what with driving around and checking out the other shops in the downtown area, we could have easily entertained ourselves for much longer.  There’s even a Dr. Pepper museum nearby.

·         Only after we’d gotten back did I realize that we could have probably taken turns checking out the Bakery or Seed Store while one from our party held our place in line.  By the time I waited in line for the Market and then again for the food truck, I was lined out, so I didn’t see those places. 

·         Going during the week and either right when they open or before close are probably your best bets for avoiding crowds.  But we were there at peak crowd time on a Saturday and although it was packed, it wasn’t completely ridiculous. 

·         If you’re not afraid of a really early morning, take note that the Bakery opens earlier than the shop so maybe check it out first. 

·         Being a family-friendly place, if you decide to work this stop into your family vacation there is quite a bit for the men and children to do at the Silos.  The garden and the lawn are great entertainment options for them.  TONS of kids and parents were throwing footballs (provided), swinging and playing around when we were there.  Plus there are super cool black and white striped bean bag chairs to lounge in. 

Long story short, I love how Chip and Joanna have created a family-friendly outing all around the goal of inspiring people to make their homes beautiful.  And oh, what it must be doing for the coffers of the city of Waco, TX and the local businesses.  Add this place to your list if you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna and Fixer Upper, even if you’re not, it’s still a unique experience that gives you an excuse to check out a different part of America. 

If you’ve been, feel free to share your thoughts on the Silos and Waco.  

For the next post I'm thinking that I'll have to pick science teacher Holly's brain to help share with everyone why our roller perfumes end up half empty after a plane ride.  Ah!

After we checked out the shop we hit the food trucks.  Club Sandwich was my choice.  I got the Trashcan with half rice/half cabbage, cilantro chicken and something pork.  There were many customizable options involved that I can't remember, but you get the pic.  Fresh and flavorful and around $9.  Mike got a delicious-looking gourmet grilled cheese sandwich from another truck.  A couple other trucks I remember seeing were the brick oven pizza truck and the coffee truck.

After we checked out the shop we hit the food trucks.  Club Sandwich was my choice.  I got the Trashcan with half rice/half cabbage, cilantro chicken and something pork.  There were many customizable options involved that I can't remember, but you get the pic.  Fresh and flavorful and around $9.  Mike got a delicious-looking gourmet grilled cheese sandwich from another truck.  A couple other trucks I remember seeing were the brick oven pizza truck and the coffee truck.

This sign scene from Letterfolk slays me.  Just one of the many cool outdoor market tents set up on the day we went.  I believe they'd been there for the entire week and a few of them were totally cleaned out. 

This sign scene from Letterfolk slays me.  Just one of the many cool outdoor market tents set up on the day we went.  I believe they'd been there for the entire week and a few of them were totally cleaned out. 

Check out this VW bus/flower cart!  Pretty as a picture.  Who needs a little white tent when you have Petunia the VW minibus?  

Check out this VW bus/flower cart!  Pretty as a picture.  Who needs a little white tent when you have Petunia the VW minibus?  

Just a taste of the downtown Waco architecture as taken through the window of a moving car.  

Just a taste of the downtown Waco architecture as taken through the window of a moving car.  

Nite Court Saloon, surely the hidden gem of downtown Waco.  Adding this to my list for next time I visit.  

Nite Court Saloon, surely the hidden gem of downtown Waco.  Adding this to my list for next time I visit.  

Orange roadside wildflowers as seen from the moving car.  These paired with the just beginning to bloom state flower - the bluebonnet - made for a very lovely drive.  Mary did a little research and we're guessing this flower is Indian Paintbrush.  This area is in Hardiness Zones 8a and 8b and I remember reading about "Indian Paintbrush" a long time ago in a seed catalog.  Very cool to see it in person.  

Orange roadside wildflowers as seen from the moving car.  These paired with the just beginning to bloom state flower - the bluebonnet - made for a very lovely drive.  Mary did a little research and we're guessing this flower is Indian Paintbrush.  This area is in Hardiness Zones 8a and 8b and I remember reading about "Indian Paintbrush" a long time ago in a seed catalog.  Very cool to see it in person.