Fountains of Waco
Plan Ahead: Plan to be outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine. We recommend that you pack sunscreen, clothing that can get wet, hats, and plenty of water. As you explore the many fountains within Waco, know that children should be safe around water, however getting into the fountains is not allowed.
- Pro tip: plan a picnic as part of your excursion! Grab brisket and all of the fixings from Guess Family Barbecue, or view a full list of our Go Gold! partners here. First, stop will be The Kate Friend Animal Fountain in front of Waco City Hall. This fountain, presented to the city in 1909 by the National Humane Alliance, historically provided water for horses and dogs. After periods of disuse, the fountain is flowing once more.
- The next stop is a short walk around the corner. The Waco Freedom Fountain can be found at the entrance of the Waco Convention Center, installed in 1973 to honor the service of veterans. The tribute took shape following the bold efforts of Waco civic leaders who embarked on an international mission to free POWs (learn more about the Waco dozen and their visit with the Viet Cong here). An update to the fountain included the addition of the word "freedom" in many language. Can you count how many different languages are used? View the answer.
- Many refer to Waco as Bear Country because of its connection to Baylor University, the oldest continually-operating university in Texas. Your next stops are located in the heart of Baylor’s campus:
- Once you are on campus, head to Baylor’s newest fountain, Rosenbalm Fountain, in the center of 5th near the Bill Daniel Student Center. (Visit Baylor's live Bear Mascots, Lady & Joy, along the way!) In 2015, the addition of Rosenbalm Fountain returned a fountain to Baylor’s iconic fountain-less Fountain Mall, making a splash with its 46 by 61 foot water show.
- Jump back in your car or stroll across campus to the Baylor Sciences Building. Here, you will find geyser-like fountains that were included in the design and construction of the 508,000 square foot interactive science community.
- Next, head downtown to the corner of Jefferson and University Parks, site of the historic Calle Dos neighborhood, and visit the historic La Pila fountain. This fountain, central to daily life for those who called Calle Dos home, disappeared in the 1960s as federal urban renewal efforts razed areas around the city. Uncovered through an archeological dig, La Pila’s restoration remains ongoing. Learn more.
- The tour concludes in Cameron Park. First, visit the entrance of Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place. Miss Nellie’s, a six-acre wildflower preserve, was created with support from Keep Waco Beautiful and former Congressman Bob Poage in honor of his late mother. Here, you will find a water feature, trails, and plenty of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees.
- End your day at the Cameron Park Splash Pad, located at Pecan Bottoms. Cool off from the Texas heat and enjoy your picnic. Swing by Waco Cha for hand-crafted bubble tea on the way home!