By Jennifer Smith | Reporter
If you’re looking for something fun and inexpensive to do in your free time, then look no further than Waco’s museum scene. Whether you’re a sports fan, history buff or art enthusiast, Waco museums like The Mayborn Museum, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Dr Pepper Museum have you covered.
The Mayborn Museum The Mayborn Museum, is located on University Parks Drive across from Baylor. As you walk into the spacious building, the high ceilings and large Texas emblem on the wall take your breath away. However, Rebecca Tucker Nall, the assistant director of exhibits, said the museum did not always occupy such a pristine space.
“This museum started off as a collection of different fossils and artifacts professors had collected as early as the 1850s,” Nall said. “It was called The Baylor University Museum, and it was shuffled along campus from Pat Neff to Sid Richardson, wherever there was room for it.”
Nall said Baylor still contributes in great ways to the museum. Because of the Mayborn’s wildly popular mammoth site and ancient fossils, the Baylor environmental science department has been very good to the Mayborn by exposing the students to the museum through labs and studies.
The Mayborn might be considered to be a part of Baylor, but that does not discourage people from all over to come in and see it. In fact, Weatherford junior Lauren Amy said outside visitors are her favorite part.
“I love interacting with the different type of people that come in. People from everywhere, it’s nice to get a good look at the surrounding community,” Amy said.
Right down the street from the Mayborn is the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which was established in 1951 and moved to Waco from Dallas in 1993.
Texas was the first state to have a museum dedicated to sports memorabilia, along with the highly sought-after Hall of Fame.
“I like working here because I like sports, I like history and I like Texas, so I checked off all three boxes,” Jay Black, the vice president of museum operations, said. “Plus, it’s never the same. I get to do something different every day.”
Black said spring break and summer months are their most busy times, but the museum easily gets up to 25,000 visitors a year.
Nevada senior Maggie Dean interned at this museum this past summer and said HGTV has a lot to do with its recent success.
“We get a lot of people visiting because of Magnolia,” Dean said. “It’s definitely doubled the amount of people we get in, which allows Dr Pepper to invest more money so the museum can expand and grow.”
With hands-on exhibits and interesting historical facts about Waco’s past, the Dr Pepper museum is a must-see.
The Mayborn is free for students, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame is $3 for students, and The Dr Pepper museum is $6 for students.
And make sure to mark your calendar for the Mayborn’s murder-mystery themed event “Mayhem at the Mayborn,” on Oct. 6.