Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum ~ Waco, Texas

When I told my kids we were going to go to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum over Spring Break – they looked at me strange.  “You mean we are going to a baseball museum?”, my daughter asked.  And yes, this is the 11 year old that had Texas History last year.  I knew then, I had to brush up on my history.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, located in Waco, Texas is a wonderful place to learn the colorful history of the Texas Rangers – the oldest state law enforcement agency.  Visitors learn about the history of the Texas Rangers through exhibits, which includes badges, firearms, saddles, photographs, and other artifacts on display. 
We learned so much that day – how in 1823, Stephen F. Austin called for a group of men “to act as rangers for the common defense” and in 1835, the new Republic of Texas established three companies of men that would be the main defense of Texas for many years.  The museum provides many great stories & situations the Rangers have encountered throughout their almost 200 years of service to Texas.  There is a great 45 minute film that provides a great history as well.
In what could be a very heavy museum geared to an older generation, the museum does a great job of bringing in their young visitors too. My children enjoyed sitting on the wooden horses, handling the heavy pistols, and putting together the rifle. 
They also enjoyed mom making them dress up in Western garb and act out the scene of a Western show.  At least my son got to play the part of the Texas Ranger!
Lastly, we were handed this fantastic Scavenger Hunt – we were instructed to find hidden pictures of bandits through out the displays and unscramble a code they had.  My kids LOVED that!
But their favorite part of the tour? Finding the $1000 and $500 bills.  “Are they real?”, my son asked.  Luckily, a very knowledgeable museum employee standing nearby informed us that they were indeed real – but they are not in circulation anymore, as the “big bills made drug trafficking too easy.”  She also told us that 90% of the artifacts in the museum are all original.  HOW COOL!
Moving past the displays, you enter the actual Official State Hall of Fame, which memorializes Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or served with great distinction.  It is very humbling to see the all that collective protection gathered in one central place.

We had a wonderful time at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum.  I think we didn’t fully know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised.  Paired with a trip to the Cameron Park Zoo , the Dr Pepper Museum, or the Mayborn Museum Complex and you have a great day!

Texas Travel Facts for Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum:
Location: 1300 S. University Parks Waco, Texas
Hours: Mon - Sun: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Admission: Adults: $7.00
                    Children (6 to 12): $3.00 (under 6 are free)
Recommended Time: 1- 2 hours
Good to know: Check the great website for additional historical information, great gift shop, Children can join the "Jr. Ranger Program"

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My children and I were invited to visit the museum and were provided admission. I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum are strictly my own based on my experience.  


Jessica said...

I've thought of going here many times! Looks like a fun place.

jennykate77 said...

And here I thought the only things in Waco, TX was crazy people. ;)

Looks like a lot of fun!!

Steve said...

Did they have an entire wing dedicated to Chuck Norris? Or did they just build him his own museum?

Emmy said...

That sounds like such a great museum! I used to love the TV show Walker Texas Ranger- or whatever it was called :)

I would be too scared to have $1000 bill- I mean you lose one bill and you lose a lot of money!