Planning a trip to Magnolia Market (and what it's like during Covid)
A few weeks ago we took a trip to Magnolia Market (which you may have seen on my instagram stories), but I wanted to go into more detail and share our experience for anyone that had been considering going during Covid. There are a lot of new shops that just opened up and if you haven't been in the last year I can assure you it's very different. I also put together a sample touring plan for you at the bottom of this post so if you're a planner like me you can plan out every second, it's basically all of the information I wish I had when I was planning our trip. So settle in, this is a long one and if you have an upcoming trip to Magnolia, bookmark this post!
If you've never been to Magnolia there are multiple areas to see, some of which are closed right now due to construction, but several are still open! The first thing I want to say is that if you are on the fence on whether to go now or wait until Covid clears up- I will wholeheartedly tell you to GO! It's absolutely still worth making the trip, there are plenty of things to see and do and dare I say it's quite pleasant right now because it's not overly crowded.
I went with my family- husband and two boys (eight and three years old). There was not a lot to entertain kids right now with the lawn in front of silos being closed, but there was definitely enough to make my kids happy campers by the end of the day and I'll get into all of that for you too!
This was our first stop and this is the original shop and destination. I wanted to arrive right at opening time (9am) to avoid any crowds, but we were coming in from Houston and running a bit behind. We pulled into the parking lot at 10:30am. My initial reaction was that it wasn't too crowded, but we were there on a Friday, which helped. Inside the Market it was all decked out for Christmas and looked so beautiful!
There is so much shopping to be had here- the market is mainly household/gift items- cutting boards, bakeware, candles, coffee cups, wall signs/art, shirts, hats, and then all of Chip and Joanna's books and magazines (the amount of books these two have written in the last five years is mind-boggling!).
There are two levels and the back level is where the check out is located.
I snagged The Magnolia Story book (which I mentioned a few week's back), their new children's book, a Silos Christmas ornament, and my eight year old Phoenix grabbed some popcorn. Due to Covid they have the traffic flow going one way, which means there is only one entrance into the store and once you exit the store you can't get back. I made the mistake of leaving the store to walk around with Lincoln (my three year old) while Kris checked out and then I tried to get back in to take a photo at this cute little backdrop area, but they wouldn't let me get back, I would have had to walk all the way back through the store. It's for everyone's safety so I didn't mind, we just didn't get the photo, no big deal. A lot of what they sell here can be found in their online store too, in case. your idea of a Covid trip is more of a virtual one!
The bakery had what looked like a long line, but it took us less than 10 minutes before we were ordering.
They were only allowing one family/group into the shop at a time to ensure social distancing, there is a worker outside who will probably come by with a QR code for you to scan the menu to look at while you are waiting. If you don't see the worker send someone from your group up to the front of the line and there is a sandwich board style sign with the QR code there as well.
We ordered the chocolate chip cookie, a cinnamon roll, the brownie cookie, two prize pig biscuits, and Lincoln got a classic cupcake, which he loved.
Everything was delicious- the brownie cookie and biscuits definitely were the stars of our little snack haul and stood out as our favorites. There is a seating area right outside the bakery, which was the perfect spot to take a little break while we ate.
You can see the bakery's full menu right here.
We didn't go in here (although I'm wishing we did just for some photos) since we aren't big coffee drinkers, but they serve coffee, tea, and pastries. You can check out the full menu right here. The traffic flow is one way, entrance in the front and exit out the back onto a patio and right at The Shops (which I'm about to tell you about), they do have a walk-up window in the back that you can pick up call ahead orders too. The day we happened to be there was the coffee shop's one year anniversary, so it was decked out with some very cute decorations!
To be honest I had no idea this area even existed before we came. It's brand new (opened in October 2020) and there's not a lot of information about it online, but this was absolutely my favorite thing about Magnolia! There was a large open lawn with some park benches around the perimeter, shops lining both sides, and the beautiful old church at the back of the lawn to make up a little shopping square.
The kids were thrilled to run around and play on the big open expanse of greenery with Kris while I zipped around to all of the shops. The shops are small, picturesque, and each one has a different theme. Most of items here were quite different than what you can find at the Market, although there was a bit of overlap.
Vie Bien Aimee
This shop was like a bath and body works, they had candles, bath bombs, etc.
This shop was their little book store, they had all of the books Chip and Jo have written as well as journals, pencils, cute erasers, etc.
This was their women's clothing store, think less Magnolia t-shirts, more curated clothing items and accessories that fit Jo's aesthetic.
This was the men's clothing store, it seemed to have several of the clothing items from the Market and a lot more items catered to men. They had wallets, baseball caps, swiss army knives, and lots of leather goods.
Juniper & Crew
This was the baby and kid's store and it was at this point I called Kris to bring the kids over and we all went in together- the kid's loved this store!
They had a few clothing items, but more importantly- toys! We let each boy pick out one item and they had a lot of fun looking at everything.
This store had bags/purses and lots of jewelry, everything was super cute, lots of leather goods.
Some of these stores can be shopped virtually as well.
This area also looks incredibly beautiful at night right now for Christmas, which we didn't get to see, but I'm already trying to figure out when we can go back!
This showroom is also part of "the shops" area, but is much larger and not part of the little square. It's behind the coffee shop and to the right of the square, you won't miss it! This was essentially a beautifully styled furniture store.
Inspiration was oozing everywhere, such a fun store to walk through! It was like if the Hearth and Hand section at Target turned into an entire furniture store- although not near as budget friendly. You can see a lot of the furniture and home decor items they sell right here.
The old church sits at the back of the lawn and while I was there I didn't know the story behind it, but I've since read this blog post and found out this church's charming backstory. It was built in 1894 and crumbling, but Joanna and Chip relocated it (as best as they could, a lot of it had to be rebuilt) onto the Magnolia property, restoring as many of the original details as they could. It's beautiful and I don't know what the end purpose is- to hold weddings (I doubt it), to have church services (maybe), or just to be a beautiful centerpiece of the shops...but it's truly remarkable what they've done with it.
I was pretty surprised to see a ballpark here as part of the grounds. It's behind the chapel near the food truck area, so make sure you walk back there! It's technically a wiffle ball field and you can read more about the history of the ballpark and why Chip and Jo wanted to incorporate it into the expansion here. There were several people playing when we were there and it's my understanding that there is equipment to pick up and play with right there, so another great spot for the kids to play and get some energy out, especially if they love baseball!
The food trucks weren't open while we were visiting and there's mixed information on the website about whether or not they have re-opened. I'm hopeful that they are open now, but here's a blog post with a list of all of the food trucks that you will hopefully get to enjoy on your visit!
Magnolia Table is a short 5 minute drive away from The Silos area, but it's an absolute MUST DO in my opinion!
I highly recommend calling ahead or going online to make a reservation a few weeks before your trip. When we arrived we overheard the wait was about an hour and a half, but since I had made a reservation we only waited about five minutes before being sat. They are currently at lower capacity and aren't able to seat guests at every table so that's something to keep in mind as well.
The boys were happy to play with their new toys while we waited. Once we got in, I snapped a ton of photos-the restaurant was beautifully designed.
Every detail right down to the to-go area, which I was especially charmed by.
The food was delicious. The biscuits and strawberry butter are a must, we also ordered the sausage gravy, but our gravy went untouched because the strawberry butter was that good.
The kids loved the fact that they gave them little boxes of colored pencils with multiple colors, instead of two crappy crayons (that are going to break) like a normal restaurant gives out.
It truly is the little things that matter and Phoenix was so proud of his finished coloring page.
Kris and I ordered breakfast tacos and a breakfast sandwich to share and both were delicious with a slight edge going to the tacos.
There were tons of items on the menu that looked delicious and I can't wait to go back to try more!
There is ongoing construction right now at Magnolia, which did mean a few things were closed and unavailable. The lawn in front of the silos with the lawn games and picnic tables as well as Magnolia Seed + Supply and the gardens in front of that. The food trucks were also closed while we were there, but according to their FAQ page have opened up now.
I'm a Disney girl at heart (have you seen my Disney instagram?) and love a good plan of attack for seeing and doing as much as possible while on a trip. I would have loved to have found a blog post like this before our trip, so I decided to create a little touring plan for you- this is exactly what I would do if I could plan our trip with the knowledge I have now.
Before your trip
- pick the day you are planning to be there, if you can avoid a Saturday and come on a weekday do it! I promise it will be worth it. Also, keep in mind they are closed Sunday!
- If you want to eat at Magnolia Table, make a reservation for the day and time you want. It's probably a good idea to try and do this about a month in advance, but I was able to grab a noon reservation the day before we went so even if you're planning a trip last minute you may get lucky like I did! If you have your pick of time slots go for 1-2pm so you have plenty of time to shop at the silos before having to get back in your car to drive to the restaurant. But truly, whatever time you can get a reservation for will work- even if it's a weird time and you need to adjust your plan- that's ok!
Day of your trip
1. Arrive as close to opening time as you can, right now almost everything (except the restaurant and coffee shop, which open at 7am) opens at 9 am.
2. Free parking can be found on 6th street and Jackson avenue, from here it's about a block's walk to the Bakery and Market.
3. Start at the Silos Baking Company and grab some breakfast to eat at the outdoor seating area.
4. Time to shop the Magnolia Market.
5. After this, walk down the street (head down Webster Ave away from 6th street and towards 8th street) and grab a cup of coffee at Magnolia Press Coffee Company.
6. Next, it will be time for you to head into the furniture showroom which is right around the corner.
7. After this, take a break if you have kids and let play on the lawn for a bit and get their energy out, if they are anything like mine so far they've been enjoying the snacks, but probably a little restless from all of the shopping and "don't touch that!", so let them get the wiggles out!
8. After this, you should grab lunch (or a snack if you're planning to eat at Magnolia Table) at the food trucks, try to get in line around 11-11:15am to avoid long lunch lines. Most people aren't thinking about lunch just yet so you'll beat the rush.
9. Now it's time to hit up the shops at the silos, depending on your speed and how much shopping you want to do it could take you anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to make it through the shops.
11. Hop back in your car to head to your reservation at Magnolia Table.
Magnolia also has a page of information and FAQs that you can check out here. I hope this was helpful for you if you're planning a trip and if you end up going let me know, I would love to hear how it went!!