Even though I am from Dallas, I had not spent much time in Fort Worth until I moved there for a few years. It was then that I discovered there are tons to do in Fort Worth. This gateway to the West has many things going on and has more art museums than we do in Dallas!
1. Watch a Cattle Drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards
Have you ever wanted to see longhorn cattle up close? Get yourself to Fort Worth to see the twice-daily cattle drive. At 11 AM and 4 PM, they drive longhorn cattle through the streets of old town Fort Worth. It doesn’t take very long so make sure you are in the area right on time. If you want to get a close up look, you can visit the cattle in their pens in the Livestock Exchange Building. Drovers are available to answer questions after as well. This is a great activity for kids and there are tons of places to eat after the drive.
2. Enjoy some Tex-Mex
You can’t go to Fort Worth and not eat Tex Mex. In Fort Worth, El Asadero, Taco Heads, and Joe T. Garcia’s. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are my personal favorites. If you go to Joe T. Garcia’s, there may be a line on the weekends. The menu is limited in size, but the food is good and the portions are huge. Our family of five will split two entrees sometimes. If the weather is nice, ask to sit in the garden.
3. Go to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Surprisingly, the very western town of Fort Worth has a modern art museum. They have hosted some large traveling exhibits as well. Once, I saw Kaws there. Outside there is a large Richard Serra piece entitled, Vortex. They also have an Andy Warhol. It is one of the Marilyn Monroe pieces.
Adult admission is $16 and kids under 18 get in free.
4. Visit the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens are located not too far from downtown Fort Worth and is 110 acres of gardens. There is something going on here during every season. One of the biggest highlights is the Japanese Garden that is 7.5 acres filled with cherry trees, Japanese maples and bamboo bridges. There are koi fish in the ponds and it reminds me of Monet’s Giverny water lily ponds. There is also a monthly Japanese Tea Ceremony that takes place in the garden. The cost of the ceremony is $30. It is best to book this in advance.
Admission is free to most of the gardens. The Japanese Garden is $7 for adults and kids ages 4-12 are $4.
5. See a Rodeo at the Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo
The Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo is the oldest continuously running livestock show and rodeo. It runs for about three weeks starting in the middle of January every year. There is so much to see and do at the stockshow and rodeo. You can watch cattle be auctioned off, go shopping, see barrel racing, eat great food and ride some rides. Every day there is something going on. Admission varies from year to year and tickets to the rodeo are extra.
6. Go to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
It isn’t all cows and horses in Fort Worth. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is a museum must see. The museum features American art from the 19th and 20th century. One of their most famous collections is the Remington and Russell collection that allows these two great American artists to be compared to each other. Admission is free. Parts of the museum are undergoing renovation and the whole museum will be closed from June 3 to the end of August 2019.
7. Visit Sundance Square
While there is a square, Sundance Square is actually 35 blocks of downtown Fort Worth. It features shopping, eating and entertainment options. Many times there are events happening in the Sundance Square Plaza. You could spend the whole weekend here with plenty to do.
8. See Dinosaurs at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History covers the science and history of Texas. It features Texas dinosaurs and ranching history. Also, it has the Omni Theater, which is an IMAX theater and a planetarium. While much of the museum is dedicated to children, many adults will also find it interesting. In full disclosure, I should tell you I worked here for about three years several years ago.
Admission is $16 for adults and kids, 2-18 are $13.
9. Explore the Fort Worth Water Gardens
Located in downtown Fort Worth is the Fort Worth Water Gardens. This interactive park is a large scale water installation. It is a nice place to relax and unwind. The sound of the water drowns out any city noise you might hear. Admission is free!
10. Tour the Kimball Art Museum
Yet another art museum in Fort Worth. This is one of my favorites. The Kimball Art Museum collection is small compared to many museums. The collections range from paintings, sculptures, antiquities and ceramics. It features two of Monet’s paintings. He is one of my favorites. The museum was recently expanded in order for the museum to expand its exhibition space.
General admission is free and there is sometimes a charge for special exhibitions.
11. Dance at Billy Bob’s Texas
One of the biggest dance clubs is Billy Bob’s Texas. Many famous country singers have started their careers here and many continue to play here. I have even seen Willie Nelson at Billy Bob’s. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can pay extra to see live bull riding. This is a prize event so the riders can win prize money.
12. Explore the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is the only museum to honor women of the American West. It includes artifacts, artists and musicians of women. Some names include Georgia O’Keeffe, Patsy Kline and Dale Evans. The museum is about to begin some renovations and will be closed from February 10 to March 8, 2019.
Admission is currently discounted due to the renovation. Adults admission is $5 and kids from 3-12 are $3.50.
13. Watch Money be Made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
All the money in the US is made in Washington DC and Fort Worth! In fact, billions of dollars are printed in Fort Worth every year at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. You can take yourself on a self-guided tour Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 t0 4:30. Best of all admission is free and reservations are not required. I remember going to this as a kid and loving it!
14. Eat Your Way Down Magnolia Avenue
Magnolia Avenue is probably the exact opposite of much of Fort Worth. Magnolia is full of places to eat and drink and sort of the hipster area of Fort Worth. There is one of my favorite bars there called The Usual, which serves prohibition era cocktails. There is a coffee shop and roastery called Avoca. There is even a vegan diner that serves great good called The Spiral Diner. You could spend all day here from breakfast to after dinner drinks and dancing. I would recommend eating here a few times if you are spending any length of time in Fort Worth.
15. Drink Local Beer at Rahr Brewery
Not too far from Magnolia is Fort Worth’s own craft brewery, Rahr. This brewery is a local favorite. The great thing here is that you can visit and get to try the beer. Each week there are tastings on Wednesdays and Saturdays. For $15 you get 3 pint glasses of beer and the pint glass to keep. You can also get a tour of the brewery. There are usually food trucks outside as well on these days and even live music!
16. Listen to Jazz at the Scat Jazz Lounge
One of the coolest things to do in Fort Worth is to hear live jazz at the Scat Jazz Lounge. The lounge is located in Sundance Square down an alley. While the focus is mainly jazz, they also show local musicians as well. Ticket prices vary and some nights there is no cover charge. You can make a reservation, which is a good idea if the musician is popular.
As you can see there is no shortage of things to do in Fort Worth and there is something for everyone.
Have you been to Fort Worth? What is your favorite thing to do there?
All Photos courtesy of Visit Fort Worth.