During our time in Fort Worth, Texas, we were quickly discovering some hidden gems. With an interesting dinosaur exhibit in our future, we made a stop at the Fort Worth Science Museum. We expected to find a variety of scientific displays but the idea of a “museum in a museum” had never crossed our minds. With scenes from the movie Inception playing through my mind, we wondered what we would uncover later, during our visit to the Cattle Raisers Museum.
Hiding in Plain Sight
The Fort Worth Science Museum is a great way to add an educational spin to the day. After parking in a nearby garage, we made our way toward the entrance. When we happened upon a series of Dr. Seuss character statues, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity for a few selfies. With the afternoon heat building, it wasn’t long before we felt the need to move indoors.
With our day passing faster than desired, I warned Crystal that we were on a time crunch, so we would have to pick a couple of exhibits to focus on. For those looking at potentially adding this stop, it’s worth noting the other galleries. Innovative Studios lets kids of all ages explore their creative side. Noble Space Gallery takes visitors on a trip across the universe. The Children’s Museum is designed for visitors 8 and under. All of these exhibits have multiple hands-on displays, where we saw many families engaged in constructive fun.
Spotting Some Favorites
If you’ve seen many of our science museum articles, you can count on seeing dinosaurs. Even after spending a good chunk of time in the Perot Museum’s dino exhibit, there was no way we would pass up Dinolabs. Texas, like our home state of Kansas, is filled with fossils. The exhibits at Fort Worth Science Museum are designed to be easy to understand for a wide range of ages. Visitors even have an opportunity to head outdoors for a dino dig, which looked to be in a shaded area (Important during a Texas summer!)
Life on the Plains
The next gallery we stopped in was Plains Culture. The Great Plains were occupied long before immigrants began landing on the eastern shores. Most tribes depended on the bison and migrated to follow these massive beasts. The exhibit shows the numerous tribes that called the Texas region home (at least part of the year). We paused for a minute to examine their collection of old photographs.
I’m almost convinced that Texas is so electric because of its vast energy reserves. Energy Blast dives into how oil and gas reserves are discovered and captured. A series of displays detail the availability of each type of fuel. A miniature city showcases the variety of energy sources to help make it easier to understand how power is delivered. They do a good job of showing the science behind an industry that we depend on every day.
Ever since the staff told us about the Cattle Raisers Museum, I had been wondering what we would find. Being a “freebie”, we weren’t expecting too much. When we went looking for it, we discovered that it occupied nearly the entire second floor. Located next door to the National Cowgirl Museum, it continued the story of the people who tamed the Wild West. The cowboy image that I have in my head is a direct descendant of the Mexican Vaqueros. After Spain introduced cattle in the late 1600s, it didn’t take long for an industry to flourish. To manage it would require plenty of cowboys. The images in this exhibit reminded us of the loneliness of the Great Plains.
Cattle Raisers Introduction
The plains are filled with a wide range of environments. Parts of the land are not suited for farming, though they serve well for grazing. Making our way through the galleries, we learned details about the invention of barbed wire. This enclosed the rangelands and signaled an end to cattle drives. The railroad would become king and serve as a link between the plains and the cattle markets. As we were making our way out of the Cattle Raisers Museum, we entered the Hall of Great Cattle. 10 breeds are on display and they periodically move and talk. It certainly caught us off guard and made us chuckle.
Making Seuss of It All
Our time was expiring, so we made a dash for the door. The next time we land in Fort Worth we will have to make another stop. They have a rotating gallery space, which we didn’t have time to enjoy. It looked to be about Jimmy Stewart, so we were a little saddened to miss it. Perhaps you will have more time to explore this twin museum site. We felt it was good for all ages and offers plenty of interactive activities. Back in our car, we were punching in directions to our next stop at the Fort Worth Stockyards.