Since Fort Worth’s start, way back in 1849, this city has been known as a cowboy town. These days the city still embraces its rowdy past but with a different approach. We journeyed to where the west begins to scope out six family-friendly spots in Fort Worth. This One Day Stay would test our skills at packing loads of fun into 24 hours. With no time to waste, let’s get to exploring.
Hitting the Ground Running
Our morning began in Dallas, so the trip to the Fort Worth Zoo was fairly quick. We paid our admission, which was $19 for adults. It appeared that feeding time was about the same as opening time, so the day began with lots of animal sightings. We planned to push through in less than two hours, but on a regular visit, we would plan 3-4 hours. Since 1992, the zoo has been on a mission to upgrade all of its exhibits. We found the layout to be designed for meandering. There are lots of interesting vantage points to observe the animals.
Finding the Summer Heat
The summer heat built quickly, and it was obvious that the animals also felt it. Choosing to see the Fort Worth Zoo first ended up being a wise decision. Throughout the zoo, we discovered indoor exhibits that allowed us to escape the summer sun. We found that most of the other guests had the same idea. By the time we made it through the zoo, we were ready for some more indoor activities.
Tracing Their Western Roots
No visit to Fort Worth would be complete without embracing the Western lifestyle. While cowboys get most of the press, cowgirls were just as vital to life on the frontier. The next stop, on our list of six family-friendly spots in Fort Worth, was the National Cowgirl Museum. This is the only museum that we know of, which honors the women of the West. Our admission was $12 per adult. Multiple galleries cover different aspects of Western life. We found the displays in the Wild West Show gallery to be fascinating. They even have a 3-D rendering of Annie Oakley that shares her own stories.
Time for Tex-Mex
The day was gliding by and our appetites had moved front and center. With more sites to visit in the museum district, we looked for sustenance nearby. We wanted to make this a family-friendly stop and Velvet Taco looked like the perfect fit. This restaurant serves up a twist on the standard Tex-Mex menu. They had about 20 different taco choices, so we each picked a couple to sample. We snacked on some chips and guacamole while waiting for our order. What landed on our table were four fat tacos filled with delectable flavors.
Texas Tea History
With our bellies full, it was time to jump back into our museum visits. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History sits next door to the Cowgirl Museum, which makes these visits convenient. The museum covers a broad spectrum of subjects within its galleries. Since Texas has a long history with oil and gas, I couldn’t wait to see if they mentioned it. Sure enough, there is a nice display that walks guests through the various forms of energy produced in the Lone Star State.
When we were paying our $16 per person admission, we were informed that there are two museums under one roof. That certainly made the admission charge a deal. After exploring the science side, we headed to the Cattle Raisers Museum. Here we could trace the history of cowboys from the Wild West to modern days. Be sure to check out the Hall of Great Cattle, which has a nice surprise for visitors. (Hint: Some of the pictures come to life.)
Don't Miss the Stockyards
Our visit wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Fort Worth Stockyards. Since the middle of the 1800s, cattle have flowed through this city on their way up the Chisolm Trail to Abilene, Kansas. These days the area is filled with shops, eateries, and a few attractions. Feeling a little peckish, we popped in one for an appetizer and drinks. After refueling, we hit the shops to look for some souvenirs. While western wear was certainly all the rage, we also found plenty of other items to pique our interest.
Heading Up the Chisolm Trail
The day was flying by and the next thing we knew, it was approaching 4:00. That was a key time, as it is one of their Fort Worth Herd Drives. We hurried to get curbside before it was filled up. Before long we spotted the familiar longhorns ambling up the brick street. We have seen this type of event in other cities, but it never ceases to thrill us. We even had a close encounter, as one of the cattle seemed determined to cozy up to Crystal.
Our Six Family-friendly Stops in Fort Worth
Looking back, we did a pretty good job of identifying a variety of family-friendly stops. Fort Worth has so much more to offer and we hope to make it back for more exploring. The city is conveniently located along the I-35 interchange, which runs directly to our hometown. Being part of a large metropolis, visitors can also choose to investigate Dallas, Grapevine, or one of the other cities in the area. (I added links to our articles from the first two.) For an awesome Western adventure, be sure to slap on your cowboy duds and make your way to Where The West Begins.