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Fort Worth, Texas is a very family-friendly city. Whether you are a local or a tourist, there are quite a few things to do here with children. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Fort Worth with kids. All of the things on this list can be enjoyed by kids and parents alike, and none of them are expensive. In fact, many of these things are FREE! What can be better than that!?!?
Fort Worth Zoo
The Fort Worth Zoo is one of the top zoos in the country. It currently houses over 7000 native and exotic animals. Approximately 1 million people visit the Fort Worth Zoo each year. We visit as often as possible. One of our favorite exhibits is Parakeet Paradise, where for $2 per stick, you can feed the parakeets in the aviary. We also love MOLA, or the Museum Of Living Art, which houses most of the zoo’s reptiles and fish. MOLA’s animal exhibits are beautiful, and it has a lot of interactive educational exhibits. During the summer, you can cool off at the zoo’s zero-depth splash park for a small additional fee. The zoo is open 365 days a year. You can find operating hours and admission prices here. And if you are going to be here in October, check out the zoo’s Boo at the Zoo!
Since the late 1800’s, Fort Worth has been known as “Cowtown.” This nickname originated from the city’s involvement with cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail. The Stockyards, located just two and a half miles from the Tarrant County Courthouse, was built in 1887. Today, the Historic Stockyards is more of a tourist attraction than working stockyards, but it can immerse you and your kids in the cowboy culture better than any other locale.
In the Stockyards, you will find wonderful restaurants serving BBQ, steaks, and Tex Mex. At the Cowtown Coliseum in the Stockyards, you can watch a rodeo and a Wild West show. There are several venues in the Stockyards, including the famous Billy Bob’s Texas, that have live music. Your kids will love running through the cattle pen maze, taking their picture on a longhorn cow, and watching the daily cattle drive down the middle of the Stockyards. You can find more information on the Stockyards here.
Since 1958, Casa Manana has been producing Broadway shows right in the heart of Fort Worth. The theater also puts on several children’s theater productions each year. It is a relatively small theater where every seat has a good view of the stage. It is a great place to introduce your children to the theater without the stuffy seriousness you find at some theaters. The children’s shows are wonderfully done and usually include some of the children involved in Casa Manana’s education program. For tickets and show dates, visit Casa Manana’s website.
The Museum District
Just southwest of the bustling 7th Street entertainment district is the Museum and Arts district of Fort Worth. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth hosts world class exhibits and artists year round. Adults can enjoy half price Wednesdays and free Sundays, while children under 12 never pay a fee. The equally impressive Kimball Art Museum sits merely yards away from the Modern. Children under six are always free at the Kimball. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has always drawn a crowd, and features a planetarium, water works exploration, energy and petroleum exhibits, and areas for livestock and ranching education.
TCU Sporting Events
TCU is a member of the Big XII Conference and has a full complement of NCAA athletic teams, including football, basketball, baseball, and track. Because of it’s relatively small size, it is also a perfect place to share a collegiate athletic event with your kids. Prior to football games, you will find Frog Alley right outside of the stadium. Frog Alley includes live music, bounce houses, face painting, and other family-friendly activities for FREE! Sundays are Kids’ Days at TCU baseball games, with dollar hot dogs, bounce houses, player autographs, and the ability for kids to run the bases after the game. Our son loves going to all TCU athletic events, regardless of the sport. You can find more information about tickets and schedules here.
Parks and Trails
Fort Worth has over 200 parks and other outdoor public spaces throughout the city. These include lots of green space for kids to run around and burn off some energy. There is also an extensive network of trails running along the Trinity River and through many of the parks. These trails are the perfect place to go for a jog or family bike ride without having to worry about traffic. If you are itching to spend some time in nature while still in the city, chances are, you aren’t too far from a trail or park regardless of where in the city you are. Fort Worth has two off-leash dog parks, as well. You can find a map of all of the Fort Worth parks here.
Sundance Square is located in the middle of downtown Fort Worth. In the center of it all is Sundance Square Plaza, a 55,000 square-foot, pedestrian-only courtyard area where you will find a variety of events taking place throughout the year. The Plaza is surrounded by some of the city’s best restaurants and stores. During the Christmas season, you will find the city’s official Christmas tree in the Plaza with Santa Claus visiting children in his sleigh at the base of the tree. During the summer months, there is a set of fountains that periodically come to life for kids to splash around. Sundance Square is a cool place to hang out and enjoy the city while your children play nearby. For more information, visit Sundance Square’s website.
Not far from downtown, you will find Magnolia Street in the heart of the Southside neighborhood. This area, and Magnolia Street in particular, has become a very family-friendly area in recent years. On any given weekend, you will see couples and families strolling along the street on their way to one of the several delicious restaurants that line the street. After your yummy meal, you can walk over for some fabulous ice cream at Melt and then let the kids play at the Magnolia Micro Park. We love playing in this very unique park which was created out of reused items, such as hubcaps and milk cartons.
Fort Worth is a unique blend of old-fashioned cowboy culture, world class arts venues, and laid-back family fun. Because of its low-key vibe, it is a wonderful place to spend quality time with your kids. Above are some of our favorite things to do in Fort Worth with kids. These are all very affordable activities. The next time you are in Fort Worth, I hope you take advantage of these kid-friendly experiences. For more ideas on what to do in Fort Worth, see the best places to eat with kids. Happy travels!