Six Great Play Days in Fort Worth, Texas

Spend a Day at the Stockyards National Historic District

Visit the Stockyards National Historic District north of downtown Fort Worth. Park at the east end of E. Exchange and get to the shady oaks out front of the Stockyards Visitor’s Center to see the twice-daily longhorn cattle drive at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm. Walk across the street to the Stockyards Museum inside the Historic Livestock Exchange Building to see artifacts and photos with the history of Fort Worth’s livestock industry. Visit the Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum then have a margarita and lunch at Booger

Red’s next door to the Stockyards Hotel or the White Elephant Saloon, owned by Tim Love, the site of historic gunfights, shady deals, and high-stakes poker games in its day. Shop Maverick’s Fine Western Wear, Rios Furniture, and the individual shops in the Stockyard’s Station for cowboy gear and souvenirs. See Billy Bob’s, the World’s Largest Honky-Tonk. Get custom-fitted for cowboy boots at M. L. Leddy’s Boots and Saddlery.

Stockyards Championship Rodeo sculpture in front of the Cowtown Coliseum

Visit Atico, Tim Love’s New Tapas Bar on the top floor of the Springhill Suites, which overlooks the Stockyards, the city’s skyline, and landmark views of TCU’s Amon Carter Stadium, Will Rogers Memorial Center and Dickies Arena. Get your Stetson at The Best Hat Store or shop Cavender’s for boots and hats, 2601 N. Main Street.

Call for reservations and have dinner at Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove across the street on Main Street. Get tickets to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo held every Friday and Saturday at 8 pm in the historic Fort Worth Cowtown Coliseum. The two-hour rodeo gives the authentic Western Cowboy Experience. Spend the night at the historic Stockyards Hotel where Bonnie and Clyde slept.

Spend a Day in the Museum District, west of downtown

For historic cowboys and culture, visit the Museum District. Tour the Kimbell Art Museum housing pieces by Michelangelo, Monet, and Picasso and see the Italian Masterpieces exhibition from March 1-June 14, 2020. Walk across the street to the Modern Art Museum featuring post-World War II art. Enjoy the Café Modern Executive Chef Denise Shavandy’s farm to fork culinary dishes like the 44 Farms Cheeseburger and Moroccan Chicken Salad. Tour the Amon Carter Museum, a renowned collection of American Art. See the latest Imax Movie at the Omni Theater in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, originally opening in 1945 as the Fort Worth’s Children’s Museum. Visit the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, established in 1975, dedicated to honoring women of the American West. See live broadway, children’s performances, concerts, and education in the theater arts at Casa Manana Theatre opened in 1936 as part of the official Texas Centennial Celebration.

A Downtown Fort Worth Walking Tour

Tarrant County Court House

When White Men Turn Red by Charles M Russell 1922 at the Sid Richardson Art Museum

To get an overview of Fort Worth history, start with a visit to the Courthouse Museum, The 1895 Room, in the Tarrant County Courthouse at 100 E. Weatherford at Main Street. Walk to the Sid Richardson Art Museum, 309 Main Street, in the historic Sundance Square, to see a free exhibition of Western Art by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Grab a coffee and a cinnamon roll or a sandwich at 203 Café, the latest concept from the owners of Reata Restaurant, in the Original Fire Station #1, on the corner of Commerce and 2nd streets on the second floor. Open for breakfast and lunch from 7 am to 3 pm, Monday-Friday, enter through the glass building next door and go up the escalator.

Get a front-row view for people watching at Bird Café, southern cooking by Shannon Wynne, for brunch, lunch or dinner at 155 E 4th St. Or have lunch at Reata at Sundance, named for the majestic ranch in the 1950’s epic movie “Giant” starring James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor. You’ll find legendary Texas Cuisine like Tenderloin Tamales, famous steaks like the Blackened Buffalo Ribeye, exquisite wines, and one of the best margaritas anywhere. Enjoy refined teas and delectable bites with Afternoon Tea at the Ashton, at the hotel in Sundance Square. The traditional English tea presentation combined with the contemporary elegance of the Ashton offers flavorful teas, biscotti, fresh fruit preserves, delicate finger sandwiches, shortbread, and pastries on Saturdays 2-4 pm with a 24-hour reservation required.

Fire Station No. 1

Tenderloin Tamales and Field Green Salad at Reata

Fort Worth Near Southside Brewery Tour

HopFusion Ale Works, voted Best Brewery twice in the last 5 years

Rahr & Sons Brewing

With a noon departure for your near southside Brewery Tour, allowing about an hour at each destination, start with HopFusion Ale Works, 200 E. Broadway Ave., voted Best Brewery twice since 2016. Macy and Matt first brewed beer at home. Next, visit The Collective Brewing Project, 112 St. Louis Ave, for funky and sour beer. Rahr & Sons Brewing, at 701 Galveston Ave, opened in 2004 with a tagline: “The brand-new beer with a 150-year history.” Frederick William “Fritz” Rahr, great-great-grandson of the original Rahr family brewer who moved from Rhineland, Germany to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, offers up quality brewed beer like Rahr’s Original, Adios Pantalones and Ugly Pug Black Lager, to name a few.

Next, see Locust Cider Fort Worth Cidery and Tap Room, 710 S. Main Street, family-owned and operated out of Woodinville, WA, since 2015. Fort Brewery & Pizza, the Best Brewpub in Fort Worth, offers a great selection of beers plus pizza, mini calzones, Italian Caprese, pretzels and garlic knots at 1001 W. Magnolia Ave. Wild Acre Brewing Company brew master Mike Kraft is an accredited 25-year veteran master brewer with 4 GABF medals and one gold at the World Beers Cup for Wild Acre‘s Thunder Hug Imperial Barrel-Aged Stout. Choose from Texas Blonde, Billy Jenkins Bock and T Hawk IPA, plus selections from seasonal programs at the most massive air-conditioned indoor taproom in Fort Worth, along with a grand beer garden with a large covered pavilion, picnic seating, bocce ball, cornhole, live music stage, green grass, and an adjacent restaurant/smokehouse by local chef Joe Riscky. Funky Picnic Brewery & Café at 401 Bryan Ave, offers a funky modern industrial venue for freshly brewed beers, plus sandwiches and salads. Please drink responsibly or arrange your travels via Texas Beer Tours.

Fort Brewery & Pizza

Wild Acre Brewing Company

Funky Picnic Brewery & Cafe

Plan an evening of Entertainment in Downtown Fort Worth

One of the Bass Hall Majestic Angels standing guard

Circle Theater in the historic Sanger building

Jubilee Theater highlights the African American Experience

Two majestic angels with brass horns stand guard outside the Nancy Lee, and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theatre, FW Opera, Cliburn Concerts and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held every four years. Coming soon: Immortal Beloved at 250: A Gala Concert with Midori & Beethoven 5, Oh, What a Night: The Best of Broadway, Tchaiovsky 5, Beethoven’s 9th and Kenny G. Best known for its premieres of contemporary plays by today’s outstanding playwrights, The Circle Theater presents a year-round season of innovative works in an intimate 125-seat setting in the basement of the historic Sanger Building, at 230 W. 4th Street. See One Man Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, The Last Wide Open, Fences by August Wilson, and George Orwell’s 1984.

Jubilee Theater feature works highlighting the African American experience, aimed at a multicultural audience. Founded by Rudy and Marian Eastman on June 19, 1981 (Juneteenth, in Texas), the 501(c)(3) performed as a “gypsy theater” in pop-up locations like the former Caravan of Dreams, Stage West, Pocket Sandwich Theater, to name a few. Today, located at 506 Main Street, come see “To Be Young, Gifted, & Black,” “How I Got Over” with Nate Jacobs, or “Da Kink in My Hair,” written by Trey Anthony. Four Day Weekend, a critically acclaimed comedy group, performs an improvisational show created from your suggestions and participation, the longest-running show in the Southwest. Friday and Saturday nights at 312 Houston Street, next to Reata. Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub in Fort Worth for more than 25 years, see nationally acclaimed comedians and up-and-coming jokesters at 425 Commerce Street between 3rd and 4th.

Get cheap drinks and plentiful laughs at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub, with two full bars, a karaoke lounge, pool tables, a jukebox, and multiple stages. The Scat Jazz Lounge, like the grand old clubs, is a live music venue showcasing the best local, regional, and national jazz talent, in the heart of Sundance Square, within walking distance of many hotels and restaurants. There are no TVs or beer signs, just a great hideaway, with the entrance, via an alley at 111 West 4th Street. Headlining acts start at 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and Sundays and 9 pm Wednesday-Saturday. They accept reservations until 9 pm.

Four Day Weekend Comedy Theater

Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub

Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth

Plan a Day at the Zoo, The Botanic Gardens, and BRIT

The Fort Worth Zoo

Giraffes at the Fort Worth Zoo (Photo by Elizabeth Jones)

The Fort Worth Zoo, the 4th top zoo in the nation, features “A Wilder Vision,” a 100 million-dollar master plan to completely redesign the zoo with renovated and reimagined habitats. New at the zoo is the Behind-the-scenes giraffe experience, Caribbean flamingo chicks hatch, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Australian Outback. Get tickets for Beastro – the Zoo’s premier after-hours tasting and music event held May 15, 2020.

The Botanic Gardens, established in 1934, is the oldest botanic garden in Texas, with twenty-one specialty gardens including the Fuller Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Rain Forest Conservatory. BRIT, The Botanical Research Institute of Texas, is an international scientific research and learning center focused on conservation and knowledge sharing. Get tickets for Butterflies in the Garden, Feb 29 – Apr 12, 2020. Some BRIT upcoming events are: How Beef Production, Biodiversity, and Habitat Preservation Go Hand In Hand, A Brown Bag Lecture by Meredith Ellis of G Bar C Ranch, Painting the Plants and Landscapes of Texas, and create color with begonia terrariums.

Have lunch at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, 2708 West Freeway at Forest Park, half a mile from the Botanic Garden. Enjoy gumbo and a PO-boy, seafood cobb salad, or many other seafood selections. The crab cake is delectable! Check to see if Rock Springs Café in the Botanic Garden is open again after renovations.

The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

BRIT The Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Crab Cake at Pappadeaux

Janie Pace, loving life as a travel writer and photographer, is a native Texan from Fort Worth. Janie writes about restaurants, travel destinations, wineries, breweries, cruises and much more locally, nationally and internationally from Peru to Canada plus Hawaii to Bermuda. She is a member of the ITWPA, USPA, and IFWTWA.

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