Are you looking for some good, old-fashioned Fort Worth family fun? If so, bookmark this page and keep reading. Fort Worth is full of family-friendly (and wallet-friendly) activities. We’ve put together our favorite spots for family fun in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth. It’s where the West begins. The historic Tarrant County Courthouse stands on the very bluff where the original “Camp Worth” military post was established in 1849 to protect settlers from the wild frontier. Now a sprawling, modern city, Fort Worth is still fondly referred to as “Cowtown” – a moniker earned during the 1870s when it was home to the booming cattle industry. Fort Worth has a rich and storied history, but its present and future is just as exciting. Condé Nast Traveler called it a City to Watch and Forbes says it is one of the best cities to buy a home.
So what kind of family-friendly activities does the 15th largest city in the country have to offer? Fort Worth is home to a wildly diverse and uniquely exciting variety of culture, arts, academia and…family fun! Here are some of our favorite (and often free) things to do with kids in Fort Worth.
Our Top Five Free Fort Worth Family Fun Activities
Fort Worth Water Gardens
Address: 1502 Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Telephone: (800) 433-5747
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
If you and the kids are looking to beat the heat, this massive 4-acre urban oasis is a marvelous wonder. Designed by famed architect Philip Johnson, the Water Gardens is a treasure hidden in plain sight in the southern end of downtown Fort Worth.
It’s elegant, yet functional, making it a perfect spot for adults and children to take in the whooshing waterfalls, spouting fountains and a cool blue pool – without getting wet. Swimming or wading is not allowed at the Water Gardens, but it’s the perfect place for pictures.
Open from 7am-10pm daily; it’s a daytime, nighttime or sunset treat for everyone.
Sundance Square Plaza
Address: 201 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Telephone: (817) 255-5700
Hours: Sun – Thursday 6:00 am – 11:00 pm, Friday – Saturday 6:00 am – 12:00 am
A cultural gem, Sundance Square is a top attraction for visitors — and locals alike — and it’s easy to understand why. It’s free to visit, enjoy the water fountains, and take part in everything from movies to concerts on the Square.
Be sure to check the year-round calendar for regularly scheduled Fort Worth family fun events or come down anytime to enjoy the party atmosphere!
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Address: 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
When the whole family needs a breather, feel free to walk the trails at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and experience all the beauty nature has to offer. With more than 2,500 species of plants in its 23 gardens, there is always something spectacular to see.
Be sure to have your camera handy. (Trust us, you’ll fit right in.) The Botanic Gardens is a popular photo op destination.
Oh, there’s also a stunningly serene Japanese Garden on the grounds that you won’t want to miss if you have the time (there is a small requested donation for adult entrance to the Japanese Garden, but children are always free).
Fort Worth Cattle Drive
Address: 131 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164
Hours: Every day at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm
Ever wonder what a real cattle drive looks like? Well, look no further.
Every day, onlookers line the sidewalks along Exchange Avenue on the city’s northside and watch as genuine cowboys and cowgirls drive Texas Longhorns — the cattle, not the UT football team — through the Stockyards National Historic District. The twice-daily drives are a nod to the city’s western heritage and a tribute to its place on the famed “Chisholm Trail.” If you’ve never seen a real longhorn before (or a real cowboy for that matter), you owe it to the family to check out this Forth Worth family fun favorite.
What’s that you say? You slept in and missed the 11:30-morning drive?
Never fear. The Ft. Worth Herd Drovers will be back out again at 4 p.m., and will also be happy to field questions afterward, as well as graciously pose for pics. And don’t forget to get some shots in front of the historic Chisholm Trail mural – a genuine Fort Worth Family Fun original!
Panther Island Pavilion
Address: 395 Purcey St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Telephone: (817) 698-0700
Hours: Always Open
You may not think of sandy beaches when you think of Fort Worth, Texas, but the Panther Island Pavilion offers a lively public beach for the whole family. Located along the banks of the scenic Trinity River, there’s ample relaxing, picnicking, sunning, splashing and swimming at this FW hotspot. Panther Island is also a popular venue for outdoor concerts and festivals, complete with a waterfront stage.
Caveat: While the Panther Island Beach is always free and open to the public, you can rent stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and tubes. It is also home to a variety of affordable outdoor concerts. (Keep an eye out for “Half-Off” Tuesdays when discounted rental options are available.)
Our Top Seven Family Fun Adventures in Fort Worth
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Address: 1600 Gendy St, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Put aside your preconceived notions about museums. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is home to fully immersive Virtual Reality exhibits, the Omni Theatre IMAX Dome, the Noble Planetarium, and Innovation Studios.
Innovation Gallery is 6,000 square feet where your kids can invent, doodle, and design. DinoLab is a fun interactive exploration of the world of dinosaurs, complete with a DinoDig that is sure to capture the imagination of little guys and girls. And that’s just scratching the surface of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. There is also a Children’s Museum, Noble Planetarium, and Cattle Raiser’s Museum, along with a host of other fascinating exhibits geared toward little minds. Not to mention, the wildly popular OMNI Theater IMAX Dome, which offers several shows a day.
This palace of learning is filled with so much Fort Worth family fun, you might have a tough time convincing the kiddos it’s really a “museum.”
Coyote Drive-In Theater
Address: 223 NE 4th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76164
Hours: Gates open 5:30 pm every day
What better way to spend an evening than watching a movie under the stars with your family? Coyote Drive-In offers first run family-oriented movies – and they’re all double-features for the price of one. But that’s not all.
There’s also a picnic and playground area and plenty of Coyote concessions for kids and adults. The Coyote Canteen offers kid-friendly fare (think pizza, hot dogs, and cotton candy), as well as a long list of libations for mom and dad.
Caveat: Outside food, drink and/or any coolers are NOT allowed inside.
Address: 121 E. Exchange Ave. Fort Worth. TX 76164
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
What would a visit to Fort Worth (or the Lone Star State for that matter) be without a rodeo?
We’re talking about bull riding, calf roping, and barrel racing. Every Friday and Saturday night, a two-hour, indoor rodeo is held in the world-famous Cowtown Coliseum on the city’s northside. This rodeo bill’s itself as the “#1 kid-friendly event in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.”
Come early and enjoy pre-rodeo festivities in the courtyard of the Cowtown Coliseum, including live bands, food and drink and real cowboys and cowgirls.
Address: 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Telephone: (817) 427-6500
Hours: 10 am – 4 pm
If you are looking for something off the beaten track that will surprise you, consider stopping by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). It is the perfect spot to appreciate (and get educated on) nature in Texas.
BRIT offers a number of educational programs for kids and their summer camps are widely popular. They have activities for kids as young as 18 months to 3 years (Little Spouts) and ages 4 to 6 (Seedlings). Many events at BRIT are free, so be sure to check their calendar.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Address: 9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76131
Hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Over half of the nation’s currency is printed right here in Fort Worth. If you visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, you can see money being printed right below you from an elevated walkway.
Every kid wants to know where money is printed and why it is called, “The Mint,” right? It is a pretty incredible experience. Don’t take our word for it. Watch the video below to hear what kids really think.
Fort Worth Zoo
Address: 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76110
Hours: 10 am – 5:00 pm
The Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked the fifth best zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide and the absolute best attraction in DFW by Zagat.
The Fort Worth Zoo is the oldest continuously open zoo in Texas. It opened in 1909 with one lion, two bears, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. Today, it is home to 542 different species, including 172 reptiles and 72 mammals. The Fort Worth Zoo is one of five locations in the world where you can see more than one species of rhino. It’s also home to the largest Komodo dragon collection in the world. A trip to Fort Worth with the kids is not complete without a day at the zoo.
Authentic Fort Worth Tours
Address: See notes below.
Hours: Fort Worth City Tour: Saturday at 10:00 from the Visitor’s Center at 508 Main (Downtown) and Sunday at 2:00 from 128 E. Exchange (Stockyards), Cultural District Tour: 2nd and 4th Sundays at 2:00 from the steps of the Amon Carter Museum
Downtown Walking Tour: Wednesday through Friday at 10:00 and 2:00 and Saturdays at 2:00 and 4:00 from 508 Main St.
Promo Code:“iloveFW” ($5 off per ticket)
Notes: There is no fixed address. Tours depart from various locations. The place you will find them most often is 508 Main St, which is the Visit Fort Worth Information Center, but they are not associated with them formally. Tours operate on a regular schedule, but will not run if there are no reservations.
Fort Worth is the city of Cowboys and Culture and we want you to enjoy it all – legends, architecture, food, and entertainment.
Our Top Five Favorite Fort Worth Family Fun Chowdown Spots
Fort Worth Food Park
Address: 2509 Weisenberger Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Hours: Friday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
We understand little ones can be picky eaters and are sometimes not the easiest to accommodate, which is why we’ve chosen the FW Food Truck Park as one of our top family dining destinations..
The spacious, outdoor, carnival-like atmosphere is fun, and the diverse menu selections will definitely have something fresh, local and delicious to eat for everyone.
From tacos to burgers to fried chicken, this weekend food festival is absolutely sure to satisfy – and the prices aren’t bad either. Open every weekend from Friday through Sunday, this is FW family dining at its most fun.
Friday on the Green
Address: Magnolia Green 1201 Lipscomb Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76104
2018 Event Dates: April 13 | May 11 | June 8 | September 14 | October 12, Times 6:00 pm to 10:00 p
While Friday on the Green is only on a handful of dates each year, it makes our list because of its combination of food and fun. The concert series is presented one Friday a month in April, May, June, September and October when the Near Southside becomes the biggest picnic in Fort Worth.
In addition to the great food and great neighborhood flavor, there’s always artisans, artists and live performances from local bands, ensuring your evening is as exciting as it is relaxing.
Address: 3201 Riverfront Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Hours: Breakfast, every day, 8:00 am – 11:00 am, Lunch & Dinner, Sunday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Friday – Saturday, 11:00 pm – 11:00 pm
When you and the family are ready to kick it up a notch, try this energetic, family-and-pet-friendly restaurant and patio on the banks of the Trinity River. The passion of Owner/Chef Tim Love’s vision is evident in the diverse, dynamic and imaginative menu that features meat cooked over a variety of woods and fires.
Yes…Chef Tim is serving burgers, brisket, pulled pork, and tacos. And yes, you can choose which kind of wood you want your BBQ smoked with – mesquite, hickory, pecan or oak. There’s also a menu for the pups!
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Woodshed Smokehouse and Chef Tim’s mouth-watering menu will make your whole family want to move to Fort Worth forever!
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Address: Click Here to See Multiple Locations
Hours: Varies by Location
You don’t want to end your Fort Worth family fun without getting your fill of Tex-Mex at family-friendly prices. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has everything you would expect from Mexican fare—tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, guacamole and nacho plates —but there’s a lot more as well.
There are veggie options, desserts and kids menus available. This Fort Worth Family Fun favorite has two locations for your convenience (the Original Fuzzy’s is on Berry Street) and Fuzzy does serve super-refreshing Margaritas, if the adults are in the mood.
Joe T. Garcia’s
Address: 2201 N Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76164
Joe T. Garcias or “Joe Ts” as it is called by locals, has been around since 1935. You cannot beat the ambiance at Joe Ts. The restaurant can seat 1,500 people at a time, and they pack in the crowds.
As you can see for yourself, the outdoor space is a massive garden sanctuary full of water fountains and plenty of space for kids to run around. The nachos are always a hit and the margaritas are popular with the parents.
Caveat: Bring cash. Joe Ts is famous for still being a cash-only establishment. There’s an ATM on-site in case of emergencies.
Tell us your favorite spots in Fort Worth for family-friendly fun and we will consider adding them to the list!