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34+ Awesome Things to Do in Fort Worth, Texas with Kids

Things to do in Fort Worth: these things to do are a must!

We recently did a quick trip to Fort Worth with some friends and had the best time. We did stay overnight but a lot of what we did could be done in a day trip.

Even if you’ve visited Fort Worth a handful of times before and done the usual Stockyards visit, there is so much more to Fort Worth than the Stockyards.

More: Your Ultimate Guide to Fort Worth Things to Do

So much, in fact, that you need to plan to go back again to tick off all the things that you missed. Don’t miss these great ideas for things to do in Fort Worth.

More: The Biggest list of Unmissable Things to Do with Kids around Dallas Fort Worth

Things to do in Fort Worth

Fort Worth has so many activities for children. From free events, outdoor activities, visiting historic sites, and cultural learning.

So if you are wanting something to do with the kids for a few hours, a full day, or a weekend getaway, Cowtown is the place to go.

It’s easy to fall in love with Downtown Fort Worth and the surrounding areas around the city if you love walking around and exploring a wide variety of Fort Worth attractions.

You may think that Fort Worth is all about the city’s Western Heritage. However, there are lots of great places to eat and shop and tons of different things to do in Fort Worth, to explore.

Sundance Square Fort Worth
Photo Credit: Visit Fort Worth

How do you spend a day in Fort Worth?

While away some time in Sundance Square

Enjoy a couple of hours around Sundance Square in Downtown Fort Worth, with a great variety of restaurants, cafes, entertainment venues, and stores, and check out the charming restored historic buildings surrounding the square.

Right in the middle of Sundance Square, bring towels and swimwear to enjoy jumping the fountains. Little kids will love it!

We also recommend a visit to the JFK Tribute, which is just a short walk from Sundance Square.

Shop till you drop at Houston Street, where you’ll find treasures like Peters Bros Hats and Coleccion Mexicana

Pro Tip: There is free parking on the streets and 2.5 hours of free parking in the Sundance Garages with a valid receipt from a business in the square.


Descend down the steps of the Fort Worth Water Gardens

Spending a family fun day in Ft. Worth, Texas

You may have heard about the Fort Worth Water Gardens and it’s worth the trip.

It’s free to walk around and explore the Water Gardens. It’s really pretty – a popular option for things to do in Fort Worth and the kids can run and jump all over the place, without getting wet, which is a bonus.

The beautiful waterfalls at the Water Gardens have a really unique architectural design and are hard to describe. You have to see it!


Fort Worth Zoo

Meet some furry friends at Fort Worth Zoo

A perfect half-day visit for the whole family – meeting all types of animals and having close-up experiences at the Fort Worth Zoo.

With an annual Pogo Pass, you can get in free!

Pogo Pass

Save 50% on the Annual Pogo Pass Membership

This is one steal of a deal for families! Each pass includes free admission to kids’ activities at over 28 destinations around Dallas/Fort Worth for only $49.99 per person.

Give the gift of experiences all over DFW! Use code PLANOMOMS or just use our link below to buy.

Buy the Pogo Pass

If you have Questions, we’ve written a huge guide to the Pogo Pass to help you!

More: The Dallas Zoo Versus The Fort Worth Zoo


Mingle with the Longhorns at the Fort Worth Stockyards

Spending a family fun day in Ft. Worth, Texas

In the evening we definitely suggest you experience the city’s cowboy culture and see bull riding in real life at the Stockyards for the Stockyards Championship Rodeo.

It is a really fun night out with a preshow of games and activities for the kids. They even get to run around the arena, chasing a calf!

If you’re in the area, check out some of the old American West-themed stores, to try some (very expensive cowboy boots or hats) and explore the area closer to the Stockyards Museum where the old train tracks are.

A great area to explore is the brand new Mule Alley, a mixed-use redeveloped area around Exchange Avenue, that makes this new Cowtown area close to Stockyards National Historic District substantially more “hip”. They have new live music venues, stores, and great eateries.

Photo Credit: Visit Fort Worth

The Stockyards Museum in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards’ historical district is great for a quick visit. This living history museum is a longtime pillar of the Texas and Old West Museum scene as it was known for its productive and prolific cattle industry which earned the name “Cowtown”.

You’ll see some full-size exhibits of cattle trains and various farming machinery that were used between 1867 and 1890 when thousands of cows were traded in Fort Worth.

The geography of the Fort Worth area meant that it was the last major settlement on the path of the Chisholm Trail with a very rich history. Cowherding cattle was important for moving animals across the United States.


Things to do in Fort Worth
Photo Credit: Visit Fort Worth

Things to do in Fort Worth: Check out one of these great Fort Worth Museums

Make your way to Fort Worth’s Cultural District, with a collection of some of the best museums in the State of Texas all in one easy-to-walk area.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has a collection of American and worldwide modern and contemporary art, including Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is likely the most famous of the Fort Worth museum scene and is a blend of education and entertainment, with Imax theaters and full-size robotic exhibits of dinosaurs, space exploration, energy, and the history of the city of Fort Worth.

This hands-on museum is great for kids of all ages. You’ll find a dinosaur dig, artifacts from the Space Race and Space Shuttle, the 9/11 Tribute, Cattle Raisers Museum, and special interactive exhibits that change throughout the year.

Visitors can also travel through the universe at the Noble Planetarium or catch a movie on the rounded 8-story screen at the Omni Theater. 

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art has a specific focus on all types of American Art and Western Art galleries.

The Kimbell Art Museum has great traveling exhibits housed in exceptional buildings designed by a renowned architect, a perfect home for art pieces by Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso, and more.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, showcases the women of the wild American west.

If you drive east of Fort Worth and love all things aviation, you’re going to want to see the inner workings of American Airlines at the C R Smith Museum – a really underrated aviation museum in the Fort Worth area. It shows not only stories about hundreds of historic aircraft but it explains how American Airlines operates.

Lastly, Fort Worth has its own living museum, the Log Cabin Village, showing what real life was like in 19th-century Fort Worth in the Western Frontier. It’s perfect for a self-guided tour and day out.


Things to do in Fort Worth Texas

Things to do in Fort Worth: Get out in Nature

You can enjoy a peaceful stroll around The Fort Worth Japanese Garden. 7.5-acres of beauty located inside the Botanic Garden. Guests can enjoy strolling through the winding paths, cherry trees, Japanese maples, magnolias, brings, and several ponds filled with more than 1,200 Koi fish.

Trinity Park is a short walk from the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. This sprawling space features a serene duck pond & some of the best hiking trails, named the Trinity Trails, centered around the Trinity River.

Trinity Park offers an excellent outdoor playground where kids can play with their friends and parents are also encouraged to use their own fitness equipment.

The park provides plenty of outdoor activities for those looking to burn a few calories or simply sit back with a picnic basket (there are some nice picnic areas and pavilions) and enjoy the spectacular view of the Trinity River.

The Panther Island Pavilion is a popular outdoor concert venue on the Trinity River and is an excellent spot for a float trip. It has easy access to the river, and you can rent tubes and other water equipment there while you’re enjoying live music. It even has its own beach!

Stock up on snacks, drinks, and a tube and float the river from there. It’s a little further North than Trinity Park.

The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is a great spot to head to North West of Fort Worth, if you want to navigate their nature and hiking trails and get out of the city.


Other novel and really Unique Things to Do in Fort Worth

Enjoy the fresh air at Burger’s Lake – a really small slice of tranquil nature just 15 minutes west of Fort Worth, which offers the perfect place for a relaxing break.

While the 30-acre park contains shaded areas (for when temperatures rise), ample parking spaces, well-equipped restrooms, and large grassy grounds for outdoor games such as basketball and football, and sand volleyball, its biggest feature of the park is, of course, the central lake.

You can pay per car to enter and park for your visit. There are tons of slides, diving boards on platforms in the center of the lake, grilling areas, and swings to drop into the lake. Don’t miss the sandy beach on one side of Burger’s Lake and the grassy areas leading directly into the lake around the outer edge

Texas Motor Speedway – if race cars, Nascars, and speed tracks are your thing, plan your visit to the Texas Motor Speedway around a major event and extend your visit to enjoy the area around Fort Worth. They have driving experiences, kart riding, and track tours too.

SeaQuest Fort Worth – If you’re wanting to take the kids to interact with ocean inhabitants, fish and sealife, this is the place to go. You’ll need to drive west of Fort Worth to the Ridgmar Mall right off I-30 and Alta Mere Drive. The main entrance is on the ground floor, right across from JC Penney.

You can use your Pogo Pass here too, to get in free!

Just north of the city of Fort Worth, we recommend a visit to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing –  It’s one of only 2 places in the US that prints money.

They offer free tours and it is really interesting to watch the currency being made.


Things to do in Fort Worth, Texas – at night

Learn to two-step at a family-friendly Fort Worth Honky Tonk – to really head back in time to the American West, you could learn country western dance at Billy Bob’s Stock Yard in Fort Worth. Attend in the mornings or at lunchtime with kids.

In the evening it turns into an ideal venue for concerts, and adult beverages and is more fun for adults.

Enjoy Live Shows and Concerts at Bass Performance Hall and Casa Manana (which is more of a playhouse with cheaper tickets to see a variety of performances)

Coyote Drive in movies TX
Photo Credit: Coyote Drive-in Facebook Page

In the evening you can take a visit to the Coyote Drive-In – before heading back to your hotel or back home.


Where to stay in Fort Worth

While there are a few areas to stay in, we recommend that your base should be West of Downtown or the Downtown area. The Magnolia district is also very nice and there are some really cool B&Bs to stay in and a variety of hotels.

We have also found some of our favorite Air BnB’s and VrBO’s that you may want to stay in with a family.

And a couple of great hotels for the whole family!


Places to Eat in Fort Worth

We think there are definitely two must-try’s when you visit Fort Worth – BBQ and Tex-Mex.

For Barbecue, Goldees BBQ found down a bumpy country road in southeast Fort Worth, was crowned the No. 1 barbecue spot in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine, and one bite of their rich and tender brisket, you’ll see why. Housemade sausage and meaty pork ribs are also must-gets, along with sides such as jalapeno cheese grits. Grab a couple of slices of bread, too; it’s made in-house. Big crowds mean you’ll need to wait at least a couple of hours, but it’ll be a fun wait. Those in line often get to know one another and sometimes there’s free beer and food samples.

For Tex Mex, we really recommend checking out the Fort Worth institution which is Uncle Julio’s Fort Worth or head to Joe T Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. It’s been there since 1935!

Get there early as lines form fast and they don’t take reservations. The food was great and the margaritas were amazing.

Spending a family fun day in Ft. Worth, Texas

The kids loved exploring the courtyards and gardens and we will definitely head back to eat here again very soon. If you do go, it’s cash only.

We know how important lunch and dinner are, but there are some great places to try for brunch. We had brunch at a great place called Yolk –  It can get busy so download the app and get in line online so you don’t have to wait too long!


Author

Claire

Monday 2nd of October 2023

A couple of additions: Parking is free after 6 weekdays, and all weekend in many of the parking lots around Sundance Square. No receipts required for these hours. Link to parking guide: https://www.dfwi.org/get-around/parking

Don't miss the cattle drive at the Stockyards. The longhorns are driven out in the morning and return in the afternoon, right on Exchange Ave.

For a huge rodeo experience, you can attend the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo Jan 12 - Feb 4 (2024 dates). Rodeo every night, parade, rides, and more.

You can also tour Ranger Stadium, just a short distance from the Cowboys.

If you love fine art, our Museum District is loaded with it! The 3 museums are within sight of each other, and there are plenty of good eateries a short distance east on West 7th.

Casa Manana has children's plays. Check their website for dates

Trinity Park has a neat train ride across the river and back.