Located just 30 minutes outside of Dallas, Fort Worth is known for its western culture, Southern hospitality, and rich history as the center of the cattle industry. Visit the historic Stockyards to see the country’s only cattle drive that happens twice daily, and then explore the nearby restaurants, shops, and honky-tonk bars.
For those looking for more of the fine arts and diverse attractions, visit the Cultural District, which boasts five interesting museums, the Botanic Garden, and the world-famous Fort Worth Zoo. Plus, the Sundance Square district is an easily walkable downtown area. The 35-block area connects an array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
For outdoor and nature lovers, consider a stop at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, which is home to a number of unique water features and sculptures. Or, head to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, which is located just outside of downtown Fort Worth. The garden boasts over 2,500 species of plants and is a popular spot thanks to its relaxing atmosphere.
With so many things to see and do, you might not know where to begin. So we’ve made a list of our picks of the absolute best things to do in Fort Worth for you. Explore these fun and unique Fort Worth bucket list recommendations, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring this vibrant Texas city!
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15 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Fort Worth, Texas
1. Hike the Trails at Trinity Park
If you’re looking for outdoorsy things to do in Fort Worth, Trinity Park spans 252 acres and is located close to the Fort Worth Cultural District.
One of the key attractions at Trinity Park is the trekking and biking paths that span over 100 miles, many right on the banks of the Trinity River. Here, you’ll come across a miniature train, operational since 1959. Large playgrounds and a duck pond will be other sights that greet you!
People often like to make Trinity Park the destination for their family holidays because there’s a lot for the entire family to see and do, like the Dr. Seuss-like Dream Park playground, which is designed to accommodate children of all needs and abilities on a variety of playground equipment.
Plus, several cultural festivals and events are held here throughout the year, such as Oktoberfest and the family-friendly Mayfest. If you visit in May, be prepared for four days of continuous live music, festival food, carnival rides, and performing arts at Mayfest!
2. Unwind at the Fort Worth Water Gardens
Located downtown, the Fort Worth Water Gardens is one of the most unique Fort Worth attractions. This beautiful, tranquil park features several waterfalls, reflecting pools, fountains, and sculptures that spray water. This urban park is known for its unique and visually striking design, which includes a series of water features set among landscaped terraces.
Walk down the stairs, and you can go right down to the basin without getting wet. The park is a great place to visit for anyone interested in architecture or landscaping. It’s also the perfect place to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the stunning surroundings.
Some of the features include the Aerating Pool, the Quiet Pool, and the Active Pool. Each of these pools has its own unique design and characteristics, and visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as walking, picnicking, and photography.
The park is also a popular venue for events and performances, and it is a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon or evening. At night, the park lights up dramatically, making it possible to enjoy after the sun goes down.
3. Explore All That Sundance Square Has to Offer on Foot
Visit the lively Sundance Square, one of the most popular areas in town, renowned for its shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Known as the “living room” of the city, this 35-square-block downtown area is completely walkable. Whether you are looking for high-end luxury goods or casual eateries, or even fine dining, everyone’s tastes will be satisfied here.
Located near the Water Gardens, it’s easy to spend the entire day here browsing the various boutique stores, contemporary art galleries (like Love Texas Art!), rustic pubs and sports bars, entertainment venues, comedy clubs, and jazz lounges that all sit alongside residential and commercial buildings.
Other attractions at Sundance Square include theaters and live music venues, including the Bass Performance Hall. You should also pay a visit to the Sid Richardson Western Art Museum, along with the John F. Kennedy Tribute in General Worth Square, which has been created to honor the president’s historic stay in Fort Worth.
4. Binge Shop at Cross-Eyed Moose Antiques
While at the Stockyards, a stop at the Cross-Eyed Moose antique store is a must on your Fort Worth bucket list for lovers of vintage finds and odds-and-ends. This antique store is probably the most unique store in the Stockyards, if not the entire city itself. Self-proclaimed as the “Temple of Texana,” the store is chock full of Texas cowboy kitsch items, Western folk art, cowgirl memorabilia, and rustic home goods and furnishings.
Even if you don’t intend on buying anything, consider spending an hour or two browsing. This homey store is packed with eccentric items from floor to ceiling. Here, you’ll find random and somewhat odd items like antique antler chandeliers, taxidermy of all kinds (think stuffed coyotes!), and every kind of cowboy hat you can think of.
Get lost in the aisles to find the perfect handmade Fort Worth souvenir while supporting local artists. Why not buy a unique piece of jewelry, like rattlesnake earrings, that will remind you of your time in Fort Worth?
5. Catch a Show at the Coyote Drive-In Theater & Canteen
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Fort Worth, take a step back in time and catch a show at the Coyote Drive-In for a fun entertainment experience. Located in the heart of Fort Worth, this drive-in theater offers double features of popular movies and classics shown on a large outdoor screen.
You can watch the movies from the comfort of your own vehicle or bring lawn chairs and blankets and sit in the designated outdoor viewing area. The drive-in also has a snack bar with a variety of food and beverage options, including wines and craft beers, making it a great place for a fun night out.
Catching a movie from the comfort of your car is always a memorable experience. To listen to the movie, they broadcast sound through their own FM frequencies, so just tune in to your car radio, rent a radio, or use your FM-capable music player.
There are four movie screens and also a kid’s play area if the kids get restless and need a break. Plus, when the weather gets chilly, they offer fire pits to keep you warm. To top it off, buy some marshmallows from the concession stand to make s’mores while you watch the movie!
6. Tour the World-Renowned Fort Worth Stockyards
The Fort Worth Stockyards is the National Historic District of the city and a must on your Fort Worth bucket list. With over 40 bars and restaurants and about 50 shops, there is a lot to see, do, and eat here. This destination is also home to more than 15 must-see Fort Worth attractions, each of which is deeply rooted in the history of the city.
Here you’ll witness the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive. Historical tours are for the taking, while you can listen to live music as well. The American West is still very much alive here, and you’ll love marveling at the Texas cowhands driving herds of Texas longhorns to the restored horse and mule barns. There’s even an old-timey photo parlor where you and your crew can wear costumes and use props to take memorable, one-of-a-kind Wild West souvenir photos.
Another key attraction that you will find in the Stockyards is Billy Bob’s Texas, which is a world-renowned honky-tonk that hosts a wide range of live musical acts and performances. Throw on a cowboy hat because this Fort Worth attraction even includes a rodeo arena for professional bull riding! If you’re searching for fun things to do in Fort Worth, Billy Bob’s is a must.
Alongside are a general store, a Wall of Fame that features celebrity handprints, arcade games, restaurants, and dozens of dance floors and bars, and, of course, everything is Texas-sized.
7. Admire the Artwork at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
One of the top Fort Worth attractions, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is recognized for its collection of international contemporary and modern post-World War II art. The museum is well-regarded for its modern architecture. Designed by architect Tadao Ando, the building features concrete and glass and is surrounded by an impressive reflecting pool.
The majority of works in the museum’s collection were produced between 1945 and the present. Among the styles, themes, and movements represented are pop art, abstract expressionism, color field painting, and minimalism.
At the museum, recent developments and current exhibits include contemporary movements in digital imagery, video, and photography. The permanent collection has over 3,000 works, including masterpieces by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Cindy Sherman. American and international artists are both featured here, and works range from sculpture to visual art to photography.
Drop in on a guided tour to get a personalized look at the special exhibitions or to learn about the architecture. Take a tour, and your guide will point out details in the artwork and building that you may never have noticed.
They also regularly hold film screenings, gallery classes, studio workshops, art camps, kid-friendly events, and artist-led discussion groups. If you are bringing children, be sure to get your free kids’ sketchbook at the admission desk to help keep them entertained.
8. Experience the Wild West at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
For an interesting take on the contributions of the women that helped shape the American West, this museum is one of the best things to do in Fort Worth – even if you aren’t a history buff. The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame has an array of exhibits that tell the stories of cowgirls and their contributions to ranching, rodeo, and the arts.
Located in the Cultural District, this 33,000-square-foot museum features interactive exhibits honoring the pioneering spirit of the women of the West. Must-see permanent exhibits include Hitting the Mark: Cowgirls and Wild West Shows, which display artifacts, like Annie Oakley’s belt and other objects that examine the historical significance of the cowgirls who performed in the Wild West shows.
Other highlights include the Western Design Room, which allows you to digitally create your own boot, shirt, or horse, which is then projected onto a wall. Then test your bronco riding skills by saddling up in the Bucking Bronc Room! There’s also a traveling exhibition gallery, a gift shop, a research library, an outdoor park with sculptures, and two theaters.
9. Escape the City Life at the Fort Worth Nature Center
Just 10 miles from downtown, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is a peaceful nature reserve that’s a great respite from the city. The nature center covers more than 3,000 acres and boasts a variety of habitats, including forests, prairies, and wetlands. Here, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and birdwatching.
It’s also home to over 20 miles of trails. Check out the boardwalk that overlooks a marsh that runs alongside the Hardwicke Interpretive Visitor Center. Plus, professional naturalists and guides offer a wide variety of programs and classes each week, including yoga sessions and canoe trips around Lake Worth.
You can get a glimpse of what the area looked like before Fort Worth was settled. This place is also home to a herd of wild bison, a prairie dog colony, and a myriad of birds, which are all easy to spot from the viewing decks when visiting.
10. Beat the Heat at Burger’s Lake
Burger’s Lake is a popular swimming and recreation area known for its crystal clear waters and sandy beaches. In the summer, the Texas heat can be brutal, so if you’re looking for a spot to cool off, Burger’s Lake is a solid choice, especially since they have lifeguards on duty at all times.
In addition to water sports and swimming, the lake is also a great option for other recreational activities, such as picnicking, hiking, and bird-watching. The 30-acre park is also home to a playground and a number of other amenities, like a 25-foot trapeze, diving boards, and a 20-foot slide, making it one of the best family-friendly things to do in Fort Worth.
There are sand volleyball courts and inner tubes available for rental. The park also provides more than 300 picnic tables with charcoal grills for cooking, perfect for a memorable barbecue, especially if you prefer to cook yourself and not hit up the concession stands.
11. Get Tipsy and Burn Some Calories on the Cowtown Cycle Party
Fort Worth’s Cowtown Cycle is a unique and fun way to experience and familiarize yourself with the city’s bar scene and downtown area. The pedal-powered bike can hold up to 16 people, creating a memorable bring-your-own-beverages party!
The bike is equipped with a sound system and a small bar area in the middle. Each person pedals with a main driver that maneuvers the direction and gives you recommendations on where to go based on your interests.
You don’t have to be celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or bachelorette party, just book in advance and set off to spend about two hours having a blast. There aren’t set routes. Instead, you can decide where to go, like bars near Southside, historical points of interest downtown, the Water Gardens, and more.
With pretty affordable prices that are comparable to a typical bar crawl, this is a quirky way to drink while also burning some calories. It provides a low-impact workout/party without having to worry about a designated driver or which bars to hit up first.
12. Get Up Close to Nature at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden was established in 1934 and is the oldest botanic garden in the state. One of the top Fort Worth attractions, the 120-acre garden has over 2,500 species of plants and is divided into about 20 different sections, each of which features plants from a particular region or habitat.
A particular favorite is the Zen-like Japanese Garden, with several winding paths that pass by traditional Japanese garden elements and native Japanese plants, like bamboo. It features a koi pond, small waterfalls, stone lanterns, and wooden bridges.
The Four Seasons garden features a vibrant look every month of the year, and you’ll find spectacular blooms no matter what the season. Other popular gardens at Botanic Garden are the Rose Garden and the Fuller Garden, with French and English garden elements and landscapes.
You’ll find over 30 pieces of art and sculptures scattered around the gardens. Other top attractions include the Backyard Vegetable Garden, the soothing Rock Springs, and the Native Texas Boardwalk, which features native species growing on one side and invasive species growing on the other.
13. Rock Out at the Panther Island Pavilion
Overlooking the Trinity River, the Panther Island Pavilion is much more than an entertainment venue. It’s actually the only waterfront stage in Texas where concert-goers can watch performances from tubes on the river.
From its other multiple stages, the space holds a wide range of events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and outdoor movies. If the event isn’t held on the waterfront stage, chances are you’ll see it from The Shack, a 10,000-square-foot space with two open-air beer gardens.
With direct access to the Trinity Trails and the Clear Fork Trinity River, you can also rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and bike shares to explore the island and city. On the first Friday of every month, rent a free bike at the Fort Worth B-cycle station located at Taylor Circle from Fort Worth Bike Sharing.
There’s even a public beach that’s open seven days a week for paddling, tubing, fishing, and swimming. This stretch of sand is the closest thing you can get to the ocean from here and a must-visit if you’re looking for fun things to do in Fort Worth!
14. Step Back in Time at the Log Cabin Village
To imagine what life would have been like in Texas in the 1800s, check out the Log Cabin Village. The village was created in the 1950s when log cabins and other architectural gems from the Frontier times were disappearing from the Texas landscapes.
Home to a collection of lovingly-restored log cabins, each shows a separate aspect of what pioneer life would have been like. Furnished with period pieces, artifacts, and furniture, it really is like stepping back in time.
Other exhibits include a water-powered gristmill, a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, and an herb garden. Guides, referred to as “historical interpreters,” are available to answer your questions and also depict the lifestyle of the period by demonstrating skills that would have been needed, like blacksmithing and woodworking.
The majority of the buildings were actually moved from other locations in north and central Texas between the late 1950s and early 2000s and restored on-site. So this is an authentic way to explore the lifestyle of an early Texas settlement and a great way to learn about the history of the state. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Fort Worth, the Log Cabin Village is a must-visit!
15. Check Out the Award-Winning Fort Worth Zoo
Founded in 1909, and still the oldest continuously running zoo in Texas, the Fort Worth Zoo had humble beginnings and started with just a few animals. Today, it’s grown into a nationally-ranked and award-winning zoo with more than 7,000 animals from over 500 species from around the world.
Known for its conservation efforts, the Fort Worth Zoo has 16 permanent habitats, along with the Texas Wild exhibit, which displays over seven distinct habitats native to the state within the 64 acres complex. There’s a wide range of activities and events held at the zoo, so plan ahead so you can spend an entire day exploring the park.
In the summer, cool off in the Safari Splash water play area. The play area is equipped with four slides, a water dump tower, animal-shaped water cannons, a designated toddler play area, and an area for parents and guardians to hang out. Learn about Texas animals and watch live shows featuring animals like great horned owls and alligators at the Outdoor Learning Theater.
There are also cool features like an interactive laser target game, a carousel, a mini train, a play barn for toddlers, and even a 25-foot rock climbing wall. Save some cash and bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the shaded dining areas located throughout the park.
There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Fort Worth. What’s your favorite thing to do in Fort Worth?
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