One of the largest cities in Texas, Fort Worth sits adjacent to Dallas, and between them, there are hundreds of things to do on a Fort Worth family vacation. Among the many things to see and do, a visit to Stockyard Station, the zoo and a museum can make for a great family-friendly vacation.
Fort Worth is a city of contrasts where some say the West really begins, while others enjoy its sleek modern style. In Fort Worth, glass skyscrapers are next to authentic rodeo lots and ultra-modern hospitals are just a stone’s throw from the unspoiled wilderness. In the midst of all these contrasts, you’ll find lots of cool Fort Worth attractions for kids. Like the mixture of East and West, you’ll find both outdoor and indoor activities to add to your Fort Worth family vacation plan.
Top Family Attractions in Fort Worth, Texas
If your family likes being outdoors, Cowtown is the place for you. Some parents may even recognize the Water Gardens from the 1976 movie “Logan’s Run”. Today, this Fort Worth tourist attraction is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring the different parts of the park and posing for photographs. Kids can get a little wet, and parents can get some new footage for their smartphones. The Fort Worth attraction for kids also has over 500 different kinds of plants and trees. The upscale Hilton Hotel is just a few blocks away. This pet-friendly hotel is perfect for young families. It’s also close to other fun Fort Worth activities, including the serene Botanical Garden. This popular destination is actually twelve different gardens, including the one-of-a-kind Japanese Garden. Take some time to learn more about all the great Fort Worth attractions for kids…
Fort Worth Children’s Museum
The exciting Fort Worth Children’s Museum is a popular destination for visitors young and old. This Fort Worth tourist attraction is designed for kids under the age of 8 and their caregivers. In addition to permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum features an Omni-theater and a full planetarium. While you’re at this Fort Worth attraction for kids, be sure and check out the Innovation Studios. Kids like it because of all the interactive play opportunities, and grown-ups like it because it’s centered around STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning. This Fort Worth tourist attraction is open daily until 5 pm. During your visit, stay at the nearby Omni Hotel. This pet-friendly hotel is close to the Children’s Museum, and many other Fort Worth attractions for kids. The Omni has lots of family-friendly features, like a kids club, a restaurant with a kid’s menu, a sparkling outdoor pool, and in-room video game consoles.
Fort Worth Zoo
One of the most popular places to go in Fort Worth is the Fort Worth Zoo. The zoo has grown from its original first dozen animals in 1909 to now housing roughly 5,000 animals. If you have younger children, you will want to stop by the play barn and give your children the chance to run off energy or visit the petting zoo for some interactive fun. Take your lunch with you, enjoy their many picnic benches and watch the animals as you eat. Just across the street is the Log Cabin Village, which is a Fort Worth activity that offers hands-on learning. Your children will enjoy making candles and learning how to weave.
Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock, and a few rabbits, the Fort Worth Zoo now is home to 5,000 native and exotic animals. There is a carousel, petting zoo and play barn for little kids to play in. There is a carousel, petting zoo and play barn for little kids to play in.
My family and I are Fort Worth residents and are always looking for things to do on the weekends and on staycations. I love that we have 2 zoos that are a reasonable distance from our home. The Fort Worth Zoo has an incredible MOLA exhibit (MOLA stands for Museum of Living Art). In it is housed the reptiles and amphibians and outside of the exhibit, our favorite – lemurs! At the back of the zoo is an area devoted just to Texas regions and the animals native to each region. If you’d like to experience a bit of Texas in an afternoon, this is the place for you.
A great Fort Worth vacation idea is to visit Stockyard Station. Stockyard Station has over 25 shops and is home to several Fort Worth tours. Some of the family attractions in Fort Worth found at Stockyard Station include historic walking tours, Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Livestock Exchange, and the chance to go on a trail ride. While you are at the Stockyards, book a night at the Hyatt Place Hotel. It is a kid-friendly hotel in Fort Worth offering both on-site restaurants and a complimentary breakfast. Children stay free and pets are welcome. Fully capable of handling larger families, the Hyatt Place Hotel offers connecting rooms, as well as extra beds when requested. This entire area has the potential to make a single Fort Worth family vacation, but there are several other things to do within a few miles
Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum, one of the best things to do in Fort Worth, is just down the street. The building itself is a sight to see: it was designed by award-winning architect Louis I. Khan. This museum only has about 350 pieces, fulfilling its mission of “definitive excellence, not the size of the collection.” One of the top attractions in Fort Worth, the Kimbell is home to Michelangelo’s first painting, rare decorative art from Africa and Asia, pieces of ancient Greece and Rome, and much more. There are many kid-friendly hotels in Fort Worth nearby, like the Embassy Suites Downtown. This family-friendly hotel features in-room kitchen facilities and a kids pool. It’s close to the Kimbell, and lots of other Fort Worth activities.
Forth Worth Museum of Science and History
If you are looking for family trip plans in Fort Worth with children who enjoy hands-on activities, then you must stop at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. This location offers a children’s museum and Innovation Studios for elementary-age children. This Fort Worth activity caters to your children’s curiosity and allows you to make a stop in the museum’s 3,000 square-foot stores for educational souvenirs.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History was opened in 1945 as the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. Attractions at the museum include the Noble Planetarium and the Omni Theater, Star’s Cafe and Shop Too! Gift Shop, in addition to science and history exhibits. Located in the very walkable Fort Worth Cultural District, the Museum of Science and History is a great stop for families with kids of all ages.
The science and history part includes a very in-depth look at how energy is produced from different sources, a dino dig, a planetarium, and the Cattle Raisers Museum. The Children’s Museum is located here, as well, and gives hands-on fun and learning for smaller children. Rotating special exhibits and the IMAX theater keep things fresh. You’ll find three museums under one roof- the Museum of Science and History, the Children’s Museum, and the Cattle Raisers Museum.
Billy Bob’s Texas
Billy Bob’s Texas is a popular country & western nightclub in the Fort Worth Stockyards. With a capacity over 6,000 people, over 20 bar stations, the best in entertainment and live bull riding, it’s no surprise Billy Bob’s has won five Academy of Country Music’s “Club of the Year” awards. Billy Bob’s is an all-ages venue, but minors must be accompanied either by their parents or a guardian.
National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is a museum and association which honors women of the American West who have displayed courage or spirit and who have distinguished themselves while exemplifying the pioneer spirit.
The girls were very excited to visit the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth, TX. We arrived right when they opened at 10 am and were the only ones there. The museum is nice, but not very big. Surprisingly, it was a bit expensive. It is $36 for two adults and two kids, and I am not sure it is worth the price. It is two stories and highlights the stories of cowgirls throughout our nation’s history. The first floor had a short 8-minute movie and an art exhibit. The second floor had exhibits on past inductees. We wish it had more interactive things to do. The two interactive places were both not working when we visited. Our oldest daughter enjoyed the museum but wanted to see more. We were there for about an hour. The staff was friendly and overall we liked it…just wish there was more to see.
Truly a gem among Fort Worth’s Museums! You’ll see loads of cowgirl history. Sparkling cowgirl rodeo outfits fill one room, while another offers you the chance to ride a bucking bronc! The Cowgirl Hall of Fame is filled with names you’ll know- like Laura Ingalls Wilder (and all her sisters and Ma), Dale Evans, and Annie Oakley. Rhinestone studded suits from television cowgirls and country music stars lead you to a small theater where the seats are saddles.
Tips for Families: Don’t miss the area especially for the youngsters- Jessie from Toy Story was a special inductee! Save $$ on your admission by purchasing tickets at the Science Museum next door!
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Tranquil. Stunning. Magical. I don’t know that there are enough words to describe how amazing the Japanese Garden in Fort Worth is. It’s large enough that you can find your own space to relax but small enough that you don’t have to worry about your children being too far away. Stepping stones across the water, bright koi fish, and Great Blue Herons were popular with the kids, while I was able to sit and watch them explore. Stunning even in early spring, I can only imagine how amazing it would be to visit in summer and fall.