AMON CARTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART – Located in Fort Worth’s cultural district, the Amon Carter Museum offers visitors a stunning survey of American art, from the first landscape painters of the 1830s to modern artists of the twentieth century. The collection includes masterworks by such luminaries as Alexander Calder, Thomas Cole, Stuart Davis, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, and Alfred Stieglitz. The museum also houses founder Amon G. Carter’s collection of works by the two greatest artists of the American West-Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. The Carter’s holdings by these two artists are recognized as the finest and most comprehensive in the world. The museum’s photography collection ranks among the top five in the country, with more than 30,000 exhibition-quality prints that cover the breadth of the medium’s history. Continuous programs of special exhibitions, docent-guided tours, gallery talks, and lectures. Hrs. Tue., Wed., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. noon 5 p.m., closed Mondays & major holidays. Admission is free. 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-738-1933, www.cartermuseum.org.
BASS PERFORMANCE HALL – The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall officially opened in May 1998. David Schwarz was the architect for the structure named one of the top ten opera houses in the world in Travel & Leisure’s March 1999 issue. Rumanian/ Californian artist, Marton Varo created and shaped the 48 feet tall angels fronting the Hall. The opera house is the permanent home of the Fort Worth Symphony, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, & the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Tours available Sat. at 10:30 a.m., performance schedule permitting. Bass Performance Hall is located in Sundance Square on a city block bordered by Commerce, Calhoun, & 4th & 5th Sts. 817-212-4280, www.basshall.com.
THE FORT WORTH HERD-TEXAS LONGHORNS – Daily cattle drives through the Stockyards National Historic District recall Fort Worth of the late 1800s. Twice daily, weather permitting, and it’s not a major holiday, cowhands, dressed in 19th century ranching gear, drive 10 to 15 Texas longhorn steers down Exchange Ave. Best viewing areas for the 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. drives are the front lawn of the Livestock Exchange Building or across the street near the Stockyards Visitor’s Center. The Herd also offers education programs based on the trailing life of a cowboy for school groups and other organizations by appointment only. Watching the cattle drive is free. 817-336-4373, www.fortworthherd.com.
FORT WORTH MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY’s new building designed by Legorreta+Legorreta opens November 20, 2009. The new facility features innovative learning studios, the Cattle Raisers Museum, the Fort Worth Children’s Museum, Stars Café, exhibits focusing on energy, history and dinosaurs, special exhibitions, and a new digital Noble Planetarium. The Omni Theater, an IMAX dome, is now “linked” to the Museum. The theater has been upgraded with a new digital sound system and enhanced LED lighting. Open daily. Show times vary. 1600 Gendy St., 817-255-9300, www.fortworthmuseum.org.
FORT WORTH NATURE CENTER & REFUGE – Nature enthusiasts can explore the lands, grasses, trees and waterways of the area with the help of naturalist and botanist guides at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. Nature hikes are scheduled each Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. On Nature Center trails explorers visit insects, birds and animals along the way. In winter, when all the leaves are on the ground the Nature Center offers a program that allows hikers to learn how to identify trees by their bark, growth patterns, twigs and leaf scars. A Canyon Ridge Hike is scheduled for Saturday afternoons from 1 p.m.-4. Regular canoe trips are also part of the Nature Center’s program. Touring a stretch of the Trinity River’s West Fork, canoeist view ducks, herons, beavers and other critters. Waterfowl watching in Lotus Marsh, is another planned activity. Binoculars, spotting scopes, along with an an experienced waterfowl watcher, help you see and identify several species in their winter habitat. These are only a few of the regular monthly programs at the Nature Center. Weather appropriate clothing and shoes are recommended for participants. Some activities require reservations and a fee. Friends of the Nature Center receive reduced or free entry to programs. Hardwicke Interpretive Center, 817-237-1111.
FORT WORTH WATER GARDENS – Built in 1974, Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s design for the Fort Worth Water Garden was to be a “cooling oasis in the concrete jungle.” The main elements of the design are three pools of water: the meditation pool; the aerating pool and the active pool where water runs over layers of rocks and steps to a small pool 38 feet below. Special lighting makes the night sparkle. Numerous plants and trees also decorate the Water Gardens. The site was used as the backdrop for some scenes from the film Logan’s Run in 1976. Brides have also used the area for the special time in their lives. The park provides hours of pleasure to people of all ages for strolling or sitting or for enjoying a brown bag lunch. In the 1500 block of Commerce. Information: 817-392-7111; reservations 817-392-5718.
FORT WORTH ZOO – A trip to the Fort Worth Zoo is an adventure where you’ll see animals from around the world that all seem at home in their lush, natural habitats. In many settings, visitors are only separated from the animals by a river or waterfall, and are often face-to-face with them through large viewing windows! The Zoo is home to almost 7,000 native and exotic animals, including lowland gorillas, Asian cats, bears, penguins, flamingos, a world-famous reptile collection, an insectarium, and since the summer of 2013 two baby elephants: Belle born in July and Bowie born in August. Visitors can also explore Texas Wild!, a turn-of-the-century complex featuring seven regions of the state. Hrs.are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Zoo is open Thanksgiving & Christmas from noon to 4 p.m. & New Year’s Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gen. Ad. $12, Seniors 65+ & children 3-12, $9, 2 & under free. Parking is $5 per vehicle. Half-price tickets on Wednesdays. 1989 Colonial Pkwy., 817-759-7555, www.fortworthzoo.org.
KIMBELL ART MUSEUM – One of the outstanding art museums in the U.S. The award-winning building was the last completed work under personal supervision of architect Louis I. Kahn. As well as an excellent permanent collection, the museum offers a full program of changing exhibitions, lectures, concerts, films, workshops and tours. Bookstore, lunch and snack bar (The Buffet). Open Tue.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. noon-8 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sun. noon-5 p.m. Closed Mondays. 3333 Camp Bowie. 817-332-8451, www.kimbellart.org.
LAGRAVE FIELD – Home of the Fort Worth Cats who won the 2007 American Association Championship. The Cats have won three consecutive championships including the 2006 American Association and the 2005 Central Baseball League titles. The Cats are the only independent baseball team in the country to win three championships in a row. Nearly 50 Hall of Famers have played baseball at historic LaGrave Field since in opened in 1926. The Cats will honor many of them during the 2010 season. The Cats offer affordable family entertainment at one of America’s most historic minor league ballparks in a county fair atmosphere. LaGrave Field, located off North Main between downtown and the stockyards, has a history unmatched by any ballpark in Texas. LaGrave Field has been the home of the Cats during two different baseball eras 1926-1964 and 2002 to the present. Home plate is exactly where it was in 1926 when the old facility opened. The view of downtown at night is breathtaking. Fans have the opportunity to watch baseball at the same historic place where former Cats such as Bobby Bragan, Duke Snider, Maury Wills, Sparky Anderson, Carl Erskine and Rogers Hornsby played and coached. The 2011 season will run from May through August and will cover 96 games. For tickets call 817-332-2287 or visit www.fwcats.com. Fans can also stop by the ballpark, located at 301 NE 6th St.
At LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER DALLAS-FORT WORTH you can reach out and touch the stars in the 4D cinema, learn top LEGO® building secrets from the Master Model Builder, see iconic landmarks in MINILAND®, make a celebration even more memorable in one of our special party rooms, and much, much more! It’s the ultimate place for all LEGO® fans-young and old. Tickets $16.25 per adult & $11.25 per child. Hrs.: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- *6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-*7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-*4 p.m.*(Attraction remains opens 2 hours past the last admission). 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine, TX 76051, 1-877-818-1677, www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/dallasfw.
MODERN ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH – Designed by the world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, this striking building is composed of 5 pavilions of concrete and glass arranged around a 1.5 acre reflecting pond. The Modern maintains one of the foremost collections of postwar art in the central United States, consisting of more than 3,000 significant works of modern and contemporary international art, including pieces by Anselm Kiefer, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, Susan Rothenberg, Richard Serra, Andre Serrano, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol. Visitors to the museum can also enjoy lunch in Café Modern’s elliptical dining room set on the reflecting pond or shop for unique gifts at The Modern Shop. Educational programming and the Museum’s film series, Magnolia at the Modern, take place in the Museum’s state-of-the-art auditorium. Located in the Cultural District, across the street from the Kimbell Art Museum and near the Amon Carter Museum, at 3200 Darnell St. Gen. Ad. 13 to adult $10, Seniors & students with an ID, $4, & children under 13, free. Each Wednesday and the first Sunday of each month, admission is free. Access to the Grand Lobby, Café Modern, and The Modern Shop is free. Hrs. Tue., Wed., Thurs., Fri., & Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day & Independence Day. 817-738-9215, www.themodern.org.
NATIONAL MULTICULTURAL WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM – Filling in the gaps of history is easy to do at the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum. Through artifacts, artwork, historical records, and current events, this collection offers a true perspective and a fuller and richer cultural view of the people and activities that contributed to the building of the historical American West. The mission of the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum is to offer the visitor a complete recognition of this historical process. The building’s layout, with a large central room, easily accommodates many chairs for storytelling, meetings and lectures. The smaller rooms are specifically themed with topics such as the Buffalo Soldiers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Native American and Hispanic contributions to the settlement of the American western frontier. Other rooms are dedicated to the Hall of Fame inductees and research of potential nominees. The museum is peppered with art and artifacts (including championship saddles donated or loaned by rodeo winners and a full circus cowboy costume). Hrs: Wed.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed major holidays. Gen. Ad. $6, seniors $4, students with an ID $3, & children under 5 are free. Group rates are available. 3400 Mount Vernon Ave., 817-534-8801, e-mail: email@example.com, web site:www.cowboysofcolor.org.
NATIONAL COWGIRL MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME – Women of the American West are honored here. Not only those who have lived and worked on ranches or who have sat a horse in a rodeo arena, but also the woman who led an expedition to the Pacific Ocean, or the ones who have stood on a stage, sat at an easel, stood before a classroom, sat to put words on paper, aimed a rifle and hit the bulls eye, or sat on the highest court in the land, all these are celebrated for their spirit and determination. The 33,000 square foot museum, designed by David M. Schwarz, with its more than 5,000 artifacts and information on over 400 women, is located in Ft. Worth’s Cultural District next to the Ft. Worth Museum of Science & History. The Museum, whose motto is “The Women Who Shape the West…Change the World” also has an award winning gift shop you won’t want to miss. Hrs: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. Closed Mon. except Labor Day and during the Stock Show. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, & New Year’s Day. Gen. Ad. $10, seniors & children $8, children 3 & under free with paid adult. 1720 Gendy St., 817-336-4475, 800-476-3263, www.cowgirl.net.
RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! LOUIS TUSSAUD’S PALACE OF WAX, & RIPLEY’S ENCHANTED MIRROR MAZE - Come see three attractions under one roof! Ripley’s offers 11 galleries of the weird, strange, and odd! Artifacts from all over the world, shrunken heads, and many other fun activities. We have proudly been freaking families out for 90 years! Louis Tussaud’s houses 200 plus wax figures. Come face to face with your favorite celebrity, talk show host, or great leader of history. We have all the presidents, western gunfighters, and your favorite horror characters. New for 2008! Ripley’s Enchanted Mirror Maze! Try to find your way through this 2000 sq. ft. maze. It’s never the same experience twice! Open 365 days a year. Hours of operation: (Sept.-May) Open 10 a.m. Mon.-Fri., ticket office closes at 4 p.m. Open 10 a.m. Sat.-Sun., ticket office closes at 5 p.m. (Summer hours Labor Day-Memorial Day) Open 10 a.m. daily, ticket office closes at 8 p.m. Prices: Single attraction ticket $16.99 Gen. Ad., $8.99 for children 4-12. Two attraction combo ticket $21.99 Gen. Ad., $12.99 for children 4-12 or all three attractions combo ticket $27.99 Gen. Ad., $17.99 for children 4-12. 601 E. Palace Pkwy. Grand Prairie, TX 75050. 972-263-2391, www.palaceofwax.com or www.ripleys.com.
SID RICHARDSON MUSEUM – Enjoy scenes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century American West in iconic paintings by Frederic Remington (1861-1909), Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), and their contemporaries. Legendary Texas oilman and philanthropist Sid W. Richardson (1891-1959) amassed one of the most significant private collections of Remington and Russell paintings in the nation. The current exhibition, “Western Treasures,” runs through Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. The exhibition of 39 paintings reunites popular works with rarely seen paintings from the permanent collection. Six bronze sculptures by Remington and Russell are on loan from private collections. Free docent-led tours each Tuesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. Group tours by appointment only. Second Saturday of each month at 3 p.m., a gallery tour is followed by “For Love of Russell,” a live performance by a docent portraying Nancy Cooper Russell, wife of Charles M. Russell, who tells stories about his career. Open daily except major holidays: Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. & Sun. noon to 5 p.m. Free admission. Museum Store. 309 Main Street in Sundance Square. 817-332-6554, www.sidrichardsonmuseum.org.
THE SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM AT DEALEY PLAZA – Located in the former Texas School Book Depository, the museum features a permanent historical exhibition that chronicles the life, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. On display are over 400 photographs, videos, artifacts, and preserved areas, including the sniper’s perch where evidence showed that shots were fired from the sixth floor at President Kennedy. Temporary exhibits are offered in the seventh floor gallery. Explore history through one of the world’s most significant repositories of visual, audio, documentary and artifactual documentation related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — a continually growing, multifaceted collection of more than 40,000 items. Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tues. -Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Monday noon-6 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors (65+) and $13 for youths (6-18); Admission price includes audio guide. Children 5 and under are free or $4 for the audio guide. 411 Elm St., Dallas, TX, 75202. 214-747-6660. www.jfk.org.
STOCKYARDS – The livestock industry began to develop here in the 1880s. There were cattle, sheep, and hog pens and horse and mule barns. The original wooden barns burned in 1911 and were replaced with concrete and steel buildings. Swift & Co. & Armour & Co., meat packers, ran plants in the Stockyards until the early 1970s. Refurbished livestock pens and sheds, some with the original brick floors, now house restaurants and antique and western wear shops. Visit the Stockyards Museum in the Ft. Worth Livestock Exchange Bldg., 131 E. Exchange Ave., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Sat. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. 817-625-5087, www.stockyardsstation.com.
STOCKYARDS MUSEUM – The Stockyards Museum is located in the historic Livestock Exchange building. Displays include cattlemen and cowboy photographs and equipment, photographs and artifacts of meat packers Swift & Co. and Armour & Co. and their employees, and a section devoted to women’s activities in the early 20th century. A Native American exhibit features artifacts from several tribes with special emphasis on Commanche Chief Quannah Parker. An electric light bulb first turned on in 1908 at the Byers Opera House in Fort Worth is still burning at the museum. The North Fort Worth Historical Society sponsors the Stockyards Museum. Hours are Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Sundays. A donation of $2 per adult helps support this nonprofit museum. Students and young children get in free. 131 E Exchange Ave., 817-625-5082,www.stockyardsmuseum.org.
SUNDANCE SQUARE – Fort Worth’s 35-block crown jewel, with its wide, red-brick sidewalks, beautifully appointed streetscapes, and magnificently restored turn-of-the century buildings, has evolved to become one of the city’s top shopping and enterta inment districts. This immensely popular, urban hotspot boasts five theatres–three with live productions and nine movie screens, a delightful mix of fine and casual dining, unique specialty shops, exceptional retail stores, museums and galleries. Nightlife features a vibrant and dynamic mix of live music venues and popular gathering spots. Once known for its rich western heritage, Sundance Square is now a place of culture, excitement and activities. 817-255-5700, www.sundancesquare.com.
THE TEXAS COWBOY HALL OF FAME – housed in the renovated Horse & Mule Barns in the Stockyards National Historic District, honors Texas Cowboys & Cowgirls who have excelled in their rodeo careers. Many multiyear champions are featured; for example Ty Murray, Larry Mahan, Harry Tompkins and Charmayne James. Display booths for each honoree contain saddles, chaps, belt buckles, trophies and photos that highlight their careers. Many booths in the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame are equipped with continuous-play videos detailing a cowboy or cowgirl’s career. Also featured in the museum are the Sterquell Wagons and the John Justin Trail of Fame. The 60-plus Sterquell Wagons from the 1700s to the 1900s, are fully restored and showcase the horse-drawn vehicles used for work and pleasure during that period. The Justin Trail of Fame honors a former Fort Worth mayor, city council member, and president of Justin Boot & Acme Brick Companies, whose generosity has benefited both the Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show & Rodeo, and Texas Christian University. Hrs. Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. & Sun. noon-6 p.m. Gen. Ad. $5, Seniors 60+, $4 & children 3-12, $3. Group rates available for 20 or more. 128 E. Exchange Ave., Barn A, 817-626-7131, www.texascowboyhalloffame.com.