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.
FORT WORTH BOTANIC GARDEN – 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. The Rose Garden was started in 1933. It now has more than 3,400 roses with peak blooming times from April to October. Walk into the Fragrance Garden for the visually impaired, stroll through the Japanese Garden with its waterfalls, pools and Koi fish, smell the herbs in the Perennial Garden, examine the large collection of begonias in the Exhibition Greenhouse, and go into the Conservatory to see orchids and bromeliads. Visitors may have refreshments or lunch in The Gardens Restaurant. The gift shop is the Treasure Tree. A fee is charged to view the Conservatory and the Japanese Garden. The main garden is free and open from 8 a.m. until sunset daily. The Japanese Garden is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., also daily. 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., 817-871-7689 or www.fwbg.org.
FORT WORTH CONVENTION CENTER – The 13,500-seat arena in the Fort Worth Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown Fort Worth at 1201 Houston Street, and is within walking distance of restaurants, shopping districts and hotels. The FWCC originally opened in 1968 but in 2003 underwent significant renovations and expansions. Along with a larger arena, the Center now offers 253,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 30,000 sq. ft. ballroom and 41 meeting rooms. As indicated by its name, the Convention Center serves as the site for a variety of national, regional, and state conventions, as well as welcoming auto, recreational vehicle, home and garden, and train shows. Audiences can enjoy Disney on Ice, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, and World Wrestling Entertainment. For FWCC information, go to www.fortworthgov.org/publicevents or call 817-392-6338.
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 building designed by Legorreta+Legorreta opened November 20, 2009. The 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 and Bowie were born. 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.
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.
LOG CABIN VILLAGE – 2100 Log Cabin Village Ln. (off University Dr. across from the Ft. Worth Zoo)- Experience the sights, soun ds and smells of 19th century Texas! Set on 2.5 acres in historic Forest Park, Log Cabin Village consists of seven log homes dating back to the mid-1800s. Pioneer history comes to life through the authentic log homes and artifacts, a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a water powered gristmill and an herb garden. See historical interpreters demonstrate various pioneer chores such as candle making, spinning and weaving all while learning about Texas pioneer history. Special tours available. Hrs. Tue.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Gen. Ad. $4.50, Seniors and youths, $4. 817-392-5881, www.logcabinvillage.org.
THE MARTY LEONARD COMMUNITY CHAPEL – E. Fay Jones’ design draws the eye and heart upward in this interfaith Chapel. It is an architecturally significant building that reflects the influence of Jones’ study with Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff. It is constructed mainly from Philippine mahogany stained a lighter color, glass, and brick. It is used by the youths and families served by Lena Pope Home, as well as for weddings, musical and cultural events, meetings, etc. Also, a local church meets at the Chapel on Sunday mornings. Jones, whose work was based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, until his death in 2004, was awarded the American Institute of Architect’s Gold Medal in 1990. Free. Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. & 2nd & 4th Sundays 2-5 p.m. Closed Saturdays and most holidays. From I-30 W. exit Hulen St. At Lena Pope Home, 3131 Sanguinet St., 817-731-8681, ext. 2576 www.lphchapel.org.
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.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with extended hours on Fri. until 8 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 untamed 19th century American West in paintings by the preeminent “storytellers” of the American West, Frederic Remington (1861-1909) and Charles M. Russell (1864-1926). “Remington & Russell, Retold” features 38 iconic paintings that portray unforgettable characters and significant events of 19th century America during westward expansion. Buffalo Bill, native peoples, explorers, mountain men, buffalo hunters and soldiers are participants in such events as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Oregon Trail migration and the Indian Wars. Visitors can compare the artists from early to late career. The exhibition runs now through Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. 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. Free docent-led tours each Tuesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. Group tours by appointment only. Open daily except for 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. Free valet parking in Sundance Square. 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 entertainment 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. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. & Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Gen. Ad. $6, Seniors 60+ & students, $5, children 3-12, $3, family, $18. Group rates available for 20 or more. 128 E. Exchange Ave., Barn A, 817-626-7131, www.texascowboyhalloffame.com.