As the 16th largest city in the United States and part of the No. 1 tourist destination in Texas, Fort Worth an eclectic blend of cowboy-meets-culture: whether you prefer to spend your time in a museum or watching the world's only twice-daily cattle drive, this city offers plenty of things to do. And, if you need to give your wallet a little rest, here are 10 fantastic things to do in this city, completely free:
1 – Kimbell Art Museum
Art lovers will enjoy the unique art collection found at Kimbell Art Museum. The museum’s permanent collection — which is comprised of works from Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Michelangelo’s first painting – the only of his works in America and other prominent artists — is always free. Only Kimbell’s special exhibitions cost money to view. With nearly 350 works of art along with a well-stocked gift shop. It’s not only the art but the world-renowned building that is worth the visit. The museum is open from Tuesday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.pm., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
2 – Fort Worth Botanic Garden
A 110-acre oasis from the Texan sun, the garden was established in 1934 and is the oldest botanic garden in Texas, with 2,501 species of native and exotic plants in its 21 specialty gardens. It is open daily. An admission fee is charged for the Conservatory and Japanese Garden; the other gardens are free. The gardens are located in the center of the cultural district. Open everyday from 8:00 a.m. to dusk.
3. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP)
This printing facility is one of only two in the nation (the other one is in Washington, D.C.). The Bureau designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of which is Federal Reserve Notes (paper money) for the Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank. In addition to paper currency, the BEP produces Treasury securities; military commissions and award certificates; invitations and admission cards; and many different types of identification cards, forms, and other special security documents for a variety of government agencies. Open Tuesday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
4 – Amon Carter Museum of American Art
This museum is known for an assortment of collections that links visitors to American history through art. The collection is particularly focused on portrayals of the Old West by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, artworks depicting nineteenth-century exploration and settlement of the North American continent, and masterworks that are emblematic of major turning points in American art history. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Close on Mondays
5 – Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
This national institution is decked out with western saloons, cowboys on horses, a year around rodeo and much more. To enjoy the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive be there at 11:30 a.m. or 4:00 p.m.
6 – Sundance Square
Spanning 35 blocks, Sundance Square is the perfect place to shop, dine and be entertained. Sundance Square Plaza offers free entertainment year-around including yoga, live, music, theater performances. If you go around Christmas, the decorations are truly spectacular.
7 – Fort Worth Water Gardens
A refreshing haven built in 1974, the park is located on the south end of downtown Fort Worth between Houston and Commerce Streets next to the Fort Worth Convention Center. The 4.3 acre (1.7 hectare) Water Gardens were designed by noted New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and were dedicated to the City of Fort Worth by the Amon G. Carter Foundation. The active water pool wows while the aerated pool entertains and the quiet water pool calms. Park opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. daily.
8 – Molly the Trolley
Molly the Trolley is a vintage-style trolley that offers quick and convenient route between the Fort Worth Convention Center and Sundance Square, and makes stops near downtown hotels, landmarks, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Molly runs every 10 to 15 minutes, 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Fare is Free.
9 – Sid Richardson Museum
Located in Sundance Square the museum features permanent and special exhibitions of paintings by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, as well as some additional late 19th-century works about the American West. The works, reflecting both the art and reality of the American West, are the legacy of the late oilman and philanthropist, Sid Williams Richardson, and were acquired by him from 1942 until his death in 1959. The collection also includes works by Oscar E. Berninghaus, Charles F. Browne, Edwin W. Deming, William Gilbert Gaul, Peter Hurd, Frank Tenney Johnson, William R. Leigh, Peter Moran and Charles Schreyvogel. Check the museum’s site for operating hours.
10 – JFK Tribute
The JFK Tribute was commissioned and created in order to honor and commemorate President Kennedy’s visit to Fort Worth, Texas on November 21st and 22nd, 1963. On the morning of the 22nd, President Kennedy gave an unplanned speech to an audience of thousands of people who came down to the Hotel Texas to try and catch of glimpse of the President. This speech took place close to where the Tribute is today on the corner of Main and 8th Streets. Lawrence Ludtke designed an 8 foot tall bronze sculpture of President Kennedy that sits in the center of granite plaza.