Fort Worth Zoo

#4 in Best Things To Do in Dallas – Fort Worth
Fort Worth Zoo picture
Fort Worth Zoo
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VAILLANCOURT PHOTOGRAPHY/Getty Images

Key Info

1989 Colonial Parkway

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Since it opened in 1909, this Texas zoo has been exposing Fort Worth residents and visitors to wildlife from around the world. When it first opened, the Fort Worth Zoo contained one lion, two bear cubs, a coyote, a peacock, an alligator and some rabbits; now, it's a full menagerie with exhibits housing everything from jaguars to flamingos. Make your way to the Australian Outback to mingle with Aussie residents like kangaroos, or visit the Asian Falls area for views of the stunning white tigers. Recent visitors also highly recommend spending time in the Museum of Living Art, an award-winning facility that houses some 5,700 birds, reptiles and amphibians who live among hand-painted murals.

Those who have visited the zoo find plenty of aspects to praise, including the well-shaded pathways (lined with water misters primed to keep you cool on hot summer days) and the option to bring your own food and beverages. But heed the advice from these travelers to not ignore the other pastimes found on zoo grounds. For example, spend some time in Texas Wild!, a model Wild West village complete with a petting corral and a laser shooting gallery, as well as several snack options.

You'll find this highly praised zoo in southwestern Fort Worth. Though you can get there by bus from downtown (take the No. 7), you will find yourself doing a considerable amount of walking from the bus stop to the zoo gates. Your best bet is to drive the 3½ miles from the downtown area and fork over $5 to park. From March through June, the Fort Worth Zoo is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Between July and late October, the zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; and from late October through February, the zoo is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults and $10 for seniors and children ages 3 to 12 (kids 2 and younger can enter for free). Visit on a Wednesday to take advantage of half-price entry. To learn more, check out the Fort Worth Zoo website.

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Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
The Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

If you only have a day in Fort Worth, head straight to the Stockyards. This living museum pays tribute to Fort Worth's Wild West heyday with daily cattle drives and plenty of restaurants serving up cowboy cuisine. Start your visit at Stockyards Station at the heart of this historic neighborhood – from here, you can join a guided walking or Segway tour or hop on a stage coach. If you're interested in the district's history, pay a visit to the Stockyards Museum, which is housed in the former Livestock Exchange building and now contains an extensive collection of documents and artifacts from Fort Worth's Old West era. Meanwhile, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Trail of Fame will also offer insight into Fort Worth's most notable residents. If you have kids in tow, take a twirl through the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze or a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.

Recent visitors strongly recommend visiting the Stockyards on a Friday or Saturday night for the Championship Rodeo. Starting at 8 p.m., talented cowboys will show off their riding, roping and racing skills in the Cowtown Coliseum. Afterward, you can test your dancing skills at Billy Bob's Texas – at 3 acres, Billy Bob's claims to be the world's largest honky tonk. While many reviewers said this was a great activity for first-time visitors, they also cautioned that it is quite touristy.

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