FORT WORTH IS A TOP FAMILY FRIENDLY VACATION DESTINATION
Related Document: Fort-Worth-is-a-Top-Family-Friendly-Vacation-Destination-Final.doc
Home to almost 7,000 native and exotic animals and several indoor and outdoor exhibits, the Fort Worth Zoo provides an entire day of fun for any family. Kids can learn how to round 'em up and move 'em out at Texas Wild!, a hands-on exhibit that showcases the unique wildlife of the Lone Star State and includes a petting zoo. They can check out the mysterious waters of the Coral Sea, visit primates in a 2.5-acre habitat or get eye-to-eye with some of the most endangered reptiles and amphibians on the planet at the Museum of Living Art (MOLA). The truly adventurous can plan an overnight stay, complete with dinner and a scavenger hunt. With all these activities and more, it's easy to understand why the Fort Worth Zoo is ranked No. 5 in the nation by USA Travel Guide; a top zoo by Family Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today; one of the top zoo's in the South by Southern Living Reader's Choice Awards; and the No. 1 attraction in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex by Zagat Survey U.S. Family Travel Guide.
Families who enjoy hiking, canoeing and kayaking find the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge a great place to refresh their spirits and spend time together. Boasting more than 3,600 acres of forests, prairies and wetlands, the area is a reminder of how much of Fort Worth once looked. Staff at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center can help with exploration activities, and weekends are prime time for families to take advantage of naturalist-led classes and hikes. Ducks, herons, beaver and critters of the night often make an appearance for families out to enjoy a relaxing moonlit canoe trip along the West Bank of the Trinity River.
Texas history comes to life for families with a trip to Log Cabin Village. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the mid-1800s as interpreters demonstrate frontier chores like candle making, spinning, weaving, milling, and more. Visitors can make their own corn husk dolls, sing tunes of the mid-to-late 1800s and experience a variety of hands-on activities from Fort Worth's early days. The village includes a blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, water-powered gristmill, herb garden and authentic log homes.
Hands-on adventurers should head to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, where parents have as much fun as kids. Whether it's crawling around a massive sandbox for fossils, exploring light and color in the Designer Studio, or catching a show at the Omni Theater (an IMAX dome) or the Noble Planetarium, no one will be disappointed.
Enjoy an old-fashioned dip in a spring-fed pool at Burger's Lake, a 30-acre park located near Jacksboro Highway and Loop 820. There are two sandy beaches for soaking up the sun and lots of big trees for cooling off in the shade. Certified lifeguards keep their eyes on what's happening in the water as well as on six diving boards, a 20-foot slide and a 25-foot trapeze that swings across the lake. And with more than 300 picnic tables and charcoal grills, there are plenty of amenities for a big family get-together.
There are other "swimming holes" families love to visit - Koi-filled pools at the world-renowned Japanese Garden, one of 21 specialty gardens that make up the famed Fort Worth Botanic Garden. The oldest of its kind in Texas, Fort Worth Botanic Garden is home to more than 2,500 species of plants and a 10,000-square-foot conservatory filled with a kaleidoscope of orchids, bromeliads and exotic trees from around the world. Children and adults love to stand on their tiptoes and drink in the aroma of the Rose Garden, and there's no more tranquil place to spend a few quiet moments together than the beautiful Fragrance Garden.
Of course, no visit to Fort Worth is complete without a stop at the Stockyards National Historic District just north of downtown. Everyone, age 9 to 90, loves a good championship rodeo, and there's one every weekend year-round that features bull riding, barrel racing and calf roping. Each March and April, there's also Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show, a reenactment of the original Wild West Show, complete with trick shooting, roping and riding. Both events take place inside the historic Cowtown Coliseum, completed in 1908 and something to see in and of itself. The world's only twice daily cattle drive starts in the Stockyards District, moseys along East Exchange Avenue then back to holding pens behind the Livestock Exchange Building, where visitors can see the Texas Longhorns up close and personal. Dressed in authentic garb from the old west, The Herd drovers give visitors an idea of what Fort Worth streets looked like during the city's early days. Families have traveled from around the world to see The Herd, created in 1999 as part of Fort Worth's sesquicentennial celebration, and they're still coming - many for their third and fourth visits.
When it comes to activities that the whole family can enjoy, there's no better place to visit than Fort Worth. Most of the activities are fun and educational. Families go home remembering how much they laughed, and how much they learned.
For more information about all that Fort Worth has to offer its residents and visitors visit www.FortWorth.com.
Merianne Roth, VP Marketing Communications
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