FUN AND FREE IN FORT WORTH
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The Amon Carter Museum offers a stunning survey of American art, from the first landscape painters of the 1830s to modern artists of the 20th century. The museum houses founder Amon G. Carter's collection of works by the two greatest artists of the American West - Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. For those who want to dig deeper, the museum is home to one of the nation's premiere libraries for advanced study of American art, photography and history. The library's collection of 150,000 items offers researchers an extensive range of materials related to the art of the American West and the history of Western exploration and expansion in North America - and it's all free of charge.
Admission to the permanent collection at the Kimbell Art Museum is always free. The collection contains holdings from the third millennium B.C. to the mid-20th century, including works by Fra Angelico, Velazquez, Bernini, Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Mondrian and Matisse, as well as Michelangelo's first painting. The collection comprises Asian and non-Western, as well as European art. The Kimbell also offers interactive programs for adults, art camps for children and hands-on activities for the entire family.
The Sid Richardson Museum is located in downtown's historic Sundance Square, giving visitors the added benefit of easy access to several modestly-priced shops and restaurants in the area. With a focus on collections from Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, the museum offers guided tours and studio activities that provide opportunities for meaningful hands-on learning. Admission to the museum and studio activies is free.
For a real step-back-in-time, visit the Stockyards Museum in Fort Worth's Stockyards National Historic District just north of downtown. It's the chance to explore Cowtown's rich Western heritage and see one of its most glowing attractions - a bulb that has burned almost continuously since its 1908 installation above the backstage door at the Byers Opera House, (which later became the Palace Theater in downtown Fort Worth). Opened in 1989, the museum is a highly respected resource for writers, academicians, historians and genealogists. There's no admission cost, and it's camera friendly.
Enjoy Fort Worth's green spaces at the best playground/park in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex - Trinity Park, which sits on the banks of the Trinity River, skirting next to downtown and weaving throughout the Cultural District. Multi-use paved paths serve joggers, walkers, skaters and cyclists. The park boasts five boat launches for canoes, kayaks and sculls, a water-ski slalom course, a number of fishing spots and equestrian trails for horseback riding. Multiple picnic areas, playgrounds, restrooms and shelters are scattered throughout the park's shady trails, making it a great, free place for family get-togethers. During the summer, theater productions are performed in the amphitheater just off West 7th Street, and Mayfest - Fort Worth's oldest, family-friendly festival draws huge crowds to the park each Spring.
Another great free outdoor spot open year-round is the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Built in 1974, this urban park located between Houston and Commerce streets next to the Fort Worth Convention Center is frequently billed as a "cooling oasis in the concrete jungle" of downtown. The garden's three pools - meditation pool, aerating pool and active pool - fascinate visitors of all ages. Trees encircle the quiet meditation pool and a flat, still plane of water cascades almost 90 degrees down to a sunken walkway. The aerating pool features multiple spray fountains, but the main attraction of the Water Gardens is the active pool, where water cascades 38 feet down terraces and steps into a small pool at the bottom. Part of Logan's Run was filmed in the active pool in 1975, and the pool was featured briefly at the end of the 1979 TV adaptation of The Lathe of Heaven.
Tour the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, one of only two U.S. Department of Treasury locations that print money, and it won't cost a dime to see billions of dollars being printed. During the 45-minute guided tour visitors can see each step of currency production, beginning with large blank sheets of paper and ending with wallet ready bills. There also are plenty of displays and demonstration exhibits, plus artifacts like a turn-of-the-century spider press and an engraver's bench.
Whether it's something to do indoors or out Fort Worth offers more bang for the buck. Fort Worth is a family friendly city that's proud of its reputation for making world-class attractions and activities available to everyone.
For more information about all that Fort Worth has to offer its residents and visitors visit www.FortWorth.com.
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