Whether you are a local, passing through for vacation or work, or are a new resident, there are plenty of free things to do in Fort Worth, Texas. Visit the Stockyards National Historic District for a western experience, check out the shopping and nightlife in Sundance Square, or hang out at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. However you decide to fill your time in this major Texas city, there is no shortage of interesting attractions and free things to do in downtown Fort Worth, Texas and the surrounding area for people of all ages.
Top 8 Free Things to Do in Fort Worth, Texas
1. Stockyards National Historic District
Pull on your cowboy boots, grab your cowboy hat and head over to the Stockyards National Historic District for an incredible Fort Worth western experience. Stockyards Station, located in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards on the historic brick-laden Exchange Avenue, houses over 20 retail and dining options in an authentic Western setting, cowboy-chic event spaces for rent, and historic walking tours along the Texas Trail of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and more. Don’t miss the only twice-daily cattle drive in the world, where teams of real cowhands and cowboys drive longhorns through the Fort Worth Stockyards on Exchange Avenue. For more free entertainment, catch a weekly performance by the Cowtown Opry on the steps of the Livestock Exchange Building for authentic western music shows including western swing, old time cowboy ballads, songs from the singing cowboy movies, and vintage and contemporary western music. Visiting the Stockyards National Historic District is one of the most popular free things to do in Fort Worth, Texas!
2. Sundance Square
One of the biggest attractions of downtown Fort Worth is the historic district of Sundance Square, an entertainment area that stretches across 35 blocks. While this lively urban setting is home to a seemingly endless amount of incredible restaurants, theatres, shops, and exciting nightlife, Sundance Square often hosts free indoor and outdoor events year round. You could spend an entire day and night simply walking around Sundance Square, window shopping and people watching without spending a time!
3. Fort Worth Water Gardens
The Fort Worth Water Gardens is adjacent to the Fort Worth Convention Center and is a serene break from walking around the city or the events occuring at the Convention Center. This 4.3-acre downtown oasis has three pools of water–the meditation pool, the aerating pool, and the active pool–that cascade down terraces in pools below, with over 500 species of plants and trees surrounding it. This relaxing urban park and its varying water features can be enjoyed all year.
4. Fort Worth Museums
Fort Worth is home to several renowned museums, many of which are free to the public, such as the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Sid Richardson Museum and the Kimbell Art Museum. Famous architect Phillip Johnson designed the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which is most notable home to one of the country’s major repositories of American photography as well as Frederic Remington’s famous cowboy paintings. The Sid Richardson Museum is located in a restored 19th-century building in Sundance Square and showcases art from the American West as well as a look into Sid Richardson’s oil business, ranching, art collection, and philanthropy. The Kimbell Art Museum’s permanent collection is always free and consists of works from Picasso, Monet, Matisse and more, whereas their special exhibitions require an admission fee.
5. Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, founded in 1935 are the oldest gardens in Texas and span over 110 acres with 23 specialty gardens and over 2,500 plant species. The curated gardens, ponds, and park space are an incredible place to learn more about nature and destress. While majority of the Botanic Gardens are free to the public, you may pay a nominal fee to explore the Japanese Garden, featuring sculptured hillsides, crafted stonework, koi-filled ponds, and dramatic waterfalls, as well as explore the winding paths of the tropical foliage in the 10,000 square foot conservatory.
6. Trinity Trails
One of the best free things to do in Fort Worth is follow the Trinity Trails along the Trinity River and its tributaries all throughout the city. The 40+ miles of pathways and 17 different trailheads are great for walking, running, biking, and even horseback riding. The Trinity Trails connect with 21 parks, the Fort Worth Zoo, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Airfields Falls, and more. With five boat launches for canoes, kayaks and sculls, there is plenty of free fun to be had on Trinity River as well!
7. Molly the Trolley
Hop on Molly the Trolley, a vintage street car, to travel for free around the downtown Fort Worth area. Molly can get you to all the major spots downtown, from the Fort Worth Convention Center to Sundance Square and all the hotels, shopping, dining, and entertainment areas in between. Molly the Trolly is the best way to travel around Fort Worth when you are sight seeing on a budget!
8. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Outside of Washington, D.C., the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth is the only other location that prints money. Visitors can take a free guided tour to learn about the steps of currency production and even see millions of dollars being printed. The Visitor Center includes two floors of interactive exhibits and displays, and people can buy souvenirs and uncut currency sheets at the Moneyfactory Gift Shop.
Visit Fort Worth, Texas Today!
Even though it is neighbors with Dallas, there are so many great free things to do right in the heart of Fort Worth. Between the cattle drive at The Stockyards, the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and Water Gardens, and the many museums in downtown Fort Worth, there are plenty of free things to do in the Fort Worth area for all ages and interests. Visit Fort Worth today!