The Fort Worth Stockyards are neat to visit especially for those who did not grow up anywhere near Texas. It is a look at cowboy culture the way it originally was.
This area of Fort Worth has a lot of preserved charm, from the brick streets to the old west architecture. But the major tourist draw to the stockyards is, well, the livestock. You can walk through the stables anytime during the day and view longhorns, horses and even reindeer for free. They offer guided tours, as well, if you want to learn more about each animal, it’s purpose, and the history of the stockyards. For a small fee, you can even take your photo on a real longhorn.
There is a petting zoo, pony rides, and a maze for children that also comes with a small charge.
At the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards is the Stockyards Museum. It is free to enter, but a $2 donation per adult is requested to help cover the operating costs. There you can learn about the history of Fort Worth, the stockyards, and the beginning of the cattle industry in Texas.
Twice a day (at 11:30 and 4:30) cowboys in early 20th century attire conduct a cattle drive down the main street (Exchange Street) of the stockyards. Tourists and locals alike will line the street on each side to watch the longhorns herded through the street. There is no charge for this, and I really don’t know of anywhere else where you can view this type of daily occurrence.
While you are there, make sure to grab a bite to eat at Riscky’s Steakhouse, the oldest restaurant in Fort Worth. The food is great and the prices are surprisingly reasonable.
You may also want to pop your head into Billy Bob’s, the largest dance hall in Texas. I spent many of nights here in my twenties watching some of my favorite country artists perform. Billy Bob’s often host large concerts and live bull-riding. It is kid friendly, although there are certain areas where children are prohibited.
There is plenty to do in the Fort Worth Stockyards, and much of it remains free or inexpensive. This is a must visit attraction on any trip to North Texas!