Fort Worth Outdoors Scene: 8 Must-do Recreational Activities

With warm temps and over 220 days of sunshine per year, it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors in Fort Worth. The city’s north Texas location gives visitors access to fun things to do – from riding trails to cheering big names in sports and entertainment. And don’t forget an award-winning zoo. Sound fun? Learn about the Fort Worth outdoors scene.

Fort Worth Outdoors Scene: Fun Activities to Try Together

fort worth outdoors stockyards

Ride Horses, See Longhorns

Located in historic Fort Worth Stockyards, these stables allow guests to horseback ride, hop aboard carriages and pet animals. Visitors 11 years and older take 30-minute to one-hour rides on Old Chisholm Trail. These trips travel along Trinity River toward downtown Fort Worth. Those with younger children – ages 3 and older – ride horses in the arena, as well as pet and feed live animals. For more fun, sit on the back of a Texas longhorn for photos or book a stagecoach.

Guests should note: All attractions are weather permitting and cash only. In addition, waivers may be required. Visit Stockyard Stables for more information.

Play the Greens

The City of Fort Worth manages four municipal golf courses open to the public. Each one offers picturesque views, rolling greens and challenges for all skill levels. Many are also affordable, making it easy for everyone to play.

Meadowbrook is an 18-hole regulation facility with a length of over 6,300 yards. Pecan Valley extends to 6,600 yards and includes a section of Trinity River. Rockwood was reconstructed and reopened in 2017, featuring over 7,000 yards. Lastly, Sycamore Creek offers nine holes perfect for a quick game.

Those looking for semi-private and private courses have several options in Fort Worth. Other top-rated spots include: Waterchase, Mira Vista Country Club, Fossil Creek, Ridglea and Woodhaven.

fort worth zoo kid attractions

Roam Fort Worth Zoo

Fort Worth Zoo aims to strengthen the bond between humans and the environment. This award-winning zoo houses over 540 species, including 72 species of mammals and 148 species of birds.

To see everything, tour African Savannah, Asian Falls, Museum of Living Art and Raptor Canyon. For a glimpse into local landscapes, check out Texas Wild, an exhibit dedicated to wildlife found in Texas. Families also enjoy the outdoor theater, express train, carousel, climbing tower, and play barn for babies and toddlers.

Explore Fort Worth Parks

While Fort Worth exudes western-urban charm, the area also has natural attractions. Many are located close to the city’s center, providing guests easy access without additional travel. Here are a few favorites that enhance the Fort Worth outdoors scene.

Trinity Park measures a whopping 252 acres complete with 40 miles of biking and hiking paths. Visitors also enjoy the duck pond, playgrounds and a mini train.

Fort Worth Water Gardens offers a place to relax near cascading water features. Or tour Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, home to different attractions only a few minutes apart. The Japanese Garden features over 7 acres of cherry trees, Japanese maples, magnolias and 1,200-plus koi fish. Couples will want to see the romantic rose garden.

In addition, Fort Worth’s Parks and Rec department manages over 200 community parks and public spaces. Visitors explore community centers, play sports, swim, fish and let Fido run.

fort worth summer vacation activities

Rent Kayaks and Paddleboards

Sometimes everyone just wants to relax. Backwoods Paddlesports rents canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, so the whole group can explore at their own pace. Each allow guests to see Trinity River and surrounding areas in new ways.

For a more serene spot, head to Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. The center offers a natural retreat and 20 miles of hiking trails.

Feel the Rush

One of the top attractions in the Fort Worth outdoors scene is Texas Motor Speedway. The oval track measures 1.5 miles and hosts NASCAR and Indy-car events. Popular options include outdoor truck series, qualifying days, NASCAR Cup series and Texas Car Nationals. Visitors are welcome to purchase individual tickets, but may find season passes a more affordable option.

fort worth outdoors sports event

Cheer Texas Teams

In addition to heart-pounding racing action, sports fans also have access to football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer in nearby Arlington and Dallas. See the Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium or cheer on Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park. If visiting during college football season, don’t forget to wear purple and support Texas Christian University.

Celebrate in Sundance Square

Want to meet locals? Head to Sundance Square, a 35-block attraction packed full of shops, art galleries, theaters and nightlife. During the day, walk the streets and browse retailers. At night, see a show or dine outdoors to sample some of the best after-hours attractions in the state.

For added fun, plan a trip around a signature event. Sundance Square hosts food and wine events, music festivals, holiday celebrations, yoga classes and art shows. One of the largest is Fort Worth Arts Festival, which occurs over four days and welcomes 300 live performances and 200-plus juried artists.

Learn more about the Fort Worth outdoors scene and find exciting things to do.