My family and I love going to the Fort Worth Stockyards!
Our first visit to the Stock Yards was in 2001 when we took my parents there who were visiting from out of state. They still speak of that great day!
Since then, we have been back to the Fort Worth Stockyards several times.
Most recently, we took visitors from England to experience a bit of the “old West”.
What Is The Fort Worth Stockyards?
In the days of the old West, cattle ranchers used to take their cattle to the Fort Worth Stock Yards to sell them. It was an important cattle market place! This brought a lot of people to Fort Worth, like cowboys, horse traders, cattlemen, bankers, etc. It sure was a bustling place!
In 1976 the Fort Worth Stockyards was designated a historical district. Today it is set up to show the old way of life to the thousands of visitors that go there every year, including us!
What Do We Do In The Stock Yards?
We usually go for a day, which means we’ve driven for 3 hours when we get there. Everyone then needs to go to the restroom. So we first head to Stockyards Station where there are restrooms, restaurants, and stores.
After the restroom break, I like to go to the Visitor’s Center to find out about the events of that day. Luckily, most of the events or shows are free!
Here are some of our favorite events from our last trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards…
Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive
The Stockyards keeps a small herd of cattle that is used for events. One such event is the Cattle Drive that takes place twice a day.
The Cattle Drive starts at Stockyards Station and goes down Exchange Ave. This is quite a thrill for anyone who has never seen a Longhorn before!
Legends of Texas Gunfight Show
The Legends of Texas Gunfight show, held in the Stockyards Station, is a fun depiction of a cowboy gunfight, kinda like you’d see in a cowboy movie. My kids loved it!
The cowboys fire their guns during the show (not real bullets, of course), which could scare small kids if they haven’t been warned. I didn’t hear any kids crying during the show though.
Fort Worth Herd CowKid Roundup
My kids really enjoyed the CowKid Roundup!
Using bales of hay with plastic cow heads mounted on one end, cowboys taught them how to “rope”, i.e. catch a cow with a rope. I’m not sure than any of the kids would’ve been hired as cowboys afterwards (it’s harder than it looks), but they all had a lot of fun.
Afterwards, the cowboys and a cowgirl told us all about Longhorns and the daily life of cowboys from that era. I thought it was very interesting.
Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show
Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show takes place in the Cowtown Coliseum. It is a re-enactment of the original show that toured the country almost 100 years ago.
Among other things, the show includes trick horse riding, trick shooting, some excellent trick roping, and an act where Pawnee Bill cuts through straws and paper, held by a partner, using a bull whip.
On the way into the show, I bought a show program for $2, which automatically entered me in a draw to win a pair of cowboy boots. As luck would have it, my number was drawn!
Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo
When we took my parents to the Fort Worth Stockyards, we also saw the Rodeo. These take place on Friday & Saturday evenings.
Among all the usual rodeo events, they also had events specifically for kids from the audience. My oldest son, who was 5 at the time, had great fun trying to catch the sheep!
This was the first rodeo that I had ever been to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Other Things To Do In The Stockyards
I mentioned the Stockyards Station earlier, where there are several restaurants. We haven’t eaten at all of them, but we’ve had some great meals at some of them.
There are also several stores in the Stockyards Station and along Exchange Ave. Here you can buy cowboy hats, boots, and all kind of other touristy items.
Across the road from Stockyards Station is a mechanical bull that kids can ride for a few dollars.
Next to the mechanical bull is the Cattlepen Maze that also costs a few dollars.
Another interesting place to visit in the Fort Worth Stockyards is the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum, which pays tribute to many of the top Texas cowgirls and cowboys.
The Fort Worth Stockyards is a great place to visit. I’m sure that we’ll be going there again!