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Free Fun This Summer in Fort Worth

We live in a city with a million fun things to do. But they can add up. Check out all corners of town to find free summer fun in Fort Worth. Here’s some things to get you started. Whatever you do, make it a great summer of 2018!

Uptown in Downtown

Sundance Square brings small town to the big city with family movies Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in the plaza through July 12. It’s also home to free yoga or Zumba at 9 a.m. Saturdays. Visit www.sundancesquare.com for specifics.

Looking for a quick cool down? The plaza fountain in Sundance Square is open for feet during the afternoon hours before 6 p.m. Check rules and hours at www.sundancesquare.com.

A little hot to walk downtown? Molly the Trolley is free again, thanks to generous downtown partners. The vintage-style trolley runs from the Fort Worth Convention Center to Sundance Square every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with several stops. Find a map at www.fwta.org/maps-schedules/routes-schedules.

The Sid Richardson Museum showcases western art in Sundance Square and is free seven days a week. It’s also the home of Sid’s Story Time, free to 3 to 8 year-olds with adult at 11 a.m. on June 21 and 28. The event features a story and gallery activity. Learn more at www.sidrichardsonmuseum.org.

Sunday Fundays at Panther Island Pavilion offer a family-friendly opportunity to cool off. There’s no outside food/drinks allowed, but the river is free to those who bring their own floats and water shoes. Summer Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. www.pantherislandpavilion.com.

Rockin’ the River runs Saturdays July 7 through Aug. 11 at Panther Island Pavilion, where the river is, well, rockin’. Gates open at 1 p.m. with bands all afternoon and evening until free fireworks close the day. No outside food/drinks are allowed, but parking is free and you can bring your own float. Check www.rockintheriverfw.com for bands, times and all the details.

Northern Lights

You know those things tourists do that the natives never have? Yeah, that’s probably The Herd. An actual cattle drive takes place down East Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check out www.fortworth.com/the-herd.

Another little known treat is free western music on the steps of the Livestock Exchange Building Sundays at 2 p.m. A full schedule of entertainment can be found at www.cowtownopry.org.

Did you know Fort Worth is home to one of only two mints in the entire country? Participate in a free, air conditioned, self-guided tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in north Fort Worth Tuesdays through Fridays. That’s right. Cold. Hard. Cash. www.moneyfactory.com/fortworthtxtours.html

Go West

Get your vintage on at Barcadia off West 7th Street with free play on Mondays and Tuesdays. Opens at 4 p.m. (It’s 21 and up after 7 p.m.) www.barcadiabars.com

Still feeling the vintage vibe? Tour the charming Leonard’s Department Store museum in the new Foundry District and view mannequins, a popcorn machine, a legit subway, and countless memorabilia from shopping days of old. For the full experience, stop for a burger next door at M&O Station Grill. Open Monday through Saturday. Search “leonard’s museum” on Facebook.

Far out! Touch and learn about some of the universe’s oldest materials at the Monnig Meteorite Gallery at TCU. Free admission runs Monday through Saturday in the Sid Richardson Science Building. Metered parking available or partake in visitor parking with a pass. Find the details at www.monnigmuseum.tcu.edu.

Saturday morning yoga and shopping? It’s on at the Clearfork Trailhead. Free yoga starts at 9 a.m., and the Farmer’s Market is open till noon. www.trailhead1848.com

Take your tyke to the Trailhead and enjoy the reading cart from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during June. And your preschool-aged kiddo can even enjoy a free Kindermusik class at 10:30 a.m. July 16 and Aug 13. Learn more at www.trailhead1848.com

Wind down from your week with free live music in The Grove at Waterside from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays June 22 and 29. Bring a picnic or enjoy the vibe from nearby restaurant patio. Check www.watersidefw.com for specifics.

The best of Fort Worth is on display at the newly-completed Airfield Falls Trailhead and Conservation Park off 183, just outside the Joint Reserve Base. Our aviation heritage shines bright with art from historic planes and even a pavilion made from the remnants of the old Carswell Airforce Base commander’s home. The trails reveal the city’s largest natural waterfall and an unforgettable place to picnic. www.trwd.com

Cultural District Digs

The Botanic Gardens are a tried and true free pastime in Fort Worth. But they may not be for long. The city is studying the inevitable entrance free, so get it while it’s free. Open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.fwbg.org

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is free seven days a week. You can also grab free special events like Itty-Bitty Art for toddlers at 9:30 a.m. on July 21 and story time for children on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. www.cartermuseum.org

The Kimbell Art Museum’s permanent collection is free admission daily (closed Mondays). They kick it up a notch with a Kimbell Kids Drop-In Studio for kids 12 and under with their adult companion. These events are most Saturdays at 1 p.m. and include a gallery activity and studio project. Signup begins an hour before. www.kimbellart.org

Is modern art more up your artistic alley? The Modern offers free admission on summer Fridays. And for active duty military and their families, admission is free all summer. www.themodern.org

Looking for more? On July 2, the Modern will offer its free program, Drawing from the Collection at 2 p.m. With the guidance of a local artist, visitors engage in informal drawing activities, inspired by the museum’s collection. Arrive early to sign in, and bring a sketchbook and pencil. Sessions are divided into three age groups: 5-8, 9-12 and adults (children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult). www.themodern.org

The Modern’s Wonderful Wednesday program provides free access to families with young children. At 4 p.m. on July 11 and Aug. 8, partake in a docent-led tour and gallery project that focuses on the work in the museum’s current exhibit, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. Attendance is limited, so arrive early to sign in. www.themodern.org

Headed East

The ever-evolving Downtown Arlington is the home to Levitt Pavilion, an awesome venue where visitors enjoy free music under the stars numerous nights during the summer. Concerts are generally weekends at 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. As a bonus, a few family movies are even thrown in the schedule. Find all the details at www.levittpavillionarlington.org.

Throughout Town

Have your selfie a party! There are a growing number of public art pieces, murals and selfie walls around town. From the infamous yellow wall at Melt, the butterfly at Pearl Snap, the ribbon sculpture at City Hall or the jackpot of Inspiration Alley in the Foundry district, you’ll find endless options. Explore on your own or find some great leads on www.fortworth.com.

The Fort Worth Library system is literally a plethora of free activities (heck, the books are even free as long as you bring them back on time!). Book clubs, story time, reading workshops, markerspaces, exhibits, jazz series, movie showings, coding workshops, puppet shows and countless other events can fill your summer, all while staying cool. www.fortworthtexas.gov/library

They may be a little warmer, but you’ll feel great about staying active and participating in the city conversation at one of Mayor Betsy’s Rolling or Walking Town Halls. Meet your councilmember and your neighbors and various events throughout July and August. Check the schedule for updates at www.fortworthtexas.gov/townhall.

The Foundry District Fort Worth
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