First Time at the Fort Worth Stockyards

Over the years I have been to Dallas more times than I can count, but I never visited the Fort Worth Stockyards. People invited me multiple times, but in the back of my head I knew this was something Lee would really like and chose to wait. So when we were planning on visiting Dallas to see the Presidential museum a visit to the Stockyards was #2 on my list.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect and unfortunately didn’t do alot of planning so we arrived later than we would like. We like to get to places around 9am (and then leave at noon to beat the crowds) but on this Saturday we rolled in closer to 11am. Parking was easy to find, although we had a long walk over the stockyards to the main part of it, and mainly by following some local folks eventually managed to find our way right in time to see the “cattle drive” through the area. I say “cattle drive” because it was around 9 steers and although they were beauties watching them walk might be thrilling for kids but wasn’t that exciting.

The walkway over the cattle yards to the main area. Unfortunately there were very few animals to look at.
I liked this description of a cattle drive formation and which position was what. What we actually saw though was below

The center square was packed with people and everyone was crowded along the parade route for the crowds. Once they opened it up folks dispersed, but I was surprised by how many families with young kids there were. Once we got a look around though it made more sense. The activities were mainly for kids (armadillo racing, milking a cow etc) surrounded by lots of shopping and bars for adults. They even had a giant TV screen in the central square for dads to watch March Madness while their wives shopped. All the activities were priced a la carte and there were long lines for all of them.

I’ll be honest it wasn’t really our thing. It was super crowded, got very hot as the day went on, and super pricey. For example their was a John Wayne experience but that was $21 a person and I just wasn’t willing to pay that without knowing what we were getting. Thankfully I had researched the food and chose the Cattleman for lunch which is an older local restaurant. It was a really cool setup with each room having it’s own chef and brick grill, but as good as the steak was, $100 for lunch was pretty steep and in general I am not a big fan of paying more for location and that’s what it felt like.

I will say that the shopping was pretty cool. They had lots of items I had never seen before and we enjoyed wandering through the shops. As the day wore on though the heat and claustrophobia started to get to me and I asked Lee if we could leave earlier than he would have liked. Truly it would have been fine if we would have gotten an earlier start and really I know better. I did pay $5 to sit on a steer. I couldn’t help myself and really that was totally worth it!

I put Fort Worth Stockyards in the glad I did it wouldn’t do it again category, but Lee liked it enough he said he might go back by himself during the week. Next up the Cowgirl Museum which I though was in the same area, but actually wasn’t so we did it on Sunday.

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