Best Of Play

You know Mayfest as an outstanding family event with rides and attractions and food booths. But you may not know that it was founded 40 years ago as the Trinity River Festival to celebrate the restoration of the lovely river from the devastation caused by the historic Fort Worth flood of 1949. There were four original sponsors — the Junior League of Fort Worth Inc., the City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department, Streams and Valleys Inc., and the Tarrant Regional Water District. Over the years, Mayfest has put more than $6 million into community programs, recreational development of the Trinity River and support of our Fort Worth’s city parks.
MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival
Initially begun to bring people into the rapidly revitalizing downtown of Fort Worth, the art festival has been the winner of the International Festivals and Events Association’s Grand Pinnacle Award for three of the past five years. It’s a showcase of juried art, food, live concerts, performance artists and just plain fun.
The 28th Annual GrapeFest, scheduled Sept. 11-14 this year in Historic Downtown Grapevine, is the largest wine festival in the Southwest and celebrates Texas’ status as the fifth largest wine-producing state in the country.
Four Day Weekend
What’s the point of a birthday party without a little humiliation for the guest of honor? And these are just the guys to do it. All in good fun, of course. This is the longest-running show in the Southwest. They have performed for presidents and delivered a keynote address to the United States Congress. What Second City is to Chicago, Four Day Weekend is to Fort Worth. In spades.
312 Houston St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102, 817.226.4329,
Pete’s Piano Bar
621 Houston St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102, 817.335.7383,
Glass Cactus Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, Texas 76051, 817.778.2805,
Flight Deck Trampoline Park
Three different birthday packages are available at this popular party place. We suspect that they are primarily aimed at children, but perhaps you might apply your imagination to honor other worthy victims of a birthday bash.
7751 Scott St., Fort Worth, Texas 76108, 817.246.2710,
Legoland Discovery
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway
Grapevine, Texas 76051,
Young Chef’s Academy
6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Ste. 260
Fort Worth, Texas 76116, 817.989.2433,​
Depending on traffic, you can drive from Fort Worth to Granbury on Highway 377 in about 48 minutes. Named for Confederate Gen. Hiram B. Granbury, this is a city aware of its history and careful in the preservation of it. We like to stroll the courthouse square, sampling the shops and restaurants and admiring the Granbury Opera House, first opened in 1886. It is one of the few remaining from an era when having an opera house was a mark of civilization in small Texas towns.
Glen Rose
Possum Kingdom
Shoot Smart Indoor Range & Training Center
The newest kid on the block in shooting centers promises a shooting experience with training classes, firearms rental and sales, gunsmithing and 15-yard indoor ranges that are heated and air conditioned as warranted.
10305 North Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76177, 817.984.8020,
Alpine Shooting Range
5482 Shelby Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76140, 817.478.6613,
On Target Firearms Training Academy
13820 Highway 377 S., Fort Worth, Texas 76126, 817.443.1488,
Panther Island Pavilion
Texans worship water because they spend a good portion of their lives praying for rain. So when you combine an outdoor live music venue with the Trinity River, you’ve got a sure winner in the state’s Texas-most city. The events are varied, including rental of stand up paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats. And in a state that brags on bragging, it has the only waterfront stage in Texas.
395 Purcey St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102, 817.698.0700,
Billy Bob’s Texas
2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 817.624.7117,
Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge
1311 Lipscomb St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104, 817.926.0968,
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
This is a great place for kids, but don’t let them know that mommy also has a good time here or you lose points for your selfless sacrifice of your time for their benefit.
1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107, 817.255.9300,
Central Market
4651 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, 817.989.4700,
Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76110, 817.759.7555,
Games galore, plus specials on drinks and lots of variety in food and at the bar. Hang out inside or on the patio. And open every night until 2 a.m. That’s rare in Cowtown.
816 Matisse Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76104, 817.348.8606,
Lucky Strike
2845 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107, 817.566.1470,
Movie Tavern West 7th
2872 Crockett St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107, 682.503.8101,
Coyote Drive-In
Shades of high school. But the drive-in of our youth in Small Town, Texas, was never like this. For one thing, the views outside the windows (if you were looking outside the windows, which was never the point) weren’t of the lovely Trinity River or the lights of Fort Worth’s downtown. And there was no Panther Island Pavilion nearby for concerts and skinny-dipping. (We just made that last one up; the local gendarmes might be perturbed. Try this only at home.)
223 N.E. 4th St., Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 817.717.7767,
Sundance Square Plaza
Downtown Fort Worth,
Trinity Trails
Vocal Trash
This seven-member local group makes music in harmony with the environment with an eco-friendly act performed globally. They practice what they preach by making items that normally would end up in a landfill into musical instruments. They even have a new kids’ book for sale on the website, Think … Before You Throw It Away. They drew a stunning number of votes in our poll.
Green River Ordinance
Trey and the Tritones
Trey and the Tritones
Trey Gunter, a professor of music theory at Texas Christian University, proves that those who can also do. This party- and dance-friendly band covers genres from country and classic rock to swing and Sinatra.
Time Machine
Monkey Love Band
The Cowboys Golf Club
Some people just can’t get enough of their Dallas Cowboys. And they can get their fix here while playing golf. Stone markers around the course honor the team’s historical highlights. You can read them while you argue with your buddies about whether you get a free drop from behind an immovable object. The course is 7,017 yards from the tips. Wimps who play the Gold Tees only face 4,702 yards. Or, to put it in terms football freaks will understand, the equivalent of 47 football fields.
1600 Fairway Drive, Grapevine, Texas 76051, 817.481.7277,
Texas Star
1400 Texas Star Parkway, Euless, Texas 76040, 817.685.7888
Waterchase Golf Course
8951 Creek Run Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76120, 817.861.4653,
Frankie’s Sports Bar
USA Today referred to Frankie’s bar food as a “menu on steroids.” Don’t know how appropriate that is in relation to sports, but in relation to game day — which is pretty much 24/7 here — that’s not a bad thing.
425 W. 3rd St., Fort Worth, Texas  76102, 817.870.9090,
Whiskey and Rye
Omni Hotel
1300 Houston St., 817.535.6664,
Pour House
2725 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, TX 76107, 817.335.2575
Sundance Square Plaza
Great downtowns the world over have central gathering places that draw people to them even when there is no special reason to go. The opening of the Plaza was another major step in the almost amazing revitalization of Fort Worth’s central city area. There’s plenty of entertainment, shopping and food nearby, so this is a great place to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, Texas 76051, 817.778.1000,
Renzo Piano Pavilion — Kimbell Art Museum
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76107-2792, 817.332.8451,
YMCA Camp Carter
YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth offers a variety of camping activities. Camp Carter is located on land donated by Star-Telegram founder and publisher Amon G. Carter, partially in gratitude for the assistance of the YMCA in helping locate his son, Amon Carter Jr., at a World War II prisoner-of-war facility near Szubin, Poland. The younger Carter had been taken prisoner in North Africa. The camp opened in 1948.
6200 Sand Springs Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76114, 817.738.9241,
Camp Longhorn Inks Lake
1 Camp Longhorn Road, Burnet, Texas 78611, 512.793.2811
Camp Longhorn Indian Springs
1000 Indian Springs Road, Burnet, Texas 78611, 512.756.4650,
Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76110, 817.759.7555,
Cowtown Cycle Party
The Cowtown Cycle Party is a 15-person, BYOB bicycle tour that pedals around for a pub crawl in downtown Fort Worth. It’s the first and only pedal-powered, bar-hopping, party-rocking bike tour in Fort Worth.
950 Calhoun St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102, 682.422-9253,
Segway Fort Worth
2901 W. 6th St., Ste. D, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, 817.631.3273,
Molly the Trolley
This is one of the most versatile spaces around, and the staff is most willing to work with party planners to configure for just about anything they desire.
3600 Benbrook Hwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76116, 817.984.6800,
Heart of the Ranch
5000 Clearfork Main St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107, 817.509.0032,
River Ranch
500 N.E. 23rd St., Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 817.624.1111,
AT&T Stadium
When nobody’s listening, we still call it Cowboys Stadium. Or, depending on how the Cowboys are doing in any given week, Jerry’s World. Whatever you call it, the legend just keeps on growing. So far, it has hosted a Super Bowl, and in April saw the NCAA Final Four playoffs. It’s gotten so famous that national broadcasters have mostly learned that there is a city named Arlington somewhere around Dallas. What you might not know is that there is a fabulous art tour at the stadium, featuring a collection of museum-quality contemporary art. Just a few factoids we find interesting: There are 50,000 bolts in the arch spans; the retractable end zone doors can open or close in 18 minutes; and there are 14,100 tons of structural steel in the roof structure — equivalent to the weight of 92 Boeing 777s.
1 AT&T Way, Arlington, Texas 76011,
Globe Life Park in Arlington
Are you kidding us? You are talking about The Ballpark in Arlington, right? It’s OK if you are confused. Since 1994, it has had several names — including Ameriquest Field and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Regardless, it is a spectacular baseball venue with a 48,114-seat facility that is modern but Texas traditional and big but with a sense of intimacy.
Randol Mill Road and Ballpark Way (formerly Stadium Drive)
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Amon G. Carter Stadium opened in 1930 and was extensively renovated in 2013 and was renamed Amon G. Carter Stadium. Oh, wait … The $164 million renovation was completely funded through donor support. Construction began immediately after TCU’s final 2010 home game versus San Diego State on Nov. 13, 2010. It reopened for the TCU-Grambling State game Sept. 8, 2012.
Amon G. Carter Stadium
2850 Stadium Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76129,
Texas Motor Speedway
With an ability to seat more than 190,000, Texas Motor Speedway has the largest capacity for any NASCAR track just behind Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And now those visitors can experience the race on “Big Hoss,” the world’s largest HD video board. Here is a breakdown of the big board by the numbers:
373 Nascar Spring Cup Series cars could fit inside the screen
218 feet of screen display (bigger than the Lincoln Memorial)
9,000 square feet larger than the Dallas Cowboys’ video board
9 Alamos could fit inside the screen area
4.8 million pixels
2 times taller than Big Tex (125 feet tall)
281,000,000,000,000 different colors could be displayed
108 tons of high-definition TV (more than seven elephants)
3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth, Texas 76177