Today we visited the Fort Worth Stockyards in, well Fort Worth, Texas of course. We can not label this a Family Friendly Free-bee because there are too many things to spend money on here. The main reason we went was to see the cattle drive which they do twice a day. It was cool, but a little short. Still the little guys were thrilled to see the real life cowboys and the Texas Longhorns. Blake and Tanner had never seen a Texas Longhorn (the steer, not the college) before, so that was impressive for them.
According to their website - the history of the Stockyards goes back to the drovers heading longhorn cattle up the Chisholm Trail to the railheads, and Fort Worth was the last major stop for rest and supplies. Beyond Fort Worth they would have to deal with crossing the Red River into Indian Territory.
Today the Stockyards are basically a tourist destination with a bit of true cowboy business going on. Mechanical bull rides, Stage coach rides, Cowboy Hall of Fame, Stockyards Museum, Pony rides, Old time photos, shopping area, restaurants, etc.. make this a place a family could blow a ton of cash in a hurry.
We did eat lunch at a nice Tex-Mex place called Habeneros, and gave each family member one thing to do "for a price." The little boys all chose the petting zoo, Blake and Tanner the cowpen maze, Dad chose to have his picture taken on the Longhorn Big Jake and Mom wanted some "Texas fried pickles."
We took advantage of a couple of the free things including a peek at the horse auction going on and the horses for sale in the stockyards. These were actually our favorite things to do there.
On the way back to Howard we stopped by a Roadside America site - the Giant Chromosaurs. These dinos made out of chrome car parts our free to see but sit outside a Ripley's believe it or not "museum." Interesting art.