“If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.” – Unknown
Experiencing something new can often be overwhelming. However, new things, whether it be a new job, relationship, adventure, or hobby, can also be very rewarding, if you are prepared! Over this past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting three museums in Fort Worth, Texas that I had never been to before. I’m actually not even sure if I’ve ever been to three museums in one day, but that is what I chose to do for this experience. Each museum had fun activities and a lot of history. Since there were certain things I wanted to see at each museum, it was an interesting but fun challenge to explore them all on the same day while making sure I didn’t miss anything before they closed. Now, the reason I chose to visit the museums like this is because the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo offers what they call a “Moos-eum Experience.” This experience lets you visit the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Cattle Raisers Museum, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, all for the price of a general admissions ticket to the Stock Show grounds. The tickets are priced as follows:
Children 6 – 16: $5
Children 5 & Under: free
This is an excellent deal that creates a fun opportunity to visit Fort Worth without breaking your bank.
Brad Barnes, the Stock Show president and general manager says that “Since 1944 we’ve been proud to call the Fort Worth Cultural District home” and that “This historic collaboration between our organizations allows Stock Show visitors to experience these great museums, and museum members to visit the Stock Show – at no additional cost.”
After you see all the fun I had and learn about what the museums each have to offer, you’ll be ready for your own Fort Worth adventure!
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
This museum had a lot of fun and interactive ways to get a quick history lesson. Some of the permanent exhibits that I saw at this museum were:
- Fort Worth Children’s Museum - “The Fort Worth Children’s Museum, designed for children 8 and under, encourages opportunities for children to play, knowing that at this age level, children learn through play.” This exhibit had an indoor block-building site, outdoor construction are for projects, water play stations, and much more.
- DinoLabs & DinoDig - “DinoLabs and DinoDig® bring the fascinating story of North Texas dinosaurs to life with full articulations of dinosaur skeletons and a dig site replicating a local paleontological field site.” DinoLabs features the State Dinosaur of Texas, Paluxysaurus jonesi, as well as other fossils and an interactive imaging station where you can reconstruct your own dinosaur. DinoDig allows guests to explore outdoors to discover fossils and learn about being a paleontologist.
- Cattle Raisers Museum - “A ‘museum within a museum,’ The Cattle Raisers Museum is a 10,000-square-foot exhibition dedicated to preserving and celebrating the vital history of the cattle industry.” This museum has its own exhibits that allow you to learn more about the origins of ranching and see how cattle raisers overcame various challenges over the past 150 years.
- Energy Blast - “Through interactive exhibits, multimedia, dioramas, and learning stations, Energy Blast immerses you into the world of regional energy and alternative energy resources.” Along with the learning stations and interactive areas of this exhibit, there is also a 4-D theater that allows you to watch the 6-minute story of “how natural gas formed within shale deposits of North Texas.” I had the privilege of experiencing this story, which is called Journey to the Center of the Barnett Shale
While these exhibits last year round, there are also special exhibits that take place, which I also was able to check out. For example, I was able to see:
- Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest Entries - “The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is honored to be one of three locations to showcase student entries from the 2014 Star-Telegram Stock Show Art Contest. All placing art will be on display in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibit Hall during the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, Jan. 17 – Feb. 8, 2014.” Some of this artwork was really good and fit in nicely with the feel of the museum!
- Penguins - “Traveling along the ice shelves from Atka Bay to Halley Station, painter, naturalist and photographer J.J. L’Heureux turns her camera to the emperor penguins and their adaptations to the cold and wind of the continent.” This exhibit was one of the cutest things that I’ve ever seen! The adaptations of these penguins were so genuine and fun to look at.
Visiting the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History was so fun and educational! It’s nice to step back sometimes and realize that you really do learn something new everyday.
Take a look at this kid enjoying some of the interactive areas in the museum!
The Cattle Raisers Museum
While this “museum inside of a museum” was already mentioned a bit, I would like to expand on it a little. “The Cattle Raisers Museum officially opened in 1980 to build a greater public awareness of and appreciation for our ranching heritage. In November, 2009, the Museum relocated and re-opened within the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History located in the historic cultural district.” The permanent galleries in this museum are:
- The Trail Mural – “Located at the entrance of the Museum, the Trail Mural is a large curving mural of the Goodnight Loving Trail by artist Tom Gilleon.”
- The Open Range Trail: 1850 – 1890 – “The early challenges and triumphs of raising cattle are expressed in this area.”
- Ride-A-Long Roundup - “In the most interactive Cattle Raisers Museum exhibit, you face a mural of the Charles Goodnight trail and mount one of four interactive horses with computer screens to test their skills in successfully driving cattle on the open range.”
- The New Horizons Trail: 1890 – 1940 – “Along the “New Horizons Trail.” you’ll see growth, expansion and booming business, as well as drought and the Great Depression’s toll on the cattle industry.”
- Run-A-Ranch – “Test your skills in a computer-based program that allows you to become a rancher. You’re given a start-up allowance and asked to operate a ranch.”
- The Vision Trail: 1940 – 2000 - “With the mass exodus of cowboys and ranchers off to World War II, women, older men, migrants and boys begin running the ranches.”
- Digital Trail – 2000 – Present - “Along the “Digital Trail” you’ll watch as innovation and technology take the cattle industry into the 21st century. Featuring an interactive display on the nutritional aspects of beef, this exhibit showcases the ever-growing list of products you use every day that are derived from cattle including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, household goods, textiles, clothing and transportation.”
- Thundering Herd Multimedia Experience - “The 90-seat Noble Planetarium invites you to sit and watch a brief yet informative history on the diversity of cattle raisers. See and hear from cowboys huddled around campfires, vaqueros recounting the first livestock to arrive from Spain into the New World, and Native Americans that hunted bison.”
These exhibits were all very informational! The “Digital Trail” stood out the most to me because I was amazed at how many products I use on a daily basis that are made from cattle by-products. The Noble Planetarium also really caught my eye and interested me, but I didn’t have a chance to watch the daily showing. I recommend trying to fit it in your schedule though because it seemed interesting!
I had a good time at this museum! Learn more about it by seeing: Cattle Raisers Museum – History.
My visit to the Cattle Raisers Museum!
The Noble Planetarium seemed so cool!
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
According to the mission statement, “The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the American West, and fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance they inspire.”
First of all, when you walk into this museum, you immediately notice how gorgeous it is! It has a very elegant, but historic touch. Check out some of the galleries that are featured:
- Rotunda & Hall of Fame - “What strikes visitors first when they step inside the light-filled rotunda of the Hall of Fame is the quiet sense of reverence for the Honorees within…Inside the Rotunda Hall you’ll be introduced to nearly 200 Honorees who pushed frontiers in their own individual way – women who stepped up, not aside.” There is also a “Spirit of the Cowgirl” presentation and a changeable gallery that features one Honoree from each Hall of Fame category.
- Into the Arena – ”Here is where you’ll find all the action highlighting the graceful athleticism of America’s champion cowgirls. Hear their first-person accounts of life in the arena, from great rides and daring deeds to the difficulties of being on the road.” You can also saddle up on their lifesize bronc model which is modified from training bulls used by rodeo riders. They’ll even record you! See Bronc Ride for more info.
- Kinship with the Land - “Of all the galleries at the Cowgirl, this one represents our roots — the foundational story of land and livestock and what makes our other galleries even possible…Here you’ll be introduced to early ranch women who would eventuallly be called cowgirls and to women who carry on today’s complex business of ranching.”
- Claiming the Spotlight – “Movie posters, album covers, advertisements and memorabilia remind you of the public’s fascination with the cowgirl culture and the multiple roles these women played…The gallery also features a velvet-draped theater with an ornate proscenium.”
While this museum does not allow pictures once you pass the entrance, there is a video you should watch that provides some brief information.
Now that you know a little bit more about the museums featured in the Moos-eum Experience at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, don’t miss your chance to win a prize by entering our Rodeo & Museum contest.
Click here to enter!
Also, to make your trip to Fort Worth even easier, use download code “FWSS” in your Hertz NeverLost device!
Hope you have as much fun as I did!