The guides at Fort Worth Tours & Trails seek out storied locales and dish out historical secrets of Panther City through the outfit's assortment of tours via bus or by foot. For walking tours, groups gather at one of two locations: the east lawn of the Courthouse for the Hell's Half-Acre to Sundance Square tour or in front of the Visitors' Center on Exchange Avenue for the Stockyards and Historic North Side tour. The former stops at several spots that figured prominently in the downtown area's early development, while the latter combs the brick streets of the historic north side, home to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the world's only longhorn herd that hasn't succumbed to Internet stardom as a dancing flash mob. On both excursions, tour-goers have the opportunity to hear a plethora of little-known facts and cocktail party-worthy anecdotes from the city's rich history.
Nestled among the wooden corrals and brick fa?ades of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards district, Cowtown Winery pairs meats and cheeses with red, white, semisweet, and dessert wines handcrafted by an in-house vintner. Amid shelves stocked with emerald rows of bottles, the winery?s tasting bar hosts daily samplings of premium wines such as the tart Silver Spur red and a pinot grigio with subtle aromas of apple, pear, and aged stetson hat. Live acoustic music on the weekends helps to inspire first-time winemakers as they consult with vintners to design custom labels and concoct up to 29 bottles of their own signature wine.
Consider activities that take about an hour to complete: a trip to the grocery store, a relaxing massage, watching a favorite television show. Rarely, if ever, do haunted houses fall into this category—unless you're talking about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth. In 2009, the attraction’s length caught the attention of Guinness World Records, which deemed Cutting Edge the longest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Looming in a section of the city dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” Cutting Edge populates an abandoned meatpacking plant that was originally built in the late 1920s. The plant’s equipment is still fully operational, and still resides inside—only today, it processes humans. To escape such a grisly fate, guests must grope through a multi-storied labyrinth replete with unthinkable horrors such as live monsters, realistic special effects, and salsas made in New York City. Cutting Edge is so terrifying, in fact, that it even earned the top spot on HauntedHouseRatings.com's list of the best haunted attractions in 2013.
Originally a TWA aircraft, the Southern Cross Douglas C-47 was adopted by the Army Air Corps to shuttle troops to the front. The twin-propeller plane survived World War II and in the ensuing years underwent a series of makeovers. Its career includes years spent as a reliable set of wings for Delta Air Lines, a troupe of skydiving enthusiasts, and at least one head of state. The C-47 is now meticulously restored to its original WWII-era condition and in the dutiful care of Greatest Generation Aircraft, a nonprofit organization that introduces 21st-century crowds to the C-47 during rides and aerial shows.
A native Fort Worthian with a degree in history from TCU, Segway Fort Worth's founder Daniel Dase, Jr. has always loved sharing his city?s cultural legacy?it?s just exponentially more fun to do so on an X2 Segway, the most advanced model on the market. With help from the deep treads on the machine's tires, each segway responds instantly to shifts in posture, moving organically and fluidly as groups flood city streets during segway tours. Before his groups of riders get gliding, his company's licensed operators conduct one-on-one tutorials to set all new riders at ease with their new moving platforms. And because Daniel corrals a fleet of these durable off-road models, his tours go places other segways can?t, be it the grassy knolls of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden or the slippery slopes of the neighborhood gym?s treadmills.
Owners Maarten and Hanna Vanderstoel created Van Grow Studio of the Arts to promote creative thinking and problem solving in children through artistic crafts. Boasting degrees in fine arts and studio arts, respectively, Maarten and Hanna teach most of the classes and prepare the curricula for all of the studio's camps. TCU graduate Alma Worrell manages the open studio and paint-your-own-pottery rooms, which are also accessible to adults. Van Grow's upbeat instructors nurture creativity and confidence across three age groups, offering classes, parties, and workshops to pique a wide range of interests. Courses foster each student's individual vision, rather than a mastery of technique, and help to develop motor skills, self-esteem, and the ability to sculpt gummy-bear replicas of Rodin's The Thinker.