At The Gentle Zoo, youngsters feed pigs, pat ducklings, and interact with the other fuzzy residents. Elsewhere on the zoo’s 10 acres, guests can leap about on the bounce house, blast corn from the corn cannon, navigate the maze, or enjoy a leisurely ride on the tractor train. Such attractions enthrall kids at onsite birthday parties, while the mobile petting zoo’s 12–15 staff-supervised animals offer nuzzles and create memories in children's minds. The creatures also hit the road for the animal-encounters program, which combines hands-on animal contact with educational 45-minute presentations. The Gentle Zoo donates its proceeds from the program to its Creature Connection, Inc. nonprofit, which rehabilitates rescue animals before they participate in outreach programs for foster children and at-risk youth.
Vetro Glass Blowing Studio & Art Gallery, winner of the WFAA-List’s award for best art gallery, offers the public an inside peek at renowned glass artists working on fragile creations. In a 30-minute, artist-instructed session, students help create one hand-blown, fluted glass bowl, choosing colors from among the vibrant Vetro palette.
Unlike many of its brethren, the Arlington Museum of Art does not maintain a permanent collection. Instead, it celebrates the ever-changing nature of art by featuring local artists in traveling exhibitions and curated shows. Also, since opening in 1952, the museum has been a headquarters for promoting artistic expression throughout the community. Gallery talks and artist lectures give visitors the chance to interactively learn, and summer art camps get kids motivated to create masterpieces.
Though many anthropological museums focus on peoples who are long gone, the International Museum of Cultures displays more than 10 storied exhibits on contemporary indigenous populations from around the world, including Papua New Guinea, Mexico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, visitors glean insight into the respective cultures and the challenges they face. As guests peruse the displays, they can explore Lakota Sioux artifacts such as dream catchers and arrowheads, learn about the hunter-gatherer Agta from the Philippines, and listen to Drumbeats of the World, an interactive exhibit that pulsates with percussive heartbeats from Ecuador, Pakistan, and Korea.
Though you'd never guess it based on its white, soot-free façade, an unassuming bungalow in East Forth Worth has seen fire from every angle. The structure began its life in 1928 as a fire station to protect the area's growing population from faulty toaster ovens, and today it serves as a gallery and workspace for flame-taming potters.
Firehouse Pottery's community-driven studio enables local artists to create new work in classes for all age groups classes and then display their proudest pieces in exhibitions or among a rotating selection of paintings, drawings, and pottery on display.
Resident artists Keith Thomson and Garret Pendergrass create hand-made pottery and other clay artwork under tudor half timbered gables, welcoming audiences and protégés as they enter under a gabled portico held up by thick stucco columns. The intimate space also hosts events, which range from gallery exhibitions and BYOB gatherings to book signings at which only quill pens are allowed.