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.
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 artist Keith Thomson creates 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.
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.
Browsing the spacious showrooms at Heritage Furniture Galleries’ two locations truly ignites the imagination to start thinking about what your living room or bedroom could look like. Throughout the space, sofas, sectionals, bedroom sets, and tables crafted by brands such as Coaster, Ashley, and Broyhill sit in cozy arrangements. Shoppers can mentally place a new couch in their family room and choose which beanie-baby portraits to display on nesting coffee tables. The helpful staff can come up with decorating ideas and suggest pieces to suit any aesthetic, whether contemporary or traditional, masculine or feminine.
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.
Party Warehouse provides shindig throwers and goers with a fun-inducing stockpile of party supplies and favors. Delight friends and terrify pets with crooning balloons, Mylar helium containment devices that sing songs ($11.49). Party theme packages lend a jovial verisimilitude to Western-themed tea parties or Dungeons and Dragons–themed dance-offs. Celebrate graduations, birthdays, and baby’s first PhD with festivity-appropriate decorations, personalized cups and napkins, or kids’ party supplies such as the Pooh and Friends party favor pack ($8.99).