Guide to Fort Worth: Things to do during the holidays, graduation weekend (Dec. 16-18)

By Andrew Van

Fort Worth has a lot to offer during “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Students and families looking to celebrate Christmas or graduation are sure to find many options in Fort Worth.
The following is a list of places around Fort Worth that are filled with holiday cheer for anyone.
Stockyards National Historic District
The Stockyards recently hosted “Christmas in the Stockyards”on Saturday but the  entertainment is not over yet.
One thing out-of-state travelers might be fascinated by is the daily cattle drive. The cattle drive happens every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
If you are more interested in nightlife, Billy Bob’s Texas is always a popular option. Billy Bob’s Texas is the perfect place to learn how to two-step. It’s also a great place to go to hang out with friends and family; however, you must be 18 years old to enter without a parent or guardian.
On Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17, Billy Bob’s Texas will host the Randy Rogers Band. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will start at 10:30 p.m. The general admission for both nights is $18. There are special ticket prices if you are interested in reserving a spot.
Those not interested in the Randy Rogers Band will have a second chance to attend a Billy Bob’s concert when Kacey Musgraves performs. She will be at Billy Bob’s Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
There are also many restaurants in the historic stockyards area. One that is popular place is Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. The restaurant is currently decorated for the Christmas holiday. This would be a great place to go with the whole family. The restaurant only takes cash, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Sundance Square / Downtown Fort Worth

A large Christmas tree has been placed in the middle of Sundance Square.
A large Christmas tree has been placed in the middle of Sundance Square.

Sundance Square is a great place to get into the Christmas spirit. The Christmas tree in the square had its annual lighting on Nov. 19 but will stay lit for a while. Kids and families can also take photos with Santa during select hours.
In addition to the tree, Texas Ballet Theater presents “The Nutcracker” at Bass Performance Hall. There is a Friday night showing at 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be matinees at 2 p.m. and night showings at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively.
The performance is two hours long with a 20-minute intermission. Tickets range from $50 to $500.
If a ballet performance does not please you, then you can always opt for a comedy show. Four Day Weekend, a comedy venue, puts on shows Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are about $20 plus tax. Attendees must be over 18.
Downtown Fort Worth also has many restaurants for large group dinners. Del Frisco’s Grille, Bird Cafe, and Taco Diner are three restaurants directly in the Sundance Square area. Other restaurants to consider for large dinner groups can be Reata, Cheesecake Factory and Taverna.
For more fun and only about five minutes away from Sundance Square is Coyote Drive-In and Panther Island Ice.
Coyote Drive-In theater currently has special seasonal prices. If you are interested in embracing the cold Texas weather and watching a movie, then this may be a fun option for the entire family.
Panther Island Ice opened in mid-November. It features an ice rink that would be enjoyable for anyone. Regular admission is $12.
Cultural District
Museums are usually opened year-round; but for someone who may be traveling to Fort Worth for the weekend, this may be the only opportunity to see some of the art exhibitions.
"KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS" opened on Oct. 20 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
“KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS” opened on Oct. 20 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is currently hosting “KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS.” The exhibit features 20 years of work by modern artist KAWS. The art is a combination of paintings, drawings and sculptures. One of the walls in the exhibit was also painted by the artist before the exhibit opened in October.
The Kimbell Art Museum is featuring works of Monet in their featured exhibit called “Monet: The Early Years.” Monet: The Early Years has an exhibition fee of $18. The exhibit is free for Kimbell members. If you aren’t interested in the museum, you can always take a look at the permanent exhibitions. There is no admission fee for the permanent exhibitions.
There are cafes inside both the Modern Art Museum and the Kimbell Art Museum.
Other museums you should consider checking out are the Amon Carter Museum of American Art or the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Both are located in the cultural district and feature various exhibitions.
Monet: The Early Years will be opened at the Kimbell Art Museum until Jan. 29, 2017.
Monet: The Early Years will be opened at the Kimbell Art Museum until Jan. 29, 2017.

In addition to the museums, Casa Mañana is presenting “Santa Claus – A New Musical.” Just like “The Nutcracker,” there will be nightly performances and matinees. According to Casa Mañana’s website, this musical is about the hunt to  find a new Santa Claus after the original Santa Claus declared it his last Christmas. Tickets range from about $35 to $275.
West 7th District
West 7th is a great place to go for great nightlife and entertainment.
There are many places to get dessert on West 7th, including Sweet Sammie’s and Paciugo. West 7th also has many different restaurants, including the Social House, Oni Ramen and Thirteen Pies.
The Movie Tavern is a place to go on West 7th if you are interested in dinner and a movie. Here are some movies to look out for during graduation weekend:
“Rogue One- A Star Wars Story”
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen
Rating: PG-13
“Rogue One” focuses on events after “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” but before “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” The film’s main heroine, Jyn Erso (Jones), is recruited by the Rebel Alliance to the plans to the Death Star, a weapon created by the Galactic Empire.
“Collateral Beauty”
Director: David Frankel
Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet
Rating: PG-13
“Collateral Beauty” is about an advertising executive (Smith) who retreats from life after dealing with a recent tragedy. He then begins writing letters to Love, Time, and Death. While he is attempting to put his life back together, he ends up receiving personal responses from his letters.
If you aren’t interested in one of these films, there are other options, such as “Moana,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “Bad Santa 2.” They all should still be playing at Movie Tavern or any other local theater.
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