What to Do at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is located just west of downtown and the popular Sundance Square plaza. Not to be confused with the Fort Worth Water Gardens that are made primarily of concrete and water,  the botanic garden offers 110 acres of beautiful green space where you can leisurely roam.

About the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

the fort worth botanic garden in fall with yellow and orange trees and yellow flowers in the foreground
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is a 4 seasons attraction, and is popping with fall color in autumn months. | Photo by Graig Durant from Unsplash

The botanic garden is considered one of the best things to do in Fort Worth, Texas and is well worth including if you are visiting Fort Worth on a day trip from Dallas or spending an extended amount of time in the city. While it was once a free activity, there is now an admission fee to visit this meticulously curated garden.

The 110-acre landscaped space features various themed gardens where you can wander through more than 2,500 species of plants. From exotic varieties to local Texas plants, the garden is a beautiful and lush oasis in the middle of a large city that isn’t really known for its green spaces.

Different gardens you can visit

You can see and learn about more than 2,500 types of plants within the different gardens on the property.

From a cactus garden to a backyard vegetable garden and a rainforest conservatory, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden has at least 10 different gardens, as well as courtyards, scenic walking paths, forest and tree groves, and even a cafe and gift shop where you can buy some great Texas souvenirs.

Here are a few of our favorite gardens to explore.

Rose Garden and Horseshoe

Fort Worth Botanic Garden Rose Garden
The Rose Ramp at the Rose Garden.

The rose garden is a popular place for weddings while the horseshoe is popular for picnics under the large shade trees.

At the top of the Rose Garden, you’ll find a comfortable shade pavilion that offers a nice reprieve from the Texas sun and offers panoramic views of the garden and pond.

You can wander along stone walkways down the Rose Ramp and explore the different areas including the Lower Rose Garden, Republic of Texas Rose Garden and Oval Rose Garden.

Perennial Garden

Mother and daughter walking through the perennial garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Visiting the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with kids is a great way to spend an afternoon.

The Perennial Garden, as the name suggests, contains plants that return year after year. In spring it is bursting with color from the different bulbs and trees that begin to bloom. In summer, these plants thrive, even in the hot sun.

It is a wonderful place to get ideas for your own garden or explore the different plants that are native to Texas.

The Grove

a shady area under a tree looking out at a grassy area
You’ll find lots of shady trees in the Botanic Garden, particularly in the Grove. | Photo by Ashley Byrd from Unsplash

The Grove offers simplistic beauty. Located behind the Trial Garden, this wooden area is home to large oak trees that provide a lot of shade even on the sunniest of days. On weekends, you’ll find kids playing under the trees and families relaxing in the grassy areas.

It’s a peaceful area of the gardens, because it isn’t necessarily landscaped with flowers. In this area of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, it is the trees that take center stage!

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

a Japanese-style building inside the Fort Worth Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden is the most popular garden in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. | Photo by Jessica Tan from Unsplash

One of the most popular attractions at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the Japanese Garden.

The 7.5 acre garden is another area where you won’t find many flowers blooming. Instead, you’ll find winding paths that take you across arching bridges, by Koi ponds, pagodas, Japanese maples and cherry blossom trees – all things Japan is famous for.

Children will love the Koi pond which is home to hundreds of large fish. There are tours and public ceremonies held in the Fort Worth Japanese Garden throughout the year, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom. It is arguably one of the most photogenic areas of the botanic garden and a personal favorite for many visitors.

an arched bridge across a pond in the Fort Worth Japanese Garden
The Koi Pond will be a favorite for kids in the Japanese Garden. | Photo by Ashley Byrd from Unsplash

Visiting the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with Kids

Children will love seeing all the vibrant colors in the garden, as well as the walking paths and seemingly endless places to freely explore, roam, and run. It is a great activity for a nice spring or summer day, and is even beautiful in fall when the leaves begin to change color.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to roam the grounds and explore the various ecosystems created.

steps across the pond at the fort worth japanese garden
The Botanic Garden isn’t just beautiful, it is a fun place for families to explore in Fort Worth. | Photo by Talesanura from Pixabay

Although the gardens are a popular attraction in Fort Worth, they are large enough that they rarely feel crowded or busy. Unlike the Fort Worth Stockyards, which gets quite busy, you can easily find a quite spot for a family picnic or some nice photos at the Botanic Garden.

FYI: Professional photographers need to get a permit to use the gardens, but if you are an amateur photographer taking pictures of the grounds or your family and friends, you can do so freely.

Educational programs at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

a waterfall at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Aside from the many themed gardens, you’ll find educational programs and classes that you can take part in at the Botanic Garden. | Photo by Graig Durant from Unsplash

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden also offers several free family and children’s programs which have both a fun and educational component. There are also adult classes and programs that you can sign up for like T’ai Chi and yoga.

One of my favorite educational activities at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the Compost Outpost. There you can learn about and view the process of composting, so you can do it at home. I think this is a great way to get children engaged in environmental science and conservation.

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This guide to visiting the Fort Worth Botanic Garden was first written in April 2016 but was most recently updated in April 2024 for accuracy and current information.

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