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The Fort Worth Water Gardens is one of the most unique attractions in the Texas metropolis. The urban oasis is a serene escape in the heart of the city’s downtown area. Unlike the Botanic Garden, which is lush and green, this is a concrete and water playground. It is both adventurous and serene. And perhaps most appealing, it’s free!
The main attraction at the Fort Worth Water Gardens
The most interesting feature at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, and perhaps the biggest draw to the urban park, is the active pool. The large bowl-shaped water feature takes you down winding steps surrounded by cascades of rushing water. Admittedly and understandably, you might feel a sense of nervousness or exhilaration walking down the steps of the active pool as the sound of rushing water gets louder as you get closer to the bottom. The active pool will definitely be the highlight of your visit to the water gardens though. I’ve always had a fascination with waterfalls and rushing water, so descending into the active pool and watching the water cascade around me in all directions was both beautiful and captivating.
Tips for visiting the active pool at the Fort Worth Water Gardens:
- Go early in the morning to beat the crowds and take some cool pictures before the active pool fills up.
- Wear walkable shoes.
- Walk down with caution, and be very careful when descending with children. The steps can become wet from the cascading water.
Other pools at the Fort Worth Water Gardens
There are two other pools located in the water gardens, as well as a large, open courtyard, and a stone mountain feature that older kids (and adults that still act like kids, occasionally) will love to climb on.
The tranquility pool is another water feature at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. But unlike the active pool, this water feature gives you a sense of peace rather than excitement. This area of the park is a calming escape from bustling city life. The water in the shallow reflection pool is completely still. The area is surrounded by large trees and tall walls that do a great job of keeping noise out. You will almost forget that a busy downtown area, complete with freeways, high rise buildings, and thousands of people is just yards away. This is a great place to escape the busyness of life, sit quietly, reflect, meditate, or simply pause for a moment to enjoy the silence.
The third water feature at the Fort Worth Water Gardens is the aerating pool. With spraying features that rise out of the water, it’s also a peaceful place to enjoy a picnic lunch. The area surrounding the aerating pool contains plenty of tiered seating options where you can quietly watch the water and listen to the soft misting noise of the fountain.
The tragic history of the Fort Worth Water Gardens
As with any attraction, specifically those with water present, pay close attention to children and always keep them within arms reach. This beautiful concrete garden is home to a horrible tragedy. In 2004, four people died in the popular active pool at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Three of the victims were children. One of the children had jumped or fallen into the active pool, and the three other people jumped into save her. All four drowned. Although the city made safety modification following the tragic accident, the Fort Worth Water Gardens are definitely a place where you will want to closely supervise curious children.
Cost, Location and Parking at The Fort Worth Water Gardens
One of the greatest things about Fort Worth is how many great free things there are to do the city. Th water gardens is one of them! It’s completely free to visit and is open any time of day. It is definitely a must-see for visitors to Cowtown!
The Fort Worth Water Gardens are located on the southeastern edge of downtown, directly across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center, and about a 10-15 minute walk from Sundance Square, or about a 10 minute drive from the Fort Worth Stockyards.
There is typically plenty of metered street parking in the area within a block or so from the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Finding nearby parking is easiest from the east entrance. There are entrances at all four corners of the gardens.
For more great, inexpensive things to do in Fort Worth with kids, click here!
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