DFW for Free - Fort Worth Water Gardens
An Interesting Discovery
Welcome to another installment in my list of free attractions in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. On this occasion my initial destination became unreachable due to a local event, therefore a quick adaptation and map check rerouted the journey to a wonderful discovery in the downtown Fort Worth area to the Fort Worth Water Gardens. The Gardens are an architectural one-of-a-kind park installation that should definitely be included on your list of things to see in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area during your next visit.
Where is it located?
The Water Gardens are easily located. From Dallas itself it is almost 40 miles and with traffic can take up to an hour to arrive there.
My journey began in North Dallas so the directions I have included, has our journey begin from there. Take US 75 South and then 1-30 West to W Lancaster Ave in Fort Worth. Then take exit 15A from 1-30W. If it's busy (which it usually is) be prepared for at least a couple of occasions that will require you to exercise patience while waiting to be freed from the bottle neck of cars that are waiting to escape Dallas. This will be the longest part of your journey which covers 37 miles. Continue on W Lancaster Ave and turn right onto Commerce St.
The Gardens will be on the left and adjacent to the Fort Worth Convention Center. The journey I took was on a Saturday afternoon and I was fortuitous enough to find metered parking across the street. Usually there is a two hour limit, however I was happily to find that on this particular afternoon it was free!
Make sure to check the map below and adapt your directions changing the origin of your destination if you are not traveling from North Dallas.
Throughout the week, the Water Gardens are open from 7am - 10pm.
A Brief History
The Fort Worth Water Gardens were built in 1974 and can be found in south downtown. The area covers an impressive 4.3 acres and the park was designed by two New York architects - Philip Johnson and John Burgee. It was dedeciated to the city of Fort Worth by the Amon G. Carter foundation. (information sourced from Wikipedia).
A Variety of Aquatic Wonders
The wonderful thing about the Fort Worth Water Gardens is the variety of different areas and pools to explore. It's a wide open space and a wonderful area to explore. Just like a person, the Garden has many different sides to it's personality and I shall briefly explore them all.
The Active Pool
The active pool is one of the most architecturally appealing installments at the garden. Initially unbeknownst to me, you can actually take the steep steps down to the active pool.A careful walk down the steps brought to me the inner pool. So within minutes I was surrounded by walls of streaming water and utilized stepping stone steps around the inner pool to experience the waterfalls and liquid rapidly rushing beneath my feet. Etiquette and awareness is needed here, as some of the sets need to be carefully navigated back up to the main area, so make sure that your path is clear before you start your climb to the top!
Logan Makes it Famous
The Fort Worth Water Gardens were actually featured in the feature film Logan's Run. Part of the movie was filmed in the active water pool in July 1975. I'm not entirely surprised by this fact as i've never seen such an interesting park installation before.
- Logan's Run (1976) - IMDb
Directed by Michael Anderson. With Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne. An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at 30.
Did you take the brave steps down to the pool?
The next area I explored is named 'The Mountain' and rightly so. A large concrete pyramid of steps extends up high and many climbers and Parkour enthusiasts could be found utilizing this area. A quick climb easily brought me to scale the mountain top and it was well worth the effort. From the top of the mountain, not only can most of the areas of the park be seen from this birds eye view, but also some areas of downtown Fort worth too.
The stage was another interesting area. With steps leading down to it, a large green flat patch awaits where soccer can be played, gymnasts can practice and cartwheels can be made. I'm certain many performances of various kids have taken place in area that has been created for performers and sports people alike.
The Quiet Water Pool
The Quiet Water Pool is an aptly named area. A serene body of water can be found in this era creating a peaceful oasis that is very reminiscent of a villa in Italy, with intricately knotted trees lining the border of the pool.If it's calm you're looking for, then you can definitely find your zen in this area.
The Aerated Pool
This was the last area of the water gardens that I explored. An interesting installation that can only be described as the area designed for the excitable part of the gardens personality, with water jets spurting from the bottom of the pool and creating many enjoyable fans of sprays water erupting from throughout the surface of the water.
So many experiences
Areas to Visit
Things to Do
Check off List
The Active Pool
Take the brave climb down
Scale the top
Do a cartwheel
The Quiet Pool
The Aerated Pool
Enjoy the Show
I hope you enjoyed this brief yet enjoyable journey through a very interesting installation in downtown Fort worth. The Fort Worth Water Garden is a unique and breathtaking park space, that can be enjoyed by everyone in a very different way. So if you have a small window in your sightseeing day while visiting the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, be sure to visit, and it's an incredible experience that should not be missed.