UPDATE: On June 3, Gov. Greg Abbott allowed more businesses to reopen, so more local hot spots, including Six Flags, announced opening dates. The newest list is here.
Although big events like concerts and festivals aren't happening for the public yet, popular attractions around Fort Worth are slowly beginning to open their doors after their coronavirus-imposed shutdown.
Per Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen Texas, waterparks and zoos can reopen to smaller crowds on Friday, May 29, and on May 31, professional sports can resume outdoors with a limited number of spectators.
While many local arts and entertainment venues Abbott has already allowed to open — like movie theaters, museums, and libraries — are choosing to wait longer to reopen, there are a handful of hot spots resuming fun for the family (with social distancing and other precautions, of course) now that school's out. Here are the latest attractions to open their doors.
Fort Worth Herd's twice-daily cattle drives in the Stockyards are still on hiatus indefinitely, but the new, scaled-down Herd Experience — featuring nine steers and the Herd drovers — provides visitors with an overview and history of cattle drives. The free experience lasts about 15 minutes and takes place at the top of each hour, from 11 am-4 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Up to 20 people can attend each session, but tickets must be reserved by texting HERD2020 to 41444. The check-in and ticketing process are touch-free, the drovers will keep a safe distance from guests, and hand sanitizer will be available on-site. More information is here.
Fort Worth Zoo reopens May 29 with crowd-control measures including a reservation system. Guests (including members) must reserve each ticket online for a designated time slot. Signs remind of social distancing, hand-washing stations are positioned around the zoo, and face coverings are encouraged. Guests will not be allowed in high-touch areas including animal feedings, some rides, playgrounds, water fountains, and misters.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden will reopen June 1 with limited capacity and timed tickets. Passes must be purchased ahead of time (no door sales) and will be done in 60-minute blocks. Access to buildings will be limited to restrooms only, and gift shop capacities will be limited. The cafe will be closed, but concessions throughout the grounds will be available. Guests should expect to have their temperature taken, and masks are encouraged. For more information about visiting, check their website.
North Texas Jellystone Park in Burleson has now reopened most of its attractions to vacationers and staycationers. The park’s two 65-foot tall, 350-foot-long tubular water slides opened May 29, along with the entire Pirate’s Cove Waterpark next door. The park's new Pirate Ship, which has 10 two-bedroom cabin suites, has also reopened for overnight stays. Some Jellystone activities (such as hay rides) are not taking place because of social distancing requirements, park personnel say. For more information, visit the website.
Hawaiian Falls in Mansfield and Roanoke reopened for slip-sliding fun on May 29. Through May 31, season pass-holders may enter an hour-and-a-half earlier than the public. Guests will find reduced capacity, enhanced sanitation protocols (including cleaning every tube and raft after every ride), and socially distanced chairs and tables. Visitors should purchase tickets online at Hfalls.com to reduce points of contact. (By the way, here are the opening dates for other area waterparks: Epic Waters in Grand Prairie, May 29; NRH20 in North Richland Hills, June 15; Great Wolf Lodge, June 16; Hurricane Harbor, TBD.)
Globe Life Field in Arlington didn't get to open for Texas Rangers' games this spring. But the public is getting to finally check it out via First Look Tours beginning June 1. During the tours, fans will be able to tour the brand-new facility, getting a look at a number of behind-the-scenes aspects of Globe Life Field. The Rangers will be limiting close contact as much as possible by only offering online ticket sales, reducing tour group sizes, and more. Guests will receive custom face coverings and will have their temperature taken. More information is here.
Grapevine Wine Tours are resuming June 1 for adults-only fun. The tours will resume with several new health and safety procedures, such as group limits of 12 occupying every other row on a 24-passenger bus; hand sanitizer provided to guests before tours and before and after each winery and restaurant stop; and no tables of more than six people at partner wineries and restaurants. Face masks are encouraged. For more information, visit their website.