This year's hottest headlines

The 10 top arts and entertainment stories that thrilled Fort Worth in 2019

10 top arts and entertainment stories that thrilled Fort Worth in 2019

Monet, Water Lily Pond
Claude Monet's The Japanese Footbridge, 1899, was on display at the Kimbell over the summer. Photo courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum
Dickies Arena
The highly anticipated Dickies Arena opened to great fanfare this fall. Photo courtesy of Dickies Arena
Free Play Arlington, arcade, pinball
Free Play pinged into Fort Worth this year. Facebook/Free Play Arlington
BigShots
Big Shots is a golf-themed entertainment complex coming to north Fort Worth. Facebook/BigShots
Enchant: The World's Largest Christmas Light Maze & Market
Enchant pulled the plug. Photo courtesy of Enchant Christmas
Cowgirl Museum renovations
The Cowgirl Museum unveiled a high-tech renovation. Photo courtesy of National Cowgirl Museum
Hamilton national tour, Performing Arts Fort Worth
Fort Worth is finally getting its shot to see Hamilton. Photo by Joan Marcus
Jennifer Dyess, William Greiner, DeAnna Young, Mitchell Young
Jennifer Dyess, William Greiner, DeAnna Young, and Mitchell Young at the Red Party, one of the must-attend YP arts fundraisers of fall. Photo by Robert LaPrelle
Stage West presents First Date
Seth Womack and Amber Marie Flores starred in First Date at Stage West. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
Monet, Water Lily Pond
Dickies Arena
Free Play Arlington, arcade, pinball
BigShots
Enchant: The World's Largest Christmas Light Maze & Market
Cowgirl Museum renovations
Hamilton national tour, Performing Arts Fort Worth
Jennifer Dyess, William Greiner, DeAnna Young, Mitchell Young
Stage West presents First Date

Editor's note: This year was a smash hit for arts and entertainment in Fort Worth. As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 most popular A&E stories of 2019. These are the new attractions, museum happenings, event roundups, and newsy developments that earned applause from our CultureMap audience.

1. Monet’s garden blooms with surprises in new Kimbell Art Museum exhibition. In his final years, artist and pioneer Claude Monet, already acclaimed, had one more thing to contribute to art: stellar paintings of his garden at Giverny. More than 50 of his final works went on display in "Monet: The Late Years" at the Kimbell Art Museum, June 16-September 15. A follow-up to the Kimbell's 2016-17 exhibition, “Monet: The Early Years,” this blockbuster display charted Monet's works from 1913 to his death, 13 years later. The exhibition was hailed by critics and brought crowds in droves to the Kimbell.

2. Dickies Arena delivers pomp and circumstance for grand opening in Fort Worth. In late September, Trail Drive Management Corp., the not-for-profit operators of Dickies Arena, unveiled plans for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community open house to welcome the community to the brand-new arena. The new venue opened with great fanfare in late October, booking a slate of hot shows including Black Keys, the Jingle Ball, and a two-night date with George Strait.

3. Fun new golf-themed entertainment complex swings into far north Fort Worth. A massive new golf-themed entertainment center is officially in the game in far north Fort Worth. BigShots Golf broke ground October 29 in Champion Circle on 11.4 acres near Marriott Champion Circle and Golf Club. Just the second BigShots in the country, when it opens, the "eatertainment" venue will have 56 driving range bays on two stories, plus many more amenities. 

4. These are the 11 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for September. September was still festival time in both Fort Worth and Dallas, along with a month for a few familiar titles from a certain ALW (that's Andrew Lloyd Webber to most). Some recent Broadway hits were also making their way to local stages in regional productions, as were one or two brand-new works showcasing native talent. In her monthly column, our theater critic Lindsey Wilson hailed these as the the 11 shows that everyone must see.

5. It's game on for new retro arcade in Fort Worth's most playful neighborhood. Fort Worth was ready to bring on the ‘80s and Pac-Man Fever, because Free Play Arcade announced in February it was opening a new location in the Near Southside. The arcade, which finally opened December 2, occupies the former home of the Fairmount Music Hall, just off Magnolia Avenue, at 1311 Lipscomb St.

6. Top fall social events every arts-loving young professional in Fort Worth should attend. The future of Fort Worth arts is in good hands, if the energy surrounding young professional groups is any indication. This fall was full of events tailored to up-and-coming young arts patrons whose passions ranged from '80s movie soundtracks to contemporary art.

7. Fort Worth's shot for single tickets to Hamilton is imminent. Single tickets for the Broadway smash Hamilton went on sale to the public November 15, and readers couldn't wait for their shot to finally see the show. Lin Manuel-Miranda's iconic musical runs June 9-28, 2020 at Bass Performance Hall.

8. Fort Worth museum lifts curtain on $5.5 million high-tech makeover. The time drew nigh for the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to unveil a $5.5 million renovation project that had kept the second floor off limits for over a year. On March 9, the Fort Worth museum reopened the second floor — renamed the Kit Moncrief Galleries — and its new signature exhibition called "It’s Never Just a Horse." 

9. Dallas-Fort Worth's most enchanting holiday lights display will go dark for 2019. In June, it was announced that one of the merriest and most popular holiday events in Dallas-Fort Worth would skip this year's yuletide. Enchant: World's Largest Christmas Light Maze & Market, which had illuminated Arlington for two holiday seasons, would be going dark for 2019. It's no wonder readers were hungry for ...

10. The most dazzling Christmas light displays around Fort Worth in 2019. Entire streets, blocks, parks, and major attractions throughout North Texas had flipped the switch on this year's festive yuletide decor by early December. Here we presented the biggest, best, and brightest commercial and neighborhood Christmas light displays around Fort Worth in 2019.