A Super Bowl visitors' guide version of the Dirty Dozen, featuring a 12-pack of essentially DFW things you should try while in town for the big game.
Fort Worth's Cultural District We tout these gems all the time, so now we'll let actor and Fort Worth native Bill Paxton wax artistic. He recently told the Star-Telegram: "What most people don't know about Fort Worth is there are three world-class museums within a few blocks of each other: the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern and the Amon Carter. When you add the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, you've got four world-class museums within walking distance." Well put, Bill. But don't forget the Museum of Science and History in its year-old, $80 million building.
Where: Kimbell Museum of American Art, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd; the Modern Art Museum, 3200 Darnell St.; the Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd.; National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, 1720 Gendy St.; Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy St. Hours: Call museums.
Cost: Kimbell, free admission to permanent collection, $4-$8 for special exhibitions; Modern, $4-$10; Carter, free; Cowgirl, $8-$10; Science and History, $12-$23, but free this weekend with Stock Show admission.
Info: Kimbell, www.kimbellart.org, 817-654-1034; Modern, www.themodern.org, 817-738-9215; Carter, www.cartermuseum.org, 817-738-1933; Cowgirl, www.cowgirl.net, 817-336-4475; Science and History, www.fwmuseum.org, 817-255-9300
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza This stop is a must for history buffs: the exhibits are both moving and challenging as they seek to help give visitors a better understanding of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
When: Extended hours for Super Bowl week: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Monday.
Where: 411 Elm St., Dallas
Cost: $13.50 for adults; $12.50 for seniors, ages 6-18; free for children 5 and under
Dallas World Aquarium This dazzling site is an animal lover's paradise: penguins, leafy sea dragons, riotous pink flamingos, a ridiculously mellow three-toed sloth, and Antillean manatees that'll make you fall in love.
When: Special Super Bowl hours 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Saturdays; other days 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 1801 N. Griffin St., Dallas
Cost: Adult $20.95, children (3-12) $12.95, senior (60+) $16.95; children under 2 are free.
Info: 214-720-2224, www.dwazoo.com
Buy some Cowboy duds There's no shortage of Western wear in Cowtown, but two biggies to browse are Leddy's and Maverick (one of our faves, partly because it has a bar). And we won't forget the favorite of Fort Worth native and CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer, who offered this tip to the Star-Telegram: "Luskey's Western Wear, if you want to buy a real cowboy hat or boots or even a saddle."
Where: M.L. Leddy's, 2455 N. Main St., Fort Worth, 817-624-3149, www.leddys.com; Maverick Fine Western Wear in the Fort Worth Stockyards, 100 E. Exchange Ave.; www.maverickwesternwear.com; Luskey's/Ryon's Fort Worth, 2601 N. Main St., Fort Worth, 817-625-2391, www.luskeys.com.
Fort Worth Stockyards Of all the fabulous things Fort Worth has to offer, this is the one stop you'll want to say you made. The entire Stockyards is a Western wonderland and then some. You'll find everything from antiques (Cross-Eyed Moose, Bum Steer) to general-store tchotchkes to good eats (Lonesome Dove) and drinks to real country music (White Elephant Saloon) and the world's largest honky-tonk (Billy Bob's). Be sure to plan your trip so that you're there for one of the twice-daily cattle drives at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Staying in or near Grapevine? Take the Vintage Railroad Super Football Train to the Stockyards. ($8-$10); more info at gvrr.com.
Where: Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth
Nasher Sculpture Center Now hosting an Alexander Calder exhibit, the Nasher is a beautiful home for a stunning array of classical and modern sculpture. Once you're done here, you might want to head across the street to the Dallas Museum of Art.
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except for Monday, when the Nasher is closed.
Where: 2001 Flora St., Dallas
Info: 214-242-4118, www.nashersculpturecenter.org
Fort Worth Zoo and
Botanic Garden Get your flora and fauna covered at these two splendid Fort Worth nature palaces.
When and where: Fort Worth Zoo (1989 Colonial Parkway), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; Fort Worth Botanic Garden (3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.), dawn to dusk daily.
Cost: Zoo: $9-$12; Botanic Garden: free for garden center; Japanese garden is $4.50 on weekends.
Southfork Ranch If the theme song to TV's Dallas has already started blasting in your head, this is a trip for you; it's about 75 minutes northeast of Fort Worth. A tour of the famed Ewing mansion includes a peek at the gun that shot J.R., Lucy's wedding dress, some real Texas longhorns and American quarter horses.
When: Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Last guided tour begins at 4:30 p.m.
Where: 3700 Hogge Drive, Parker
Cost: Adults, $9.50; seniors, $8; children 5-12, $7; children 4 and under, free. Groups of 15 or more are $7 per person.
Info: 972-442-7800, 800-989-7800, www.southfork.com
Sundance Square The 35-block heart of Fort Worth's downtown has now been taken over by ESPN. And while that does create some traffic-flow issues, it also makes the area even more vibrant. Roam around to favorites like Retro Cowboy and the quirky Earth Bones (for funky jewelry, Boxing Nuns and quippy T-shirts). In the evenings, stop in at the Scat Jazz Lounge for great sounds in a ring-a-ding throwback atmosphere, or, on Friday and Saturday nights, get your chuckles at Four Day Weekend, the spot for awesome improv comedy.
Where: Sundance Square runs from First to Fifth streets north and south and from Grove to Taylor streets east and west.
Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Luck would have it that Super Bowl week coincides with the final week of this annual event, filled with livestock and real cowboys and cowgirls. Closing weekend will still feature plenty of pigs, steer and rabbits.
When: Daily through Saturday; event schedule online.
Where: 3400 Crestline Road, Fort Worth
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-16, free for children under 5. Rodeo tickets are $16-$22 and include admission to the fairgrounds.
Info: 817-877-2400; www.fwssr.com
Grapevine Mills or NorthPark If you need to take in some non-Western-wear shopping, try one of these two. Grapevine Mills has more than 180 stores and 1.6 million square feet of shopping and eats. Dallas' NorthPark Center is a combined shopping and cultural experience, with everything from Neiman Marcus, Barneys and FAO Schwarz to a duck and turtle pond and world-class sculptures.
Info: Grapevine Mills: 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, 972-724-4910; NorthPark Center: 8687 North Central Expressway, 214-890-0908
Eat some 'Idol'-ized barbecue Other sections of this week's DFW.com Ink clue you in on good barbecue. But this suggestion comes from Fort Worth resident and former American Idol contestant Casey James, who told the Star-Telegram: "If you're looking for awesome BBQ, go to Soda Springs Bar-B-Q, right down the street from my house."
When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-8 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; closed Sundays.
Where: Soda Springs Bar-B-Q, 8620 Clifford St., White Settlement