All it takes is a little bit of digging to find Fort Worth’s hidden gems.
Through writing “100 Things To Do In Fort Worth Before You Die,” Fort Worth native Celestina Blok uncovered the ‘‘must-dos’ in Fort Worth to keep both first-time visitors and longtime residents entertained.
“I hoped to showcase our city in new ways or highlight places that folks have forgotten or people didn’t realize Fort Worth had,” Blok said. “There’s a lot of time-honored, tried-and-true experiences here in Fort Worth that people can experience and get a taste of authentic Fort Worth.”
The book is a harmonious combination between trendy and time-tested experiences, Blok said. It is broken up into five categories: food and drink, music and entertainment, outdoors and recreation, culture and history and shopping and fashion.
Twenty-six different food and drink locations are included, and Blok has visited every single one. A personal favorite is an experience titled ‘Do the chicken dance at Edelweiss’, a German restaurant located off of Camp Bowie.
“This restaurant has been there for decades, and they have nightly music performed by the same lady who has been there forever,” Blok said. “They always sing the chicken dance and everyone – I mean everyone – gets up to dance. It’s hilarious and perfect if you have kids or even older family members.”
Another date night idea is to snag supper club reservations at Magdalena’s, a catering and private event venue located just north of downtown. Chef Juan Rodriguez hosts a monthly supper club, where guests can experience five dishes in a beautiful hidden spot. Plus, it’s BYOB, Blok said.
Where can you buy the book?
“100 Things To Do In Fort Worth Before You Die” was just released at the end of September. The book can be found at Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, the Texas Christian University Bookstore, Amazon, Walgreens and through the book publisher, Reedy Press, Blok said. The book can be bought for about $18 depending on the website.
Signed copies can also be purchased through Blok herself via Instagram.
Blok, 42, has been to almost all of the outdoor and historical attractions in the book. For the few attractions she hasn’t experienced, someone close to her has.
Blok loves the Fort Worth Nature Center, another attraction listed in the book, but she hasn’t been able to spot the alligators that live there, although she has tried many, many times.
Another personal favorite is Burger’s Lake, a spring-fed swimming hole located in west Fort Worth. Burger’s Lake has been a warm weather staple since 1929. Blok remembers visiting as a child and now takes her son there.
“I was so surprised because it’s an old school experience, and it hasn’t changed much over the years,” Blok said. “They’re known for high diving boards, and it is some of the best people watching.”
“100 Things To Do In Fort Worth Before You Die” is part of a series that features about 150 different cities, states and regions across the country. All of the books are published by Reedy Press, located in St. Louis.
Reedy Press looks for places with unique characteristics, histories and personalities that distinguish them from other cities, said Amanda Doyle, author liaison for Reedy Press.
“Fort Worth obviously has an incredible story to tell, which frequently gets subsumed by the Metroplex,” Doyle said. “So for this book we really wanted to redirect that spotlight squarely to Fort Worth.”
Reedy Press finds authors that already write enthusiastically about their community, and Blok stood out as someone who was well-connected.
“As a third-generation Fort Worthian, Blok represents a loyalty for the city you can’t highlight enough,” Doyle said.
Blok grew up in North Richland Hills and went to college in her backyard at Texas Christian University. Her mother grew up in north Fort Worth, her father in south Fort Worth. She currently resides with her family in Oakhurst, just northeast of downtown.
“I’m born and raised in Fort Worth,” Blok said. “I have seen so much change and growth – it was so fun to be asked to provide what I feel are Fort Worth must-dos.”
Izzy Acheson is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.here.