Fun Things to Do in Fort Wayne, Indiana | 7 Special Attractions
Iconic big cities might be easy vacation options, but they’re often overpriced and densely packed with tourists. This is why people are drawn to the appeal of holidaying in a smaller city with its own one-of-a-kind attractions.
When looking for things to do, Fort Wayne has plenty such attractions to offer. Grab your passport or car keys and some moisturisers for your travelling skincare routine (can’t lose that healthy glow, can we?) and head over to Indiana for some fun things to do in Fort Wayne.
What to Do in Fort Wayne, Indiana
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If you’re looking for some wonderful ways to spend your time in Indiana, look no further than this list of exciting places to go in Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Fort Wayne activities can vary, but this is hands down one of the best you can experience at any age. You’ll have your pick of over 1,000 animals and their various habitats from the four corners of the world to encounter.
This zoo has it all, from capuchin monkeys and sea lions to exotic red pandas and African giraffes. There’s also an aquarium featuring sharks and an Australian coral reef exhibit complete with fish to peruse.
You can interact with the goats and cows at the Family Farm exhibit, ride on Little Poof the Pony, or hop on the imitation 1860s mini-train for a pleasant ride.
Heading off with a picnic basket in hand for a pleasant afternoon of dozing on a green lawn with serene sounds of splashing rivers nearby is one of the best free things to do in Fort Wayne.
Named for the three rivers that merge close by, this park is home to the Hamilton Sculpture Garden, where you can wander about and enjoy the artistic delights on offer. There are also concerts and festivals—the biggest of which is the Three Rivers Festival—held at the park throughout the year.
Headwaters Park also offers winter-appropriate activities in Fort Wayne in the colder months with its own ice skating rink.
Fort Wayne Museum of Art
One of the most artistically significant of Fort Wayne’s attractions, the Museum of Art is a cornerstone of culture for the city. There are more than 7,000 paintings, sculptures, and fragile artworks constructed from glass to feast your eyes upon. The collections the museum has curated highlight Indiana Impressionists, artisan glass cutters, and world-famous painters.
Wander about and take in all of the aesthetic beauty on offer, then head to the Paradigm Gallery Shop where you can buy your very own piece of original art in a variety of mediums. The museum hosts events for the community as well, such as a Dia De Los Muertos celebration every October.
There’s also the intrinsically popular Chalk Walk hosted in July when the Three Rivers Festival occurs. Main Street is transformed into a brilliant avenue of art. Here, anyone with an inclination for artistic expression can grab some chalk and add their own original work to the street.
Old Fort Wayne
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Fort Wayne, why not dive headfirst into the founding history of the city?
A reconstruction of the original built in 1815, the Old Fort is situated across the river from Headwaters Park only 400 m from the original historic site. It’s a public space, so you are encouraged to explore the grounds at your leisure.
However, the Fort’s interior is only open at certain special events held throughout the year. Many of these events, such as the yearly reprise of the Siege of Fort Wayne, include live-action reenactments where you’ll see characters in costumes and feel history come alive.
Three Rivers Festival
Fort Wayne loves to party so much that it’s known as the City of Festivals. There always seems to be something going on, so you can look forward to a calendar year packed with entertainment. From food festivals to music concerts and Pride Fest, there practically isn’t a weekend without some festival or other to participate in.
The biggest festival of the year is the Three Rivers Festival held in July at Headwaters Park, where more than 80 events are scheduled. There are pie-eating contests, music concerts, massive parades, and fireworks.
The festival has been around for almost half a decade and is eagerly anticipated by locals and tourists alike each year as one of the most fun things to do in Fort Wayne.
If you’re planning a trip to Fort Wayne, things to do should include a visit to Science Central.
Housed in the old City Light and Power building, the brightly-coloured establishment is a delight for both the young and the young at heart. A huge skeletal triceratops sculpture greets you before you even walk in, and a host of scientific games and exhibits await you inside.
There are more than 130 permanent exhibits to choose from, one of the most popular being the High Rail Bike, where kids can learn about gravity in a safe albeit thrilling experience.
Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
No doubt one of the most beautiful attractions in Fort Wayne, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is a tropical paradise all year round. There are three main gardens showcasing different foliage and environments to choose from.
The Desert Garden is an arid area replete with cacti and succulents in pretty hues and geometrical shapes. The Tropical Garden is an equatorial dream come true with lush vegetation practically overflowing onto pathways near koi ponds and even a waterfall.
The Showcase Garden is a rotating exhibit that changes through the year, although the highlight season might just be spring with its immersive Butterfly Garden.
Fun Things to Do in Fort Wayne | Final Thoughts
When it comes to Fort Wayne, Indiana, things to do aren’t hard to find. You’ll be spoiled for choice with all the historical, cultural, and fabulous festival action available to tourists and locals alike. Whether you spend your time enriching your cultural experiences at the museums or party at festivals, you’re bound to have a memorable time in Fort Wayne.
After you’ve had your fill of Indiana, why not head over to Nashville to end off your vacay with a smashing all-American weekend?