Hundred Aker Wood at the Conservatory in Fort Wayne, Indiana

18 Reasons to Visit Fort Wayne, Indiana

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I’ve spent the last 18 months traveling to 21 different countries, so for Spring Break, I knew that we wanted our family to enjoy more of the Midwest. There are so many hidden gems all within a day’s driving distance.

When Visit Fort Wayne asked our family to visit, I couldn’t resist! We checked into our hotel room and were greeted with a delicious fruit and cheese display and a beautiful Vera Bradley bag. It’s a good thing, too – I was going to purchase that exact style for my upcoming trip to Maryland!

I’ve put together some of my fave stops in Fort Wayne:

Vera Bradley, need I say more??? April 10 – 14, 2019 they’re having their Annual Outlet Sale where things are 40-60% off. I’m talkin’ handbags, purses, totes, luggage, stationary and accessories – in a shopping experience filling over 100,000 square feet of space!

The Hedge, where you can unleash your inner creative. There are lots of workshops where you can do things like needlepoint and letterpress printing. Perfect for a girls night out!

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, with their to-die-for Lobster Voodoo, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Carrot Cake. It’s the perfect place for some Southern cookin’.

Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, which is something that can be enjoyed by the whole family. When I visited, they had a really fun Winnie the Pooh theme. I loved being able to see plants I recognize and ones I don’t! The koi pond is fun, too.

The Landing and Promenade Park, which was under construction when I visited…but I got a tour and saw all of the incredible things coming this summer! I’m excited about the differently-abled features coming to the area. It’ll be a safe place for all ages and abilities.

Artlink, this one surprised me a bit. Typically, art galleries aren’t my jam…but this was something I spent a lot of time at. I marveled at the sculptures hanging from the ceiling made completely out of found plastic. It was fun spotting things I recognize from my own house – such as the twist tops of squeezable fruit packets, spatulas, and more.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, where older families can enjoy American art. My favorite exhibit was definitely the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. It made me long for the days when I used to spend weeks working on pieces, from writing to photography and drawing.

TinCaps Baseball, and even if baseball isn’t your thing…there’s a splash pad nearby and so many incredible restaurants that are very family-friendly.

The Genealogy Center, where you have an opportunity to get to know your roots! This was one of my fave places to go because I’ve been wanting to find a connection to the revolutionary war. Ever since watching Gilmore Girls I’ve loved the idea of joining the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). I was able to find several Revolutionary War heroes in my family tree thanks to their help! This is the 2nd largest genealogy center in the world!

Hoppy Gnome, where you can actually have your own brewing party. Not into beer? No worries, the food is great and so are the other drinks. I recommend any of the drinks w/ boba in it, and the homemade marshmallows to roast over a fire are a huge hit.

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, where it’s important to note that it isn’t a “children’s” zoo in that it’s little kiddie rides or anything. They call it a children’s zoo because they’ve made it so that kids of all sizes can easily view the animal exhibits. No having to lift your children over a barricade so they can see an animal – they can even view it from the comfort of a stroller.

Hop River Brewing Company, whose beer names bring up a huge sense of nostalgia. Names like Violet! You’re Turning Violet, Violet! and Redheaded Step Moon taste as delicious as they sound. Be sure to try their onion dip – it’s fabulous!

Embassy Theatre, where you can catch an off-Broadway show, the symphony, or even Criss Angel. You’ve got to see this place – the grandeur is magnificent.

Coney Island, who has Fort Wayne’s famous hot dogs! Try a hot dog with a bowl of chili — it’s legit. Be sure to snag a seat at the counter if you can’t find a booth as it gets packed quickly.

Science Central, where the entire family can spend a whole day. The staff are super knowledgeable, and it’s in an old power plant. Where else can an adult go and feel like a kid all over again?

DeBrand Fine Chocolates, where you can find anything from hot chocolate to truffles and everything in-between. They even have a sectioned off tasting room with couches for parties.

Proximo, because Latin for breakfast just makes sense. We stuffed our faces with a taste of just about everything on the menu. My fave though? Their french toast is so yummy. No time for breakfast? No worries, stop out for lunch or dinner!

Tolon, this is a place I’ll have to keep coming back to over and over again. I wanted to try everything on the menu – it’s a foodie’s dream. I mean, just look at this menu. It’s as delicious as it sounds! They’ve got the neatest art on the wall, too.

Looking for even more restaurants to try in Fort Wayne? Mommy and Me Travels put together a list of the top 6 family friendly restaurants!

There is so much to do and see in Fort Wayne that I’ve already planned a trip back to the area for this summer! For more activities, be sure to check out Visit Fort Wayne.

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