Founded over 200 years ago in 1794 as a strategic military fort, Fort Wayne today is an excellent place to live in the Midwest. A major education and economic hub in Indiana and the state’s second-largest city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Fort Wayne for locals and visitors.
The city’s quaint charm has its roots in its unique past while blending contemporary influences into the mix. You’ll see this when you wander around the city, seeing its mix of old and contemporary buildings. From the Lincoln Tower, which was completed at the height of the Great Depression, to Science Central, a leading STEM education hub in the Midwest, Fort Wayne has something special for everyone.
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
- 20 Things To Do In Fort Wayne
- 1- Visit The Lincoln Tower
- 2- Ignite Your Imagination At Science Central
- 3- See A Show At Embassy Theatre
- 4- Admire The Stunning Interior Of Allen County Courthouse
- 5- Explore Historic Fort Wayne
- 6- Admire Fine Works At Fort Wayne Museum of Art
- 7- Wander Around The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
- 8- Pay Your Respects At The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
- 9- Relax In Headwaters Park
- 10- Learn Something New At Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
- 11- Admire Art In Castle Gallery
- 12- Hike Or Bike The Rivergreenway Trail
- 13- Smell The Roses At Lakeside Park and Rose Garden
- 14- Taste And Tour DeBrand Fine Chocolates
- 15- Visit The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
- 16- Delve Into The Past At The History Center
- 17- See The Exhibits At Fort Wayne Aviation Museum
- 18- Visit The Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum
- 19- Get Outdoors At Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve
- 20- Watch A Game At Parkview Field
- 20 Things To Do In Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana
20 Things To Do In Fort Wayne
1- Visit The Lincoln Tower
Completed and officially opened in 1930, the Lincoln Bank Tower, better known as the Lincoln Tower, is a stunning Art Deco-style high-rise building that dominates the skyline in Downtown Fort Wayne.
Alvin M. Strauss designed this soaring monument to the opulence of the roaring 20s and was the tallest building in Indiana until 1962.
The building features a stately foyer depicting scenes from Abraham Lincoln’s childhood.
The building is one of Fort Wayne’s most remarkable landmarks to tour and worth adding to your itinerary.
Lincoln Tower is at 116 E Berry St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
Download the Fort Wayne Scavenger Hunt: Fun With Fort Wayne to discover the city’s sights.
2- Ignite Your Imagination At Science Central
Located within the repurposed City Light & Power building, Science Central captures the imagination of visitors, young and old, like very few attractions in the Midwest can.
The venue was opened in 1995 and features a healthy mix of over 200 permanent exhibits and the odd national touring exhibition throughout the year for visitors to interact with.
This all-encompassing venue features fully interactive, hands-on displays and exhibits, a gift shop, rare and unique artifacts, and even a life-sized dinosaur sculpture at the entrance.
This Fort Wayne attraction is a suitable destination for all ages, unlike any other venue in the region, making it a must-do activity.
Science Central is at 1950 N Clinton St, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.
3- See A Show At Embassy Theatre
Named the Emboyd Theatre when the venue first opened in 1928, Fort Wayne’s Embassy Theatre has seen some of the greatest musicians and performers of the 20th and 21st centuries live throughout this beloved Indiana landmark’s storied history.
The theatre started as a silent film venue and vaudeville house that transitioned to host concerts, theatrical productions and private functions when silent films went out of style.
While the likes of Louis Armstrong, Doris Day and Perry Como, some of the venue’s most famous former performers, won’t grace the stage of the theatre again, the venue’s swanky interior will make any event and performance feel extra special.
Embassy Theatre is at 125 W Jefferson Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
4- Admire The Stunning Interior Of Allen County Courthouse
Built over six years between 1897 and 1902, the Allen County Courthouse is the pinnacle of the Beaux Arts and American Renaissance design styles from the 19th and 20th centuries.
This building features a stunning interior filled with intricate floors, detailed murals and grandiose ornaments, making it one of the most spectacular landmarks in Downtown Fort Wayne.
Open to the public for guided or self-guided tours, the courthouse is an unmissable landmark in Indiana filled with tons of history to enjoy.
Allen County Courthouse is at 715 Calhoun St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
5- Explore Historic Fort Wayne
Historic Fort Wayne is centred around the city’s Old Fort, a large wooden encampment built when the first pioneers and settlers arrived.
The fort was a vital protective measure when Indiana was still part of the wild and untamed Northwest Territory during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The current Old Fort is different from the original fort and is roughly half a mile from where the Old Fort used to stand.
The venue hosts several free educational programs and features multiple 17th and 18th-century themed buildings, which are delightful to tour while you’re at the fort.
Historic Fort Wayne is at 1201 Spy Run Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.
6- Admire Fine Works At Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Specialising in American fine and decorative arts from across the country, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is one of the region’s most renowned and acclaimed art museums.
While the museum was established in 1927, the venue’s art school predates it by nearly 30 years and was officially opened in 1897 by William Forsyth and J. Ottis Adams, a pair of informal art teachers.
The museum is particularly renowned for its American Cut Glass, Steven Sorman’s Archives, and Indiana Impressionism collections and even features a library that houses over 8,000 historical books and manuscripts. T
This Fort Wayne cultural beacon has a great gift store where you can buy trinkets and items to remember your visit, making it a fantastic destination to uncover and explore in the city.
Fort Wayne Museum of Art is at 311 E Main St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
7- Wander Around The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
In the heart of Downtown Fort Wayne, near the Allen County Public Library, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is the ideal urban escape to stop by when exploring the city.
The conservatory has three distinct gardens for visitors to enjoy, each offering seasonal blooms and displays to wow crowds all year round.
The venue is completely sheltered from the elements, so it’s a great attraction to visit even when the weather’s not ideal.
Not only is this venue an excellent destination to visit if you’re a fan of observing colourful blooms, but a great spot to purchase a plant or two to take back home, thanks to the centre’s handy gift shop.
With over 25,000 square feet (2,323 m2) of green space to explore and more than 1,200 plants, the conservatory is one of Fort Wayne’s quintessential outdoor attractions.
Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is at 1100 S Calhoun St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
8- Pay Your Respects At The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1946 by the local Allen County residents to serve as a permanent living memorial to all past, present and future war veterans.
It was built to meet the entertainment needs of the local region and has played host to all sorts of live entertainment performances, music concerts, sports gatherings, corporate events, and many more public and private showcases.
The coliseum sits at the heart of any event held in the city, be it sports, school or politics-related, making it a truly unmissable attraction in Fort Wayne that’s perfect for catching a show or two whilst staying in the city.
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is at 4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.
9- Relax In Headwaters Park
Fort Wayne’s Headwaters Park is an urban 30-acre (12 ha) park in the middle of Downtown Fort Wayne.
The park is a favourite location for hosting festivals, concerts and events thanks to its two festival plazas and plentiful parking areas.
It’s open year-round and features several attractions, regardless of the season.
Cool off during summer in the park’s dedicated splash fountain, or hit the park’s ice rink during the wintertime for a family-friendly fun extravaganza.
If that’s not enough to entice you to visit one of Fort Wayne’s most popular parks yet, perhaps the park’s Hamilton Sculpture Garden, a free-to-visit art installation, will convince you to add this all-encompassing venue to your itinerary.
Headwaters Park is at 333 S Clinton St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
10- Learn Something New At Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
The impressive Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from regions such as Africa, Australia and Asia, making it one of the biggest and most extensive zoos in the United States.
Established in 1965, this internationally acclaimed venue is home to cool and interesting areas, such as Sea Lion Beach, Monkey Island and Indiana Family Farm, featuring different animals to see and learn more about.
The zoo also has fun attractions to entertain visitors of all ages, including miniature train rides, a safari ski lift experience, log rides and carousels, making it a top destination for families in Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is at 3411 Sherman Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808.
11- Admire Art In Castle Gallery
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Castle Gallery is one of Fort Wayne’s most spectacular art venues due to its incredibly extensive art collection on the inside and the building’s stunning architectural beauty on the outside.
Built in 1905 with granite boulders sourced a few hundred miles away, this Richardsonian Romanesque-style gallery houses art from prominent artists around the world for visitors to purchase or look at.
What started out as a wedding present for B. Paul Mossman and his bride, the gallery has since grown into one of the leading cultural and historic sites in the Midwest.
With a leafy garden and a stunning stone façade, it’s easy to see why this Fort Wayne landmark is one of the most photographed locations in Indiana.
Castle Gallery is at 1202 West Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
12- Hike Or Bike The Rivergreenway Trail
The Rivergreenway Trail is a picturesque hiking and biking linear park stretching for roughly 25 miles (40 km) along the banks of the Maumee, St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Rivers.
It connects Fort Wayne with nearby New Haven and is a popular destination for local joggers and rollerblade riders looking to enjoy the crisp fresh air and scenic Indiana scenery.
One of the best free attractions to enjoy in Fort Wayne, the trail is one of the top ways of exploring the city and the surrounding areas, linking together many of Fort Wayne’s most visited attractions and landmarks.
13- Smell The Roses At Lakeside Park and Rose Garden
Opened in 1912, the Lakeside Park and Rose Garden was developed from a flood-prone, low-lying patch of nothingness on the banks of the St. Joseph River into one of Fort Wayne’s premier outdoor gathering spaces and venues.
It’s now home to over 2,000 rose plants from more than 150 varieties and features attractions such as a sunken garden, two pavilions, basketball and tennis courts, and several playgrounds for kids.
The garden also features a pond for fishing and several reflective pools throughout the venue, magnifying the beauty and vivid colours of the garden’s blooms.
Lakeside Park and Rose Garden are at 1401 Lake Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.
14- Taste And Tour DeBrand Fine Chocolates
DeBrand Fine Chocolates is renowned for its range of sweet treats and chocolates filled with flavours and ingredients such as caramel, ganache, crème and brittle, covered in thick layers of imported chocolate to create one incredibly decadent treat.
Founded by Cathy Brand-Beere in 1987, the shop ships its yummy confections to other chocolate shops around the world and hosts guided tours and chocolate tastings at its Fort Wayne factory.
The venue is among the most popular attractions in Fort Wayne.
It offers visitors the chance to witness the entire chocolate-making process from start to finish, making it an excellent place to stop by for a sweet treat.
DeBrand Fine Chocolates is at 10105 Auburn Park Dr, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
15- Visit The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception dates back to 1860.
It is one of the city’s most visually striking buildings and features a stunning Gothic style design that perfectly shows off the cathedral’s grandeur for all to see.
Built over one-year (between 1859 and 1860), the cathedral has beautiful stained glass windows made in Munich, a stunning pipe organ, a Gothic-style interior and exterior, and hand-made reredos in the cathedral’s sanctuary.
Located between Calhoun and Clinton Street in Downtown Fort Wayne, the cathedral is great to tour or to attend a sermon and is one of the city’s most prized architectural and spiritual landmarks.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is at 1122 S Clinton St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
16- Delve Into The Past At The History Center
The History Center, situated inside an 1893 building that once served as the City Hall for Fort Wayne and Allen County, is today the home of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society and its incredibly fast artefacts, collections and exhibits.
The centre details and celebrates the tales and history of the region’s people and past, with over 26,000 artefacts and items on display for all to see.
An incredibly vital historical and cultural landmark in Fort Wayne, the centre is the go-to place in Allen County if you’re interested in learning more about Fort Wayne and the city’s many influential former residents.
The History Center is at 302 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
17- See The Exhibits At Fort Wayne Aviation Museum
Conveniently situated at the Fort Wayne International Airport, the Fort Wayne Aviation Museum is one of the first attractions you’ll pass when arriving in the city by plane.
The museum was established in 1984 by a couple of Fort Wayne locals and tells the story of aviation from WWI to the present day.
Its exhibits include propellers, uniforms, WWI and WWII memorabilia, a full-scale replica of a WWI-era plane, and many more cool and unique artefacts.
Free to visit and located inside the airport’s Lt. Paul Baer terminal, visiting this interesting museum is one of the free things to do in Fort Wayne.
18- Visit The Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum
Located within what used to be Fort Wayne’s largest firehouse, the Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum was established in 1974 after a newer fire station replaced the firehouse.
The museum takes you on a history trip through Fort Wayne’s firefighting past and the firefighters who risked their lives to keep the city safe.
It has several exhibits and firefighting artefacts, most of which had been used by the city’s fire department, and also teaches visitors about fire safety.
This family-friendly museum has something to see and do for visitors of all ages and is one of the city’s most fascinating historical venues to tour.
Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum is at 226 West Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
19- Get Outdoors At Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve
The Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve is a beautiful and protected 716-acre (290 ha) wetland preserve situated on the southwest edge of Fort Wayne.
An extremely diverse preserve that features biomes and landscapes ranging from wetlands and forests to prairies and meadows, the preserve is an absolute dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Apart from its raw and untamed natural beauty, the preserve protects native animal species, such as beavers, muskrats and otters, as well as several amphibian and reptile species.
Free to visit and open all year long, the preserve offers visitors to Fort Wayne an escape from city life and the opportunity to enjoy the area’s scenic landscapes and rich wildlife, all mere minutes from Downtown Fort Wayne.
Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve is at 6801 Engle Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46804.
20- Watch A Game At Parkview Field
The multi-use Parkview Field is one of the more recent additions to the already healthy line-up of fun attractions in Downtown Fort Wayne.
It’s the permanent home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the city’s minor league baseball team.
Since its grand opening, the venue has played a significant role in rejuvenating and reviving the city’s downtown area, which was suffering from several business closures and a lack of tourism.
Today, this modern ballpark is one of the country’s best minor league stadiums and hosts concerts, community events and sports gatherings throughout the year.
Parkview Field is at 1301 Ewing St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
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