11 Top Things You Should Do in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne was created more than 200 years ago by a strategic war fort built at the confluence three rivers in 1794. It has been known for its economic success, even during the Great Depression. The bustling downtown and many things to do in Fort Wayne have made it a popular tourist spot.
The city is second in Indiana after Indianapolis, despite its young history. Fort Wayne is a mix of modern and old architecture. Despite being small, Fort Wayne has something for everyone.
11. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
This Roman Catholic cathedral is located in the middle of the city, between Calhoun Street and Clinton Street. It was Fort Wayne’s first religious institution. It took only one year to build the cathedral and was completed in 1859 and1860.
The cathedral’s white exterior contrasts with the bright stained glass windows that illuminate the long hall. They were made in Munich, but they weren’t installed until 1896. Built upon a simple log structure, the cathedral was built from humble beginnings. It is where Catholics used to gather to pray.
The small cathedral today brings together faith and history, and gives insight into the changes that have taken place in this small Indiana town over the past 150 years. Visitors and worshippers are welcome to the cathedral!
10. Fort Wayne Museum of Art
This small museum of art is rich in culture and has been a major influence on Fort Wayne and the area. It wasn’t always an arts museum. It began as a small school of art that taught drawing and painting to the locals.
The 1921 gift was given to the modestly sized art faculty. Theodore Thieme donated ten beautiful paintings. These paintings are the foundation of the museum and are kept in an exhibition that is attached to the school.
The art museum was established when another resident donated their home. Through photos, memorabilia and sculptures, you can explore American history from different periods.
9. Allen County Courthouse
The large courthouse is located on Calhoun Street in the center of the city and stands out. Built in 1897-1802, it was designed in the late 19th-century architectural style Beaux Arts. The courthouse’s structure and interior design are an excellent example of American Renaissance architecture.
You’ll be greeted with grandiose ornamentation, intricate tiles floors and detailed murals as you enter the courthouse. You’ll feel transported as you stroll around the courthouse, imagining yourself sitting in the chair of a judge with a saw in one hand.
You can either join an Allen County Courthouse group or take a self guided tour. You will be impressed by this magnificent building!
8. Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum
Built in 1893, the museum served as a fire station from 1893 to 1973. It was known as Fire Station Number 3 and was once the largest fire station in the city. As the city grew, so did the building’s renovations.
The fire station was shut down in 1972 and replaced with a modern fire station on Main Street. The story does not end there. It was soon turned into a museum shortly after it closed.
It houses a large collection including photographs, clothing, tools, and old firefighting vehicles and wagons that were in use before engines were invented. These artifacts provide a glimpse into the past and serve as a reminder of the difficulties firefighters faced in their work to protect their community.
7. Embassy Theatre
Do you want to bring a bit of drama to your holiday? This is the place to be! The Embassy Theatre was constructed in 1928. It was originally used as a cinema palace, but was converted into a theatre later. This grand theatre has 2,471 seats.
It hosts many Broadway shows like Cats and Hairspray. They were collectively called “Broadway at The Embassy”. They also host concerts and fundraisers.
A 1,100-pipe Page theatre organ is housed in the theatre, which is played by Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. The Embassy Theatre is a venue for dance, music and entertainment. Fort Wayne is incomplete without seeing one of their productions.
6. Allen County Public Library
The Allen County Public Library can be found in downtown Fort Wayne on West Washington Boulevard. The library is ideal for those days when holiday can be hectic and exhausting.
There are over 4,000,000 books, articles, journals, and other publications available. You’re bound to find something you like. The library also has a large collection on Native American heritage. This is a great way for you to learn about the roots of American culture.
The library is modern and spacious with lots of natural light. The library is home to the 2nd largest US genealogy department, making it the ideal place to dig into your ancestry. It hosts poetry contests, storytelling for kids, and computer lessons.
5. Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Are you looking for the perfect activity to spend a sunny, warm day? Are you having trouble finding something that will work for everyone? This outdoor zoo is great fun for all ages!
It’s unlikely that you will ever get bored. There’s lots to do, including monkeys jumping across branches, lions screaming, and penguins swimming. It also has an aquarium that houses exotic fish species such as the zebra shark, clown fish, and venomous Lionfish.
The unique opportunity to see wildlife from all corners of the globe in one place is offered by the zoo. You can park in the free parking lot near the zoo or walk or take the bus to Fort Wayne.
4. Fort Wayne Historic
A small Indiana town built a fort hundreds of years ago to provide protection against any invaders. The Old Fort played a significant role in the Northwest Territory’s 17th and 18th century history.
The original fort is now demolished, but a replica that is very faithful to the original was constructed less than half mile away. The non-profit organization Historic Fort Wayne offers free educational programs and other events to help the public learn about the Old Fort’s importance.
Many events are offered to transport you back in time, when the Old Fort was bustling with soldiers preparing for battle. Each re-enactment covers a different period of history so every visit is unique!
3. Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
The Botanical Gardens are a great escape from the hustle and bustle in the city. You will find the conservatory in the middle of the city near the Allen County Public Library.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department designed the Foellinger-Freimann botanical conservatory. They are also responsible for its maintenance. You can visit three large indoor gardens. You can return to each garden for four different seasons every year.
It’s an indoor activity that can be enjoyed regardless of the weather. You can also find home decor and plants in the cute gift shop. Garden entry fees are affordable!
2. Parkview Field
Parkview Field, a multi-use baseball park that is new to Fort Wayne’s downtown area, is modern and well-maintained. The Fort Wayne TinCaps, a local baseball team, funded the building. Parkview has attracted crowds of people and businesses to Downtown Fort Wayne since its construction.
Every year, the ballpark hosts minor league baseball matches. Stadium Journey Magazine has awarded it the title of the number one Minor League Baseball Experience in America several times since its opening. Don’t miss a match if your holiday falls on a match day! You shouldn’t miss the cheering crowds and hot dogs, as well as American culture.
It hosts fundraisers and concerts as well as many other sporting events. It is open to the public, and it is regularly visited by walkers and runners.
1. Science Central
Science central is located in Fort Wayne’s center, at North Clinton Street. This interactive museum is for curious people. There are over 200 permanent exhibits, and there are often national touring exhibitions. It also has a gift shop that sells quirky and educational products.
Science Central’s artifacts are interactive, so you can actually experience science. The experiments and games can be enjoyed by all ages. It’s a great way to mix learning with family fun.
The science center is closed on a few days per week. Also, the closing times vary throughout the week. It’s worth checking ahead!