15 Best Things to Do in Fort Wayne (Indiana)

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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A city in the U.S. state of Indiana, Fort Wayne offers a heart-warming visit for travel novices and those who have an appreciation for a city crammed with culture.

An American City Award winner which prides itself on a high quality lifestyle and low cost of living, its visitors always end up coming back for more.

On a typical day in June, temperatures fly at around 29 degrees Celsius, but no matter the weather, there’s always something new and exciting happening here.

Here are the best things to do in Fort Wayne and the best places to visit:

1. The Embassy Theatre

The Embassy TheatreSource: livingfortwayne
The Embassy Theatre

Built in 1928 and seating over two thousand people, the Embassy Theatre is a legacy in Fort Wayne.

The theatre features national Broadway shows, cinema viewings and many popular social events; there is always something happening here, all year.

Looking at it from outside, you would think you had been thrown into a 1930’s Vegas movie: flooded with lights and an old town feel, it’s antiquated but classy.

But the excitement doesn’t lie in its exterior or just in its popular shows, but on the roof too. It’s been marvellously restored to provide breathtaking views of the city, whilst you enjoy the night with loved ones.

2. Museum of Art

Museum of ArtSource: flickr
Museum of Art

When you’re in Fort Wayne, get a taxi and travel downtown to the Museum of Art.

Whether you’re someone with a fetish for museums, or want to connect with a place devoted to celebrities in America’s history, then this is the place for you.

No one visit is ever the same as the museum is constantly rotating its fine art in a modern facility.

It’s not your typical gallery either, as they often have parties in the summer with gourmet food, music and a community gathering. It really is wonderful for all ages.

3. DeBrand Fine Chocolates Tour

DeBrand ChocolatierSource: debrand
DeBrand Chocolatier

You can’t go to Fort Wayne and not visit the DeBrand headquarters. For chocolate lovers (which is everyone in the world, right?) you’ll be invited into the world of DeBrand with exclusive videos about their history.

For the small fee of $5 pp you’ll also get the chance to view their chocolate making kitchens and watch the artisans crafting beautiful chocolate – and get to take a few samples home.

For a great day out with the added bonus of smooth, exquisite chocolate, this is the place for everyone.

4. Children’s Zoo

Children’s ZooSource: flickr
Children’s Zoo

The name may suggest its exclusive to minors, but it has been described as Indiana’s number one “gotta-do” attraction and there’s a multitude of reasons why.

Explore a wide selection of animals from reptiles, to Australian adventures to African species. There are 1000 animals in total and if that’s not enough to suppress boredom, the zoo also has five rides to keep the kids occupied.

5. Canlan Ice Sports

Canlan Ice SportsSource: flickr
Canlan Ice Sports

If adventure and sport is more your territory, then the Canlan Ice Sports will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Though its programs are aimed towards competitive athletes, they offer drop-in programs for the public: skating, hockey and stick and puck are fun games available for parents and kids anytime of the year.

But if you consider yourself more of a watcher than a sport connoisseur, there are often events held – and they even throw birthday parties for customers, inclusive of pizza, ice skating and a private party room.

6. Science Central

Science CentralSource: livingfortwayne
Science Central

Whether you’re on holiday or just want to spark your imagination, the Science Central invites you to their tour exhibitions and events.

From exploring the lives of bees to discovering everything you need to know about bones, it makes learning fun for everyone. It’s a combination of an interactive museum and a fun day out.

If it’s raining outside and you’re looking for something different to do, this really is the place to visit. To polish up on your science, you can participate in its on-site programs, or choose to get lost in the world of science if you wish.

7. Historic Fort Wayne

Old Fort WayneSource: wikimedia
Old Fort Wayne

Bring history back to life by celebrating Indiana’s historical birthday at the Old Fort. Taking you back to 1816, you will get to experience what daily life was like and how the fort was transformed to its present day lifestyle.

During your visit you’ll get to see gunsmith, chair makers and demonstrations from the blacksmith and potter to take you back to what life was like.

Although not everything is left exactly how it was – with renovated buildings and replicas of structures, you’re welcome to celebrate amongst people dressed like they would have back then. It’s a great visit!

8. Parks

Headwaters ParkSource: flickr
Headwaters Park

You can’t beat being out in the fresh outdoors amongst nature and wildlife and there are plenty of parks to visit in the city of Fort Wayne to spend your time.

One particular green is the Memorial Park; a tribute to men and women of Fort Wayne who lost their lives in service during World War I. Beautiful gardens and an array of greenery, it’s a wonderful place to celebrate life whilst offering your condolences.

Basketball courts, picnic areas, a swimming pool and a playground are the perfect places to spend your time on a hot summer’s day.

9.  Allen County Courthouse

Allen County CourthouseSource: flickr
Allen County Courthouse

After being restored for over seven years, the Allen County Courthouse cost around $8 million. A national historic landmark, the Courthouse is so picturesque: resembling The Whitehouse with high ceilings, scenic murals, hand painted tiles and standing at the peak of the building is a replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Fall in love with the landmark by participating in a group tour to hear all about its history, grasp an understanding of the process of the restoration and appreciate the artwork in real life.

10. Chop’s Wine Bar

Chop’s Wine BarSource: chopswine
Chop’s Wine Bar

Whether you’re vacationing or have just had a hard week, everyone needs a beautifully crafted cocktail once in a while.

Chop’s Wine Bar allows you to escape and lose yourself in a maze of gourmet food, hand selected wines and beers, and gather with friends whilst being in the beautiful city of Fort Wayne.

Renowned for its tasty steaks and bustling atmosphere, the wine bar provides a wonderful setting where you can even watch the chefs create your food right before your eyes.

The menu is always fresh and the ambiance is never rowdy enough that you can’t catch up with friends and have a moment to yourself. Definitely a great place to refresh and catch a breather.

11. The Lincoln Tower

Lincoln TowerSource: flickr
Lincoln Tower

Standing at 213 foot, the Lincoln Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Fort Wayne and is a monument for a great movement in the city.

It’s a spectacular sight in real life and photos on the internet don’t do it justice. At the main entrance there are bronze panels and inside are tons of marble, granite and steel, along with murals and symbolisms of its history.

During World War I, the tower changed its name from The German American National Bank to the Lincoln National Bank, in consequence of the anti-German reaction. Today it is an iconic building which oversees Fort Wayne’s skyline.

12. Glenbrook Square

Glenbrook SquareSource: fortwaynephotojournal
Glenbrook Square

Doesn’t everyone enjoy treating themselves or even buying souvenirs when they’re in a new place? Well the Glenbrook Square offers an abundance of shopping categories – from fashion to electronics, to health and beauty, to house supplies; it has everything you could want under one roof.

At night, it shines bright and has been standing for 50 years. It honestly is a conventional shopping centre which is popular amongst the community and loved by tourists.

13. Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone Trampoline ParkSource: livingfortwayne
Sky Zone Trampoline Park

This isn’t your traditional gym which we all hate visiting on holiday: it actually makes fitness enjoyable so it feels like you’re having a day of fun, rather than exercising.

Sky Zone is the world’s first trampoline park. The world’s first. That’s quite an accomplishment! Whatever your experience on trampolines or fitness levels, the idea is to have fun, which is why they offer a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes.

But if just bouncing around doesn’t sound like fun to you, you can participate in their volleyball classes or ultimate dodgeball. There’s something for everyone here.

14. Veterans Memorial Shrine

Veterans Memorial Shrine
Veterans Memorial Shrine
he 40 acres that make up the Veterans National Shrine and Museum was purchased in 1918 by a “Doughboy” immediately following WWI. During a ferocious battle he prayed that if he survived he would donate his life to assisting fellow Veterans. Incorporated in 1950’s the Shrine is a living example of how he accomplished this promise.
Home to over 2,000 artifacts personally donated by Veterans and their families, the Museum portion is going thru a complete renovation. The Grand Reopening is scheduled to occur in Spring of 2019. The artifacts date back to the Indian Wars and for every conflict thereafter  where there was a US Veteran was involved thru current conflicts in the Middle East.
The Shrine grounds consists of Memorials to those same conflicts mentioned above as well as the American Revolutionary War. It is also home to the Merci or 40 and 8 Boxcar that was a gift of gratitude from France for all that the United States has given to their people.

15. Escape Fort Wayne

Escape Fort WayneSource: journalgazette
Escape Fort Wayne

This isn’t for the faint-hearted and those who are uncomfortable being in a confined space. The Escape Fort Wayne is a room where you and your friends or family are locked in for one hour and have to answer questions and solve clues to escape.

It’s a mysterious room and it mentally challenges you, but everyone who visits here has a blast. With the option of two rooms – The Lake or The Office – you will be pushed to your limits but make amazing memories at the same time.

15 Best Things to Do in Fort Wayne (Indiana):

  • The Embassy Theatre
  • Museum of Art
  • DeBrand Fine Chocolates Tour
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Canlan Ice Sports
  • Science Central
  • Historic Fort Wayne
  • Parks
  • 9.  Allen County Courthouse
  • Chop’s Wine Bar
  • The Lincoln Tower
  • Glenbrook Square
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Veterans Memorial Shrine
  • Escape Fort Wayne