One of the best things about living in the Midwest is that you don’t have to travel far to have a really fun and affordable weekend with the family in Fort Wayne. It’s located in northeast Indiana almost equal distance from Chicago, Detroit, or Cincinnati making it an easy drive from almost anywhere in the northeast part of the midwest.
Arrive in Fort Wayne on a Friday afternoon and prepare to have a fun-packed weekend. Check into the downtown Hilton on Calhoun St. which is the perfect base for the weekends activities.
The Hilton provides very comfortable beds and wonderful customer service. The rooms are big enough for everyone to have plenty of space and connecting rooms are available if you would like more beds or room to run. The hotel has a small pool so be sure to pack your bathing suit.
There is a Visit Fort Wayne kiosk in the Hilton lobby that will print coupons, provide ideas for entertainment and more. If you would like more personalized help during your visit the Visit Fort Wayne visitor center is right across the street. Just look for the giant pinwheel out front.
After checking into your hotel walk over to Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island for a bite to eat before heading to the Tincaps ball game. The Coney Island is a Fort Wayne tradition that has been serving up hot dogs and hamburgers since 1914. Everything is made fresh to order. The coney dog on the steamed bun with Coke in a bottle is a local favorite. You’ll be able to feed the family for around $5 per person.
A short walk away is the TinCaps ball field an affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Voted as one of the best minor league fields in the midwest you’ll want to be sure to take in a game. The TinCaps offers family entertainment throughout the entire game with tickets as low as $5 per person for lawn seats.
Start the next morning off right at Cindy’s Diner, a 50’s style diner located a couple blocks from the hotel. Just like the old soda fountains there is counter seating on red vinyl chairs pulled up to a porcelain countertop. Inside seating is very limited, but orders can be made to go and some outdoor seating is available if the weather is good.
The food is good and the prices are very reasonable.
Order the ‘garbage’ which is an egg scramble packed full with all kinds of goodness and served with toast.
After breakfast stretch your legs with a short walk to the Fort Wayne Firefighter’s Museum. Here you’ll learn about the history of firefighting and fire safety tips.
When you are done exploring downtown head over to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, one of the top ten zoos in the nation. Take an African Journey, an Australian Adventure and visit an Indonesian Rainforest. While you are there be sure to feed the giraffe’s and visit the lions.
The zoo is open from April to September. During the winter the animals stay at the zoo where they are taken care of by zookeepers.
After a fun filled day stop by JK O’Donnell’s Irish Ale house for a delicious meal. Seating is available in Belleek Hall for families where you can enjoy traditional Irish pub fare or entrees from local foods. Give the bangers and mash or shepherd’s pie a try.
The next morning head over to the Botanical Conservatory just a block away from the downtown Hilton. Enjoy a light breakfast in their Cafe before exploring the conservatory. A children’s area, children’s activities and a beautiful indoor waterfall will delight the kids in your family.
By the time you are done at the Conservatory Science Central will be open and ready for you to discover. This is the place to spark your child’s imagination and curiosity about the world around them with over 120 exhibits.
In addition to the permanent exhibits there is a traveling exhibit that is changed out every couple months.
At Science Central you can slide down a 3-story slide, ride a high rail bike, watch how weather changes the world on the Science on a Sphere exhibit and much, much more.
No visit to Fort Wayne would be complete without a visit to DeBrand Fine Chocolates for a sweet treat before heading home. There are three locations in the Fort Wayne area. The Auburn Park Drive location offer decadent desserts in addition to chocolates.
What Else Is There To Do In Fort Wayne?
Discover Fort Wayne’s Foodie Side (there are so many great places to eat!)
Swing over to Grabill, an Amish community (A stop at the Grabill Store is a must)
Attend the Annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale
There are more tips for attending the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale here