One of the cornerstone cities of Indiana, Fort Wayne is a fantastic place to visit for a day or an extended trip! If you’re looking for things to do in Fort Wayne, Indiana, we’re here to help—from restaurants to family outings to shopping excursions, our guide will help you find something you, your group, or your whole family will enjoy!
Restaurants in Fort Wayne, IN
1. The Hoppy Gnome
Quirky, clean, fresh, and fun, The Hoppy Gnome and its sister restaurants are a fantastic place for a delicious bite to eat and a refreshing drink as well! You can visit the Hoppy Gnome for lunch, dinner, or for brunch on the weekends. It’s a great place for the whole family to enjoy classics like sandwiches and tacos, or for more refined entrees; and if you’re looking to combine a meal and an experience, you can sign up to brew your own beer at the Gnometown Brewing location, with a custom label to boot! Whether you just come to eat or to brew as well, your visit to The Hoppy Gnome is bound to be unforgettable.
2. Cork N’ Cleaver
Straddling the line between casual and classy, Cork N’ Cleaver is a fantastic place for a delicious lunch or dinner, whether solo, as a couple, or with the whole family along! Boasting a variety of carnivore favorites including steak, chicken, prime rib, pork chops, and seafood, as well as tasty appetizers and a great kid’s menu, this is a restaurant that feels like a step above but still offers a great variety that guarantees everyone will find something to enjoy while they’re here!
3. The Bluebird Restaurant
Casual family dining meets classic homecooked meals! The Bluebird Restaurant—known around the Fort Wayne area for its speedy service, warm atmosphere, and fantastic, accurate delivery on a bold and variegated menu—offers a vast array of traditional favorites from the sweet to the savory, all served up fresh every day. Pancakes, omelets, sandwiches, burgers, and more await! This is a great restaurant for the whole family to eat at an affordable cost with a friendly, hometown touch. There’s something for every eater to enjoy on the menu at The Bluebird!
4. Tolon Restaurant
As Fort Wayne’s first farm-to-table restaurant, Tolon Restaurant is the best at what they do: clean, well-sourced, delectable dishes that will keep you coming back again and again! With classic favorites like steak and cheeseburgers, and new, fresh eats like duck stroganoff and udon noodle stir fry—and all boasting unique, delicious sides—there’s so much flavor and fun to experience at Tolon, you’ll want to plan multiple visits just to get a taste of everything this beautiful restaurant has on the menu! And don’t forget to save room for one of their desserts—cheesecake, cake, ice cream, and more await to cleanse your palate and leave you satisfied with your dining experience at Tolon.
5. Conjure Coffee
Now boasting three locations in the Fort Wayne area, Conjure Coffee is rapidly becoming the premier place for a delicious caffeinated beverage around the city! Visit any one of the three Conjure Coffee locations—one of which is located in the city’s botanical gardens!—for a smooth, delectable coffee experience, and pick up a bag of their ethically-sourced beans to continue enjoying that delicious Conjure Coffee taste in the comfort of your home. A great option for a morning, afternoon, or evening pick-me-up in a classic café setting!
Family-Friendly Activities in Fort Wayne, IN
6. Foellinger-Freimann Conservatory
Fun, learning, and endless beauty await you at the Foellinger-Freimann Conservatory! These stunning botanical gardens offer a lush retreat, with the Showcase, Tropical, and Desert Gardens indoors and the Exploration, Terrace, Streetside, and Beverforden Gardens outside. Each one boasts its own unique varieties of foliage, and with the addition of rotating exhibitions, the Conservatory is always bringing fresh new sights and experiences to bear! No matter what time of year, there’s something for the family to enjoy at the Foellinger-Freimann Conservatory. Grab a cup of Conjure Coffee and explore all the beauty the Gardens have to offer!
7. Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Lions, tigers, and—monkeys? Oh my! These are just a few of the animals your family will encounter on a visit to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo! Home to a variety of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, this zoo is considered one of the top places to visit in the area! An educational, extraordinary, and memorable location, the Children’s Zoo promises a great time for kiddos and parents alike.
8. Science Central
A great day trip for the budding scientists in your family, Science Central is a family-oriented experience everyone will love! From hands-on labs and demos to engaging play areas, your kiddos will have the opportunity to learn about science through education, activity, and experience—all in a safe, fun, and bright environment. Science Central welcomes you to explore its many exhibits or stop in for events like SciFi-Central, Science Fair Recognition Day, and more!
9. Kraeger Park
Sprawling on nearly 200 acres, Kraeger Park is a great place for adults and children alike to burn off energy, enjoy those beautiful Indiana days, and spend time together outdoors! The park features several different amenities, including a state-of-the-art playground with a splash pad, several activity areas on changing elevations, and accessible ramps—all designed with therapeutic and learning activities in mind; a walking loop; outdoor fitness equipment; and soccer and tennis areas! Whatever your family’s preferred outdoor activities, you’re sure to find an outlet at beautiful Kraeger Park!
10. Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve
This standout Indiana wetland is a perfect place for a nature hike the whole family will enjoy! Open from dawn to dusk year-round and free of charge, Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve is a fantastic place to burn off energy and soak in nature as you experience a variety of different terrains, from marshes to prairie, pond to shrublands, and more! You’re likely to catch a glimpse of some of the animals that call the preserve home as well, including deer, foxes, snakes, turtles, beavers, coyotes, and more. It’s the perfect place to enjoy nature, birdwatch and spot wildlife, and connect with your family as you hike the trails!
Cultural and Recreational Activities in Fort Wayne, IN
11. Fort Wayne Trails
Eager to get in your steps for the day, while still experiencing the city itself? Check out the Fort Wayne Trails! This non-profit is working hard to build a series of safe, accessible, interconnected trails throughout the beautiful city of Fort Wayne—a project that’s already well underway! While walking and biking along the established sections of trails and sidewalks, you can stop in at any of the numerous businesses who support the Trails, including grocers, spas, restaurants, and more—many of them offering water, rest stops, and discounts to folks using the trail. A fantastic reflection of the heart of Fort Wayne and its citizens, the Trails are a great way to see the city!
12. History Center
Located inside a breathtakingly beautiful museum that was once the City Hall Building, the Fort Wayne History Center tells the story in rich detail of the city’s development, from its first inhabitants to today. With rotating exhibits, access to the old city jail, displays of the innovation and invention attributed to this city, and more, enthusiasts of history and culture can learn a great deal about this beautiful city at the History Center. Its collections, festivals, and Miami Indian Heritage Days make it a great place to visit with the whole family, too—for fun, education, and more!
13. Glenbrook Square Mall
Looking for a classic mall-shopping experience? Glenbrook Square Mall is the place to visit! Considered the most popular mall in the area, Glenbrook boasts a variety of generational favorite shops, including Express, Hot Topic, Maurices, Rue21, GameStop, Macy’s, and more! With so much to see and do, everyone can enjoy a day of hopping from store to store, visiting the food court for burgers, ice cream, or one of the variety of other meal options, and just soaking in that classic feeling of the bustling mall experience!
14. The Embassy Theater
There’s never any shortage of fun experiences awaiting at The Embassy Theater! This elegant theater hosts some of the most fantastic shows you’ll find, including RENT, CATS, Jersey Boys, the band Chicago, TobyMac, and more! Lavish and comfortable, the Embassy is one of the best places to catch some of your favorite shows and artists on tour. Be sure to check them out and see what’s in town—it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!
15. Fort Wayne Museum of Art
For the art lovers out there, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is a place you don’t want to miss! Exhibits here are truly memorable, with everything from modern to classic art found among both its current and traveling displays. With a vision toward engaging a broader, more diverse audience in the world of art, this museum is never without engaging new material to see; even if you’ve been before, you might just plan another trip to experience what’s new!
With so many amazing things to do in Fort Wayne, Indiana, we hope you’ll soon be enjoying delicious meals, making amazing memories, and truly enjoying everything this beautiful city has to offer!
And if you are looking to visit another city, once you’ve spent a day in Fort Wayne, then check out all the amazing things to do in Carmel next.