Winterize, Remodel and Learn to Cook at Fall Home Design Expo

Looking to add value to your home? Prep it for the cold winter ahead? Or fine-tune your cooking skills? Head to the Fall Home Design Expo Oct. 24-26 at Memorial Coliseum!

The one-stop-shop remains a central hub for homeowners to connect with scores of high-quality exhibitors as it relates to kitchens, baths, carpet, doors, windows, insulation, room additions, home building, mortgages, roofing, decks, cabinets, refinishing, basements and more.

Show features include:

  • The Indiana Wine Experience. Enjoy a “grape” evening from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 with wine tastings, food pairings, live music, Wine & Canvas painting lessons, silent auction, giveaways and more!

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  • Fun Fall Kids Zone. Kids will love the safe indoor trick-or-treat and spooktacular costume contest from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, along with face painting and balloon art.
  • Taste of Home Cooking School. Culinary Specialist Karen Davis will share home cooking tips, offer up door prizes and break down fabulous fall recipes at 11a.m., 1, 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

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  •  Giveaways. Homeowners can enter-to-win a Cambria vanity countertop valued at $2,300, along with many others!

On Sunday, the Fort Wayne Winter Farmers Market will relocate to the Coliseum to offer up an array of home-based food, fresh produce, crafts and natural products.


Fall Home Design Expo
October 24-26
Memorial Coliseum
Friday, noon-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.


Expo Admission: Adults $10 (includes Taste of Home Cooking School Saturday); children 12 & under free; $3 coupons online; re-admittance valid all weekend.

Taste of Home Cooking School: Limited advance ticket sales available through (includes preferred seating, a meet greet, autographed Taste of Home cookbook and gift bag).

The Indiana Wine Experience: $19/per adult (age 21+), or $30/per couple.



Kristen Guthrie is the Marketing Manager at Visit Fort Wayne, where she has the pleasure of sharing Fort Wayne with our potential visitors! She loves exploring downtown and taking her 5-year old son to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, where he knows more about the animals than she ever will!

Mamma Mia! and SHREK the Musical Are Coming to Fort Wayne!

Fort Wayne has the best in Broadway whether it is a singing ogre or Swedish pop from the 70′s.

Believe it or not, Fort Wayne is bringing some of the best Broadway shows to you and your family (without the need of plane tickets or booking a hotel room.) That’s right, the world’s favorite ogre named Shrek and some of the soothing sounds of Sweden via Mamma Mia! are taking the stage here in Fort Wayne. Beautiful venues like the Embassy Theater and the Arts United Center are giving us a chance to see some of the best of what New York City stage entertainment has to offer at some of Indiana’s largest and historical theaters.

Mamma Mia!
Embassy Theatre
Monday, October 20, 2014

Mama Mia Mamma Mia! and SHREK the Musical Are Coming to Fort Wayne!

Mamma Mia! is a legendary and timeless musical that offers fun for all ages. Mamma Mia! is a show that covers romance, friendship, and laughter with music that includes many ABBA hits (especially if it happens to be on a Friday night and the lights are low… or if you’re just looking for a place to go.)

Mamma Mia! has it all as it has successfully conveyed its message through many different adaptations whether onstage or in film. Make sure you check out Mamma Mia! once it airs to see how well they took advantage of the fact that they weren’t allowed only one set piece or location to tell the story. Also throw in the fact that you’ve got Pierce Brosnan and one of the best actresses of our time Meryl Streep to help tell this story that takes place on a Greek island. Come for the ABBA hits and stay for the wedding climax that you were hoping for.


SHREK the Musical
Arts United Center
November 8-23, 2014

Shrek Musical Mamma Mia! and SHREK the Musical Are Coming to Fort Wayne!SHREK the Musical has just about everything that you’d expect and more when it comes to an ogre and his delightful group of pals (ranging from talking animals to humans.) Based on the Academy Award winning DreamWorks film, SHREK the Musical brings the characters you’ve seen on the silver screen to the stage in this spectacle that must be seen for all ages.

The stage production of Shrek follows the story of a princess, a talking donkey with serious attitude, a string of familiar fairy tale faces/characters, a short tempered bad guy, and of course our unlikely hero of this story… an ogre named Shrek. Watch your favorite animated film in live action with brand new songs, an amazing set, and nothing but fun for anyone interested in what this irreverent comedy has in store for them or loved ones. With a long list of new songs added to the musical that may be hummed to oneself after the show is over, come see the princess be shocked when witnessing her prince charming/ogre for the first time, and then eventually turn into an ogre herself.  Stay for the heartwarming ending once the musical is ogre (or when the fairy tale puns cease.)

An excellent activity to do with the family would be to watch it again on TV or internet for home before you go to make comparisons between the film and the play. Aside from the fact that they brought computer animation to life, check out how they used their imaginations to successfully tell a story with live action (and somehow keep the idea of talking animals believable on the stage.)


When it comes to bringing the experience of Broadway to Fort Wayne, the world is a stage and the plays could possibly inspire some unconventional song or dance breaks for some of your casual conversations in your immediate future (after witnessing these theatrical works of genius.)

Kaila Strong


Kaila is a technology blogger and active online as a writer for over ten years. Her passions include technology, business, travel and much more. She has fond memories of Fort Wayne, spending summers with her grandmother as a child and is also a continued supporter of local businesses in the area.

Fort Wayne is your place for girlfriend getaways

When was the last time you really let your hair down with some girlfriends? Chances are, it wasn’t recent enough. Why not let loose with a change of scenery? Fort Wayne has plenty to offer women of all ages for girlfriend getaways. Here are a few of my recommendations, in no particular order:

  • Have drinks at Club Soda. There is a reason this restaurant/bar is a favorite of Harrison Ford. Try one of their signature martinis, and you won’t be disappointed.

    photo 11 300x224 Fort Wayne is your place for girlfriend getaways

    Find a one-of-a-kind treasure at Opal & Ruby.

  • Wine a bit. There are two wineries with 30 miles of Fort Wayne. Country Heritage, just north of Fort Wayne, urges you to enjoy up to five free tastings, and then savor your selection (or one of their amazing wine slushies!) under their gazebo, or as you sit and rock awhile on their front porch. Two EE’s tasting room combines simple elegance with a full view of the production room. Guests can overlook the vineyard as they peruse their wine selections, and freely enjoy the 40-acre grounds.
  • Get artsy. Wine & Canvas combines art with  Their studio on the southwest side of town is bright and cheerful–the walls are adorned with sample paintings from previous sessions. You’ll be provided with a canvas, supplies and instructions needed to make your own masterpiece. A beverage bar is available that serves wine, beer, soda, and water. A small selection of snacks is available, as well. There’s also a private room for parties.
  • Indulge. If you haven’t heard of DeBrand’s you’re missing out. This world renowned purveyor of chocolate is based right here in Fort Wayne. Come in for a piece or two and savor the fine confections.
  • Engage in some retail therapy. Forget big box stores–you should check out what makes Fort Wayne unique. It’s the independently owned retailers that really stick out. We recommend Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium to find a souvenir or gift. Inside the store you’ll find some gems as hand-made jewelry, pillows, picture frames candles, cookies, and bags. A great deal of the products are locally sourced from such vendors.

Here’s to creating some memories!


Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website:

Boo to You! Halloween Happenings in Fort Wayne

Fall is upon us in Fort Wayne, and that means that Halloween is just around the corner. Whether you love the tricks or the treats of this spooky holiday, are looking for a real scare or maybe just a nice corn maze, you can find all of that and more in Fort Wayne this Halloween!

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Trick? Or Treat?

For the family

Wild Zoo Halloween

Dates: October 17-19, 23-26 and 30-31

Times: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Cost: $5 per person for general admission, $9 per person if trick-or-treating

A Fort Wayne family favorite, the Wild Zoo Halloween is geared towards young children, but fun for everyone. Come in costume and walk from station to station collecting candy and treats. There are games and daily special events, including:

2:00 p.m.  Meet K’Zoo
2:30 p.m.  Live Animal Show
3:00 p.m.  Sea Lion Feeding
3:30 p.m.  Monster Mash Dance Party

Click here for more details!

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Wild Zoo Halloween

Halloween Haunt at the Community Center

Date: Saturday, October 18

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: Community Center, 233 W. Main St.

Cost: Free!

“Downtown Fort Wayne becomes a haven for monsters, ghosts, vampires and zombies on this Saturday afternoon.” Put the kids in their costumes and head out to the Community Center for a whole afternoon of Halloween fun. This is a favorite for my kids. Activities include face painting, theater performances and more. Admission is free, but there will be concessions on sale.

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Halloween Haunt at the Community Center

Hilger Family Farm

Dates: Open now, but fall treats begin in October

Times: Mondays and Tuesdays – 4:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.; Wednesdays through Saturdays – 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Sundays – 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Hilger Family Farm, 5534 Butt Rd.

Cost: Pay per pumpkin or other fall treats

Everyone loves Hilger’s! Pick the perfect pumpkin or choose from a variety of pre-picked goodies. Special fall activities include hayrides and animal rides on the weekends. During the week and on weekends, enjoy the barn swings and a playground made of straw. Enjoy hand-dipped caramel apples, popcorn and hot or cold apple cider.

Hilger’s has a great selection of seasonal home decorations including corn stalks, hay bales, pumpkins, Indian corn and painted pumpkins, just to name a few.

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Hilger Family Farm


For the adventurous

Hysterium Haunted Asylum

Dates: Check dates here

Times: Variable

Where: 4410 Arden Dr.

Cost: $12; click here for more details

So, I’m not really one to enjoy a truly scary Halloween, but for those of you who are, this si the place for you! The Asylum is run by the same crew that brought you The Haunted Cave for the last 15 years, so they are no strangers to the game of fright.  Expect a truly scary experience!

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Do you dare??

Fright Night Downtown

Dates: October 18

Times: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Where: Downtown Fort Wayne, silly!

Cost: Varies by event; click here.

If you live in or around Fort Wayne, and you’ve never experienced Fright Night Downtown, well then pull up a chair, we’ve got some talking to do. Kick things off in the morning by visiting Science Central or the Botanical Conservatory with the kids, catch some music and get some eats in the afternoon, but don’t be late to the Zombie Walk! Come dressed in your best (or worst!) undead look and follow the crowd as the zombies take over downtown.  Afterwards, catch a haunted bus tour or see Nightmare on Elm St at the Embassy. There are plenty of activities from which to choose. Make the most of the day by planning your trip here.

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Zombie Walk

ARCH Haunted Sites Bus Tours

Dates: October 18

Times: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Buses depart at 6, 8 and 10.

Where: 125 W. Jefferson St., Indiana Hotel Lobby

Cost: $15 for adults and $10 for ages 5-17

“All Aboard the Coach of Chills!” Catch a bus and take a spooky tour through “historic sites of fright, with tales of terror that cloud our city’s night.”

Be warned! This tour IS pretty scary and is not recommended for the faint of heart.

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Bus tours start at the hauntingly beautiful Indiana Hotel

Lantern Tours of the Old Fort

Dates: October 18

Times: 11:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Where: 1201 Spy Run Ave., The Old Fort

Cost: $2; kids under 12 get in free

Join the ghosts of soldiers past at the Historic Old Fort.  Explore the Fort by night, via lantern, and hear tales of real encounters with the Fort’s ghosts! There will be re-enactors, visitors and professional ghost hunters. If you’re super lucky, you might run into the Old Fort’s resident ghost, Lt. Ostrander. Word to the wise: keep an eye out for the Headless Horseman!

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Make sure your lantern stays lit!

Do you have Halloween plans that aren’t on our list? Share them in the comments below!

Wendy Sack


Born and bred in Alabama, Wendy has lived in Fort Wayne for just over 12 years, calling historic Williams-Woodland Park home. Asked to describe herself, Wendy is quick to throw out the terms grammar geek, voracious reader, Jim Gaffigan nut and Alabama Crimson Tide football fanatic. Often found with a Diet Coke in one hand and a book in the other, Wendy’s true passion is her family. She is a wife, a mother of two and is always looking for new and adventurous things to do in and around Fort Wayne. Wendy finds humor easily in any situation and is a true believer that laughter really does cure anything.

Mannheim Steamroller in Concert for Christmas

Come and celebrate the 30th Anniversary Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour at the Embassy Theatre from 8:00 pm-10 pm on Friday, December 5, 2014 and be prepared to thoroughly enjoy an innovative, lyrical evening.

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In addition to old holiday favorites, the 2014 tour will also highlight songs from the group’s latest album, Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim, with such lyrical titles as “Come Home to the Sea,” “Sunrise at Rhodes,” “The 7 Stars of the Big Dipper,” “Wolfgang Amaedus Penguin,” and many more new pieces.

Longtime fans of the classical rock band will welcome founder / songwriter / recorder Chip Davis, Jr. as he continues to entertain the world with beautiful music, including the gorgeous sounds of harpsichord, piano, flute, violins, camel bells, and other carefully-chosen orchestration.  Mannheim, which released its first album in 1984, has sold more than 40 million albums, outselling artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Billy Joel.

According to one of the fun facts on the group’s website, “If you lined up all the CDs sold [by them], they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles and then into the Pacific Ocean — more than 3000 miles – and if you stacked up the CDs, they would be taller than the Sears Tower — 645 times taller.”

The creative group has been awarded 16 gold records, 7 platinum and 4 multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.  Steamroller, in addition to being the Number 1 Christmas music artist of all time, selling more than 27 million albums; in addition, the band is the top-selling Halloween artist today.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Embassy Theatre box office (260.424.5665; 125 West Jefferson Blvd Fort Wayne, IN 46802) or Ticketmaster (1.800.745.3000;  NOTE:  The Embassy is a historic venue so there are no elevators.

Come to the Embassy on December 5, 2014 and celebrate Bethlehem with Mannheim!



Barb Sieminski is a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and newspapers. She received her B.A. and M.S. in art and English, from the University of St. Francis. When not chained to the computer, she follows her passion of fishing, believing that all good things come to she who baits . . .