Shop ’til you drop in Fort Wayne!

If you’ve ever seen the horribly awesome movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, you have pretty much seen a mirror image of my life. Tops, sweaters, dresses, shoes, home decor, useless trinkets – you name it and there’s a good chance I’ve bought it. Some people get runners high when they workout, well I definitely get a shoppers high from whipping out my Betsey Johnson wallet and swiping my debit card through the card reader at clothing stores. Luckily for myself, and shopaholics all around, Fort Wayne is chalk full of places with beautiful baubles and gorgeous gifts just waiting to be bought! Whether you’re looking to spend the day browsing the stores at one of our shopping malls, or have a specialty item you’re just not sure where to find, Fort Wayne has you covered! Better yet, make it a whole day, or weekend, of shopping for a real retail therapy experience!

Glenbrook Square
If you want to hunker down and have one destination for all of your shopping needs look no further than Glenbrook Square Mall. Glenbrook is the only enclosed “super-regional” mall within 100 miles. Here you’ll find a number of retailers including department stores like Macy’s and Carson’s, boutiques like Francesca’s and specialty shops including Coach and Pandora. Hungry? Glenbrook has a large food court with a variety of options to choose from. Or you can also sit down and relax at Red Robin, or a number of other restaurants right there along Coliseum Boulevard.

Jefferson Pointe
When the weather is nice, Jefferson Pointe is one of my favorite places to spend a day shopping away! The open-air lifestyle shopping destination is a great place to find more upscale and unique stores. A few of my favorites include Von Maur, Charming Charlies, Petshion Boutique and Poptique Popcorn.There are plenty of places to grab a bite, both within the shopping center, and within close proximity including Panera Bread, Coldstone Cremaery, FlatTop Grill and more! Want to kick back and take in a movie after a long day of browsing the racks? Check out Carmike 18 Cinemas, which features an IMAX theater as well!

Specialty and Unique
You don’t have to hit the malls to have a great shopping trip in Fort Wayne. There are a number of amazing local shops that feature unique clothing, decor, food items, vintage finds and more. Covington Plaza features and eclectic mix of shops including local clothing boutiques, fun for foodies, and specialty gift shops. The West End Shops in downtown Fort Wayne are great for finding unique finds you’re not going to see browsing the malls. Emily’s Haute Cottage, House of Furniture and Lather & Lotions are just a few of the places you’ll find nestled into our great downtown neighborhoods!

That’s just to get you started! I told you, Fort Wayne doesn’t let us shopaholics down! To add food and other activities into your shopping trip, browse our dining maps, and full list of all of our great attractions! For a full shopping trip itinerary, or to get more ideas of things to do in Fort Wayne, check out our new Trip Ideas page.

Happy shopping!



Katie Robinson simply loves Fort Wayne! Born and raised in the Summit City, she returned following graduating from Ball State University with a degree in Public Relations in May of 2013. A former Visit Fort Wayner, Katie currently works for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority as the Marketing and Customer Service Specialist. In her spare time you can find her baking cupcakes, Zumba-ing her heart out and relaxing with her husband, Joe, and their adorable Shih Tzu, Gidget.

Counting Crows’ Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour – Live at the Embassy!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been a Counting Crows fan for more than half my life. I remember how much I wanted to learn to play guitar after hearing “Mr. Jones”. And I learned how – eventually, sort of – but couldn’t actually play “Mr. Jones” because my guitar was a little too beat up (it wouldn’t play an F chord!). I remember grabbing August and Everything After at the mall when in Indy for the state speech meet and Recovering the Satellites at a midnight sale when I was at Purdue – yes, back when people still bought CDs. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen them live (somewhere around 14). Oddly enough, I’ve never seen them in Fort Wayne. That’s going to change, though, when Counting Crows returns to Fort Wayne Sunday, December 7, 2014, to play the Historic Embassy Theatre.

CCpic 300x224 Counting Crows Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour   Live at the Embassy!

August and Everything After, Counting Crows’ first and arguably best album, is near the top of my “all-time greatest” list. Since its release in 1993, the band has recorded five additional albums of original material, including this year’s Somewhere Under Wonderland, and an album of covers. I’ve thought a lot about where I’d place Wonderland on the list of their best work, and I feel pretty confident saying it’s a close third, after August and Recovering the Satellites. Ranking the band’s albums is tough business, as even their “worst” album is still great and better than most of what’s out there. While I am a fan of the kind of music Counting Crows makes – and the talented musicians who make it – it’s frontman Adam Duritz’s words that have always been the bigger draw for me. There are few contemporary lyricists who write such poignant, poetic lyrics, and his turns of phrase, imagery, and epic storytelling wouldn’t be out of place in a lit class.

So what can I say about the live show? Well, it’s generally a mix of new stuff, hits, and a couple deeper cuts thrown in for good measure. Yes, I could tell you the songs you’ll probably hear, but what fun is that? (If you want to cheat, though, visit this site for past setlists: One of the unique things about Counting Crows’ live shows is their penchant for reworking tunes. You’ll see this in several different ways: they’ll speed up or slow down the tempo of a song, they’ll perform the song acoustically (see the version of “Mr. Jones” on Across the Wire: Live in New York City, featuring the band’s appearances on MTV’s Live at the 10 Spot and VH1’s Storytellers, as an example of both), they’ll change the lyrics, or they’ll sandwich part or all of one song inside another song (“Round Here” and “Rain King” are the best examples). On stage, Duritz invests each song with an immediacy and intensity for which there are few venues better than the Embassy. I have no doubt this will be an amazing show.

I really can’t say enough about Counting Crows or their live performances. I first saw them in 1997 (also the year I first saw Ben Folds), and their performances have only improved. Believe me when I say they sound just as good today as they did then. Tickets are still available and range from $45 to $85 (additional fees may apply). For more information, please visit or



Apart from spending his college years in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Dayton, Ohio, Mike Flohr is a lifetime resident of the Summit City. Today he divides his time among his wife, Megan, his job as a college librarian, and his many geek obsessions.

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1 Response to "Counting Crows’ Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour – Live at the Embassy!"

November 28th, 2014
Thanks for info. I'll be there for sure.

The Nutcracker: A Fort Wayne Ballet Holiday Tradition

FWBalletWEB 522x392 300x225 The Nutcracker: A Fort Wayne Ballet Holiday Tradition

A holiday classic that many families look forward to every year is Fort Wayne Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is the story of a young girl named Clara, who gets the gift of a nutcracker at a fabulous holiday party from her godfather.  When Clara falls asleep after the party, she enters the Nutcracker’s world in her dreams, where a giant, living Nutcracker must fight the Mouse King’s army and later, enter the Kingdom of Sweets.

But this is not the same ballet as years past.  The Fort Wayne Ballet strives to make changes every year that will enhance the story and make it a more visually beautiful performance. This year, new backdrops will be featured in the party scene and the snow section.  Besides new set additions, there will also be new characters, including a male dancer who appears with the Dewdrop ballerina, as well as magical unicorns that make an appearance for the first time in The Nutcracker.

Nutcracker 2014 3507 300x212 The Nutcracker: A Fort Wayne Ballet Holiday Tradition

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Photo credit: Fort Wayne Ballet

The Fort Wayne Ballet’s commitment to adding new elements every year enhances the show’s experience while keeping audience members on their toes for new surprises.  Even with the additional elements throughout the show, the Nutcracker maintains the delightful traditions that make this holiday classic so special.  The party scene transports audience members of all ages as mischievous children, dancing guests, and live animals make an entrance onto the stage.

But the dazzling party scene is only a prelude to the enchantment of the dream world, where Clara and the Nutcracker go to a land of snow, an enchanted winter wonderland with dancing snowflakes. They also meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, who rewards them with dances from around the world, including Arabian, Chinese and Spanish dancers. The last number comes from the Sugar Plum Fairy and the dashing Cavalier who enchant us with their finale, a pas de deux.

Beautiful sets, magical characters, and special surprises await children and adults of all ages in this holiday classic. Fort Wayne Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker is a wonderful tradition to add to your family holiday experience this Christmas.


Friday, December 5, 2014 |  7:30pm*

Saturday, December 6, 2014 | 2:30pm*

Saturday, December 6, 2014 | 7:30pm*

Sunday, December 7, 2014 | 2:30pm

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | 7:30pm

Friday, December 12, 2014 | 7:30pm

Saturday, December 13, 2014 | 2:30pm

Saturday, December 13, 2014 | 7:30pm

Sunday, December 14, 2014 | 2:30pm


Sugar Plum Parties | after matinee performances | $8

* Performance with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic

** All performances are at the Arts United Center


ADULT TICKET PRICES: $43.50 (Regular Seating Area) and $49 (Premium Seating Area).Discounts available for Seniors (Ages 60+), Youth (Ages 11-18), and Children (Ages 3-9).

Please call the Box Office at 260.422.4226 for more information or order tickets online.



Sara Ward


Sara Ward is a writer, actress, speaker, teacher, and author of an award-winning play. In addition to writing about Fort Wayne's best dining and events on the Fort Wayne Insider, she also writes for Destiny Rescue, an anti-human trafficking group working in six countries. Sara lives in Fort Wayne with her husband and daughter. You can read more of her writings on her blog, Poets and Saints.

Unique Holiday Shopping with Minimal Effort at the Fort Wayne Visitors Center

Here at the Fort Wayne Visitors Center we are proud to say that we carry a variety of holiday gifts which you cannot purchase anywhere else.

This year we have dramatically added to our prepackaged gift options to aid in your holiday shopping, in addition to the products we sold last year. They come beautifully assembled and gift wrapped for your convenience. Each option falls at a different price point so you will get the WOW! factor no matter your budget.

We have two different gift sets which come in coffee cups. The first is the Visit Fort Wayne mug (available in blue or green) with Hot Chocolate on a Spoon by DeBrand Chocolatier which is $9.75. The second is the Fort Wayne Skyline Mug with Fort Wayne coffee and Hot Chocolate on a Spoon for $15.

new2 300x300 Unique Holiday Shopping with Minimal Effort at the Fort Wayne Visitors Center

Skyline mug with Fort Wayne coffee and Hot Chocolate on a Spoon

We also have a variety of gifts housed in festive holiday boxes. Our first contains the Visit Fort Wayne coffee mug, Hot Chocolate on a Spoon, Fort Wayne coffee, and a handmade coaster and ornament from Hedgehog Press. This beautiful assemblage is perfect for a Secret Santa gift at $20.

Additionally, we have gifts geared towards the reader or child in your life. The first contains the Skyline mug, Fort Wayne coffee, and a book on Fort Wayne history at $30. For the child in your life, we have a combo that contains a colorful teddy bear, slinky, light-up yo-yo, and light-up bouncy ball for $17.50.

new1 282x300 Unique Holiday Shopping with Minimal Effort at the Fort Wayne Visitors Center

Gift with Skyline mug, Fort Wayne coffee, and a book

All of the contents in these packages are sold separately if you wish to create your own special gift. We also have gift bags and tissue paper for your gifting convenience.

We cannot wait for Holly Trolley and will be open for shopping on Saturday, November 29th. Come in between now and the end of the year and mention Holiday Code to receive 20% off your entire purchase. AND, just for Holly Trolley, a flash sale of our vintage inspired Fort Wayne t-shirts for just $10 each!

Visit us in person at 927 S. Harrison Street, or online at You can also call us anytime at 260-424-3700.



Come see Stephanie and Megan in the Fort Wayne-Allen County Visitors Center located at 927 S. Harrison Street. They are passionate about all that Fort Wayne offers and love to give personalized information regarding restaurants, hotels, attractions, festivals, and more. You can also get maps, brochures, and a Visitors Guide. Fort Wayne merchandise and souvenirs are also available for purchase.

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1 Response to "Unique Holiday Shopping with Minimal Effort at the Fort Wayne Visitors Center"

Amanda Reusser
Amanda Reusser
November 28th, 2014
This is a great place to shop quickly and in a nice, quiet environment. I'm proud of Fort Wayne's classy Visitors Center! :)

Let’s See Santa Claus!

The red suit. The white beard. Gloved hands and maybe even cotton snow. Yep, that sounds like Santa Claus – and it sounds like the type of Santa that we have right here in Fort Wayne. If you’re a fan of peppermint ice cream and beautifully decorated trees, check out the Festival of Trees, held at the Embassy Theatre from November 26 through December 3. You do need to pay admission to get into the Festival of Trees, but once you’re through the doors, there is so much to see! The trees are beautiful – and Santa is waiting! Just take a look at the photos

Embassy Santa Festival of Trees 4 300x225 Let’s See Santa Claus!

The entrance to see Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Festival of Trees

– there is a great big Santa Land where kids can meet the man himself and Mrs. Claus. Parents are invited and encouraged to take as many pictures as they like – and, here’s the big plus – kids get a scoop of Edys’ Peppermint Ice Cream!

Embassy Santa Festival of Trees 2 225x300 Let’s See Santa Claus!

Santa, snow and kids – this is one of the highlights of the season.

At the Botanical Conservatory, just around the corner from the Embassy Theatre, families can visit St. Nick on Saturdays. On December 6, 13 and 20, Santa Claus will be ensconced in glory at the Gardens from 12 – 4 p.m. Visitors will need to pay regular admission. This year’s holiday theme at the Gardens is “High Style Holidays,” and the decorations will reflect decor from the earlier half of the 20th century in America. In addition to seeing the gorgeous poinsettias at the Conservatory, you can also meet two of Santa’s live reindeer when you stop to snap pictures of your kids. The Conservatory always creates a lovely, warm atmosphere that is so calming during the busiest time of the year– it’s a great place to see! And, of course, there are the Santas you can see at the mall. Glenbrook Square has had a Santa Claus display for dozens of years, and their display is usually quite special. Spinning, sparkling gifts, televisions with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and green-dressed elves manning a large camera are all waiting to see your little munchkins in their Christmas finery. Yes, the lines do get long on the weekends. But if you get there on a weekday or in the morning, your line time is quite a bit shorter. Jefferson Pointe also has a Santa display, but instead of having an inside event, this Santa has his own house outside! Kids and their families walk up to one side of the tiny house, step inside, and exit – stroller and all – through a different door.

Jefferson Pointe Santa House 300x225 Let’s See Santa Claus!

Santa’s house at Jefferson Point is kid-sized – here’s what it looks like!

Early on Saturday mornings, near 10 a.m., it’s pretty quiet, so you can walk right up and step inside. Sometimes, there are live reindeer to see, too. And Jefferson Pointe is always so beautifully decorated – don’t miss the gigantic faux Christmas Tree in the middle of the outdoor pavilion. Although it isn’t alight in the day time, the sheer size of it makes you stop and stare. Where else would Christmas ornaments about a foot across seem to fit in seamlessly with the decorations? In the evenings, Jefferson Pointe has a music and lights show that synchronizes the glowing Christmas bulbs to different sections of the tree and all the other lights strung around the outdoor pavilion. Seeing Santa Claus, even just once during the season, is such a special event. Kids like to remember the visit and chatter about it for quite some time. So why not load up the stroller, grab the camera, and take the kids out for a visit they won’t forget?



Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

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1 Response to "Let’s See Santa Claus!"

The History Center
Nancy McCammon-Hansen
November 24th, 2014
You can also visit with Santa at the History Center on Lighting Night, November 26, and also on Saturday, December 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. He's helping us celebrate the 29th annual Festival of Gingerbread.