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 shop.visitfortwayne.com. You can also call us anytime at 260-424-3700.

VisitorsCenter

About

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.

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

About

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!)

View Comments

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.

Christmas at the Fort

Maybe you’ve seen the high wooden walls of the Old Fort on Spy Run. And perhaps you’ve seen how cozy it looks, with snow gently falling around the brown-and-white exterior. Well, if you’ve ever wanted to explore the Fort in the winter time, this is your chance to mix a little historical fun with Christmas shopping.

Christmas at the Fort is taking place on Saturday, November 29 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you’re in downtown Fort Wayne, you can hop on the Holly Trolley and get a lift to the Fort Stop. There will be a warming station, donut bobbing for the kids, and a bake sale, just to get you started.

Inside the fort, each ‘apartment’ will be open, featuring different handmade items for sale. Crafters from all over Indiana, including Lebanon, Peru, Converse, North Manchester, and Huntington, will be there to show you their products and perhaps to demonstrate how their items are made.

This event is completely family friendly, and it comes on the Saturday right after Thanksgiving – so why not make a day of it and bring the whole gang along? While most of the terrain inside the fort is even and paved with crushed rock, there are steps to get up into the ‘stores,’ so you might want to park the stroller outside and bring the kids in.

11christmas16 soldier re enactor helps with crafts Christmas at the Fort

Kids and historical re-enactors work on crafts at the Christmas at the Fort

As you shop, you’ll find everything from woolen hand-spun and hand-stitched items to carved bowls and blacksmith products. Silver jewelry, pottery, leather goods and beeswax items are also for sale. Products offered here are all made with an eye to traditional craftsmanship, so there will be no batteries involved!

11christmas10 demonstrating at the Fort Christmas at the Fort

Why not make some holiday decorations while you’re at the Fort?

Costumed demonstrators may be present at the Fort, too, to lend an air of authenticity to the situation. After all, the fort is a reconstruction from 1815-16 – why not take a step back into time and see what it looked like, too? Children’s activities include an opportunity to don period clothing for a photo opportunity with “General George Washington” alongside his cannon. Children are also welcome to create a s’more treat, toasting their own marshmallow over a cozy fireplace.

11christmas07 A fire and a wreath Christmas at the Fort

What could feel more like Christmas than a warm fire, a pine wreath and candles?

If you’re driving over to the Fort, the address is 1201 Spy Run Ave., and parking is available in the Spy Run lot, or near Lawton Park (across the river.) Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

Louisa

About

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!)

Have a Holly Jolly time during Holly Trolley Shopping!

HTS 300x199 Have a Holly Jolly time during Holly Trolley Shopping! On Saturday, November 29 you can discover downtown and all of the local shops it has to offer during the Downtown Improvement District’s annual Holly Trolley Shopping Day! Park, shop and ride the FREE trollies from 11am-5pm and check out unique offerings from local businesses both right downtown, and in the Wells Street Corridor.

Participating downtown shops are:

3R Gallery
Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery
Botanical Conservatory
Castle Gallery Fine Art
Cathedral Books & Gifts
Community Center Popup Market
Cottage Flowers
Courtyard Wintergreens and Utopian Coffee Co.
Creative Women of the World
Dunkin Donuts at the Allen County Public Library
Emiley’s Haute Cottage
Fort Wayne Museum of Art Paradigm Gallery
Fort Wayne TinCaps Orchard
Foxy Ladies Art Posse Holiday Gift Market
Historic Fort Wayne
House of Furniture
Indiana Artisan Holiday Marketplace
Pembroke Bakery & Café
Prana Yoga School of Yoga and Health
Saving Grace Vintage
Science Central
Sharon’s Victorian House of Gifts
Stoner’s Funstore
Sunny Schick Camera Shop
The Wood Shack Architectural Antiques
Third World Fair Trade Shoppe
Visit Fort Wayne
Your Virgin Hair Boutique

Wells Corridor participants include:

Big Eyed Fish
Brewers Art Supply, Inc.
C.M. Sloan & Sons Funeral Home
Connolly’s Do It Best
Fort Wayne Guitar Exchange
Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot
G.I. Joes Army Surplus
Great Panes Glass Company
Hyde Brothers Booksellers
Indiana Mexican Bakery
Jay’s Mini Mart Inc.
La Michoana
Linda Lou’s New & Used Furniture
Morings Flowers
Richards Bakery & Big Apple Pizza
Wells Street Variety & Antiques

For those keeping count, that’s 50 (FIFTY) local places you can visit throughout the day! Need a little help mapping your day out with all of these options? Let me give you a few of the places I’m most excited about visiting during HollyTrolley Shopping!

1966952 343662242462613 3021124476205495112 n 300x300 Have a Holly Jolly time during Holly Trolley Shopping!

Emiley’s Haute Cottage features unique gifts. (photo via Emiley’s Haute Cottage Facebook page)

Emily’s Haute Cottage

Emily’s Haute Cottaqge is one of the cutest shops in downtown Fort Wayne! Offering everything from unique home furniture and decor, to locally made jewelry, Emily’s Haute Cottage is the place to go if you’re looking for something you ‘re sure to not find in a chain store. Voted 1st place in the Fort Wayne Newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Gift Collectibles Shop, this is the perfect spot to hunt for a gift for that person on your Christmas list that has fun and unique taste (or to buy yourself something fabulous).

VC 1 665 522x392 300x225 Have a Holly Jolly time during Holly Trolley Shopping!

Just a few of the things you’ll find while shopping at Visit Fort Wayne.

Visit Fort Wayne

Obviously, Visit Fort Wayne is a must for this list! Stop by the Visitors Center for gifts that shout your love for Fort Wayne! Whether you’re looking for Fort Wayne branded apparel, or something uniquely Fort Wayne to celebrate our city, there’s a good chance Visit Fort Wayne has it! Want to find something a little more “luxurious”? The Visitors Center carries local favorites Vera Bradley and DeBrand Fine Chocolate too! While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to chat up their knowledgable staff who are always happy to give their recommendations of what to do and see in Fort Wayne!

Store 522x392 300x225 Have a Holly Jolly time during Holly Trolley Shopping!

Browse Fort Wayne Outfitters.

Fort Wayne Outfitter’s & Bike Depot

Prior to this summer I had never been to Fort Wayne Outfitters. I had heard lots of good things, but never had a reason or opportunity to check it out. Once I did I fell in love with this hidden gem in the Wells Street Corridor! During much warmer weather, Fort Wayne Outfitters is the place to go if you’re looking to really get out and explore Fort Wayne from a different point of view. They offer kayak, canoe, and paddle board rentals for going out on the river, as well as bike rentals to explore our trail system. For your shopping needs, they have a selection of apparel and gear, bikes and boats. This is the perfect place to shop for the outdoorsy person in your life!

hyde 2 Have a Holly Jolly time during Holly Trolley Shopping!

Hyde Brother’s is filled to the brim with books.

Hyde Brothers Book Sellers

If you have a book lover on your shopping list, chances are they already know about Hyde Brothers Booksellers. It is a truly magical place if reading is your thing. They offer over 150,000 titles, and are one of the largest bookstores in all of Indiana! I’ve spent many afternoons combing the shelves at Hyde Brothers, looking for something unique and interesting, and they never disappoint! You’ll find everything from first-edition leatherbound novels, antique special editions and newer titles currently flying off the shelves.

Now, start mapping out your day! Many of the locations along the Holly Trolley route will be offering special holiday items, one-day sales and refreshments for shoppers. Holly Trolley shopping is also great because with two trolley routes, you won’t have to wait long at any given stop to move along to your next stop! Holly Trolley shopping goes from 11am-5pm and riding the trolley is FREE! For more information, check out Visit Fort Wayne or the Downtown Improvement District. And, don’t miss out on all of the other great Holiday Fest activities going on all season long!

Katie

About

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.

Kick off the holiday season with the Embassy Theatre’s Festival of Trees

FullSizeRender 300x300 Kick off the holiday season with the Embassy Theatres Festival of Trees

Last year’s Festival of Trees was one of my favorites!

There’s something magical about the holiday season. Everyone is a little cheerier, the cold weather feels more festive than troublesome, houses are decked out in twinkling lights, and Christmas trees are put up and decorated for all to see. To top it all off, Fort Wayne goes all out to usher in the holiday season. From the big Holidayfest kickoff at the Night of Lights, to the illuminated displays you’ll find around town all throughout the season, Fort Wayne is doing it right! Out of all of the great events you’ll find throughout Holidayfest, the Embassy Theatre Festival of Trees is by far my favorite, and it will be yours too!

Each year the Embassy Theatre puts on the Festival of Trees – a festival where trees of all shapes and sizes are decorated elaborately in celebration of the holiday season. While the Festival of Trees is a wonderful display of all things wondrous and magical, it also serves a bigger purpose. Since its start in 1984, the Embassy Festival of Trees has served as a community goodwill event that supports the continuous operational and restoration efforts of the Embassy Theatre Foundation, Inc.. Each intricately, and sometimes gloriously over the top, tree is decorated and/or sponsored by a local group or business, adding even more the true community feel of the event.

This is one of Fort Wayne’s favorite holiday festivals, hands down! Year after year, more and more people are discovering the fun and beauty that is the Festival of Trees. Not only are there gaggles of intricately decorated trees all around the Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel lobby, but there are also live performances from some of the areas most talented singers, dancers and musicians. I can guarantee that even the most Grinch-like person will be transformed after walking through the magical hallways filled with holiday cheer (and lights and glitter and ribbon!).

The Embassy Theatre Festival of Trees kicks off on downtown Fort Wayne’s Night of Lights on November, 26th, and continues through Wednesday, December 3rd. While the window to attend the festival is limited, it is worth working it into your plans!

The full schedule for the Festival of Trees is as follows:
Night of Lights, Wed., Nov. 26, 6-9 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 27, 4-8 p.m. (featuring Grande Page Organ music)
Fri.-Sun., Nov. 28- Nov. 30, 12-8 p.m. (youth entertainment on the Embassy stage)
Mon., Dec. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Senior Day (open to the public, special information for Seniors)
Tues., Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 3, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tots and Trees (open to the public, special activities for kids)

Don’t miss out! Make the Festival of Trees a new tradition with your family and friends! Admission to the festival is $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are FREE. For ticket information call the Embassy Theatre box office at 800.745.3000, or visit ticketmaster. For more information on the Festival of Trees, and all of the other great Holidayfest events, check out Visit Fort Wayne.

Katie

About

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.