Farmers Market Offers Taste of Green in Winter

Typically the words “farmers market” conjure images of bountiful green harvests and warm, sunny days. While it may no longer be warm, the bounty is just as abundant this year as the Fort Wayne Farmers Market stays open during the winter!

farmermarket Farmers Market Offers Taste of Green in Winter

The Fort Wayne Farmers Market takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first third Saturday of each month. The market is conveniently located downtown at Parkview Field, home to the Fort Wayne Tin Caps baseball team during baseball season. The winter market is located in the Lincoln Financial Event Center and parking is available in the lots near the field or in the adjoining parking garage if no special events are taking place.

Winter Market Dates (Market Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
December 21
January 4
January 18
February 1: Includes cooking demo by Parkview chefs
February 15
March 1
March 15: Includes cooking demo by Parkview chefs

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Vendors at the Fort Wayne Farmers Market offer items ranging from farm and garden food, home-based food, natural products and an array of local crafts. Food selections are also available for individuals with special dietary needs including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free and sugar-free items. For more information visit the market online.

“Buy Local, Buy Fresh.”

Insider Tip: Social media users take note, if you check in on Foursquare during your visit to the Fort Wayne Farmers Market you might find some special deals!

The Indoor Winter Market runs through May. For more information check out the Fort Wayne Farmers Market’s website, Facebook page, or Visit Fort Wayne!


Previously a news reporter at daily newspapers in Indiana and Ohio, Holly Hammersmith now enjoys the lighter side of writing through freelance work. In her spare time, Holly can be found running or practicing yoga. She also enjoys visiting local coffee shops and day-tripping. Holly lives with her husband, dog Lulu and half a dozen houseplants. Find Holly on Twitter @HFHammers and at

An Artisan’s Delight at Orchard Gallery

 Need a special Christmas gift for an artistic friend or family member?  Looking for a unique ornament for an upcoming Christmas office party?  Do you enjoy supporting local businesses and artisans?  If you answered yes, then Orchard Gallery may be just the shopping destination for you!

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Blue meets white in these colorful ornaments.

Located on Covington Rd. beside Mocha Lounge and behind Covington Commons, Orchard Gallery was begun in 1983 by a group of local artists and has thrived since.  (Click here to read more and view the online portfolio gallery.)  It proudly boasts a wide array of artwork, ranging from abstract paintings to jewelry to fabric art.

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Colorful glass ornaments greet visitors at the door.

Although the store’s Christmas open house isn’t until December 7th, there are already numerous handmade ornaments for sale for reasonable prices.  Glass, cloth and hand-painted ornaments deck the store in cheery holiday style, accompanied by Nativity sets in various forms.

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Whimsical chairs and more glass ornaments adorn a tree in the shop window.

Orchard Gallery is always a fun treat for me because I enjoy browsing the funky art forms.  What I appreciate most about the store is that there isn’t just one artistic style; there are multiple art styles on display that are bound to appeal to most customers.  The employees are also very knowledgeable about many art forms – in particular, how the glass ornaments were created.

So, the next time you’re in the Jefferson Boulevard area, come on over to Covington Road and check out Orchard Gallery!

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Swing by for a homemade Christmas ornament, and come back for the Christmas open house on December 7th!

Visit Orchard Gallery:
Located at 6312 Covington Rd.  or online here

Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
All other days (not open on Sunday) 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Amanda Reusser


Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.

Fort Wayne Costco

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Costco opened in Fort Wayne on October 16th.

As a native of “the big city” of Indianapolis, I was used to wholesale stores like Sam’s Club and Costco, and missed them upon moving to Ft. Wayne. I kept hearing over the last few years that Costco was coming here, but wasn’t really sure if it would ever really happen… well, now it’s here and I couldn’t be happier!

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Grab a cart! Shopping at Costco is an event fit for the whole family!

Before the location on Value Dr. (Lima Rd. at I-69) was even built, my husband and kids signed up for an executive membership–knowing full well I would make up the extra cost ($110 versus regular membership cost of $55) within my first few trips to the store. Plus, we get 2% back on all purchases, in addition to the everyday membership savings on food, gas, toilet paper, ten pounds of chicken nuggets, you name it. (I know what you’re thinking, who honestly can use that many frozen nuggets? Anyone with three kids… and what adult can resist whole grain-breaded, Micky Mouse shaped ones?)

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You can find everything from fresh produce, to giant containers of cheese.

As my youngest and I cruise through the massive wholesale building, stocked clear to the ceiling with all kinds of goodies (quality meats and cheeses, prepared soups, canned goods, pantry staples….), I find a bargain-priced six pound bag of frozen strawberries for my husband’s daily protein shakes, a 24-ounce container of grated parmesan cheese (it goes on everything, just ask my two-year old), and a gallon of milk for just $1.69–almost half the cost of what I get at the grocery store.

Next, I peruse the beer and wine selection–which as a wine lover, I’ll admit I was

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Costco has a large selection of wines – sold in bulk too!

reluctant to try a $5 bottle of Costco’s Kirkland brand Cabernet–but it’s truly delicious. I buy a case of several varieties at excellent prices. An enormous 5-LITER bottle of red wine (just $49) catches my eye, but I talk myself out of that purchase… buying in bulk is good, but this bargain shopper does have limits.

After we finish our Costco shopping adventure, it’s time to hit the gas pumps. Noting that the gas station across the road is priced at $3.15 per gallon, I’m eager to see what my “members only” deal of the day is: $3.05 a gallon! A great bargain to fill up the minivan for less than $60.

Fort Wayne residents will be excited to explore what Costco has to offer, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t buy something “just because”, try to stick to your regular list and look for lowered prices on items you already use.
  • Do explore the fresh produce, meats, store-brand items, and beer/wine/liquor selection; you may be pleasantly surprised.
  • Do compare prices per item when checking out double- and triple-packed soups, cereals, etc… it’s not always lower.
  • Don’t shop hungry, unless you come on Saturday and make a meal out of their free samples.
  • Do keep track of your savings and membership cost; make sure it adds up for you–every household is different.
  • And, if you live in a small house like mine, consider reserving an extra shelf in the garage or basement for “Mom’s Costco overflow”…
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    Make sure you have plenty of room in your house for the goodies you are sure to come home with!

    If you’re ready to explore what Costco has to offer, Costco Wholesale is located at 5110 Value Drive. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808. To get even more information on Costco’s products, services and membership, give them a call at (260) 481-1100 or online at



Born and raised in Indianapolis, almost nothing could move this downtown girl from her native Circle City—except true love. Deb now calls Fort Wayne home, and lives with her husband and their three amazing children in a cozy north side neighborhood. Armed with a Master’s in English, Deb was an editor for Northern Indiana LAKES Magazine, and a copywriter and proofreader for a local marketing and design firm. An avid reader, nature enthusiast, and amateur gourmet, she also loves to take walks and hikes with her family.

Find Unique Fort Wayne Gifts this Holiday Season at the Visitors Center

Are you looking for a unique Fort Wayne themed Christmas gift for a hard-to-shop-for person? Look no further than the Visitors Center! We carry a variety of items you can find nowhere else in town. Here are our gifting suggestions:

-Perfect for anybody: We carry many postcards depicting Fort Wayne and Indiana scenery, historic sites, and work by local artists Diane Groenert and Dawn Haney.  We also carry key chains, coffee mugs and tumblers, shot glasses for the over 21crowd, and pre-made gift boxes. Also, we have a great selection of local history books, including the new Postcard HistorySeries: Fort Wayne by local Randolph Harter.

-For holiday travelers: If you or your gift recipient will be traveling by air we suggest small, light-weight, non-breakable items such as magnets, key chains, post cards, and t-shirts. And, for your luggage we sell durable Visit Fort Wayne luggage tags.

-For the Fort Wayne-ian who moved away: If you want to remind someone of home popular gifts include all of thosementioned above, in addition to our beautiful and cozy afghans and large selection of Fort Wayne history books.

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From a brother obsessed with sports, to a husband who likes to take his coffee to go, there are plenty of choices for the men in your life.

-For a man: Men love the look of our sleek stainless steel tumblers andkey chains. If he is a sports lover we have TinCaps merchandise, baseball t-shirts, baseball caps, and two books on the history of sports inFort Wayne. To keep him warm we have hoodie-style sweatshirts and fleece jackets. We also have playing cards for his poker nights.

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The Visitors Center has everything from DeBrands chocolate to cookbooks written by Fort Wayne foodies.

-For a woman: For the chef we have breath-taking cutting boards by Dawn Haney and two cookbooks: Apple Recipes by the Johnny Appleseed Society and Farm to Fork The Margy Way by Margy Hooker-a local chef and owner of Tanglewood Berry Farm. We also have a beautiful glass ornament by local artist Mike Skiver and a huge selection of t-shirts and sweatshirts. For the chocolate lover we have delicious DeBrand’s chocolate, and we also carry a variety of Vera Bradley items in all the latest patterns.

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Instill Fort Wayne pride in the little ones with fun toys and books.

-For a child: Children are delighted at the fun Fort Wayne toys we carry, including: slinkies, yo-yos, teddy bears, snow globes, puzzles, and light-up bouncy balls, in addition to our colorful shirts. For the little artist we have Old Fort Coloring Books. And, for the little reader we have A is for Appleseed by Ann Corfman and H is for Hoosier by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds.

The Visit Fort Wayne Visitors Center has all of the above – and much more! Shop local and find fun, unique gifts that celebrate our great city! The Visitors Center is located at 927 S. Harrison Street. If you have a question about what you can find in our store, give us a call at 800.767.7752.

We are open during Holly Trolley THIS SATURDAY, November 30th from 11-4. On that day only we will be offering a special 10% deal on all of our afghans. 



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.

Creating Christmas Memories

A wonderful gift comes with the mature years… grandchildren!  And not only do the young ones bring joy to the elders, the feeling is mutual. That grand connection provides the kids with something special. Some may call it spoiling; we call it making memories.

Click on the underlined links below for details about Christmas-themed events and winter wonderland activities where Grammy, Gramps and the kiddos can build the bond and find the fun together in Fort Wayne.


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Festival of Trees 

Stroll through an indoor forest of stunningly decorated Christmas trees. The historic Embassy Theatre will add to the oohs and ahs as you each choose your favorite and enjoy entertainment taking grand atmosphere of the place in the performance hall November 27 through December 4.


Christmas at the Castle

The elegance of Brookside, the beautifully restored former home of the Bass family, located on the University of Saint Francis campus, is a sight to behold. Step back in time throughout the mansion’s three floors, all decked out in holiday glory.

nutcracker on stage Creating Christmas Memories

The Nutcracker

You don’t have to love ballet to love the Nutcracker, but if you do you’ll especially appreciate the graceful dancers who bring the story to life. Even little ones can be mesmerized by the splendor of the costumes, sets and music. There are two chances to see this wonderful show this season. Both the Fort Wayne Ballet and the New American Youth Ballet will both put on productions of the Nutcracker.

Online Shopping

So much fun to shop together! Don’t want to go out in the cold? Then just gather around the computer to order your favorite girly girl items from the websites of hometown businesses. Choose fashions for babies and children from Matilda Jane and Lil Diva. Browse for gifts for ladies on your list from Hand Jive. And Vera Bradley has something for every age.


Headwaters Park Ice Rink 

If you do want to get active and enjoy the brisk weather, head downtown to Headwaters Park and skate to your hearts’ content. Glide around on your own skates or rent from the rink. Fun for everyone!

Festival of Gingerbread

The kiddos will delight in admiring more than 100 intricate and imaginative creations made of edible materials.  You can add in a fun history discussion since the festival is located in the classic History Center. The Festival of Gingerbread runs from November 27-December 15.


Santa and the Reindeer Creating Christmas Memories

Talk with Santa and pet real reindeer at the Botanical Conservatory! Stroll through the scenes of poinsettias and beautiful trees. And don’t miss the many other activities at the Conservatory too, including the “dancing holiday lights” – a synchronized musical light display.

 Creating Christmas Memories

 Christ Child Festival

View nativity displays, enjoy musical performances, create arts and crafts, and have some refreshments at the Christ Child Festival, held downtown in the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center December 6-8.

There are plenty of opportunities for fun in the Fort during this special time of year. Be sure to take photos so you can relive each grand moment!




Deborah is a lifelong northeast Indiana resident and has lived and worked in Fort Wayne since 1979. She is a freelance writer, editor, and communications consultant. She and her husband enjoy spending as much time as possible making memories with their sweet granddaughter.