The Butterfly Effect- 11th Annual Butterfly Exhibit

“A fallen blossom
returning to the bough, I thought –
But no, a butterfly.”
Arakida Moritake

It’s April, and you know what that means. The butterflies are coming!!

It’s time for the butterflies at the Bontanical Conservatory! The 11th annual butterfly exhibit, “The Butterfly Effect,” opens on April 26 and will run through  July 6.

butterfly slide The Butterfly Effect  11th Annual Butterfly Exhibit

Get up close and personal with the butterflies!

If you’ve never experienced this live display, make some time to stop by this summer. It’s great for kids of all ages, because they can get up close and personal with the butterflies, letting them light on their fingers and learning how they transform from caterpillars…it’s like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” come to life! Of course, adults enjoy the event as well. I’ve seen my own mother giggle while having big, beautiful butterflies land on her as we walked through the exhibit.

You’ll walk through gardens with specially-draped netting to contain the butterflies. And, trust me, the butterflies are not shy. You’ll end up with several on  you. Just remember to be gentle. Butterflies are extremely delicate. Guests will also enjoy the beautiful and fragrant flowers in the exhibit.

The magic of live butterflies returns again to the Botanical Conservatory this spring and summer. Enjoy a beautiful array of large exotic species within the display tent, butterflies native to habitats from South America to Africa and Asia. This year, the Conservatory examines “the butterfly effect” concept from chaos theory, that even a small action in one place can significantly affect people and systems far removed. While experiencing all that  butterflies evoke in the human imagination, Conservatory guests are encouraged to consider the ripple effect of their own choices and actions in the unpredictable dimension of their sphere of influence. (

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You’ll see lots of different species.

Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday Noon – 4 pm
Closed Mondays

Adults $5
Children (ages 3-17) $3
Age 2 and Under FREE

Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
1100 South Calhoun

Insider’s Tip: On Sunday, May 11 from 12 – 4 p.m., the Conservatory will host Mother’s Day in the Garden. This would be a perfect time to bring your mom to see the butterflies as well! Each mom will also receive a special Mother’s Day plant (while supplies last).

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.

There’s more to discover at the Main Library than books!

If you haven’t been to the Main branch of the Allen County Public Library, you’re in for a real treat.  This all-ages destination is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The Main Library’s Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery is located directly inside the library’s West entranceThe 3100 sq. ft. gallery is ideal for opening receptions and music performances. In addition to art, the gallery’s design accommodates large scale traveling exhibits.
  • Cafe: Have a coffee while taking in a good book or conversation.  The Twice Sold Tales shop offers used books for bargain hunters.
  • Meeting space: The Allen County Public Library welcomes the public use of its facilities and meeting rooms for meetings and events which serve the community’s needs for education, information, and cultural enrichment.

    555510 300201460049933 272977159 n 300x225 Theres more to discover at the Main Library than books!

    Rock the Plaza is a summer all-ages concert series.

  • Genealogy Center: If you want to discover or rediscover your family’s roots, this is the place! An experienced staff provides services to a full range of patrons, from children to senior citizens and from beginners to experienced researchers. To support these efforts, the Center has gathered an extensive collection of 350,000 printed volumes and more than 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche.
  • Theater: A 280-seat Auditorium, Stage, and Lobby are located in a new high-ceiling space under the Great Hall. This space is suitable for lectures, films, theatrical and dance performances. I’ve actually performed here and have seen a few shows in this venue. It’s definitely under-appreciated!
  • Children’s Services: We can’t forget little people!  The Main branch hosts a variety of educational and cultural activities to appeal to children of all ages.  All activities are free and open to the public! Groups should call ahead at at 260-421-1220 if you plan to attend.
  • Music: In the summer months, the library hosts an outdoor concert series known as Rock the Plaza. This is a great way to see what the Fort Wayne music scene has to offer.

As you can see, the library is a destination for more than just book lovers. Make it a part of your itinerary and you won’t be disappointed.

For more information on the Allen County Public Library visit the library’s page on the Visit Fort Wayne website, or learn more about everything the library has to offer by checking out the ACPL online.


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:

Guided History Tour Offers Step Back in Time at Swinney House & Courthouse

History buffs will not want to miss this event. Are you considering a weekend trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana? Consider adding Thursday to your itinerary and enjoy a Guided History Tour March 27 which includes a first-person tour of both the Thomas and Lucy Swinney House and the Allen County Courthouse – two historic buildings and integral parts of Northeast Ohio history!

courthouse 1 Guided History Tour Offers Step Back in Time at Swinney House & Courthouse

The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and is brought to you by Settlers, Inc. and lead educator Linda Huge. Your tour will begin at the Swinney House, located at 1424 W. Jefferson Blvd. Parking is free and the tour is handicap accessible.

Following you tour of the house you will receive lunch served at the house by Settler members! After lunch participants will make their way to the Allen County Courthouse located at 715 S. Calhoun St. The cost for this VIP tour is $25. Reservations should be made on or before March 18. Reserve your spot by calling 260.492.8584. More information about this event is available at

swinney house Guided History Tour Offers Step Back in Time at Swinney House & Courthouse

Insider Tip: As you will see on your tour, the Allen County Courthouse is home to gorgeous murals, adding unique character to what is already a historic building. Local trials take place here too – so while you tour, business will be continuing as usual, adding unique perspective on the local legal system.


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

Beauty and the Beast at the Embassy: A Tale as Old as Time

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Beauty and the Beast will grace the stage at the Embassy Theatre on March 31.

  For an exquisite night on the town, bring your family to the Embassy Theatre to enjoy one of Disney’s finest musicals – Beauty and the Beast!

The historic Embassy Theatre is THE ideal venue for a musical of this magnitude.  The building’s breathtaking décor and historic flair always create a regal feel for the theatre’s year-round activities.  It also sets the stage perfectly for a performance like Beauty and the Beast.

As a drama teacher, one of the reasons why I personally love watching performances at the Embassy is because I know the quality of the acting will be superb and I will be talking about it for months with my students.  I’m a theater nut, so I also enjoy the other creative aspects that are involved in shows at the Embassy, like special effects and analyzing how each actor brings his or her character to life.

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Experience the magic of Broadway with Belle and all of her friends!

 Beauty and the Beast is no exception.  With a cast of characters rangingfrom human beings to dishware and furniture, and with Belle’s enchanting wardrobe, the beautiful, whimsical costumes are bound to leave you spellbound!

This is a family-friendly show, so children of all ages are welcome.  Or, make it a date night.  Whatever the occasion, the cast of Beauty and the Beast will gladly welcome your presence.  As the song goes, come be our guest!

When:  Monday, March 31, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

Where:  Embassy Theatre, 125 West Jefferson Blvd.

You can visit the Fort Wayne Theater website here for ticket information and other reviews, or call 1-800-430-8903 to order tickets. You can also go to the Visit Fort Wayne page for additional information.

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.

You’ll fall for Jim Gaffigan’s down-home humor

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Jim Gaffigan’s accessible humor will make you laugh outloud.

Jim Gaffigan is one part goofy and another part self-deprecating, but all-around funny. The father-comedian wows crowds of all ages with his real world, relateable humor. (Who hasn’t eaten a Hot Pocket before?) Fans can see him live and in action March 23 at the historic Embassy Theatre as part of “The White Bread Tour.” (Tickets are almost gone, so get them now!)

I saw Gaffigan at the Embassy two years ago on a date with my now boyfriend. Gaffigan’s brand of comedy was the perfect catalyst to break the ice. As I said before, he’s a regular Joe, and that’s endearing. You can expect lots of humorous anecdotes about his large Catholic family, peppered with some clever observations about humanity. One observation I made his how his humor seemed to cross demographic lines. There is truly something for everyone. I also respect his ability to craft funny jokes without being crass for the sake of it.

But don’t just take it from me. Critics have raved about his performances.  “Gaffigan stands in small and unique company,” said an online 2012 review of his online “Mr. Universe” show in The Laugh Button. “He’s one of the few comedians that works clean and has an act for nearly anyone to enjoy, yet he’s still able to walk the line where he’s edgy, respected by peers, gets critical acclaim and makes a decent living at it.”

Now, back to the self-deprecating part. Gaffigan is a home-grown Hoosier boy and he has encountered his share of stereotypes about his roots. What better way to address it than through humor? The “white bread” reference is a nod to references in articles where he’s been described as this way. Instead of taking it as criticism, he embraces it. How could you not like this guy?

The venue might be just as much of a treat as the comedian. There is not a bad seat in the house, you’ll discover. And the acoustics are great for an event like this.

Tickets run between $36.75 and $46.75, plus fees. Get them here.


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: