Bring the Kids to Glenbrook Square Mall!

Need to do some shopping, but not sure if the kids will enjoy it? Why not look at Glenbrook Square, Fort Wayne’s all-indoor shopping mall?

Glenbrook features many nation-wide mall staples – J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, Christopher and Banks, and Carson’s. There are also restaurants in the mall, like TGI Fridays and Red Robin, to name a couple of the sit-down places. Then there is the food court with Chick-fil-A, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Subway, and wonderful-smelling far-eastern cuisine. Keep wandering the halls and you’ll find Auntie Anne’s pretzels and Orange Julius, too.

But what do the kids get to do, besides munch at the food court?

Check out the Glenbrook Carousel, located near the ground-floor inside entrance near J.C. Penney. This double-decker carousel features all sorts of exotic animal rides – tiger, elephant, rabbit, giraffe, and zebra. There are also a few regular ponies, too – some with jeweled saddles. A few bench seats are mounted on the carousel, in case an adult wants to come along for the ride without climbing atop a prancing triceratops.  The music has that classic, carousel sound – and the ride isn’t so fast that it will scare young riders. Parents can stand beside their children, if the young rider is small enough to need a little support during the trips round about. And the carousel tender is happy to run the carousel even if only a couple of kids show up, wanting a ride – you don’t need to wait for a group. Tokens for the carousel ride can be purchased right there, with the cost at two dollars per token. The more tokens you buy at one time, the cheaper it is in the long run.

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A well-turned rabbit waits for riders at the Carousel in Glenbrook.

Another fun place to explore is the Inside Scoop shop, located on the second floor of the mall, near the food court. This shop has more stuffed toys than you’ll see in many big-box toy emporiums. Inside Scoop has clear drums of jelly beans everywhere. Simply choose the flavor you want and fill a bag, like you do in the produce section of the grocery store. Stuffed toys line the walls. You can find everything from an economically-sized porpoise to a giant penguin, panda or manta ray. Be careful – the toys are stacked on shelves that stretch well up out of normal reach. You may need to get some assistance from a clerk if an especially cute plush animal catches your eye but isn’t quite at your fingertips.

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Look at all the toy animals at Inside Scoop!

If you just need a place to park and rest your feet for a few minutes, check out the Glenbrook fountain, located right outside the first floor inside entrance to the J.C. Penney store. A topiary bear dances in the center of the fountain while cascades of water stream and bubble through a variety of platforms. Wide, low ledges all around the fountain serve as handy seats while kids enjoy throwing change into the water. Don’t worry, the entire fountain is fairly shallow and not too wide, so you can protect little ones from taking a dip in their street clothes.

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Glenbrook Fountain – all change collected in the fountain is donated to Habitat for Humanity

If you’re coming to Fort Wayne and thinking about doing some shopping, check out Glenbrook for a family-friendly experience. There’s a little something there for everyone!

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!)

Best Places to Take Visiting Family in Fort Wayne

I love living in Fort Wayne but sadly I live at least 5 hours away from all of my family members.  This means that when my family comes to visit they’re often here for a few days and we have to find things to entertain them.  Our outings vary depending on the time of the year but here are a few ideas to help you keep family busy and still have fun.

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Science Central

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Enjoy a day at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo – rated Indiana’s #1 “Gotta Do”!

My mom is a big fan of giraffes and there’s no better place to see them up close than at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  She can feed the giraffe’s and get up close and personal.  The zoo is great fun for children and adults alike.  You don’t want to miss this world class attraction.

When my nieces and nephews are in town we take in Science Central.  It’s a great place for kids to run and explore indoors while learning lots of cool stuff about science.  Science Central is sure to teach the adults a few things too.

Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

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The Memorial Coliseum is a great venue with a lot going on throughout the year!

The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is home to many special events throughout the year including concerts, Expos, and much more.  A family favorite among the women in my family is the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.  This year it will take place April 9-13 with thousands coming from around the globe.  Be sure to plan your fun in advance.

Summer Festivals

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Venture out to one of the summer’s great festivals downtown.

Fort Wayne is know for it’s festivals at Headwaters Park and throughout Downtown Fort Wayne.  Whether you’re taking in German Fest, Taste of the Arts, Pride Fest, or Three Rivers Festival you’re sure to find something the entire family will enjoy.

Sports

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The Fort Wayne Komets are in season from October – April.

We love our semi-professional sports here in Fort Wayne.  Depending on the time of year, take in a Tincaps baseball game, a Komets Hockey match, or Mad Ants basketball game.  Tickets are reasonable often start at under $10 per person in some cases and all venues provide great up-close access you wouldn’t get at major league stadiums.

Shopping

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Enjoy the fresh air and shop outdoors at Jefferson Pointe.

With retailers like Vera Bradley and DeBrand Fine Chocolates headquartered in Fort Wayne you can bet we love to shop.   Whether you enjoy Glenbrook and Jefferson Point Mall or opt for local delights like the Creative Women of the World Store downtown, spend a day looking for bargains and enjoying time together.

For even more great ideas of what to do with your friends and family from out of town, check out these ideas from Visit Fort Wayne!

Michelle

About

Michelle Merritt moved to Fort Wayne in 2008 and has found it to be one of the most warm and welcoming cities she's ever lived or worked in. She and her husband Jason live and work in downtown Fort Wayne. Together they are blending their big city urban experiences into life in America's biggest small town. Michelle writes and manages The Momish Blog and the Merrfeld Manor Blog. She is also a contributor to Moms Fort Wayne and The Paperblog where she writes about the joys and challenges of step parenting. Michelle also works as a professional career coach and recruiter.

Ollie Ollie Oxen…Discount at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet!

A lot of folks have asked us about Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, a discount store that recently moved in to the old Hancock Fabrics storefront in Glenbrook Commons, located next to Glenbrook Square here in Fort Wayne. Last Friday I decided to do a little investigative blogging – which, in this case, sounds far more clandestine and high-risk than it actually was – and visited Ollie’s, where getting “Good Stuff Cheap” is the goal.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for anything new. New stores, new restaurants, new whatever, I’m in. And apparently there are a lot of other people like me because the parking lot was packed. Almost immediately after I walked in, I got the sense that Ollie’s was a little bit Big Lots, a little bit garage sale, and a little bit EVERYTHING MUST GO! I mean that as a compliment: Ollie’s sells closeouts, overstocks, irregulars, and liquidated merchandise, so on any given day they’ve got lots of different stuff – books, food, household goods, furniture, flooring, and auto supplies are a few of the things I found – which lends the whole place a random, hectic, fun feel, like you never know what might be down the next aisle.

As you may know from my previous posts, I’m a bit (!) of a nerd, so naturally I gravitated toward the toy section to see if there were any gems. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any hidden treasures, but they did have a few things I had never seen before, and that’s saying something.

So whatever you’re looking for – or if you’re not looking for anything at all – give Ollie’s Bargain Outlet a try. And with Christmas just around the corner, it never hurts to have another place to look for that perfect gift. Ollie’s is located at 4122-CO Lima Road, Fort Wayne, IN, 46805. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information, call (260) 373-0300 or visit www.olliesbargainoutlet.com.

Mike

About

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.

Enjoy a Girls Night Out in Fort Wayne

Every once in a while, ladies need a Girl’s Night Out. We get it! Here are a few great Fort Wayne Girls Night (or Day) Out ideas for you to try.

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Outdoor Adventure!

Wanting to ditch the typical spa and shopping day for something a little healthier?  Hit the Fort Wayne Trails and take in the scenery while catching up on the latest girlfriend gossip.  As the weather gets warmer, rent a canoe and enjoy the rivers Fort Wayne is famous for.  Finish up the day with a bite to eat and a cool beverage on the Deck at Don Hall’s Gashouse on the river.

50 Shades of Theatre?

Were you one of the 70 million readers who read 50 Shades of Grey?  If so, you’ll want to check out Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody on June 11 at The Embassy Theatre in downtown Fort Wayne. (You can even win tickets!) The producers promise a “naughty and hilarious” night out and they guarantee you’ll be laughing out loud.  Stop by the Oyster Bar on Calhoun Street for dinner and martinis at Club Soda on Superior after the show.

Spa time!

There’s nothing like relaxing and enjoying a little pampering with your BFFs.  Set appointments at Woodhouse Day Spa to experience a day of pampering.  Enjoy hot stone massages, facials, pedicures, and much more.  Call their Spa Concierge to schedule your visit today.

Wine!

“The Chop’s Pour” in what locals know to be one of the best glasses of wine you’ll find in Fort Wayne. Known for its large glass of wine and their exceptional selection, Chops Wine Bar will give you that big city feel without having to leave town.  Enjoy their smaller portion menu in the bar or make reservations for dinner at Chop’s Restaurant next door.  You’re assured to have a good time.

Shopping!

With two large malls and lots of independent local stores in Fort Wayne, you’re sure to enjoy a great day of shopping with your girlfriends.  Whether you’re enjoying the outdoor shopping experience at Jefferson Pointe Mall or the comfortable indoors of the stores at Glenbrook Mall you’re sure come across those must have items.  Want  to shop local?  Spend a day exploring local stores including Creative Women of the World on Wayne St, Hyde Brothers Bookstore on Wells, or Jophiel, and the Olive Twist both located in Covington Plaza on Jefferson Blvd.

Desserts!

We love our sweets in Fort Wayne.  Why not plan a girls night out sampling some of the best sweets in town? After all, nothing goes with girl talk like a little chocolate.  Consider indulging in DeBrand’s chocolate at one of their beautiful stores.  Locals love the sundaes in chocolate cups made right there at DeBrands.  Stop by Richards Bakery or Yummee’s for some delicious cupcakes too.   Looking for something a little less sinful?  Check out the gluten free baked goodies at Pembroke Bakery.

Have a great time – and let us know of any other treats that you and your girlfriends enjoy!

Michelle

About

Michelle Merritt moved to Fort Wayne in 2008 and has found it to be one of the most warm and welcoming cities she's ever lived or worked in. She and her husband Jason live and work in downtown Fort Wayne. Together they are blending their big city urban experiences into life in America's biggest small town. Michelle writes and manages The Momish Blog and the Merrfeld Manor Blog. She is also a contributor to Moms Fort Wayne and The Paperblog where she writes about the joys and challenges of step parenting. Michelle also works as a professional career coach and recruiter.

Fueling your Family: Food, Fun & Fitness Fair

If 2012 is the year you resolve to become more physically fit, here’s a reminder: Don’t forget your children!

fuelingfamilyemail Fueling your Family: Food, Fun & Fitness Fair

A great event to encourage your kids to become healthier and to educate them in this decision is the Fueling your Family: Food, Fun & Fitness Fair. It will take place on January 21 at Glenbrook Square in the Macy’s Wing. Activities will take place for all ages of kids from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Better yet—it’s all free!

Scheduled events for Fueling your Family: Food, Fun & Fitness Fair include:

11:15 Madeline’s Toy Box – This is a kids band that will play and encourage kids to dance.

12:15 Kids Zumba led by Shelley Paulausky & Cindy Brandt from Jorgensen YMCA.

1:15 Jumping Jax Jump Rope Team / Kristen Creager, Coach. Jump ropes will be given to kids to take home!

2:15 Powerhouse Fruits and Veggies demonstration given by Kathy Wehrle, RD, from Parkview Hospital. She will provide information about fruits and vegetables and provide samples for kids to taste test. Yum!

Some of Fort Wayne’s finest health-related venues are participating in the Fueling your Family: Food, Fun & Fitness Fair:

Fort4Fitness Community Wellness group
Parkview Hospital
Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne
YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
Student Focus on Health
Lutheran Health Network

See you there!

 

About

Kayleen Reusser has written children’s books and had stories in Chicken Soup books. She writes features for the News-Sentinel newspaper and profiles for the Ossian Sun Riser. She loves to travel and write about her experiences at her website: www.KayleenR.com