From the blossoming downtown to the thriving culinary scene to the vast network of parks, there's a lot to explore in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The vibrant culture of the city has much appeal for even the youngest residents and their parents, with affordable activities to entice every child from the sports fan to the science geek.
The Best Family-Friendly activities in Fort Wayne, Indiana
The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
The mission of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is "Connecting kids and animals, strengthening families and inspiring people to care."
And that it does as it brings kids and parents alike face-to-face with animals such as kangaroos in the newly renovated Australian Adventure, African lions in the African Journey and Komodo dragon in the Indonesian Rainforest. There are 100 different species at the zoo in five different exhibit areas.
Children will enjoy brushing the goats as cows moo in the barn on the Indiana Family Farm and families can giggle as the giraffes grab leaves of lettuce from the hands of excited children. Get a different view of the animals on the Z & O Railroad, Sky Safari Ride and Crocodile Creek Adventure Ride.
But don't worry - nothing here bites.
Before you head out, don't forget to get your picture with the red "Z-O-O" sculpture at the entrance of the park. It's a Fort Wayne tradition.
With 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, northeast Indiana's only science museum offers hands-on activities for children. Toddlers can enjoy Kids Central complete with slide, water table and a giant piano keyboard. Elementary school students and even their middle school counterparts will enjoy hair-raising demonstrations, learning about the solar system, electricity and weather - among many things. And everyone's sure to enjoy the Science on a Sphere exhibit, which was created by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as it brings the Earth to life.
When the TinCaps are playing, children can enjoy the game or the play area - complete with rock wall - while enjoying a hot dog, ice cream or popcorn (or maybe all three).
In the off-season, Parkview Field offers batting cage rentals where budding stars can practice their swings or sneak in a pitch or two. Families can also enjoy the indoor farmers market, learning about the area's rich resources and enjoy some live entertainment.
Coney Island and Yummi Bunni
Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island is, well, famous in Fort Wayne. The Main Street restaurant is rich with nostalgia - counter seats, bottles of Coca-Cola and neon lights in the windows. Children will love watching the employees cook and assemble their coney dogs while parents will relish the quick service and affordable prices. New to the scene but almost equally is famous is Yummi Bunni, just a few doors down. After dinner, families can walk down to the dessert shop and enjoy a donut ice cream sandwich or a scoop or two. And, if Mom or Dad need an extra boost, there's cold brew coffee, too.
Fox Island County Park
A 605-acre park in the southwest part of Fort Wayne, Fox Island offers families a chance to explore nature with more than 7 miles of trails, cool off in the summer heat in Bowman Lake and soak up the sun on the swimming beach and discover the unique habitats within the park before having a picnic.
Don't forget to stop in the nature center, where children can climb inside the tree house and check out the exhibits.
Salomon Farm Park
Situated on the north side of Fort Wayne, Salomon Farm Park was once a working family farm. Now the land offers a 1.8-mile walking trail, learning center and year-round events that pique the interest of adults and children alike.
In the spring and fall, elementary students can be found on the farm for field trips. However, the farm is also a destination for families with farm park staff-led walks, fishing in the pond and demonstrations such as blacksmithing during special events.
The park also offers a picturesque landscape!
Children have a lot of energy, and parents can give them a safe and fun way to burn to off that energy at SportONE/Parkview Icehouse. The facility on the north side of Fort Wayne not only offers organized sports programs, such as hockey and figure skating but an opportunity for the public to move.
For those wanting to lace up and glide on the ice, there are public skate times. There's also Bounce Mania, where families can hop, bounce and plop in the myriad bounce houses.
Start planning your family getaway to Fort Wayne, Indiana today!