Looking for an affordable weekend getaway with the family in the Midwest? Fort Wayne, Indiana is a perfect destination offering many free activities you can enjoy with your family any time of year!
Free Things to Do Any Time of Year in Fort Wayne, Indiana
1. Browse the newest exhibit at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art with free admission on Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Shop the Paradigm Gallery or join the museum for 2nd Thursdays, a unique experience featuring demonstrations and designer trunk shows - the second Thursday of every month.
3. Let the kids explore at many of our favorite playgrounds including Taylor’s Dream and our 53 other playgrounds.
4. Browse the nation’s largest public genealogy collection at the Allen County Public Library Downtown.
5. Examine historical documents at the Karpeles Museum.
6. Browse antiques at any one of Fort Wayne’s local antique shops.
9. Stroll the sacred at the Diocesan Museum.
10. Explore the Allen County Public Library – one of the best in the nation! Kids love the downtown branch, complete with reading nooks, aquariums, a toddler play area, and free programming all summer long.
11. Soak up history at the Old Fort; the grounds are open to visitors every day with special programming monthly.
12. Take a tour of Fort Wayne’s great nature preserves and parks including Little River Wetlands, Eagle Marsh, many of the ACRES Land Trust preserves, Lindenwood Nature Preserve, and Salomon Farm Park.
13. Make a visit to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and hop aboard one of the last operating steam locomotives in the world: Nickle Plate Road No. 765. Open Saturdays 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sundays 12:00 to 4:00 PM.
14. Catch a live show at Sweetwater, enjoy free events like Jazz Jam – every last Thursday of the month, or take a tour of the facility, one of the nation’s largest leading musical instrument and sound retailers.
15. Enjoy shopping and free indoor play areas at Glenbrook Mall.
16. Take a tour of an Amish community in Grabill, Indiana.
17. Take the kids out to eat for free at one of the many restaurants where kids eat free.
18. Visit the breathtaking Allen County Courthouse (cell phones and cameras not admitted.) Group tours available by appointment Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM or you can take the self-guided tour.
19. Explore Fort Wayne’s 100 miles of trails. Highlights include the 18 miles of hilly Aboite Trails, the Rivergreenway, the Indiana Native Tree Walk, the historic 5.5-mile Towpath Trail, the Pufferbelly rail-to-trail.
20. Walk through Lindenwood Cemetery and visit the graves of many of Fort Wayne’s founders (don’t forget to do some grave rubbings.)
21. Venture through the stacks at Hyde Brothers Booksellers.
22. Dotted around downtown Fort Wayne are mesmerizing murals. Grab a Mural Map and phone, for a tour of Fort Wayne's favorite public art.
23. Visit Parkview Field – open to the public on days when there are no games or events.
25. Pick up a Downtown Walking Tour map and explore the modern heart of Fort Wayne; a Downtown Historic Walking Tour and explore our history; stop by the Visitors Center for guides to ten historic Fort Wayne districts; or pick up a map and hit the ARCH Heritage Trail.
26. Visit Creative Women of the World to learn about Fort Wayne’s global impact on women in poverty and shop their fine artisan products.
27. Tour the History Center during free admission times on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (during the farmers market – starting in May.)
29. Tour the Hamilton Sculpture Garden, a tribute garden to Emerine Hamilton, near the banks of the St. Marys River in Headwaters Park.
31. Take in the views of a beautiful limestone quarry at the Hanson Observation Deck. This observation deck is open to the public and will provide you with an amazing view of the quarry.
32. Enjoy Kid's Korner indoor playground at McMillen Park Community Center for only $1.
33. Stop by the Fort Wayne Visitors Center for more ideas and suggestions!
Seasonal Free Things to Do in Fort Wayne, Indiana
As the seasons change so do many of Fort Wayne’s great activities. Save on your next weekend away in Fort Wayne this winter.
1. Explore the downtown holiday lights displays, or take it a step further with our map of the craziest Christmas houses in Fort Wayne.
2. Zip and twirl around the rink with ice skating at Headwaters Park. Kids 13 and under skate FREE every Wednesday.
3. Catch the nightly Christmas Tree shows at Jefferson Pointe! Shows run every half hour from 6pm to 11pm.
4. Celebrate winter with seasonal festivals. Take part in a full day of indoor and outdoor downtown fun during Winterval on January 25, or head to The Landing for live music, fire dancers, food, and fireworks at Weather the Fort on February 8.
5. 3…2…1…Ring in the New Year with free, all-ages festivities at the Fort Wayne New Year's Eve Ball Drop just outside Parkview Field.
6. Get your a capella fix with Smooth Edge 2: Jazz for the Holidays at the downtown Allen County Public Library on December 11.
7. Discover handmade gifts from creative vendors at The Art Market: Winter Edition on December 14.
8. Head to the new Promenade Park on Sundays this winter for a wide variety of free events, from guided walking tours and storytime for kids, to creativity workshops and philosophy discussions.
9. Embrace the snow and conquer these Fort Wayne sledding hills!