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 (open in person or online). You can also take a virtual 360 exhibit tour here!
3. Dotted around downtown Fort Wayne are mesmerizing murals. Use this interactive Mural Map on your phone for a tour of Fort Wayne's favorite public art.
5. Take in the breathtaking view from the Tree Canopy Trail at Promenade Park in downtown Fort Wayne! While you're there, take a walk on the historic Wells Street Bridge, enjoy the relaxing swings, or grab a pint from Trubble Riverside.
6. See what’s new at The Landing. This historic corner of downtown was the city’s first major hub of activity in the 1800s, and is being restored with new life as a point of destination. Stroll the pedestrian street to discover new restaurants and shops, and see what else is on the way.
7. Soak up history at the Old Fort; the grounds are open to visitors every day with special programming monthly.
8. 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.
9. Explore Fort Wayne’s 120 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. Check out these 8 bike trail itineraries perfect for the family.
10. Take a tour of an Amish community in Grabill, Indiana.
11. Take the kids out to eat for free at one of the many restaurants where kids eat free.
12. 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. *Call ahead to confirm tours are permitted for the date you plan to visit.
13. Pick up a Downtown Walking Tour map and explore the city's modern heart combined with Fort Wayne 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 downtown.
14. Walk through Lindenwood Cemetery and visit the graves of many of Fort Wayne’s founders (don’t forget to do some grave rubbings.)
15. Venture through the stacks at Hyde Brothers Booksellers.
17. Browse antiques at any one of Fort Wayne’s local antique shops.
19. Visit Creative Women of the World to learn about Fort Wayne’s global impact on women in poverty and shop the store's fine artisan products.
20. 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.)
22. Tour the Hamilton Sculpture Garden, a tribute garden to Emerine Hamilton, near the banks of the St. Marys River in Headwaters Park.
23. Take a tour of DeBrand Fine Chocolates! The tour costs $5, but each tour participant receives samples along the way and a coupon for $5 off a $10 purchase.
25. 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.
27. 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 outdoor 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 starting at 6pm.
4. Embrace the snow and conquer these Fort Wayne sledding hills.
5. Browse the downtown boutiques and shop local during the Days of Holly Shopping on Saturdays from November 28 through December 19. While you shop, keep an eye out for snowmen hidden around downtown. If you find one of the snowmen, follow the clue to claim a prize!
6. Discover more than 110 larger-than-life light displays during the Fantasy of Lights at Franke Park, November 13 – December 31. Enjoy free admission during their special promotional nights! See the promotion schedule.
7. Enjoy a walk through downtown Fort Wayne and experience the annual Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest! Beginning Wednesday, November 25, you can cast your vote for your favorite window display. Find locations and voting here.