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.
2. Uncover great local food at many of Fort Wayne’s farmers markets open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays! Explore VisitFortWayne.com/farmersmarkets for specific times.
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 Examine historical documents at the Karpeles Museum.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.
7. Window shop at many of Fort Wayne’s boutique shops featuring locally handcrafted items and unique finds.
9. Stroll the sacred at the Cathedral Museum and Bookstore.
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 Brother Booksellers.
22. Grab a bike or take off on foot and tour the sculptures and murals dotted around downtown Fort Wayne.
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 summer.
2. Listen to great local music at a Friday Nites Live concert every Friday of the summer from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m at Jefferson Pointe.
4. Catch a free outdoor family-friendly film every Thursday night all summer long at the Foellinger Theatre Summer Movie Series.
5. Celebrate the street performer at Buskerfest on June 29 from 4 - 10 p.m. on Wayne and Calhoun Streets.
6. Make a splash at one of Fort Wayne's 10 Splash Pads: Buckner, Kreager, Shoaff, Memorial, McCormick, Waynedale, Shoaff, Headwaters, Riverside Gardens, Robert E. Meyers or Franklin Park.
7. Browse the Covington Art Fair at the Covington Plaza on June 22-23, a high-quality community event featuring fine arts.
9. Immerse in the arts culture with 70 live performances of theatre, music and dance on 10 stages, Fort Artisan Arts Fair, hands-on activities, Buskers around the fountain and all day artists markets at the Taste of the Arts on August 23 and 24 at the Downtown Arts Campus.
10. Grab a bike or take off on foot and tour the Sculpture With Purpose around Downtown!
11. Discover Fort Wayne from our riverfront with a variety of boat tour options! (for a nominal price.)
12. Delight your taste buds at BBQ RibFest at Headwaters Park with free admission until 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 - Saturday, June 16.
13. Roam the St. Joe Pickle Festival from July 18 - 20.
14. Celebrate Greek culture, cuisine and entertainment at Greekfest at Headwaters Park, June 27-30 with free admission before 4 p.m. and all day Sunday.
15. Pack your lunch or pick up from your favorite local restaurant or food truck and enjoy a free concert and other events at Lunch on the Square at Freimann Square every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
16. Grab your skateboard or skates and show off your skills at Lawton's Skatepark.
17. Enjoy a free concert from the Fort Wayne Area Community Band at the Foellinger Theater on June 11, July 9 and August 13 at 7:30 p.m.