Father’s Day is just around the corner, and there are plenty of things to do with Dad in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Make the weekend memorable with these family-friendly activities appropriate for dads and kids of all ages.​

Dad and daughter kayaking on the St. Marys River at Promenade Park in Fort Wayne

Father's Day in Fort Wayne, Indiana

1. Explore Fort Wayne's Land and Water Trails

If dad loves a good outdoor adventure, the Fort Wayne Outdoor Pass is a great place to start! The free pass features 19 different hikes, bikes, and trails around the area. Explore and check-in at Fort Wayne's three rivers and additional water trails, plus our 120+ miles of land trails to start earning prizes along the way! Get the free Outdoor Pass here.

Rent a kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard from Fort Wayne Outfitters – or bring your own! – and check out these can't-miss paddle trails in the area. Pro Tip: the boat launcher on the North dock at Promenade Park allows you to enter and exit the rivers with ease.

Prefer to stay on land? Try out these bike trail itineraries! The itineraries connect you to attractions, parks, splash pads, and more. Plus, you'll find different trail ride lengths for all ages. Don't forget – Fort Wayne Outfitters also offers bike rentals.

Tray of ribs at BBQ RibFest in Fort Wayne

2. Celebrate Big Flavor at BBQ RibFest

There's nothing like some delicious BBQ for a Father's Day feast! This year, why not let someone else do the cooking? The 27th annual BBQ RibFest brings Blues, Brews, and BBQ to Headwaters Park downtown, June 13-16. Mouth-watering BBQ prepared and served by award-winning BBQ teams from around the country!

3. Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Discover your wild side at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo — perfect for all ages! Dad can pet a stingray, feed a giraffe, ride through the Outback in a dugout canoe, and say hello to his favorite animal friends. 

4. Dine-In or Carry-Out

Check out Fort Wayne's best dining recommendations, offering international cuisine, award-winning flavors, and sweets for dessert. Or pack a couple of blankets for the family, pick up carryout from Dad's favorite Fort Wayne restaurant, and enjoy a scenic picnic! Check out some of the great parks in Fort Wayne and Allen County and find the perfect picnic spot.

Family exploring the murals in Downtown Fort Wayne

5. Downtown Live! 

Exploring downtown Fort Wayne this weekend? Don't miss Downtown Live! — a series of free music performances from local bands that will run every Friday from 6-8 p.m. May 31 - August 9 (except on July 5). See the full schedule for the summer.

There's so much to discover while you're downtown. From The Landing and Promenade Park to Fort Wayne's murals and breweries, check out our guide to summer weekends downtown.

6. Fishing Hotspots

Does Dad love to go fishing? Fort Wayne is home to many great fishing destinations offering a wide variety of fish. Take Dad out for a day of relaxation on the water at one of these 5 fishing hotspots around the area. Be sure to bring your sunscreen and a snack to enjoy!

7. Cheer on Fort Wayne F.C.

For the soccer fans, grab your tickets and cheer on Fort Wayne's USL League Two team, Fort Wayne FC! On Father's Day the team will take on Chivas de Guadalajara U23 on our home turf of Bishop John D'Arcy Stadium at the University of St. Francis. The game starts at 5pm. Snag some tickets here!

8. Music in Fort Wayne

Music-loving dads, join fellow listeners at some of the concerts Fort Wayne is hosting on Father's Day Weekend! Come out on Saturday, June 15 for Downtown's Rock the Plaza where you can enjoy a free concert with a variety of bands at the Main Library Plaza. 

9. Enjoy Father's Day in the Garden at the Botanical Conservatory 

Fathers get in FREE for a visit at the Botanical Conservatory June 15-16! Enjoy live butterflies, garden displays, a visit to Conjure Coffee, and take advantage of a special plant giveaway to the first 300 Fathers to visit! On Sunday from 12-3 p.m., make the day extra special while enjoying lawn games and live music from the G-Money Band in addition to beer and delectables available for purchase from Hop River Brewing Company & The Spicy Bird.

Sweet Breeze Canal Boat on the St. Marys River

12. Take a Sweet Breeze Canal Boat Cruise 

Relax on a boat ride where you will cruise Fort Wayne's river for a 45 or 90-minute boat ride. This boat tour is the perfect family-friendly event for Father's Day while also learning more about Fort Wayne's riverfront. 

This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated.