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 in-person or online for unique gifts and items created by local and national artists!
2. Uncover great local food at many of Fort Wayne’s farmers markets. Explore VisitFortWayne.com/farmersmarkets for specific times.
3. Fort Wayne is a creative canvas, bursting with public art around every corner! Use the free Fort Wayne Public Art Trail to find more than 150 murals and sculptures around the area. You can even check-in on the mobile pass when you visit the public art pieces and earn prizes as you complete more check-ins! Get the mobile pass.
4. Browse the nation’s largest public genealogy collection at the Allen County Public Library Downtown. Visit in person and even enjoy a free, one-on-one consultation with a genealogy librarian, or start your search from home using their online databases! You can also join their free virtual programming, covering a range of topics.
5. Hike, Bike, and Paddle Fort Wayne's land and water trails with the Fort Wayne Outdoor Pass! Similar to the Public Art Trail, you can get this free pass on your phone, check-in as you explore the different trail locations, and earn great prizes as you complete more check-ins!
6. Experience 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 or enjoy the relaxing swings.
7. 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 has been restored with new energy and lots to explore. Stroll the pedestrian street to discover new restaurants, shops, and public art.
8. 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.
9. Soak up history at the Old Fort; the grounds are open to visitors every day with special programming monthly. During the summer, they even have guided tours and re-enactments offered weekly — so check for details to plan your perfect time to visit!
10. If you're a history enthusiast, check out the Allen County Historic Sites pass! Use the free mobile pass to visit 90 historic sites and landmarks around Allen County and learn the stories behind them. Some of the locations on the pass even have accompanying audio storytelling. Get started.
11. 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.
12. Visit Electric Works — the 39-acre former GE campus, transforming into a new hub of activity. Explore the Union Street Market food hall vendors, enjoy cornhole and yard games out in the beer garden, and browse the farmers market on Saturdays. While you're there, spot the public art all around!
13. 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, and the Pufferbelly rail-to-trail. Check out these 8 bike trail itineraries perfect for the family.
14. Find the names of loved ones or pay your respects to the fallen at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Fort Wayne — a 360 ft., 80% size replica of the original Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. The Vietnam Memorial Wall is located at the Veteran's National Memorial Shrine and Museum at 2122 O'Day Road.
15. Set out for a tour of an Amish community in Grabill, Indiana.
16. Take the kids out to eat for free at one of the many restaurants where kids eat free.
17. Visit the breathtaking Allen County Courthouse* (cell phones and cameras not admitted.) Group tours are 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.
18. 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.
19. Walk through Lindenwood Cemetery and visit the graves of many of Fort Wayne’s founders (don’t forget to do some grave rubbings.)
20. Let the kids explore at many of our favorite playgrounds including Taylor’s Dream and our 53 other playgrounds.
21. Venture through the stacks at Hyde Brothers Booksellers.
23. Browse antiques at any one of Fort Wayne’s local antique shops.
24. Visit Parkview Field — open to the public on days when there are no games or events! Walk the concourse or bring your lunch to enjoy with a great view of the ballpark.
25. Window shop at many of Fort Wayne’s boutique shops featuring locally handcrafted items and unique finds.
26. 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.
28. Explore the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research at the Allen County Public Library. This amazing experience brings thousands of photographs, letters, documents, and pieces of art to life using interactive, immersive technology.
30. Tour the Hamilton Sculpture Garden, a tribute garden to Emerine Hamilton, near the banks of the St. Marys River in Headwaters Park.
31. Enjoy shopping and a free indoor play area at Glenbrook Mall.
32. 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.
33. Stroll the sacred at the Diocesan Museum.
35. 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 fall.
1. Experience Fort Wayne's vibrant arts community during Taste of the Arts on August 26! This year's festival will feature in-person experiences around downtown at Arts Campus Fort Wayne, The Landing, and Promenade Park. Celebrate the rich diversity of arts and culture through live performances, kids' activities, visual art, and amazing local foods.
2. Delight your taste buds and celebrate the folk legend at Johnny Appleseed Festival, September 16 and 17.
4. Bring your own kayak and explore any of Fort Wayne’s three rivers: the St. Joseph, the St. Marys, and the Maumee. Or, rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or bike from Fort Wayne Outfitters to explore land and water trails for a great price.
5. Take your family on a fall adventure and get ready to eat, discover, and explore the Fort Wayne Apple Trail!
6. Roam downtown Fort Wayne as a zombie during the annual Zombie Walk and Fright Night event on October 21.
7. Stroll through Fort Wayne's favorite trails, and explore all of the beautiful fall foliage in the area!
8. Bring your racquets and visit the public tennis courts around the city at Kreager Park, Foster Park, Swinney Park, Lakeside Park, or one of our other great parks. Or, check out Fort Wayne's pickleball courts!
9. Visit Salomon Farm Park to see a working farm in action. Visit the goats, donkeys, sheep, and other farm animals, walk or bike the 1.8-mile trail around the property, enjoy bird-watching, or discover your new favorite photo spot! In August, walk through the sunflower fields at sunset for the ideal photo op.
Save with the Fort Wayne Adventure Pass
Looking for another way to save? The Fort Wayne Adventure Pass offers you admission to four amazing attractions — for ONE low price!
Pay once and receive your mobile pass to explore four of Fort Wayne's top attractions for a discounted price:
- Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
- Science Central
- Botanical Conservatory
- Fort Wayne Museum of Art