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.
  22. Explore some of Fort Wayne’s parks including Swinney or Shoaff parks for some frisbee golf, and public gardens at Lakeside, Foster, and Freimann Square.
  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.
  27. Browse works of art at Fort Wayne’s favorite galleries including Artlink Contemporary GalleryOrchard GalleryNorthside Galleries, and the University of Saint Francis’ five galleries.
  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.
  29. Enjoy local fine art alongside your morning coffee at Old Crown Coffee RoastersMocha LoungeFirefly Coffee HouseFortezza Coffee, and Conjure Coffee.
  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.
  34. As you explore downtown, see if you can complete this historical Scavenger Hunt. (When you're done, check your answers here!)
  35. Stop by the Fort Wayne Visitors Center for more ideas and suggestions!

woman fire dancer performing at outdoor winter festival

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 and check in at Fort Wayne's most iconic holiday displays to earn prizes using the free Holiday Lights Challenge pass.
  2. Hop in the car and use our map to discover the most dazzling Christmas houses in Fort Wayne! You can even VOTE for your favorite house for a chance to win your own Fort Wayne prize package.
  3. Celebrate the season with a day of indoor and outdoor fun during Winterval on January 27. Watch ice carvers at work, shop the market, and find special events at attractions around downtown!
  4. Visit the live reindeer at Jefferson Pointe every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 5-7pm!
  5. Enjoy winter on The Landing with live music, food and drinks, ice carvings, fire dancing, and more at Weather the Fort on February 17.
  6. Visit The Old Fort for historical reenactments throughout the winter, including Nouvelle Annee 1744 - Empire on the Eve of Conflict (Jan. 27) and 1812 Officer and NCO Training Garrison (Feb. 17).
  7. Embrace the snow and conquer these Fort Wayne sledding hills.