As a child in school, I always loved field trips. Sure, I could read my science book to learn how milk is pasteurized. But there was something special about getting to see the process at a local dairy.

If you enjoy first-hand experiences too, you'll be happy to know that there are several Fort Wayne businesses that will let you look around and learn for free.

Free Tours in Fort Wayne, Indiana

DeBrand Chocolates

DeBrand Fine Chocolates

DeBrand Fine Chocolates are a Fort Wayne tradition. 

If you have friends or family coming to visit (or even if you're local), a tour of the company's headquarters to see the chocolatiers in action is a "must do."

My daughters and I took the tour, offered at the main Auburn Road location, a few years ago. It was really enjoyable, beginning with a short film. Our group then was ushered into an area where we could view the place where the candies are made. Along the way, we were offered samples of quite a few different chocolates.


Tours are offered Tuesdays at 10:00 am, Thursdays at 1:00 pm, and Saturdays at 10:30 am. (Please note there is currently no production taking place on Saturdays. However, video presentations and samples will still be enjoyed.) The cost is $10 per person, with each person receiving a rebate of $10 off a $20 or more purchase. No reservation required. Tours begin promptly on time, plan to arrive before the scheduled start time.

And trust me, you’ll have no problem spending that $20 after your tasty tour!

Genealogy Center

Choose Your Own Fort Wayne Adventure - Genealogy

Fort Wayne is home to one of the nation's best genealogy collections. It's housed in the downtown Main Library, and you can tour it at no cost. 

Melissa Tennant, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager, said that genealogy librarians are always happy to give informal tours to individuals or small groups who visit and would like to learn more. The librarians will tweak the tour to your specific areas of interest, and there's no need to call ahead unless you have a larger group.

I have visited the genealogy collection on a couple of occasions with my mom, who was looking for some answers to questions she had as she researched her ancestors. The librarians at the genealogy department were all helpful, often spending quite a bit of time helping her come up with a resource that could help in her quest.

Another free tour option at the Allen County Public Library Main Branch is the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research. The Center highlights the thousands of amazing items in the Lincoln Collection that are currently housed and curated by ACPL. These include original photographs of Abraham Lincoln, his family, Cabinet members, and generals; letters and documents to and from Lincoln; diaries of Civil War soldiers; and so much more. The Center also incorporates an expert-in-residence program. That expert may be a scholar, artist, or someone else who works with the materials in the Collection to further an understanding of Lincoln.

This is not a typical museum experience. Instead, they use technology in such a way that individuals of varying abilities, ages, and knowledge levels are able to fully engage with the Collection. There’s truly something for everyone.

Lindenwood Cemetery

Lindenwood Cemetery Fort Wayne

Tour a cemetery? Sure, when it's as beautiful and as historical as Lindenwood Cemetery, located at 2324 W Main Street in Fort Wayne. 

My daughters and I have visited the cemetery several times. Stop first in the information office near the entrance for a map of 175-acre park, which is filled with graves bearing names you'll recognize from various Fort Wayne locations: Paul Baer, William Pettit, John and Sion Bass, Pliny Hoagland, Jane Hamilton, John Franke, David Foster, Oscar Foellinger, and so many more. 

The names you'll find on graves read like a listing of the city's streets and buildings. You can use your map for a self-guided tour of as much of the cemetery as you'd like to explore.

The cemetery is very peaceful, with many trees, a pond, a chapel, and pathways throughout. Many of the graves are ornate and detailed. 

First opened in 1859, Lindenwood is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Give it a try on some spring afternoon when the weather is nice.


If music is your thing, you'll discover plenty of it at Sweetwater, America's largest online music retailer. 

Here you'll find more pianos, guitars, and other instruments than you've probably ever seen in one place. There's a recital hall with wonderful acoustics, a delicious cafe where you can eat, recording studios, and for the kids, an awesome 2-story slide from one floor to the next ... lots and lots of musical things.

But the highlight of any visit to Sweetwater is the Music Store. With nearly 40,000 square feet, it has the largest on-site music store inventory in the US. From their fully loaded demo studios to their massive band and orchestra gallery, you can explore the most comprehensive selection of nearly 1,000 top music brands of music equipment and quality instruments. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are ready to help you shop the amazing selection and discover - or develop - your musical talents!

Slide at the Sweetwater facilities

Allen County Courthouse

If you're in downtown Fort Wayne for the afternoon, then consider stopping by the beautiful Allen County Courthouse. A self-guided tour is available for free, but remember to leave your camera and phone in the car or your hotel room.

Search our full list of Fort Wayne Tours for more itinerary suggestions!


This post was originally published in February 2018 and has since been updated.