“We were provided accommodations in order to facilitate this story. As always, all content and opinions are solely our own.”
Discover Fort Wayne’s Holiday Magic
After our first summer trip to Fort Wayne, we anxiously awaited a second chance to discover more of the vibrant city. When the opportunity to visit during the holiday season arose, we knew it’d be an incredible time. After all, the chance to uncover new winter and holiday experiences sounded fun, but also adventurous. Albeit, there’s nothing “normal” about being outdoors in sub-zero windchill for this native Texan!
We counted down the days until our trip with excitement, and were more than ready to tackle everything Fort Wayne had to offer. With a full itinerary of activities, and only a little over 24 hours in town, we knew it’d be a fun and action-packed Saturday-Sunday trip. To make things even more interesting, winter’s first major snow fall was looming on the radar.
With tons of awesome winter and holiday activities in Fort Wayne, it was impossible for us to experience all of them. Therefore we’ve chosen to feature activities from our itinerary, plus others for your own planning purposes. Keep in mind that some experiences have a cost of admission, but quite a few of them are free, or nearly free!
The Festival of Gingerbread
I know what you’re thinking, a festival of gingerbread homes? Unless you’re artsy or crafty, this may sound boring on paper. But trust me, it’s far from it!
Hosted by the beautiful History Center, the Festival of Gingerbread is a truly amazing display of creativity, skill, and downright passion. The mind-blowing cookie creations are nothing short of impressive, and will awe kids and adults. There are pieces submitted by children and some by seasoned pros, but all of them are unique, yummy, even inspiring.
Furthermore, it’s a great chance to walk around the History Center’s exhibits, and pay a $1 fee to take a cookie decorating class. It was an awesome time for everyone. (Even for someone who’s never decorated a cookie before!)
Downtown Fort Wayne
The best things in life are free. And fairly simple, too. Such is the case of the amazing light displays across downtown Fort Wayne. They will brighten up your night, and make for a perfect selfie moment!
The weather may have been in the single digits, and the snowfall fairly strong, but we couldn’t forfeit an evening stroll. The Indiana Michigan Power Company building featured a humongous LED Christmas wreath. While every lamp post, store front, and street corner proudly displayed some sort of luminous decoration. Bring your camera!
Festival of Trains
Exhibited at one of our favorite venues in the midwest, Science Central’s Festival of Trains is must-see for families.
Science Central hosted their 17th Annual Festival of Trains this year, and it’s a great place for model train rookies and connoisseurs to fall in love with the legendary hobby. Enthusiasts of all ages are invited to observe model train sets in action, and even be coached by local model train groups.
The level of detail and love that goes into building these larger-than-life train sets is truly incredible. Plus, once you’re done looking at trains, you can check out the rest of Science Central!
The Fort Wayne Ballet
Is there something more “Christmas-y” than the Nutcracker? Maybe, but the iconic play is pretty up-there.
Sunday afternoon we meant to watch the Fort Wayne Ballet perform the, "Nutcracker." Instead, we were ushered into the wrong theater, and we ended up watching "Light at the Piazza." A sweet and romantic story in Italian. Funny enough, we loved and so did the girls. Maybe it was meant to be! Excellent performance! ❤️️ @visitfortwayne #myfortwayne #travel
The award-winning Fort Wayne Ballet takes on the quintessential holiday fairy tale, and puts on a show that’s memorable for the entire family. We were kindly invited to watch The Nutcracker, but destiny had different plans for us. Due to a silly error, we watched an equally-amazing performance called “Light at the Piazza” instead. Still, it was lovely!
Fort Wayne Mad Ants Basketball
Whether you’re a fan of basketball or not, hearing the “Are you ready for this?” tune will always get you in the groove. Plus, it always helps when the home team is victorious, right?
We crashed the Fort Wayne Mad Ants basketball game shortly after our arrival, and their crushing victory over the opposing team was the perfect way to kick-off our trip. Officially an NBA “development team,” the talent shown by the players was unbelievable, and so was the atmosphere. Cheerleaders, music, and a kids playground made each member in our family happy!
We previously experience “Patriotic Pops,” where the Fort Wayne Philharmonic put on an incredible concert at the Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps.
Iconic and melodious holiday songs replaced patriotic tunes this time, but the result was equally as beautiful. If you’re a music lover, any of the Pops, or Fort Wayne Philharmonic concerts are a must when in town!
After an action-packed weekend, a double-visit to Toscani’s Pizza, and 7 inches of snow on the ground, it was time hop into the 2017 Lexus NX300h AWD and head home.
Until next time, Fort Wayne!