We found a Midwest destination that has everything a family could be looking for in a weekend getaway. Fort Wayne, Indiana is the perfect place for fun and outdoor exploration! We piled into the GMC Yukon for an overnight trip in June because we are in love with everything Indiana offers and family friendly Fort Wayne has a lot to offer. FULL DISCLOSER: We were invited and hosted by Visit Fort Wayne

Everyone in our family loves the zoo and the first stop on our adventure list was the Fort Wayne Zoo.

You might think, a zoo is just a zoo, what’s so great about the one in Fort Wayne? First, this zoo has so many interactive exhibits and hands on animal activities. We got to touch a sting ray and interact with an on-staff guide, feed giraffes and hike along the tree top trail, where we took a ride on the endangered species carousel.

Second, around every bend and nook there is something new and exciting, drawing you into the area to check out the animals or interactive space. The sea lion’s swimming and playing with you along the glass or the petting zoo area where you can get to pet and brush all the farm animals, are just two places within the zoo that will pull you in. Best of luck getting your kids away from these two spectacular areas.

Lastly, the rides within the zoo are reasonably priced and great for the family to enjoy. Crocodile Creek Adventure, the Sky Ride and Z.O and O Train are just a few of the excursions you can take while you are exploring the zoo. I could go on, but suffice to say, this zoo is absolutely worth a visit!

After the zoo, we needed to freshen up before our evening activities. We are always looking for family friendly lodging, so we made reservations at Wyndam Garden Fort Wayne. I have to tell you the Wyndam Garden was the perfect place to stay for us. The biggest highlight was the indoor/outdoor pool where the kids could swim through the opening to enjoy both pools! They LOVED this and they swam until they were almost sunburned! The pool is a great place to wear out the kids so they can sleep good at night!

Our room was perfect for our family with super soft beds and plenty of space to spread out, and most importantly, a coffee pot for me!

After playing at the pool all afternoon we were famished and it was time to head off to a BBQ picnic from Shigs in a Pit (DELISH!) at Headwaters Park in the downtown area. Our family loves green spaces and we took time to walk through Headwaters trails and outdoor areas.

We always carry reusable bags with us to gather trash we find when we are outside. Abbie took time to clean up an area that had recently flooded and litter was left behind from the receding waters. #pickupAmerica is our motto! Headwaters Park is a delightful area tucked into the downtown along the waters of the Saint Mary’s River, it’s worth the stop.

Once we finished our picnic, we headed across the street to the lively Fort Wayne Greek Festival! OPA! We had eaten our picnic but we had saved room for Baklava and LAMB! We had never been to a Greek Festival and we loved this. The live music, traditional Greek dancing and great vibrant people made this an evening to remember. While this was a small festival, it is everything Greek! OPA!

We had a great night’s sleep at the Wyndam Garden and we woke to a delicious breakfast served in the dining area.  There were freshly made waffles, ripened fresh fruit and pastries galore. It was a great way to start the day in Fort Wayne.

Before we checked out of the hotel, the kids had to swim once more time in the delightful pool area. Who am I to complain? I was able to sun myself and enjoy the pool side vibe, as the kids took in a few more minutes of fun. However, check out time rolled around and I got the kids out of the pool so we could go to the Science Central. This was a place we had really been looking forward to going and exploring.

The Gleason’s love learning and what better way to learn than hands on? Science Central was FULL of activities and learning centers! As a mom, there is nothing more thrilling than watching your pre-teen and teenagers engage in scientific education.  Sam, who wants to be an engineer, was hard pressed to be pulled away from the build your own car raceway. He was there for over 40 minutes creating a car that went crazy fast on the track. I admit, even I was engaged in playing with some of the 200+ interactive displays!

At the core, “Science Central is much, much more than just a place to play. Science Central is a catalyst for learning, and it’s a catalyst for learning the most important subjects that employers will need our kids to know to perform work in the future”. With a mission statement like that, you know that Science Central has something for everyone in your family!

We were surprised to see how much time had passed and it was getting late in the afternoon but there was one more activity we wanted to make it too, Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot. Getting out on the water in a kayak and taking in the beautiful shore line was one of the top outdoor activities we wanted to do. However, my daughter Abbie who has Type 1 diabetes, had a blood sugar crash and we were unable to take a trip down the water. We were a bit bummed out but it gives us reason to head back to Fort Wayne to finish our outdoor adventure!

Since our visit, there is another amazing place that has opened called, Promenade Park. It’s here that Fort Wayne’s three rivers, The St Mary’s, the St Joseph, and the Maumee, come together for a place of exploration and fun. We can’t wait to go hike the trails along the water, discover adventure in the treetop canopy, play in the kid’s canal, and take to the water on a riverboat cruise. Admittedly, I am really excited to get to Promenade Park to see all the amazing things they have brought together for this one of a kind outdoor space.

Fort Wayne, Indiana offers more that you can do in a weekend. We are planning our next trip there sometime in the near future to continue to #playinthefort !

Happy Adventures,


Fort Wayne, Indiana and ALL the destinations we visited are


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Looking for other fun things to do in Indiana click the image to read about our trip to Shipshewana or Kokomo, Indiana.