Fort Wayne may not be the first place you think of when you think family vacation, but it should be on your list. With so much to do for families at such affordable prices, Fort Wayne, IN is an ideal family-friendly destination. Find out why the Fabulously Frugal Traveling Mom found it worthwhile to travel all the way from Florida to check out all the affordable family fun in Fort Wayne.
Before visiting Fort Wayne, I’d only been to Indiana a handful of times as a kid to visit Holiday World on family vacations. While I’d enjoyed my trips to Indiana, I never thought of the state as a travel destination. My feelings definitely changed after visiting Fort Wayne. One trip to the city and I’m already trying to figure out how I can get my family back up there.
Fort Wayne has a small town feeling with a big city vibe. The first thing I noticed about the city was the cleanliness and how safe I felt. It’s a city where I could have felt comfortable staying with my kids downtown and walking to the hip restaurants and downtown attractions. Not many cities can offer that!
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The city also offers a lot of family-focused activities that are incredibly affordable. Listed below are a few of my favorites.
Kid Friendly Activities in Fort Wayne
TinCaps Baseball Game
TinCaps Baseball tickets start at just $5 for lawn seats! They even have special concessions starting at only $1 on Mondays.
The TinCaps are a Class A Minor League Baseball team, and they have routinely been successful! In 2009, they won their first league championship. Currently, they sit at the top of the Mid Eastern division.
They have fun themed nights include Star Wars Night, Superhero Night, and Princess Night, which all encourage fans to wear costumes, plus the themed nights will have fun entertainment that follows the theme.
I got to try out some of the traditional baseball fare while visiting and loved all of it. It’s always nice to find an activity that is affordable and has good food.
The park also has a splash pad, rock climbing wall, and fun interactive games in the Fun Zone. Most Friday and Saturday games in the summer also include a fireworks display after the game, and they often have fun in-game entertainment like the Bad Apple Dancers, and more national acts like Jake the Diamond Dog, Birdzerk, and ZOOperstarts.
It’s also fun to get a picture with Johnny Appleseed like I did!
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The Botanical Conservatory
Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for children 3-17, free for 2 and under
I personally enjoyed everything about The Botanical Conservatory, even the front entrance is adorned with flowers.
Walking through the grounds is breathtaking because everything is beautiful. Even the artwork is eye-popping.
The flowers steal the show, which is no surprise. There are three indoor gardens, but my favorite is the showcase garden since it changes with each season.
Even though we were there for botanics, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the butterflies in the butterfly garden. I loved catching this shot.
It isn’t all flowers and butterflies. There is a lot for kids to do too! Not only is there an area just for kids, but you can find educational materials all over the conservatory.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Admission: $14 for adults, $10 for kids 2-18, free for under 2
Traveling Mom Tip: Consider saving money and get a membership for $119. If you do it right, you can use it to get into other zoos using reciprocity. Find out more about reciprocity by reading this article.
Close your eyes and pretend to walk through the last zoo you visited. Now imagine going with a kid. Would you have to pick up the child so they could see the animals?
That doesn’t happen at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. All exhibits are at eye level for children. Talk about a great way for moms to save their backs, right?
You can even see some animals like this proud guy and his family wander around the zoo freely!
Admission: $9 ages 3 and up, free for kids 2 and under
Not to be confused with a science museum, Science Central calls itself a “science center” where kids (and adults) can be an active part of science. When I say active, I mean active. They can even slide through the science center!
There are several different exhibits that cater to kids of all ages and all of them are hands on.
Check out my YouTube video of Science on a Sphere. It was put together by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a research tool to understand earth and space systems in a three-dimensional format.
Souder & Son’s General Store and Coffee Cabin
No admission required! Just take a little trip out to Graybill, only 20 minutes outside of Fort Wayne.
We took a little trip into the past when we walked into Souder & Son’s General Store and Coffee Cabin.
My favorite quote from the manager was, “We had farm house decor before it was popular.” While I loved the decor and old-fashioned candy, I was more excited about the coffee shop where I picked up some hot chocolate that was way more affordable and delicious than big coffee chains!
There is so much to do in Fort Wayne! We ate well, enjoyed activities geared for adults, and shopped for some amazing deals. While it was all fun, I had the most fun learning about all the affordable family fun attractions. If you haven’t visited Fort Wayne yet and you are looking for an affordable place to visit with kids, you’ve got to check it out.