Something For Everyone!
There's something for everyone in Fort Wayne! We have museums, a zoo, giant malls, parks galore, statues, monuments, a historic fort, nightclubs, great restaurants, first class hotels, colleges, universities, excellent hospitals, low crime, historic districts, international airport, one of the best concert arenas in the country, and (if that's something you prefer) a few stripclubs. In fact Fort Wayne is said to have more churches and stripclubs per 100,000 people than any other city in the midwest! That's right, we like our people religious and our women nude! Er, maybe not. Anyway, go ahead and bring the family, except for those stripclubs. The only memory I had of Fort Wayne before I moved here was coming to Glenbrook mall a couple times a year to do some shopping at Indiana's largest mall, especially around Christmas.
Sunken Gardens in Huntington
Get away from life in the big city for a while. Head about 20 miles west down Highway 24 to the town of Huntington and visit the Sunken Gardens. The gardens are set in the remnants of an old stone quarry. A long series of steps lead down to a beautiful garden of stone, water, trees, and fountains. Beautiful stone bridges cross fish-filled ponds, a gorgeous gazebo sits next to a small fountain, and picnic tables allow a nice place to stop for a snack or lunch. A truly unique experience. The Sunken Gardens is actually a small part of the large Memorial Park. At over 48 acres, the park has playgrounds, gardens, several walking paths, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and much more! The park is located along West Park Drive and Bartlett Steets in Huntington, Indiana.
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society
If you love trains, and even if you don't, this museum will give you experiences you will remember for the rest of your life. One of the most unique experiences is the Engineer For An Hour program. For a fee of $129, you spend an hour learning the basics of railroad operations, locomotives, rail braking systems, and diesel locomotive inspection and operation. When you're done with that, get behind the wheel so to speak and spend an hour driving a 400 horsepower, twin V-8 diesel locomotive! And new this year, for an extra $100, they will hook up a restored 100-year-old Wabash Caboose and you can tow all your friends and family along with you for the ride! Sessions are available on certain Saturdays March through October. If you'd rather just view instead of drive, you can tour the facility, sit in the engineers seat for a 400-ton iron horse, and view many of their other historic railroad equipment. The shop is volunteer dependent and is thus only open on weekends and charges no admission fees. Donations are recommended as donations and gift shop sales are the only means of monetary support for the society.
Fort Wayne Children's Zoo part I
The entrance to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is modeled after the entrance to an old fort. The zoo is divided into 5 areas: Central Zoo, African Savannah, Indoneasian Rainforest, Australian Adventure, and Indiana Family Farm. Each section exhibits animals found in that region of the world, while Central Zoo houses animals found either in many parts of the world, or in places not represented in the other areas.
The entrance to the zoo opens into the Central Zoo district of the zoo. The Central Zoo acts as the hub from which you can access the other areas of the zoo. Several of the more popular exhibits are located here including Monkey Island and Sea Lion Beach, where everyday at 11:10am and 1pm zookeepers will put on a demonstration with the sea lions.
Sea Lion Beach opened in late 2002 and includes above and below water viewing areas for visitors. This exhibit is quite popular, especially during the 11:10am and 1pm feedings when zookeepers give demonstrations of how they care for the sea lions.
The sea lions are very popular with zoo guests. People love watching not only their demonstrations with the zookeepers but also the animals just gliding swiftly through the water. Of course sometimes the animals enjoy the people just as much as the people enjoy them. You'll after see them swim right up to the glass and stare back at you. Two of the sea lions arrived this year from Sea World Orlando. One of the zoo's original sea lions was rescued from a fishnet in the ocean. You can still see a deep scar around her neck that looks from a distance like a collar.
Everyone loves penguins, right? These penguins are Jackass Penguins, so named because of the mule-like sound they make when excited. They are temperate creatures and thus don't mind the warm Indiana summers. In fact, they are kept inside all winter because they can't survive in the cold.
Peacocks. These guys are everywhere. They roam freely around the zoo, and sometimes they can be seen wandering the parking lot. Although their feathers when fully extended are beautiful, they rarely display them. By late spring, the male peacocks begin losing their long beautiful tail feathers, but they can still be noted by their blue necks. The females are just a plain brown or white and can often be seen with a group of baby chicks trailing her. One of the favorite hobbies of peacocks is sneaking up behind you and cawing very loudly in your ear.
The Indiana Family Farm is the newest part of the zoo. Well, not really. It's always been here, but it's been recently upgraded and improved. In years past it was just a large petting zoo. Now it's set up just like a farm, with a farmhouse, barn, chicken coop, and goat yard. You can buy food to feed the goats or just brush them for free. The animals located here are typical barnyard animals like horses, chickens, pigs, and turkeys.
Goats! Lots of baby goats. They are very playful and sometimes overactive. If you have food, watch out, they will be all over you in a second! Still they are fun to watch and fun to play with!