Smoking in restaurants
Fort Wayne passed a city ordinance in 1999 that required all restaurants in the city limits to provide a completely seperated from floor to ceiling smoke-free eating environment for it's non-smoking customers. Many restaurants in the city limits such as Applebees and Fridays continue to allow smoking only in the bar and the smoking section is completely sectioned off either by walls or, in the case of Applebees, floor to ceiling glass panels. A few restaurants, such as the Casa Grille, have gone totally smoke free. More recently the city (and possibly the entire county?) updated the ordinance to prohibit smoking pretty much anywhere indoors. This includes bars, clubs, and bowling alleys.
The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.
The Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo is said to be one of the best in the country and Fort Wayne's number 1 attraction! In fact, a recent issue of Child magazine listed the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo as the 9th best zoo for children in the country, placing it alongside the Lowry Park Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, and Toledo Zoo! Set on 42 acres, it houses over 2,200 animals and serves over 500,000 visitors each year. It is divided into regions: Central Zoo, Indonesian Rainforest, and the Australian Adventure. Kids love the world's only endangered species carousel. I personally enjoy Australia After Dark with the bat exhibit and the humid Indonesian Rainforest Dome. Don't miss the new Jellyfish, Rays, and Sharks exhibit! It's amazing! New in 2007 is the Sky Safari Ride. On this ride you can get a bird's eye view of the new construction on African Journey. During the months that school is in session (opening until early June and late August through closing), try to go to the zoo on a weekday around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. School groups usually clear out by or shortly after 2 and you will feel like you have the place to yourself!! While the gates close at 5, visitors are allowed to stay on the grounds until 6, although all buildings close at 5:30. If you can't go then, try Sunday morning when the zoo opens! The zoo always opens at 9 and most people on Sundays don't start coming in until noon. The zoo, now closed for the season, will open for the 2007 season on April 21st. It is open 9am-5pm everyday, including holidays. Admission: Adults $8.00, Children (2-14) $5.00, Seniors (60 and over) $7.00, and children under 2 free.
NOTE: The African Savannah section of the zoo is closed for complete $10.5 million renovations. The new African area, dubbed African Journey, is set to open by 2009 and will feature completely new exhibits and animals. The original African village with giraffes, leopards, and monkeys is still open.
I'm not into skateboarding, but I know many people are so I figured I'd add this in as well. If you love to skateboard, head downtown to the new skatepark. It's located just north of the St. Mary's River along Clinton St. in Lawton Park. The park offers many ramps and even rails to skate on. I know absolutely no skating lingo so forgive me! On the side opposite the street, there are several bleachers for friends and family that don't skate to sit and watch, or for those just curious that want to observe. Admission is free. I'm not sure what the hours are, though.