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JUST FOR FUN: Melissa's Top 10 Summer Faves

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

There's no shortage of amazing summer activities in Fort Wayne. This is incredibly fortunate for families across our great community feeling pinched by inflation and stagnating wages - you don't need to go far to have fun.

Lakeside Rose Garden
Lakeside Rose Garden

#1 Lakeside Rose Garden

I can't claim to be impartial in positioning Lakeside Rose Garden as #1 on this list. One of my favorite hobbies is gardening (mostly flower gardening, but I'm also 'trying out' vegetable gardening this year) at my own home, and nothing is more encouraging than seeing the well-manicured gardens at the Lakeside Rose Garden. This gem nestled near my historic North Anthony neighborhood was a big factor in making the decision to move to the '05!

#2 Free Concerts!

There's too much to say about free concerts in Fort Wayne and in the surrounding area. Corey McMaken with the Journal Gazette did a much better job than I could ever imagine in compiling all of the great summer concerts - find that here. In Fort Wayne's grasp at becoming a 'music city,' these concerts have helped solidify music into the cultural fabric of our community. I'm proud to live somewhere that I can listen to live music almost any night that I'd like to, and oftentimes for free!

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

#3 Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

I remember taking my daughter to the zoo year after year, and it's no wonder. Our zoo is one of the nation's best, ranking in the top 10 consistently. The opening of Red Panda Ridge this year is something that I'm incredibly excited about, kudos are owed to the crew at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo for all that they are doing to keep visits fun and engaging.

YLNI Farmers Market
YLNI Farmers Market

#4 YLNI Farmers Market

A lot of folks, myself included, know this as the Barr Street Market, and it has blown me away this year with its attention to creating a rounded experience with entertainment and family-friendly features while emphasizing great local and regional vendors.

Promenade Park
Promenade Park

#5 Fort Wayne Farmers Market

New to Dynamo Alley at Electric Works this year is the Fort Wayne Farmers Market, and it doesn't disappoint! More choices, especially in our growing community, are never a bad thing. Fortunately for us, we have two great farmers markets running -- I'm finding myself alternating between the two.

#6 Lunch on the Square

This weekday tradition at Freimann Square presented by Downtown Fort Wayne has really made Thursdays much more interesting downtown. As time allows, I find myself slipping away to enjoy the great vibes at this event each week - more here!

#7 Promenade Park & The Tree Canopy Trail

As one of the newest features in Fort Wayne, Promenade Park is a world-class park that has sparked awe-inspiring riverfront development. Whether you're relaxing on the swings, strolling the tree canopy trail, taking a kayak trip from Fort Wayne Outfitters, or just grabbing a refreshment at the NEW Ted's Snack + Bar location (I've been enjoying their District-2 spot up on Union Chapel for a few years now!), Promenade Park is a cultural center in Fort Wayne for all.

The Landing
The Landing

#8 Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory

Referred to as the crown jewel of the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory produces seasonal exhibits, including its Color in Motion Live Butterfly Exhibit, running through June 25 (HURRY!), and its summer exhibit this year is An Herbal Garden, a showcase on urban gardening techniques for edible and native plants.

#9 The Landing

Another newer (or should I say revamped?!) feature in downtown Fort Wayne is The Landing. Do any of you remember the Blue Mountain Cafe? Some of my favorite new restaurants have popped up on The Landing including Mercado and Nawa. With such a great restaurant scene in Fort Wayne, it's getting harder to convince me to cook and eat at home - because I, of course, have to work-in the old favorites, too.


#10 Rivergreenway

The trail system is an incredible asset to our community, and a focal point to the trail system is the 26-mile Rivergreenway, which I enjoy walking and biking often as the weather warms-up. With over 100-miles of overall trail in the county, we have seemingly endless opportunities to get out and move -- the best part is it's free!

This list is in no way exhaustive, there are so many great things to do in Fort Wayne. One of my favorite guides is Terri Richardson's book 100 Things To Do in Fort Wayne Before You Die.

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