Fort Wayne “Staycations”

Staycations are becoming increasingly popular. They save on gas and they can be achieved on the spur of the moment. You also don’t have to spend time traveling there, so there’s more time to spend as a family. Try these local hotspots or rent a room at a local B&B for a home not-too-far-away from home. Whether you’re trying these local hotspots for the first time or trying them again, they won’t disappoint.

Did you happen to catch the latest Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler movie “Blended” and now yearn to take your family to Africa but lack the funds? Is your giraffe-loving child begging to feed one? At the award winning Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, your child can do that and more! Take your family on a safari for much less than the price of a plane ticket. See lions, leopards, ostriches and more for only $9 a child. Africa is only one continent you can “visit” at the zoo. Be world travelers without leaving town. Call (260) 427-6800 to learn more.

Photo courtesy of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Photo courtesy of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Be a tourist in your own city! Consider taking a Historic Segway Tour to learn why Fort Wayne is called the Summit City, how many forts were built in the city, and more while riding the odd looking vehicles. Your kids will love it, and they just might learn something about their city without meaning to. Call (260) 433-6155 to schedule your tour. Riders must weigh at least 100 pounds, so this would be ideal for older children or teens.

Music lovers, don’t forget Fort Wayne’s Summer Concert Series. Held Saturdays through Aug. 30 at the Main Branch of the Allen County Public Library, these concerts are free and begin at 6 p.m. Jefferson Plaza also offers free concerts from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fridays through Sept. 5 by the Courtyard Fountain, so there’s no reason not to get your fill of music this summer.

Take a tour you can sink your teeth into! Visit DeBrand’s Chocolates with your family. Discover the history of the company by watching a short video, see them make the treats in the kitchen, and sample some, too, on a 30-45 minute jaunt! Tours cost $5, with those making purchases receiving discounts if they buy $10 or more of chocolate. To learn more, call (260) 969-8333. Their summer tours take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, no reservation necessary.

Take a break from the predictable, everyday fast food but still keep the kids happy with tastier versions of the familiar. Grab a bite at Fort Wayne’s beloved restaurants. Kids love Coney Island’s hot dogs and 8 oz bottles of Coke, paired with a bag of Seyfert’s chips. Or sit on bar stools at Powers Burgers, a Fort Wayne establishment since 1940 and request a score of burgers. Make your children giggle there by ordering “garbage” for breakfast consisting of potatoes, green peppers, onions, eggs, ham and cheese.

Always wanted to get your children involved in art? Take your children to the Early Learning Center of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art where they can create masterpieces of their own for $20 admission to the museum per family, or free from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays: (260) 422- 6467. Afterwards, continue the art lesson with a picnic in the park where you all whip out art pads and draw flowers and trees.

With a city as full of attractions as Fort Wayne, this is only the beginning of what a staycation could look like. But perhaps the best part of Fort Wayne “staycations”? Not having to hear those dreaded four words: “Are we there yet?” Because the answer is, of course, “Yes, we are.”

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About Drema Drudge

Drema Drudge received her MFA in Creative Writing at Spalding University and has had her fiction most recently published in The Louisville Review, Mused, ATG, Mother Earth News, and Penumbra. She is a frequent contributor to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Drema is married to musician Barry Drudge. They have two grown children, Mia and Zack. Feel free to visit Drema's website where she explores her passion for writing about art at

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