Things to Do This Summer

The first week of summer has come and gone and Fort Wayne is alive with summer activities. If art, music, animals, or Japanese pop culture excite you, you won't want to miss these events.

Splash Pads

There are 9 splash pads installed by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation throughout the city, open from 9 am to 9 pm and completely free to the public. Entering a splash pad, for those who have never tried it, is like stepping into a fountain made for fun. It's a great way to cool off, and the cheapest way to play in the water. This activity is strongly suggested for families with young children. We recommend the one at Taylor's Dream, a recently-opened boundless park.

View from the roof (via Embassy Theatre's Facebook)

View from the roof (via Embassy Theatre's Facebook)

Summer Nights at the Embassy

Every Wednesday until September 7th, the Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre hosts its summer concert series, “Summer Nights at the Embassy,” on the Parkview Health rooftop. For $5.00 a ticket via Ticketmaster or the Embassy's box office, the Embassy offers food, music, and a beautiful skyline. Their first concert featured local band the "Legendary Trainhoppers" and was incredibly successful. Tickets are on sale two weeks before each event, so don't wait until Wednesday. Tickets will only be sold at the door if space allows. Learn more from our full-length article.

Three Rivers Festival

Perhaps the biggest upcoming event is the 48th annual Three Rivers Festival from July 8th through 16th. This giant festival offers food, family fun such as the Three Rivers Festival Parade, and a series of concerts. There are over 80 official Three Rivers Festival events planned, and it looks to be another summer blowout. The first concert sponsored by the festival stars Michael Jackson tribute band "Who's Bad" with special guests "Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra & G Money."

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, winner of TripAdvisor’s “Traveler’s Choice” award — its highest recommended “thing to do” in Fort Wayne — is open for the season and offers Summer Safari Camp until July 29th as well as numerous daily events. The main exhibits include the African Journey, Australian Adventure, Indonesian Rainforest, and the Central Zoo. It's not all animal exhibits, though. Plenty of family rides like the Sky Safari, the Crocodile Creek Adventure Ride, and the Z.O.&O. Railroad are guaranteed hits for the younger audience. Normal hours are from 9 am to 5 pm and tickets are $14.00 for adults ages 19-59 and $9.00 for ages 2-8. 

A photo posted by Kimberly (@kimberisamazing) on

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

If you want a more personal look at exotic animals, the Professional Animal Retirement Center, Inc., also known as the “Black Pine Animal Sanctuary,” is the place to go. An immense and safe refuge for exotic animals, it houses almost 100 exotic animals and won the 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award from From now until August, their hours are 10 am to 5 pm weekdays and 10 am to 3 pm on weekends. A kid’s camp will start July 9th from 9:00 am to 12 pm.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates Summer Tours

On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am and 1 pm, DeBrand Fine Chocolates is hosting tours for the summer on Auburn Park Drive. Admission is $5.00 with a $5.00 rebate off a purchase of $10.00 or more. For those unacquainted with the delicious sweets of DeBrand, buy some truffles while you're there; they are to die for. The trip would be worth the chocolate alone, but seeing how their sweet delicacies are prepared is a rare treat.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art

There’s no better spot for cool contemplation than the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. From June 25th to September 11th, the annual “Summer of Glass” showcase of glass-work will be on display. The art displays will include 44th Annual International Glass Invitational Award Winners: Albert Paley’s “Forging the Invisible Reality,” and Davide Salvadore’s “Dalle Fornaci di Murano.”

Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre

Some new theatrical talent will be on display at the Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre. Their 2015 performance was the popular rock musical, Rent. In conjunction with the Three River’s Festival activities, they will be performing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast starting July 8th. If a performance involving rising actors, Disney fairy tales, or beastly beauties sounds exciting, this may be worth looking into for you.


For fans of Japanese anime, manga, or video games, Ikasucon starts July 8th and ends July 10th. This year's guests include notable voice actors Aaron Roberts, Austin Tindle, and Blake Shepard as well as anime game show host Greg "Greggo" Wicker and webcomic master James Hatton. Some of the activities include buying merchandise, creating artwork, watching panels or attending workshops, and video and tabletop gaming. Also, Ikasucon uses a new theme each year to give attendees a unique experience, and this year the theme "Sports Day" will tie the events together with an athletic motif. 

If colorful plants and healthy foods are your jam, check out our article on the Botanical Conservatory


Want more things to do?

Offbeat Date Night Opportunities in the Fort