My family went to Fort Wayne, Indiana and had the best time.
As I have discussed before my husband is an airline pilot. He had a trip on his schedule for Fort Wayne. With a 56 hour overnight. Usually he overnights in one city less than 24 hours and is on to the next. So if we want to spend his work week with him we better get ready to punch our frequent flier card a few times. Initially he wasn’t sure what he was going to do while there on such a long overnight. But we were happy to come up with a plan for him.
So we all went to work with Daddy.
Our first flight was from Atlanta to Newark before he even started working (he is a commuter – airline lingo for he lives in one city and works in a different). The flight from Newark to Fort Wayne was flown by Daddy. My son was so excited! Hearing your Daddy talk on the radio and knowing he is flying all those people in that big ole’ thing is pretty awesome for a 6YO (and for Mommy too). I guess its pretty cool to know the Daddy that kisses your booboos and tickle fights you in the living room floor can fly airplanes, with people on it. My daughter however was not ok with it. Once her daddy was locked up in the cockpit and she couldn’t see him she was sure we were leaving her daddy. And she didn’t like it at all.
When I was a flight attendant I had several overnights in Fort Wayne. However this was my first trip with kids. Something about travel makes destinations with children quite a drastic difference than going without.
Getting off the plane, despite the late hour, my kids were thrilled over the play area next to the gate. Seeing the colorful play area made them forget just how tired they really were. With promises that we would play again on our way home from Fort wayne, they reluctantly left behind the little airplane.
Just prior to exiting security we came to a cute little set up of suitcases with individually wrapped cookies. What a way to welcome everyone to Fort Wayne. My 6YO son and my husband were also quite impressed with the Tesla that was parked next to baggage claim.
We had the privilege of staying downtown with Daddy in his hotel, the Hilton. The hotel has a free van to get you from the airport to the hotel! And a coffee shop that serves Starbucks coffee and pastries. The staff is friendly and was very helpful. The only suggestion I have is one I have for most hotels… a laundry area for guests. I needed to dry my son’s shirt after ice skating, but it would have had to go out with the laundry service and we were leaving before it would have gotten back. It is a small inconvenience, but one traveling families seem to run into.
The Hilton was fabulous. The rooms were clean, updated, and the perfect size for a family of four for a couple of nights. Something about having a fridge in the room to store food makes trips that much more enjoyable for me. The next morning we set straight to the most important part of the entire trip. We went straight to the indoor pool.
After working up a big appetite we cleaned up and went down for the restaurant’s breakfast bar. It was fabulous. There was fruit, pastries, cereal, oatmeal, eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, AND they would cook omelets to order as well as bring our waffles with hot maple syrup. It was delicious. The kids ate free, and my meal was very reasonable.
We went back to the room to plan our day. I reached out on Twitter for recommendations and found out about the ice skating rink. Our son went 2 years ago, and had a blast so we had to go. The walk over to the Headwaters Park/Ice Arena was interesting. We came across quite a few bike racks. They are actually sculptures with a purpose. We saw a car, a pig, a gas tank, flowers and many others. It was fun because there were so many (50 in all, but we didn’t get to see every one) so it was an easy treasure hunt.
Ice skating was an experience. Our 2YO looked cute in her skates, could walk perfectly in them, but could NOT stay up on them while on the ice. So my poor husband was charged with holding both her hands to keep her upright. My limited skating abilities make me more of a liability than an asset, so I had to stay away. My son got really good at skating. Initially he held on to the wall for dear life, but as he got more used to how to glide instead of attempting to walk he got great with it. The only part of ice skating I wasn’t fond of was once the crowd came in. I can do ok, but if someone falls in front of me I can’t stop. So if you are like me, I recommend you go early. We went when they opened on Saturday at 11am and had plenty of play time before it started to get crowded. Children 13 and under are only $3, over 13 is $5 and skate rental is $2. So for less than $25 we had a few hours of great fun. The arena is under a large cover, but is still located outdoors. So while it was warm for us the day we went be prepared to dress in layers so you can take them back off as you get warmed up. The
skating arena also has nachos and various other snacks. We were so glad as we worked up quite an appetite skating.
After skating and nacho eating we weren’t ready to head back to the hotel yet. We went to the Historic old fort. It is a copy of the old wooden fort that was built to withstand an Indian invasion. The old homes had no windows facing the outside, but instead holes just large enough for guns to come out. It was neat looking at the circle of homes and see how people may have lived back in those days. My 2YO only wanted to go and see if anyone was home inside the houses.
We went back to the hotel and dined in the restaurant again. The food was amazing, and since we were on vacation we let the kids order a root beer float and drink it before dinner.
Our first day in Fort Wayne was so awesome the kids only wanted to do the same thing again. So we woke up, went to the pool, ate breakfast, went ice skating and came back and had pizza for dinner. There are so many wonderful things to see and do in Fort Wayne and we really hope next time we will be able to stay longer and create even more memories.
Back at the airport for our return trip back to Newark we were able to get some playing in at the play area and we were able to look around the small museum nearby. Fort Wayne Airport does an incredible job making their guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Aside from the ice skating (which is available until March), the parks to play in, the old fort to tour, and the street art; Fort Wayne has museums, and a huge library. We look forward to seeing more of their great city on our next visit.
Have you had the opportunity to visit Fort Wayne, Indiana? What did you enjoy most about the city?