My family and I decided to drive to Fort Wayne to getaway for a three-day weekend getaway in April. From baseball and hockey to science and art, my kids had a blast, and we will definitely be planning a return trip to Indiana’s second-largest city!
We were pleasantly surprised with how quickly we arrived at our hotel on Friday. We stayed in one of the kids suites at the newly redesigned Holiday Inn at IPFW and Memorial Coliseum, as soon as we walked in my boys immediately found out that the hotel had a pool. We then went to our room. And our boys were so excited to see they had a room within the room complete with bunkbeds and a desk with a chair and television made just for them. The room had a full size refrigerator and microwave with a nice table and four chairs. There was also a sitting area with a couch and television, a desk and chair and a king size bed with two end tables. The bathroom was spacious as well.
Once we checked in, we headed to our first destination, Science Central. The excitement was palpitating in the car when the boys saw the building which has these unmistakable blue, green, yellow, orange and red tube sculptures on top. Once we got inside, we decided to split up, our two oldest boys, Jayden & Chase explored the museum with my hubby and I took Kaleb to the section made especially for kids younger than 7 years old. Kaleb immediately ran into the Fort Discovery play area that led to a slide. After sliding down a few times, he moved to the water table area and used different toys to collect the water and pour it out. When we meet back up with the rest of the family, Jayden and Chase had just taken a photo dressed as NASA astronauts.
We began making our way through more than 200 hands-on interactive exhibits. The boys loved learning about tornadoes and we paid a few dollars for them to step inside a simulator that let them feel just how fast winds can reach in tornadoes (pictured above). On the lower level, the boys had a blast standing in front of these silly mirrors that either made your body parts bigger, wider or smaller. And, we couldn’t leave without seeing an entertaining demonstration in the Lincoln Financial Foundation Demo Theater. Our boys love science, technology and math and this demonstration utilized all three.
Later in the evening, Jayden, Chase and I were excited to experience Room To Escape, which is Fort Wayne’s #1 rated Escape Room. And, I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. I think we did pretty well considering we’ve never experienced an Escape Room before. We were able to get two of the five locks on the door unlocked. I’ll tell you that team work is essential to being able to actually escape a room in 60 minutes. The boys and I worked well together and asked for hints when we needed them. Although we didn’t escape, we really enjoyed the experience and look forward to actually escaping an escape room soon.
On Saturday morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the Holiday Inn. Kids eat free with an adult purchase, which made our meal come to a reasonable price. Our first stop was the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. This adorable museum is in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne and includes free parking. Once inside, the boys immediately went to the Early Learning Center area, which is toward the front of the museum. The room included an area for you hang out on bean bags, build and play with toys, which Kaleb loved and an area to draw and write on a bulletin board. Jayden and Chase decided to play hangman on the board a few times. We explored the rest of the museum including an exhibition called Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. This exhibition was a family favorite. We all really enjoyed being able to see art made by students in the community. We also enjoyed reading award winning poems, essays and more. For a list of current exhibits and events visit the museum’s website by clicking here.
I have to admit that I love art and museums and I try and fit them into our vacations whenever possible. So, after we left the museum we decided to do something where the kids could run around, yell, laugh and exert some energy at Crazy Pinz Entertainment Center. When we arrived, the parking lot was packed full of cars and there was a long line of people. We signed up to bowl and the kids took off to the arcade. There was a wait to bowl, but the timing worked out perfect for us because just as the kids were wrapping up with playing arcade games it was time for us to bowl and our pizza and funnel cake fries were ready although it sounds unusual they were delicious and we all ate them up in an instant. We all had a blast bowling even little Kaleb. If you have a toddler be sure to ask for the bowling ball ramp, plus all the kids wanted bumpers to block the gutter. Despite all the help, my hubby had the highest score with Jayden taking pride in reaching a hearty second.
On our way to opening night for the Tin Caps, we decided to make what we thought was going to be a quick stop to check out Sweet Monster Ice Cream. I must admit that I’m a foodie and I’m passing that trait on to our boys.
When we heard that Fort Wayne was getting a rolled ice cream shop, the boys and I knew we had to taste it. Again, we were met with a long line of people. After we ordered the cookie monster, we waited and watched employees make the rolled ice cream. When they called our name, we couldn’t wait to taste it and it was delicious.
Then we headed to Parkview Field to see the Tin Caps. When we walked in the stadium, all of us received a Tin Caps lunch box. We had great seats too, just two rows from the field. During the practice time before the game, the boys were able to take a pic with Johnny the team mascot and a player gave them a practice ball.
We decided to leave a little early and head over to the Fort Wayne Komets game at the Memorial Coliseum, which is right across from the hotel we stayed at. Our seats were on the 200 level, which were really great. We could see everything. And the team mascot made his way to our row as well. I think we were a magnet for mascots that night. We all really had a great time. The hotel provided its guests with a shuttle bus to the games, so if you make plans to stay there and see a hockey game, save money on parking and ride the shuttle.
On Sunday, we packed up our belongings and said goodbye to our home away from home with one last destination in mind. I couldn’t leave without our family experiencing the Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory. From the moment we walked through the door, I felt like I wished our family was taking a family photo shoot that day. In fact, we saw several people taking professional photos that day. There were so many beautiful flowers and plants everywhere you turned. The kids loved that there was a playground complete with slides, bridges and places to jump off. It was cold that day, but the boys started sweating so bad they took their jackets off and wished they had on t-shirts. It was a perfect way to end our weekend getaway.