Most Hoosiers are probably well versed on this topic, but if you’re not from Indiana, you might be wondering why you should travel to Ft. Wayne.
Isn’t Indianapolis the capital? Isn’t that where all the fun is?
Well, yes, Indy does have a lot to offer and you probably should include a stop during your visit to the state. BUT, if you travel just two hours north, you’ll find the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo, Indiana’s #1 Summer Attraction. Listed as one of the 10 best zoos for children by Parent’s Magazine, the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo is designed with children in mind. That means that you don’t have to lift them up or get them out of strollers for them to see –- everything is visible for little ones.
However, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is more than just animals on display. Each exhibit is carefully crafted to include educational pieces for children and adults alike. I was particularly impressed by the lifelike Indonesian rain forest complete with banana trees, rope bridges and picturesque water features. For a moment, it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of Indiana. I could go on and on about the educational features like the safari stations in the African exhibit, the caves that allow you to experience the difference shelter makes for animals in the wild and the walk-through kangaroo experience in the Australian Adventure.
That’s just what we see, though. Behind the scenes, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo works to keep animal enrichment at the forefront of their mission. They believe that when elements of an animal’s zoo environment mimic the problem-solving opportunities they encounter in the wild then the animals exhibit natural behaviors. This brings a great deal of beauty to the zoo, but also helps visitors to learn more about the habitats in which the animals live.
I believe that zoos should serve as an educational tool more than a source for entertainment. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has managed to accomplish both.
The Fort Wayne Zoo is open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily from mid April to mid October.
Admission is $14 for adults and $9 for children age 18 and under.
Throughout the summer months, they also host a variety of educational events certain to pique your little one’s interest, so make sure to check the Ft. Wayne Kids’ Zoo Programs and Events before planning your visit.
Disclaimer: My family and I were provided complementary admission for the purpose of a review. However, we have visited the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo the last two summers and I sincerely hope to go again. All of the opinions in this piece are genuine and completely my own and I was not obligated to write a full review.