Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Enjoy your chilly January with these events for winter lovers

Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 2, 2020

After weeks of anticipation and then days upon days of holiday festivities, family gatherings, and vacation days, the reality of January can hit pretty hard. 

But there are some ways to enjoy the month and even turn winter into a bit of a wonderland.

Winter in Wawasee

For outdoor enthusiasts who don’t mind a little cold, Wawasee hosts its annual Winter Carnival on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

This year’s lineup includes ice sculpting, glass blowing, carnival games, princess meet and greet, 40 vendors, hot cocoa bar, balloon tying, ice fishing, 5K run, sled dogs, and sleigh rides. The Wawasee Kiwanis Snowmobile Drags start at 11 a.m. on Syracuse Lake. 

Tickets and more information can be found at 

Warm up with soup

For those who want to warm up in advance, the Wawasee Kiwanis hosts its 11th annual Soup Supper at the Syracuse Community Center from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $6 per person and proceeds benefit the Riley Children’s Hospital. Visit the Winter Carnival Facebook page for additional updates.

Fire and ICe

For those who really want to take a winter plunge, there are many opportunities around the area to do so including the Fire & Ice Polar Plunge at Lake Wawasee on that same day, Jan. 25. 

Oakwood Resort hosts the event which is named Fire & Ice since the event serves as a fundraiser for the Turkey Creek Fire Department. Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. and the plunge, which features jumpers in costumes, takes place at noon. Individuals and teams are invited to compete for best costume, and after leaving the icy water, feel free to order the resort’s daily special, grilled cheese. (Drinks are also on the menu for those who want to warm up more quickly.) Live music from SoulShot featuring John Kirkwood will be on hand from 1-4 p.m. 

Cost is $15 for individuals and $50 for a team of six. For more information, contact the Pier and Back Porch at (574) 457-8700.

Winterval at the Conservatory 

January 25 is a busy day for winter lovers as Fort Wayne’s Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory hosts Winterval at the Conservatory that day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Conservatory promises opportunities to “make a winter bird feeder, pot a plant, watch an ice sculpture take shape before your eyes, and have fun exploring our ‘Dog Days of Winter’ garden exhibit.” Regular admission fees apply.

More Winterval around downtown 

The event is just part of a larger Winterval experience taking place all over downtown Fort Wayne that day. 

Visitors can experience hiking and biking, ice skating, and rugby as well as special events at the Fort, Science Central, and a particularly cool Winter Cozy at Promenade Park that evening. 

Stay tuned to Whatzup for more on Winterval.

Cuddle up with a good book club

OK, maybe all that outdoor fun doesn’t sound so fun to those who don’t care for the cooler temperatures. 

For those who like to cuddle up with a good book, a book club meeting at the Syracuse Public Library might provide a nice outlet for some spirited discussion. 

The book of choice when the group meets on Jan. 24, 1-2 p.m., is The Book of Joy, a combined effort of the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, who seek to help readers find joy and happiness in their lives. 

In these often chaotic and contentious times, reading and talking about two men of spiritual and intellectual renown should provide a pleasant start to the year.

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