Although there hasn’t been much in the way of wintery weather here yet, those who enjoy the season can circle January 30 on their calendars when the city celebrates Winterval 2021.
The day begins at 9 a.m. with a free guided hike through the Lindenwood Nature Preserve which is capped by a chance to enjoy a warming fire at 10:30 with Soarin’ Hawk. The Botanical Conservatory hosts programming from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the usual admission price ($3-$5) though passersby can enjoy the outdoor ice sculpting for free.
Also hosting ice sculpting is the Allen County Public Library downtown plaza which will be taking place from noon until 2 p.m. Those who prefer to put their feet on ice can do so at the Headwaters Park rink 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. ($4-$6). Science Central will host fun with Liquid Nitrogen 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and timed tickets can be bought on their website (sciencecentral.org).
The Fort Wayne Community Center on West Main will host the first Warm Heart Market where you can browse homemade and uniquely hand-crafted items noon to 5 p.m. The Community Center will also host the 10th anniversary Winter Carnival (also noon until 5 p.m.), a free event which includes live ice carving at 2 p.m., Nine-Hole Miniature Golf, and a Candy Luge.
A free guided eight-mile bike ride begins at the Lawton Park Trailhead at 1 p.m. (helmets encouraged) while Promenade Park hosts Dog Sweater Day, a chance to see which pooch is most stylish. A “Cutest Dog” contest costs a dollar to enter and can earn its winner a free pic. Those who are exploring downtown for all of these events can also look for hidden polar bears throughout the city.
Although a great day to spend time with the family, the grownups can also indulge in a Winter Beer Trail which spotlights 12 local breweries and cideries. The Winterval brochure explains how folks can participate in the Beer Trail:
“Pick up a passport available at any Winterval event, travel to each of the listed breweries, try a featured beverage, collect a stamp, and turn in your completed passport at the Community Center by March 5 or during the Parks & Recreation Trivia at Hop River Brewing on March 6 at 2 p.m. Your passport will be entered into a prize drawing.”
To download the Winterval brochure, visit fortwayneparks.org and be aware of any changes that might be necessary due to COVID restrictions.
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