Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Science Central upgrades nature habitat

Downtown Fort Wayne promotes Shopping Small

Science Central has made some upgrades to its nature area.

Jen Poiry Prough

Whatzup Features Writer

Published November 23, 2022

Science Central has completed an extensive renovation project in its Swap Shop, which has been renamed the Nature Nook.

Located on Science Central’s top level, Nature Nook is the center’s dedicated area for Earth and natural sciences education. The area is home to the center’s nature life, which range from mammals to reptiles, and plants. The space also features identification stations for rocks, fossils, shells, skulls, and more. 

The animals’ food preparation area has also been moved to public viewing within the space, so visitors can now watch and participate in the process while learning about the animals’ unique dietary needs from center’s staff. 

The animals have also received new enclosures. These living spaces afford them more room for proper enrichment. Replacing pet store-type habitats, these enclosures are museum-grade and uniform in style, elevating Nature Nook’s appearance.

Other enhancements to the area include new flooring, bookshelves, display cases, and a custom-made light fixture by volunteer Craig Shoda.

Wagon Wheel receives $81,000 grant

The Kosciusko County Conventions, Recreation, and Visitor Commission has awarded Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts a grant of $81,000 to support Phase One of the facility’s project to save White Hill Manor, which was gifted to Wagon Wheel in 2017 as housing for contract actors and theater technicians. White Hill Manor saves the theater more than $55,000 each year on housing expenses.

Extensive repairs are needed make the historic building livable, including the nearly 90-year-old slate roof, gutters, rotting windows and exterior wood, and internal water damage. The grant will help ensure Wagon Wheel is able to continue to operate the facility. 

Shop Small for the holidays

Downtown Fort Wayne is inviting residents and visitors to shop small for the holidays. 

Kicking off on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, and running through Saturday, Dec. 17, shoppers can purchase holiday gifts and décor at local boutiques within the Downtown District or surrounding business corridors. Participating stores will offer discounted specials and provide plenty of festive cheer. 

As part of Small Business Saturday, shoppers can engage with various holiday characters at Promenade Park, including Santa, Buddy the Elf, princesses, and The Grinch. Fort Wayne Youtheatre will perform scenes from Frozen Jr. and Flow Down Hula Hoopers will provide entertainment suitable for people of all ages on The Landing. All this holiday cheer is free, open to the public, and available for one day only.

New this year is the Social Media Challenge. Shoppers will post a photo of themselves with their shopping bag at a participating retailer on Facebook or Instagram, tag @DowntownFortWayne and use #DaysofHollyShopping to enter for a chance to win $250 in weekly gift card giveaways. After Dec. 17, one lucky shopper will win a grand prize of $1,000 in local downtown gift cards. Shoppers receive one drawing entry per social media post.

For more information, a list of shopping specials and a digital map, go to

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