Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Whatzup 2022 Holiday Preview

Yuletide glee to last you through Christmas

Christmas on Broadway is one of the many events happening this holiday season.

Sam Rohloff

Whatzup Features Writer

Published November 9, 2022

The jack-o-lanterns, candy corn, and colorful leaves have had their time. 

Now it’s time to make room for the decorative baubles, sugar cookies, and powdery snow! 

Here’s your survival guide for the 2022 holiday season in northeast Indiana.

WEATHER IS FRIGHTFUL!

Temperatures are dropping and sweater weather is popping, so enjoy the warmth found near the delightful fireplace and genuine Hoosier hospitality by checking out these open houses and other jolly gatherings.

At 6 p.m. on Dec. 9, The Apple Tree Center Church in Kendallville will celebrate Christmas at the Center. Come for cookie decorating, caroling, crafts, and more!

SINCE WE’VE NO PLACE TO GO…

But you do! In fact, you’ll lose track of how many markets and bazaars are appearing all over the northeast side of Indiana.

If the arts are what you fancy, you can visit the Artlink Winter Market at Artlink. Open Nov. 26, Dec. 3, and Dec. 10, you can browse vendors offering fine art, contemporary crafts, and handmade goods.

Running alongside their presentation of The Nutcracker, the Fort Wayne Ballet is hosting their second annual Kris Kringle Village on Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11 at Arts United Center. Modeled after German markets, there will be vendors, as well as activities that will be held 5-9 p.m. Fridays, noon-9 p.m. Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays include visits with Santa, area choirs, caroling, and dancing.

Fort Wayne will host Le Chic Holiday Market on Dec. 2-3 at Memorial Coliseum, from 5-9 p.m. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., respectively. Another great opportunity to support exceptional and hardworking vendors!

Leesburg is hosting its own Christmas Market from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Tippy Creek Winery. See Santa, eat food, and listen to live music! 

Let’s hope it doesn’t snow too hard just yet so that you can visit all these wonderful shops and places!

I’VE BROUGHT SOME CORN FOR POPPIN’

After all that bargain-hunting, you’ll want to make a pit stop for some grub to refuel.

If you’re like ol’ Kris Kringle and need to assuage that sweet tooth and get a jump start on Night of Lights activities, check out Sweets on Main Holiday Warmer on from 3-9 p.m. on Nov. 23 in downtown Fort Wayne. Enjoy ice cream and holiday music!

Holiday music is always a necessity, and you can get in on the act with at the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir Community Sing-along at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 28 at Embassy Theatre. Along with singing Christmas songs, you’ll also get access to the Festival of Trees.

Meeting the Big Guy

Speaking of the jolly man himself, there are many opportunities to spend time with him.

One of the most popular holiday events in the area is Breakfast with Santa at Embassy Theatre at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 25-26. The breakfast features a performance of Frozen Jr. by the Fort Wayne Youtheatre and a tour of the Festival of Trees, which runs Nov. 23-30.However, tickets go fast for this one.

Another event you’re not going to want to hesitant to buy tickets for because they go so fast is the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s 20th annual Santa Train. Hop aboard a vintage diesel locomotive, which departs from 15808 Edgerton Road in New Haven, for a 20-minute ride that includes meeting Santa and enjoy warm beverages and baked goods. 

From 10 a.m.-noon on Dec. 3, enjoy Breakfast with St. Nicholas at the University of Saint Francis’ downtown Performing Arts Center!

Kiddos can also share a meal with Mr. Claus from 8-11 a.m. on Dec. 10, at the Avilla Fire Department for their Breakfast with Santa event. 

Santa’s tour of the city continues from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 when he stops by the downtown Freemasons Hall for Cookies and Caroling. Along with letting Santa know their Christmas wishes, they can also enjoy games and baked goods.

Ol’ St. Nick will hang around Dec. 3, stopping by History Center for a meet and greet with kids.

On Dec. 17, from 10 a.m.-noon at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, children can attend Elsa & Anna’s Breakfast with Santa event, packed with Frozen fun you won’t want to miss!

LIGHTS ARE TURNED way DOWN LOW

Not outside, they’re not! 

Nothing truly shouts holiday spirit like blinking red and green bulbs along with twinkling yellow and blue lights against fresh snow.

Downtown Warren is celebrating its 11th annual Holiday Walk and Festival of Trees from 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 18. 

Speaking of gingerbread, the annual Festival of Gingerbread returns to History Center in downtown Fort Wayne on Nov. 25-Dec. 18. Open five days a week, take some time to wander some of the tasty creations made by professionals and amateurs.

In Winona Lake, you can check out The Village Tree Lighting Ceremony from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. Create ornaments, go on train rides, chow down on cookies, and, of course, watch the lighting of the tree!

And who could forget Blue Jacket’s Fantasy of Lights beginning Nov. 20 and running through Dec. 31? It’s the event that needs no explanation, just come out to Franke Park in Fort Wayne and drive through the 2-mile, ever-growing outdoor display of wonderful Christmas lights!

Stillwater Hospice’s 37th annual Holiday Memorial Service and Tree Lighting will be going on in Fort Wayne from 5-6 p.m. on Nov. 20, to remembers those we’ve lost at Baker Street Station. Listen to the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir as you watch the bright lights come to life on the tree. 

Downtown Fort Wayne’s classic Night of Lights begins at 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 23. Enjoy the classic, dazzling light displays featuring Santa and his reindeer on the PNC Building, as well as other lightings downtown, culminating with a fireworks display at Parkview Field. 

There’s even a Sensory-Friendly Night of Lights in the Park Foundation Pavilion at Promenade Park from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 23. The sensory-friendly version of Night of Lights which will include calm music, dimmer lights, and aromatherapy.

Berne is hosting its Christmas Tree Lighting on at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 at the Muensterberg Plaza and Clock Tower.

From 3-6 p.m., Huntington will celebrate its Christmas in the City on Nov. 26 downtown.

Be sure to drive through the winter Wonderland of Lights in Bluffton from Dec. 2-31 at Ouabache State Park, from 6-9 p.m., too!

WE’RE STILL GOOD-BYING

Wabash’s Jingle Jubilee will be from 4-9 p.m. on Nov. 18, where family and friends can ooh and awe at holiday lights, visit Santa, take a downtown shopping spree, and more!

The 18th annual Christmas on Broadway begins at 5:30 p.m. with the tree near Trubble Brewing being lit at 6 p.m. on Nov. 18. From its nascency in 2004 with under 200 visitors to present day with records of more than 5,000 visitors, enjoy music from Concordia Lutheran High School Marching Band and a Christmas parade with Mr. and Mrs. Claus riding a decorated fire truck. This event features so much more, so be sure you plan your trip!

Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne will host many an event this season. Attend Santa & Reindeer Saturdays, where children can see Santa and one of his reindeer from noon-4 p.m. on Dec. 3, 10, and 17. Then, from 10-11:30 a.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, the gardens will host an Evergreen Centerpiece workshop where folks will be instructed on how to create a lovely piece of table decoration using branch tips.

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will host their Wild Zoo Wonderland each Friday-Sunday from Dec.2-22 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., for folks to meet Santa, decorate cookies, and ride the train! 

On Dec. 18, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas rolls through Honeywell Center in Wabash, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., presented by Chip Davis, Grammy-winning artist.

At 11 a.m. on Dec. 18, The Orchard Crossing Barnes & Noble will host a Hanukkah Storytime & Craft event in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne. Enjoy a good story and craft making on the first day of Hanukkah!

There are countless more activities to attend and share in with friends and family. And hopefully, this season will be full of lovely, and safe, weather. Let it snow!

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