Last weekend my husband and I had the chance to explore Promenade Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana! This is an amazing downtown park — beautiful, inviting, handicap accessible, eco-friendly, community-building, engaging for kids and adults and just plain FUN!! Riverfront Fort Wayne has definitely outdone themselves with the creation of this outdoor space!
This trip was hosted by Visit Fort Wayne. As always, all opinions + experiences are my own.
When we arrived at Promenade Park we were immediately struck by the big beautiful Convergence statue on the corner of Harrison and Superior Streets. What an incredible work of art that symbolizes the convergence of the rivers in Fort Wayne and convergence of the community in this one spot!
Right near the statue begins the Kids Canal which was a big hit with kids both big and small! (And kids at heart!) The water is pool water, not river water and is the perfect wading height for kids and natural play area!
Near the canal was also a variety of outdoor games that are concrete, permanent fixtures, almost pieces of art — ping-pong (there were some intense matches going on!), bean bag toss (aka cornhole), and a foosball table.
A park staff member was in the area to provide assistance and make sure nothing wanders off. While we didn’t bring our kids on this trip to Promenade Park this is definitely a spot my children could spend hours playing! And also a nice spot for some fun date night games or to meet friends for some laid back fun!
Located near this area is Trubble Brewing Cafe and Tap which offers sandwiches, beer, and drinks! Nice if you are needing a little refreshment and it is one of the only outdoor beer gardens in downtown Fort Wayne. (The beer garden area is sectioned off, FYI.)
The restrooms (including a family bathroom with adult changing table) are attached to the cafe as well. Watch out! The doors got pretty hot in the sun while we were there!
There is also a large pavilion, grassy areas, (perfect for picnics), steps, large swings (like porch swings–very relaxing), and an amphitheater which hosts live music when the weather is nice! There are lots of spots to sit and take in the river, people watch, spread out with a blanket, and watch watercraft go by!
Who doesn’t want to sit in the evening, listen to live music, enjoy a wine slushie and then finish off the night by sitting on a giant swing or playing a match of bean bags?!
Once you cross over the Wells Street bridge you will find yourself strolling in the treetops on the canopy walk which leads to both the PNC playground, the North dock, and the River greenway trail system.
I love the care that the parks department put into creating this section of the park–the canopy walkway weaves in and out among mature trees and plant life. I also loved that this section was nicely shaded!
The walkway ends literally at the PNC playground–you can slide from the canopy walk down to the playground area! Or take the stairs or use the the ramp–this playground is fully handicap accessible which is absolutely amazing! There was so many fun climbing options, a musical instrument section, and slides for endless kid fun! There were also a couple picnic tables near the playground so another great spot for a picnic or snack break with the kiddos!
Near the PNC park was the North dock with public access to the river — so you can bring your own canoe, kayak, or stand-up-paddleboard and enjoy the river! Or you can rent a kayak from Fort Wayne Outfitters which is located just steps away! We had a great experience renting from them — oars, life jackets and help putting your boat in and out was provided! You can check out their rates and rental options here!
They also rent bicycles that you can use in the park or on the river greenway trail!
We paddled from the north dock down towards Headwater Park and the old Fort. It was so cool to wind through the city and the natural environment at the same time! I’d definitely recommend this as a cool day date idea or chance to explore the river with your kids! (The other couples with us did tandem kayaks with their kids!)
We enjoyed exploring Promenade Park and I would definitely add it to your must-do items when you’re in the city! I was inspired by how much downtown Fort Wayne has changed and grown over the past few years! The city, parks, and tourism departments are working together to bring awesome amenities and experiences to locals and visitors alike!
Date Night Ideas at Promenade Park
I’m always looking for engaging and FUN date night ideas that keep our marriage vibrant! Promenade Park offers a lot of flexibility for creative date nights which I love!
- Bring a picnic and just enjoy the park! Play games together, walk the canopy trail and river greenway trail, get a beer or wine slushie, enjoy live music if available!
- Attend an event like Nevermore: the TellTale Heart — a murder-mystery themed adult evening experience!! It sounds absolutely amazing and definitely an out-of-the-box date night!! Check the Riverfront Fort Wayne Website or Facebook to stay current on all that’s going on!
- Go on an active day date renting kayaks or canoes or stand up paddle boards for half a day. There is a lot to explore along the rivers and paddling is so relaxing to me and it gives you lots of time to chat.
Playdate and Family-Friendly Ideas at Promenade Park
- Attend World River’s Day on September 29th, 2019 or another upcoming event (Check Riverfront Fort Wayne website for upcoming events!)
- Play in the canal (My kids could probably do this for hours!)
- Conduct a nature hike scavenger hunt
- Bring a picnic and play at the PNC playground
- Take a family canoe or kayak trip
- Bring bikes and bike along the park in the River Greenway Trail.
- Attend the Young Naturalist program and other learning opportunities! (Follow them on Facebook for more information on activities!) Many are free, but sometimes preregistration is required!
- Take an ecological boat tour
Frequently Asked Questions About Promenade Park Fort Wayne
202 West Superior Street, Fort Wayne, IN
We parked in the gravel lot on Harrison Street right across from the park and parking was free. According to the Park department website parking is also available with on-street parking, the Plaza garage, and Freimann Square.
Here is a link to a copy of the park map.
I felt like we easily spend 1-2 hours there as a family! That is without doing something big like an event, boat tour, or renting kayaks or bikes.
In our tour group we learned that all in all this project has been in the works for 4-5 years and was 20 million dollars! The amount of forethought and planning it took to create every detail of this park was awe-inspiring! There is so much to do in Promenade Park and I’m excited to return! Definitely add this spot to your must-do items when visiting Fort Wayne and if you’re a local get out and enjoy this beautiful and unique city park!
Have you been to Fort Wayne, Indiana?
Have you checked out Promenade Park yet?