Where to Go This Weekend: Fort Wayne, Indiana
The stars of Fort Wayne’s annual Festival of Trees
Friday night marks the annual Brigadoon-like emergence of Fort Wayne’s Gingerbread Community, a town that takes root at The History Center (302 E. Berry St.; 260-426-2882, fwhistorycenter.com) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through December 11. After you’ve seen the town’s candy land, the 27th Annual Festival of Trees awaits. From November 23 to November 30, the eight-day cavalcade of bedecked and bedazzled evergreens livens up the historic lobbies of the Embassy Theatre (125 W. Jefferson Blvd.; 260-424-5665, fwembassytheatre.org). There are 54 themed trees this year, including one that lights up via pedal power—the more intensely visitors work a stationary bike, the brighter the lights. Got an eye for figures? All the loot on the Wells Fargo money tree will be awarded to the person who correctly guesses the dollar amount decking the boughs. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children under 12.
GO Festival of Trees at the Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.; 260-424-5665, fwembassytheatre.org.
While you’re in the area: Head to Fort Wayne’s Museum of Art (311 Main St., 260-422-6467, fwmoa.org) for Material World, an exhibition of textiles from around the globe. Decorative and utilitarian pieces from Africa, Asia, and North and South Americas will be on display through December 11. Also, stop by Fort Wayne’s Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory (1100 S. Calhoun St.; 260-427-6440, botanicalconservatory.org) for the Night Before Christmas exhibit, in which plants are crafted into scenes from the poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.”
Where to stay: The LaSalle Bed & Breakfast (517 W. Washington Blvd.; 260- 422-0851, lasallebb.com) was once a dance studio, where the owner Rose-Aimée taught ballet; now it has 16 sumptuous rooms with rates ranging from $65 to $169. The Hilton Fort Wayne (1020 S. Calhoun St.; 260-420-1100, hilton.com) is among the most centrally located of Fort Wayne’s hotels, providing big-city luxury in the heart of downtown; rates start at $99 a night.
Where to eat: Club Soda (235 E. Superior St.; 260-426-3442, clubsodafortwayne.com) offers old-school ambiance and craft cocktails, a hearty line up of steaks and seafood, and live jazz on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Asakusa Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar (6224 Lima Rd.; 260-490-6888, asakusasushibar.com) has been named Fort Wayne’s best sushi restaurant (by FortWayne.com) three years running for a menu that includes a wide range of maki as well as squid soup, marinated octopus, and skewered chicken.
Photograph: Courtesy of the Fort Wayne Convention and Visitors Bureau