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This weekend, tackle the city like a tourist

Does it feel like summer vacation zipped past before you could make it to the car? Are you wanting to squeeze in at least one more entertaining weekend getaway? Are you prepared to do it in five hours?

Well then, don’t pack your bags – you’re staying in Fort Wayne.

Take a “staycation” and participate in Visit Fort Wayne’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” today. The program is celebrating 15 years of drawing in residents downtown for arts, entertainment and education.

For one day only, your entire party – whether it’s a date for two or spontaneous family reunion – will receive free admission to 12 of the city’s attractions, such as the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Science Central and Parkview Field, from noon to 5 p.m.

Each venue will require your party to show a passport for free admission. The passports can be picked up at the Fort Wayne Visitor’s Center at 927 S. Harrison St., or any Kroger or Tower Bank location. The passport can also be downloaded from

With 12 venues and only five hours, is it possible to complete the entire passport?

With a quick brush-up on geography, and most certainly a wristwatch, you can see all the sights. You must use time and your hometown know-how to your advantage.

Kristen Guthrie, director of marketing for Visit Fort Wayne, says that if you’re not fond of following an itinerary, it is better to pick out some favorites and travel at your leisure.

“I think the first year, people were racing around trying to see everything, and now that they know it’s an annual event, they pick a few special places to visit every year,” Guthrie says.

“I think with 12 places to visit on the passport, it’s really difficult to visit all of them in one day and really enjoy them. Since they are so close to each other downtown, you certainly can see quite a few.”

But if you’re up for a challenge, follow this map to find out how it’s possible to see all 12 places in just one afternoon. A five-minute walking window has been set in place between most venues that are more than a block away. You can customize these times based on personal preferences.

Just one disclaimer: This route does not include time for bathroom breaks, rogue toddler chases, wandering grandmas and other inevitable variables. If somehow you’re detained from seeing every venue, don’t worry about it – there’s always next year.