Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

What’s Happening At The Botanical Conservatory In January

$1 Night & Flower Pot Snowman

Thursday, January 5, after 5 pm

On the first Thursday of the month, visit the Botanical Conservatory gardens between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm for only $1 admission per person AND enjoy an interactive learning activity. Now that the holidays are past, wind down and have some fun at the Conservatory. The January DNI, a drop-in craft project 6:00-7:30 pm on January 5, will be a Flower Pot Snowman. Crafting skills are not necessary—this will be guided and assisted by instructor Darlene Tompkinson. $1 admission includes craft project; Conservatory members and volunteers and children up to age 2 are still admitted free.

“A Mary Poppins Garden Party” garden exhibit

January 14 – April 1

When there’s a bit of heavy weather brewin’ outdoors this winter, bring the children down to the Conservatory to explore the new Mary Poppins- themed garden exhibit. Jane and Michael Banks seemed always to be in trouble. But after their new nanny arrived (in a most curious way, mind you), nothing was the same. Their time in the nursery and out for adventures taught both self-discipline and wonder. Discover Mr. Banks’ world of finance, Admiral Boom’s punctuality and nose for weather, a chimneysweep’s rooftop perspective, and the magical imaginings of Bert’s chalk drawings and carousel horse steeplechase. Decorated with winter-blooming cyclamen, primroses, and pocketbook plant, the gardens offer grown-ups a breath of spring while they explore alongside their youngsters. Can you say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Sponsored by WLDE and Majic 95.1FM. Regular admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17. Children age 2 and under free. For more information, call (260) 427-6440 or visit

Art Display: Patricia Biesen: Pastels, Ink Drawing & Acrylic

January – February

Reception: January 15, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Patricia Biesen was educated at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and School of Decorative Arts in St. Louis. She lived and worked in Chicago for three decades and is a newcomer to Fort Wayne. Her work has been featured in Woman Made, Gallery 312, and David Leonardis in Chicago. She draws inspiration from flowers and weeds for both their beauty and medicinal value. Her work, using oil pastel, pen and ink, and acrylics will be featured at the Botanical Conservatory in the Saguaro Room during public hours. Meet the artist during an informal punch and cookie reception on Sunday, January 15, 1:00-3:00 p.m. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

Drought-Resistant Vegetable Gardens

Thursday, January 19, 5:30 – 7 pm

One of the most financially and environmentally costly aspects of gardening is water usage. Learn how to use less water – saving you work and water bill costs – by improving your soil’s water-holding capacity and structure. These two qualities are key to making water evenly available to plants throughout the year and reducing the energy a plant needs to spend on extracting water from your soil. Topics include what an inch of water means for plants, the effect of organic matter on water-holding capacity, and how much water it takes to grow your favorite veggies. Instructor Art Stahlhut has decades of experience in producing successful crops in raised bed systems and offers a wealth of knowledge from his practical applications in Northeast Indiana. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: January 12. Min. 8. Max. 20. Fee: $8/public; $6/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Tea & Etiquette

Saturday, January 21, 10 – 11:30 am

You’re invited to enjoy an English tea and to explore its long tradition. Debbie Woodroof, tea lover and former owner of Sweet Violets Tea & Antiques, will show you how to prepare tea properly and how to serve and receive it with grace. What better setting in which to learn the art of hospitality than over treats and tea at the Botanical Conservatory? Ages 15+. Registration deadline: January 12. Min. 10. Max. 30. Fee: $20/public; $16/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Juicing in the Garden

Thursday, January 26, 6 – 7 pm

You’ve seen the documentaries and shows, perhaps even read the books. Now, you can learn how to juice wholesome fruits and vegetables on your own. Join our instructor, Jill Howard, owner of Juice Jar in The City Exchange, to learn how to juice and what the benefits may be. You can try out different juicers, make your own juice, and sample a variety of the results. Then, take a walk around our gardens to see examples of the plants who bore the fruits you just juiced! Ages 15+. Registration deadline: January 19. Min. 10. Max. 10. Fee: $15/public; $12/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Winterval at the Conservatory

Saturday, January 28, 10 am – 3 pm

Join the Conservatory and our Winterval partners in celebrating the season of ice and snow. At the gardens, you can make a winter bird feeder, learn about the different winter survival strategies of animals, watch an ice sculpture take shape before your eyes, and have fun exploring our “Mary Poppins” garden exhibit. Other activities will be held around town at the Community Center, the Old Fort, Science Central, the Art Museum and other locations. Don’t forget about the Fort Wayne Rugby Club’s annual Snow Bowl match at Lawton Park at 1 pm. Winterval is sponsored by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Improvement District. Regular Conservatory admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17. Children age 2 and under free.

Discovery Corner: Winter Fun

Daily in the Discovery Gallery throughout January

Our youngest visitors are always welcome to visit the Discovery Corner behind Woody the Talking Tree where they’ll find stories and activities relating to a monthly theme. In January, we’ll explore Winter Fun. Our materials are all safe and suitable for kids in pre-K through 1st grade. Adults are encouraged to read aloud to their young learners and explore ideas together. The Discovery Corner is free with general admission; preregistration is not required.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” Garden Exhibit

Through January 8

Elements of the familiar Christmas carol will appear throughout the Conservatory, from the Atrium to the Desert. Following a whimsical twist, you can explore the facility and discover each part of the song. Along the way, you will enjoy the lights, rich color, and festive décor of our gardens in holiday dress. Kids can climb in the nest with the goose eggs, “milk” the cow, or share a croissant with a French hen. Mom and dad can enjoy a scenic moment in a swan boat surrounded by lovely holiday poinsettias. Will you find all twelve special ornaments listed on the scavenger hunt? Take family photos or just stroll the gardens as you revive your holiday spirit. Sponsored by PBS 39 and Majic 95.1 FM. Regular admission applies. For more information, call (260) 427-6440 or visit

Garden in Lights

Through January 8

We’ve decorated all through the gardens, indoors and out. Enjoy beautiful poinsettias along with the Twelve Days of Christmas theme, from the Atrium to the Desert, but don’t miss our outdoor Terrace display of lights and synchronized holiday music. The gardens are lovely throughout the holidays and provide a tremendous backdrop for family photos, out-of-town guest entertainment, great conversations, and even marriage proposals! Make the most of your visit as you enjoy one of Fort Wayne’s treasured resources for beauty and relaxation. Our gift shop will also be open during public hours for holiday shopping. Sponsored by PBS 39 and Majic 95.1 FM.