See Fort Wayne through the eyes of a tourist

Be sure to check out the new Promenade Park if you go to Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown. (Cindy Larson)

By Cindy Larson

If you’ve heard about all the exciting development downtown but haven’t had time to see it, or if you’ve always wanted to tour The History Center, mark Sunday, Sept. 8, on your calendar.

That’s Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown day, and 16 museums and attractions will be open, most from noon-5 p.m. Best of all, those attractions that usually charge admission are free for this day only.

New this year is Riverfront Fort Wayne, specifically, Promenade Park. It’s a must-see if you haven’t yet. Spanning both sides of the St. Marys River between Harrison Street and the old Wells Street Bridge, this new urban playground has attractions for everyone.

You may have heard of the Parkview Tree Canopy Trail, the Doermer Kids’ Canal, the PNC Playground and Trubble Riverside Cafe and Tap, but did you know you can play cornhole and ping pong at the park?

Maybe you’ve heard about the redevelopment of The Landing downtown. But on Sunday you’ll be able to take a behind-the-scenes tour and learn what’s going in where as well as a bit of history about the block. Meet at the 100 block of Columbia Street.

Little River Wetlands is on the tour this year, and it will be hosting Monarch Festival. It will be at the Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve barn, 6801 Engle Road.

Learn about monarchs’ incredible 2,800-mile journey from Mexico to Canada each year, and find out what you can do to reduce the threat to monarchs. You’ll see live monarchs at different stages of their life cycle, from caterpillars to adults. Other stops include:

The Allen County Courthouse, open noon-4 p.m. with guided tours available. Cameras are welcome. This National Historic Landmark is worth seeing for its magnificent rotunda alone.

The Lincoln Tower, right across Berry Street from the Courthouse, is an architectural gem and a premier example of Art Deco design. Note: The rooftop observation deck and basement vault will not be open this year.

To see a complete list of stops and to print your passport for Be a Tourist in Your Hometown, go to VisitFortWayne.comBeATourist.