On last year’s trip to Fort Wayne, we did not have enough time to visit the Firefighters Museum. This year we made it a priority! I think the Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum is one of the best things to do in Fort Wayne with kids. Here’s why:
#1 – So much history! The museum is housed in an original Engine House.
I’m a sucker for history and standing in the place where so many brave souls served their city added a special dimension to the tour. The original Engine House containing the museum was built in 1893. This space could hold 4 horses, a hose wagon, a chemical wagon, and 6 men. As the city grew, the Engine House was doubled in size (1907) and more additions were added in 1909. This station was retired in 1972 following the construction of a new station on Main Street.
One of my favorite displays was the original fire hose drying system. One man would climb a very steep staircase and drop the hose to someone standing below. I’d be the one refusing to climb!
#2- Interactive Displays
If your children are like mine, they can easily bore of museums and don’t like to read a lot of signs. Never fear! The Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum offers iPads showing informational videos. One of the most engaging displays was of an Iron Lung. It was my first time seeing one in person and the kids were absolutely captivated by the video that went along with it.
#3- Fire safety presentation
As a homeschooling family, it’s important to me that our children understand fire safety that is normally taught in public schools. Our visit to the Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum checked all of the boxes! There is a large movie screen with a presentation aimed at Pre-K to 1st grade. This movie covers everything from Stop, drop, and roll; to how a firefighters’ gear can appear scary for little ones. An area of the museum is designed like a house, with common fire dangers such as candles left unattended, rags left near a stovetop, or a lack of fire detectors. It was helpful for me to consider what fire dangers may be lurking in my own home, but it was a little scary for our sensitive son.
#4- A full range of exhibits
From the Iron Lung to Fort Wayne fire history, there is a wide range of exhibits to keep all parties engaged! Big brother liked the station board. Maybe it was all the knobs and switches, but I think it was the idea of a landline phone! Lol. Little brother liked the old fire trucks. He was really hoping he could try a slide down the original fire pole, but that’s one part of the building that isn’t open to visitors!
#5- The Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum is affordable!
I’m always on the lookout for the most bang for my buck. At the Firefighter Museum, admission is only $4 for adults and $3 for school-aged kids. This is a steal! One can purchase a family membership for $25. Consider a family membership if you live nearby- Fire Safety information is important to review each year. If you plan to visit Fort Wayne, make sure you add the Firefighters Museum to your itinerary. The museum is closed Wednesday and Sundays. Their website is HERE.
Have you been to Fort Wayne? Here are more ideas of things to do with kids in Fort Wayne.
We’ve stayed at the Hilton Grand Wayne at the Fort Wayne Convention Center. The rooms are small, but the hotel packs great amenities like an indoor pool, Starbucks, and a fitness center. Check rates HERE.