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Erie County

Your Great Lakes Getaway Awaits in Erie County!

A snowy season sets the scene for a festive and fun winter in Erie County! With well-maintained streets, Erie is easy to access even on the snowiest of days. Make plans to shop, catch a show, enjoy a meal, and play in the snow in Erie this winter. 

Holiday Activities and Events

‘Tis the season to celebrate and gather with family and friends! The Erie region has a busy calendar of holiday festivals and events that are guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Beginning November 25, the Port Farms Christmas Tree Farm and Holiday Attraction features horse-drawn sleigh and carriage rides, children’s activities, Santa’s workshop and live music. Walk among a forest of beautifully decorated trees at the annual Festival of Trees at the Bayfront Convention Center November 26-28. Join hundreds of guests, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus as they officially light up downtown Erie at the annual Downtown d’Lights event, December 2 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Visitors can enjoy the holiday vendor village, a live cut tree and wreath sale, holiday music, hot foot and beverages, and watch as the lights throughout Perry Square and Erie’s Christmas Tree are lit for the season. Holiday events continue throughout December, including favorites such as Hagen History Center Victorian HolidaysAsbury Woods Winter WonderlandPresque Isle Lights, and “Elf: the Musical” at the Erie Playhouse

Tax Free Shopping

Whether it’s for a girlfriend getaway or a solo holiday shopping spree, retail therapy is good for the soul: and Pennsylvania’s tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes makes it good for your wallet! Check out more than 150 stores and restaurants in Erie’s bustling Upper Peach Street district, including the 2.2 million square foot Millcreek Mall Complex. The region features a myriad of nationally-recognized chain stores, as well as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment options all in one place. For more local flair, head downtown for diverse, locally owned and walkable shops like Glass Growers Gallery and the Flagship City Public Market. Just west of Erie, you’ll find an eclectic mix of locally-owned shops and plazas, like Shops on the HillVillage West Plaza, and Shops at the Colony.  

Outdoor Recreation

A blanket of snow is the perfect canvas for outdoor recreation! With more than 216 acres and five miles of trails, Asbury Woods is the perfect place to truly embrace Erie’s winter season to explore via cross-country skis or snowshoes.  Located in the southern Erie County town of Edinboro, Mount Pleasant of Edinboro features six man made trails, four natural trails and a 600-foot tubing hill. Mount Pleasant’s 2022-23 season is highlighted by a major upgrade, a 120-foot-long covered conveyor lift designed to assist younger skiers and snowboarders for a simpler, more enjoyable experience.  Whether it’s getting totally tubular on tubing lanes, racing down ski slopes, or freestyling on a snowboard, there’s snow much fun to be had at Peek’n Peak Ski Resort. Stick around when the sun goes down for the Lunar Lights Tubing, a mesmerizing nighttime display of dazzling lights and music. Take fishing to the extreme on the frozen waters of Presque Isle Bay and set up a shanty for some of the best ice fishing in the area. The catch of the day ranges from panfish, especially perch and northern pike, to the occasional steelhead.  The waters of Misery Bay and Horseshoe Pond at Presque Isle State Park are additional ice fishing hot spots.  Observe plants that peak in winter and early spring, such as holly bushes and dwarf daffodils, in the unique winter garden area at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park.  Located on the northwest corner of the park, this peaceful, terraced area is accessible via the park’s paved walkways.

Family Activities

Plan a family fun winter getaway that will cure those winter blues and create a lifetime of memories.  Pound fists on plexiglass, get a hug from Otto and share a cheer with like-minded fans during an Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League) game.  The Otters regular season runs now through March 2023 with engaging promotions at every home game including Mascot Mania (Dec 3), Star Wars Night (Feb 4) and Sunday Family Fundays (Jan 8 and 29). Spend the day or a weekend away from home in the tropical 84 degrees of Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort. The wet and wild slides, newly upgraded Tree House attraction, arcade and food court are the perfect ways to escape from the chilly outside temperatures. Bob, weave, and race with the little ones through a bunch of bouncy obstacle courses at Flying Monkey Inflata-Park or put the older kids’ problem-solving skills to the test with a live, interactive quest at 5 Wits and Escape Game Erie. Relive those fond memories of classic arcade games and share them with a new generation at Play Port Arcade and Family Fun Center, where over 100 games are set to “free play”, no quarters needed! 

Arts and Culture

Winter is the perfect time for a night on the town to catch dinner and a show! From modern classics to contemporary hits, concerts, art exhibitions and dance performances, the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA) is Erie’s home for art with an edge.  PACA’s upcoming winter events include an amusing production of “The Lion in Winter” and the reoccurring PACA [LiVE!] Concert Series.  The diverse collection of museums in Erie County offer a range of educational experiences from the more than 8,000 objects, photography and art within the galleries of the Erie Art Museum to the captivating tales of immigrants and families in the new “Story of Us” exhibit at the Hagen History Center. For a lighter take on learning, families with young children will delight in three floors filled with creativity, discovery, and imagination at the expERIEnce Children’s Museum.  Follow the lights on State Street to the Warner Theater, a shining example of an ornate Art Deco and French Renaissance-style theater. Commissioned in 1929 by the famous Warner Brothers and recently restored to its majestic glory, the Warner Theater is home to the Erie Philharmonic, one of the oldest professional ensembles in the country, established in 1913. The Philharmonic’s current 2022-2023 season includes “The Planets” and “Toy Story in Concert”. Combine a great meal with an interactive theatrical experience at the Erie Station Dinner Theatre. Celebrate the true meaning of the holidays with their heart-warming musical, “Christmas Memories”, sing-along with the Holiday Harmony Singers and share a sumptuous family-style feast.

 
Order our free 2022 Adventure Guide and start planning your Erie getaway!

In the 2022 Erie Adventure Guide you’ll find:

  • What’s new for 2022
  • Complete listings of things to do, dining and shopping
  • Easy to read maps of Presque Isle State Park, the City of Erie and Erie County
  • A list of major festivals and events
  • Color coded sections for easy navigation
‘Hello Erie’ Trip Planner App

Planning your trip to Erie is even easier with our ‘Hello Erie’ Trip Planner App! Use embedded maps to see what’s available where, and easily add attractions to your own custom itinerary. Once your plans are set, share your itinerary with friends and family via text or email.