Things to do in the Winter

Winter in the PA Great Lakes Region blankets the region in snow, offering a picturesque setting for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating.

The frozen landscape becomes a haven for outdoor sports and serene walks, while community events and holiday markets add warmth and cheer. This season transforms the Great Lakes area into a cozy winter retreat, perfect for creating snowy memories and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Asbury Woods Winter Wonderland - Erie County
Tam O'Shanter Golf Course - Mercer County
Allegheny River - Venango County

Outdoor Activities

As winter transforms the landscape into a snowy wonderland

The region offers a wide array of outdoor activities. From the snow-covered trails ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to the frozen lakes perfect for ice fishing, the region invites adventure enthusiasts to embrace the beauty of the season. The crisp, cold air and serene, white vistas provide a peaceful backdrop for winter hiking and photography, capturing the unique charm of the area’s natural surroundings during the colder months.

Franklin Light Up Night - Venango County
Avalanche Xpress - Crawford County
Maurice K Goddard State Park - Mercer County

Family Fun

A wonderland of family fun offering a variety of activities that make the most of the snowy season

From exhilarating sled rides down local hills to festive holiday events in town squares, there’s something to delight every member of the family. Indoor options abound too, with museums, indoor play centers, and public libraries hosting special winter-themed activities and workshops. Together, these experiences create a tapestry of winter joy, making the PA Great Lakes Region a delightful place for families to create cherished memories amidst the beauty of the season.

Arts & Culture

Winter brings out a vibrant cultural scene

Arts and culture taking center stage. The season is rich with performances, from holiday concerts and plays in cozy theaters to art exhibitions that showcase local talent. Cultural centers and museums offer a warm refuge, presenting an array of programs and events that reflect the region. 

Erie Art Museum - Erie County


Winter shopping offers a cozy and festive experience

Local stores and markets transform into beautifully adorned holiday havens during this festive season. From unique artisan crafts to warm winter apparel, shoppers can find a variety of goods that reflect the region’s rich craftsmanship and seasonal charm. Indoor malls and quaint downtown boutiques provide a comfortable escape from the cold, allowing visitors and locals alike to browse for gifts, decorations, and winter essentials while enjoying the festive atmosphere and warm hospitality that the region is known for.

Emlenton Coffee House - Venango County
Hitchy's Tavern - Crawford County
So So Trendy - Mercer County

Food & Beverage

Winter brings a warm and inviting culinary scene 

Comfort foods and seasonal beverages taking the spotlight. Local restaurants and cafes offer hearty dishes that embody the region’s rich agricultural heritage, featuring seasonal produce and warm, spiced flavors. The chilly weather is the perfect excuse to indulge in the area’s cozy dining atmospheres, from rustic farm-to-table eateries to charming coffee shops serving up hot cocoa and artisanal coffees. This season, the region’s food and beverage offerings become a comforting embrace, showcasing the best of local cuisine against the backdrop of a frosty landscape.

Lavery Brewery - Erie County

Wines, Brews, & Spirits

The winter season is a time to savor the rich flavors of local wines, brews, and spirits

Wineries, breweries, and distilleries across the region feature seasonal specialties, from bold red wines and rich stouts to spiced spirits that capture the essence of winter. Tasting rooms and pubs provide cozy settings to enjoy these local libations, often accompanied by crackling fireplaces and festive decor. This time of year, the region’s beverages not only offer warmth and comfort but also reflect the craftsmanship and seasonal bounty of the area, making each sip a celebration of winter’s unique charm.