5 Fun Things to do in Erie With Kids

by Crystal Carder
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This post is sponsored by Visit Erie. All opinions are my own.

Summer vacation may almost be over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time for some last-minute fun. Erie, Pennsylvania is the perfect destination for a short getaway with the kids. Erie has so many fun things to do including a beach, a zoo, and an amusement park.

5 Things to do in Erie with Kids

We recently got back from a three-day vacation in Erie and there were so many family-fun things to do there! While we were there, we enjoyed so many fun activities with the family.

If you’re visiting Erie with kids I recommend doing all these activities to make your trip more memorable.

Waldameer Amusement and Water Park

When I think of summer vacation, I always think of amusement parks. Waldameer Amusement and Water Park is the perfect family-friendly destination to add a little excitement to your Erie vacation.

Featuring over 100-attractions, Waldameer is one of the nation’s oldest amusement parks. While we visited Waldameer, we were especially impressed with the park’s free admission and parking policies. At Waldameer, all guest can enter for free and only pay for the rides they choose to ride. If you’re more of a thrill-seeker who likes to ride every ride, the park also offers an affordable all-day pass.

At Waldameer, the coasters aren’t huge, but you will have family-fun and the park offers plenty of kiddie rides for younger children.

Presque Isle State Park

If the thought of visiting the ocean beach scares you, than you will love Presque Isle State Park. Presque Isle State Park is home to Pennsylvania’s only seashore and it spans over 3,200 acres into the beautiful Lake Erie.

While visiting the free Presque Isle State Park, families can embark one of many activities. Collect rocks on the beach, go swimming, ride a bike, or even go searching for the 3 famous Presque Isle Lighthouses.

During our time in Erie, we probably spent the most time at Presque Isle State Park because it was so relaxing. In the evenings we let the kids play in the sand while Michael and I enjoyed a peaceful sunset.

Whenever you’re visiting Erie, a short trip to Presque Isle State Park, will be worth it! 

Tom Ridge Environmental Center

If you’re looking to do a little learning and catch a beautiful view while in Erie, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center is the place to go.

Offering free admission, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center features over two-floors of interactive learning and is the official visitors center for the Presque Isle State Park. 

Located across from Waldameer Amusement Park, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center features a 75′ climbing tower, a research center, a cafe, and a visitor’s center all in one.

Though you may only spend a little time here, the center is a great way to teach children about the animals, species, and research all being done at Lake Erie.

While you visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, be sure to ask a volunteer to show you some of the animals that live at the isle. 

Erie Zoo

Whenever you’re visiting Erie with kids, a trip to the Erie Zoo is a must.

Close Encounters at Erie Zoo

Located on 15-acres this small zoo is home to 400 animals including a lion, a lepord, a spider monkey, and more!

While visiting the zoo, families will have so much watching the animals play in their habitats. Whenever they are done, they can even take a fun train ride around the Erie Zoo.

Though the zoo may be small, it is definitely worth a short visit during your time in Erie.

Scallywags Pirate Adventures

If you love fun adventures, Scallywags Pirate Adventures at the Erie Bayfront is the best place to go for family fun!

Scallywags Pirate Adventures Boat Tours

During this 1.5-hour Pirate Experience Cruise, the guest will help defeat the evil Captain Skull and get back the pirate treasure. While aboard the pirate cruise, your child will become an official pirate, get a share of the lost treasure loot, participate in fun pirate-themed games, and have so much fun.

I hope this post helps you while you plan your getaway to Erie with your kids. To learn more about Erie and all the other activities there are to do there, visit VisitErie.com.

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