With summer in our rear-view mirror and fall on the approaching horizon, we thought we’d take a moment to clue you in on some local area activities for fall! Although Erie is known best for its beaches, there is always something to do every season, even during a pandemic. Farmers markets, fall-themed events, gorgeous fall colors, virtual activities and of course fantastic food and drink! So throw on an extra layer, head outside or cozy up at home for some fall faves in Erie PA. As always, if you do venture out, remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask.
Here’s our Top 10 picks for fun fall activities (HINT: make it an overnight stay and do everything on this list!).
- ZooBOO 2020 – The Erie Zoo’s annual trick-or-treat event will be a little different this year. This year's ZooBOO will continue to be "scary, but not too scary" with fun for the whole family. In an effort to stay safe and limit contact, the Zoo has created a Spooky Scavenger Hunt! All children 12 years and under will be able to participate with their family in a grand Halloween adventure around the zoo. At the end, each child will receive a pre-packed bag of goodies to take home and have the chance to enter to win a ZooBOO Gift Basket. But have no “fear”…Guests will still get to meet the troll who guards the Children's Zoo Bridge, have a chat with the Talking Pumpkin, and ride the Safariland Express! All tickets must be purchased in advance online and masks are required. Which shouldn’t be too difficult since it IS Halloween! ZooBOO will run Thursdays/Fridays October 15,16,22,23,29 &30 from 4-9 pm and Saturdays/Sundays Oct 17,18, 24 & 25 from Noon-9 pm. Tickets are $7 for members, $10 non-members and can be reserved here.
- Luminary Distilling & Eatery, Fuhrman’s Cider – NOW OPEN! Our friends at Luminary Distilling have expanded and moved! With the recent purchase of the former Fuhrman’s Cider Mill just steps from their previous location, they are serving up high quality spirits and cocktails (using locally sourced ingredients), tasty food options and of course, Fuhrman’s famous cider; all in a bigger facility! Stop by and try their fresh baked breads, donuts and pies too! For all you faithful pretzel roll fans, no worries! Those are coming soon or if you’re desperate and can’t wait to sink your teeth into that soft salty goodness, they are accepting special orders. Luminary’s micro distillery experience is definitely unique and they can’t wait to welcome you to their new location…8270 Peach Street just south of the Peach Street/Robison Road interchange.
- Lake Erie Wine Country – What better way to celebrate the season than by sipping your favorite cabernet, merlot, chardonnay or sparkling fruit juice while watching the leaves change? Lake Erie Wine Country spans 53 miles along Lake Erie’s shoreline from North East PA to parts of Western NY. Tour America’s grape country to sample, sip and swirl endless fruits of the vine from 23 wineries. The largest grape growing region east of the Rockies is waiting for you!
- Lake Erie Ale Trail – If wine isn’t your thing and you’re more of a craft beer aficionado, try a flight or two from any of the 13 breweries that make up the Lake Erie Ale Trail. The history of breweries in the greater Erie region is deep and rich. The first local brewery opened its doors over 200 years ago—36 years before the city of Erie was even incorporated! Ask to take a tour and witness the sheer hoppiness first-hand! Cheers to local!
- Take a Hike! Even with the “falling” temperatures, The Great Outdoors is always there for you to get out and explore. Our area has plenty of great trails to lead you on many adventures. Check out the trails at Frontier Park, Erie Bluffs, Presque Isle, Asbury Woods, Goodell Gardens and the Greater Erie Regional Trail Network. Plus a NEW trail has recently been unveiled at Wintergreen Gorge! Penn State Behrend has completed phase 1 of their renovation plan for Wintergreen Gorge. The $690,000 project will improve visitor access to the gorge and will help to protect wildlife. First-phase construction included stabilizing and improving an 850-foot trail that begins at Cooper Road along with the installation of boardwalks over the protected wetland areas along the trail. Visitors can also access the trailheads from either the Prischak Educational Building or the Ohio Hall parking lots.
- Asbury Woods Scary Creature Feature – One of Erie’s favorite Halloween traditions, Asbury Woods’ “Scary Creature Feature”is a fall, family event many look forward to every year. Enjoy various activities, storytelling and a guided walk thro ugh the woods where guests encounter and learn about some not-so-scary, nocturnal creatures that live in the forest. It’s the perfect chance to explore the woods at night and delight in the cool, crisp air of an autumn evening. Appropriate for children 3 years and up. October 8-10 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Check their web site for ticket information.
- Peek n Peak Virtual Fall Fest – It may not be the Fall Fest you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun enjoying the Peak’s virtual Fall Fest from the comfort of your own home! Throughout the month of October the Fest virtual experience will include many of your favorite Fall Fest activities, including an online vendor marketplace, a digital Kids’ Zone with print-at-home activities, a pumpkin painting content, ideas for fall adventures and more! The Peek is also planning their annual Snow Sports Equipment Swap October 10-11 & 17-18. This year, the Swap will take place on the upper level of the Main Ski Lodge. Looking for other fall activities at the Peek? Warm-weather activities are expected to be available until mid-October, including the Upper Golf Course, Aerial Adventure Course, Giant Dual Ziplines, The Soaring Eagle Zipline, Mini Golf, the Indoor/Outdoor Pool Complex and Serenity Spa.
- Pick Your Own Produce – Getting out and traveling to local farms to pick your own fruits and vegetables is a popular fall activity. It’s not only satisfying it’s a great way to support local agriculture. There are several farmers markets scattered throughout the county. One of our favorites is Hulings Blueberries & Farm Market. In addition to those plump juice blueberries (season ends soon for them!), Hulings offers tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers along with fruits and vegetables from other local farms. For a complete list of where you pick your own produce in Northwest PA, click here.
- Leaf Peeping – One of the best parts about living in the north is the dramatic change of the seasons. Autumn brings about a colorful palette of fiery reds, golden yellows and vibrant oranges. It’s the perfect time to hop in the car and take a drive to view Mother Nature at her finest. There are 134 native trees in Pennsylvania, each having their own beautiful color mix. Some of our favorite spots to observe the fall foliage are Presque Isle State Park, The Great Lakes Seaway Trail (Route 5) and Historic PA Route 6. The best time to view the Erie area in full display is mid to late October.
- Mural Arts Driving Tour – There are over 75 murals throughout Erie County and VisitErie is in the process of compiling the most up-to-date list for you to plan a mural-seeking adventure! Make it an overnight trip and spend a few days traversing the county for murals that feature subjects ranging from Erie’s history to community fellowship, landscapes and abstract pieces. More information can be found on our website with a Google map coming soon to help you easily plot out your course.