Fall is a time for colorful leaves, Halloween costumes, hay rides, pumpkin spice everything, and some of Erie’s favorite festivals. From corn mazes and hay rides to pumpkin cannons and scary creature features, Erie Pennsylvania has a cornucopia of family-friendly fall activities. This season, make these five fall favorites part of your travel plans.
September 16 – October 29
Port Farms Harvest Fest
Enjoy a variety of activities, shopping, and dining experiences all while visiting an actual working farm. The celebration features more than 20 family-friendly attractions, including an eight-acre-corn maze, corn box, wagon rides, slide mountain, pedal cart track, apple cannons, animal exhibits, and much more. Port Farms also offers pumpkins, corn stalks, mums, and other fall décor for purchase. Look for new events taking place throughout the Fall Harvest Fest including Paw Patrol Days September 22-24 and Fall Full Moon Celebration October 27 and 28.
Fall Harvest Fest is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $15.45 Wed-Fri and $17.95 Sat-Sun. Kids ages two and under are free. Admission for ages 60 and over is $9.00. College students with ID are $11.00. Military members are free with I.D. Groups of 20 or more receive a $1 off admission if purchased together. Photo by @cassieradackshirk.
October 14-15 and 21-22
Peek’n Peak Fall Fast
Celebrate the season among the scenic foothills of Wester New York during the 35th Annual Peek’n Peak Fall Fest! Brilliant foliage sets the scene for two weekends of fall fun including a juried arts and craft show featuring more than 100 vendors and a farmers' market. Other activities include a rock climbing wall, live entertainment, face painting, balloon animals, and pony rides. The popular pumpkin cannon will make its booming return along with a classic car cruise-in and the annual snow sports equipment swap.
Fall Fest runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Zoo Boo 2023
The Erie Zoo’s annual Halloween celebration is one of the largest kid-friendly Halloween events in the tri-state area. The “scary but not too scary” event invites children of all ages to put on their favorite costumes and stop at trick-or-treat stations scattered throughout the Zoo grounds. Talking pumpkins entertain guests with silly songs and groan-worthy jokes. The spooky jukebox plays all your favorite batty beats and the Eerie Express Train ride takes passengers through the dark woods where a certain zoo Yeti calls home.
ZooBoo is open Thursday through Friday and Monday, October 30 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 9 p.m. Gates close at 8:15 p.m. Admission is $13 for trick-or-treaters ($9 members) and $11 for non-treaters ($7 non-members). Tickets can be bought online, at the admission gate/gift shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at the Zoo Main office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Asbury Woods Scary Creature Feature
Spiders and other creepy crawlies take center stage at this annual family fall event. Set amidst the natural beauty of Asbury Woods, Scary Creature Feature is complete with family activities, storytelling, and a guided walk through the woods where visitors can 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 enjoy the cool, crisp air of an autumn evening.
Scary Creature feature takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $9 per person and registration is required. Children under two are free.
5th Annual Downtown Fall Fest
Immerse yourself in the beautiful colors of fall, endless tables of local handmade crafts, and delicious food during Downtown Erie’s annual Fall Fest! Located in the heart of Downtown Erie in Perry Square, this year’s celebration includes various produce and merchant vendors, live entertainment throughout the event on the Perry Square Stage, children’s activities, local food trucks, costume contests, and more. A Classic Car Trunk or Treat will take place on State Street throughout the festival where car owners show off their timeless beauties while handing out candy to the little ones. Prizes for Best Car and Spookiest Car will be awarded at 3 p.m. The festivities continue up and down State Street with spookily decorated businesses, restaurant specials, sidewalk sales, and more opportunities for kids to grab some candy! Fall Fest runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Photo by D. Tamulonis.