Solve the problem every parent faces when hearing “we’re bored!” and “there’s nothing to do!” by treating them to an indoor adventure at one of Erie’s kid-friendly indoor attractions! Get everyone out of the house for an afternoon or the entire day to explore, shop and play, keeping them occupied for hours. Here are some fun ideas for indoor things to do with kids in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Bounce, Bob and Weave
What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys? It has to be the 10,000 square feet of inflatable fun found inside Flying Monkey Inflata-Park! Featuring a wide range of bouncy attractions from big to small, Flying Monkey is perfect for all ages. Kids can test their ninja skills on the Big Baller, duck and race their way to the Obstacle Course finish line or try to knock their opponents off the platform of the unapologetic Wrecking Ball. The park even has a special Toddler Zone for children under 42” tall, allowing them to jump around with kids their own size. Flying Monkey is a terrific place to celebrate your child’s birthday with easy party planning services that take the worry out of set up, clean up and everything in between.
Go on a Quest
It’s all about experiencing live action and interactive adventures at 5 Wits, located inside the Millcreek Mall, where visitors choose from a variety of quests such as Espionage, Deep Space, Drago’s Castle or Tomb. Each story has multiple endings, adaptable difficulty, repeatable challenges, changing solutions and dynamic outcomes. Players are placed in real life immersive sets that rely on hands-on tasks, puzzles and challenges to finish. Complete with synchronized sound, lighting and special effects, this is anything but virtual reality. Unlike escape games where escaping is the objective, 5 Wits offers story-driven games where there are always different endings to each story. How you and your group perform determines the outcome, and failure is an option! All ages are admitted, however, children under 13 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult 18 years or older.
Spin a Whirligig
Dedicated to teaching its visitors about the history of Presque Isle State Park, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (affectionately referred to as “TREC”) is a free facility with two floors of interactive exhibits, Presque Isle Gallery and Gifts, an orientation movie that plays on a continual loop and a glass-enclosed observation tower offering panoramic views of Lake Erie. Through hands-on displays, visitors can learn about the importance of preserving and appreciating the natural beauty that is Presque Isle along with the animals that inhabit the park. A stop at TREC wouldn’t be complete without spinning the wheels of the towering whirligig structures, bringing a multitude of hand-carved figures to life. Admission to TREC is free. All ages are welcome. Photo credit: Backroad Plant
Try a New Classic
Remember dashing to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters, hoping this would be the day you get to put your initials under “Highest Score” on your favorite video game? Relive those fond memories 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! As soon as you enter, the bright neon colors and amazing collection of retro arcade games will transport you back to the 80’s and 90’s with classics such as Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, The Fast and the Furious and Mortal Kombat. Play Port also features laser tag, glow golf, virtual reality games and glow pool. General admission includes all “free play” video games and one round of glow golf. All ages are admitted, however children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.
Make it a wet and wild getaway by treating the family to a Polynesian paradise at Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park, where no matter what the weather is like outside, it’s always a tropical 84 degrees inside. With features including extreme rides and slides, kid’s zone, lazy rivers and whirlpools, arcade, surf bar, treetop ropes course, Laguna Grill and more, it’s no wonder Splash Lagoon consistently ranks among the top water parks in the country by USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. Once inside, it’s hard to miss one of the park’s main attractions, the Tree House. Recently upgraded in 2022, this immense centerpiece is filled with multiple levels of colorful water sprayers, mini dumping buckets, and a giant tipping coconut. Turn your visit into an overnight adventure by reserving a room at one of three connecting hotels. All ages are welcome.
With more than 160 stores, a food court, kids play area, satellite plazas and restaurants, the Mall is a one-stop destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. Pick the perfect board game for family nights, build a stuffed animal, try on crazy outfits or grab something to eat. In inclement weather, the Mall is a great place for getting out of the house and getting in some exercise. The 1.2 mile complex provides a safe, climate-controlled environment for you and your family to walk, talk, and of course shop among the latest trends, bargains and sales.
With three floors of hands-on, interactive exhibit space, a trip to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum is a great way to engage your child through educational and playful displays. On the Explore floor, feel the winds of the puffing, whooshing Amazing Airways or send ducks through slides and fountains on the beloved Water Table. Pretend to be a banker, pizza maker or a doctor inside Our Town, a kid sized town on the Imagination floor. The museum is currently in the midst of a major $15 million renovation project that will include a new three-floor 35,000 square foot building addition, more than 150 hands-on exhibits, an outdoor area and additional programming and exhibits that will increase the museum’s age range, making it suitable for children ages 2 to 12. Currently museum's range is ages 2 to 8. Completion on the expansion is set for 2024.