Skip to Main Content

VisitErie Blog

Kids at Saras macaronikiderie

Summer Fun Things to Do with Kids in Erie PA

Wednesday Jul 20th, 2022

Family fun has never been this easy! There are so many fun things to do in Erie PA you’ll never run out of ideas! From picnics on the beach to racing around a go-kart track, Erie is definitely a kid-friendly, affordable, and easy to get around destination. Set your course for our welcoming shores and get ready for a stress-free, relaxing adventure.  Here are some of our suggestions on the best ways to have fun with your kids in Erie PA.  Photo credit: @macaronikiderie via Instagram

Family Beach D Ferrali

Have a Picnic at Presque Isle State Park

The sandy beaches and refreshing waters of Lake Erie set the perfect summer scene for a picnic.  Pack your own goodies or stop at Sara’s Diner on the way in and fill your basket full of summertime food favorites. Sara’s offer family value meals that include burgers and/or hot dogs, your choice of a side and a drink. Presque Isle has a number of picnic facilities, tables and grills located throughout the park, including the beaches.  Just remember to clean up after yourself and do your part to keep the park beautiful.

ArtMuseum KidsActivity from EAM

Make and Take Art at the Erie Art Museum and Board and Brush

The Erie Art Museum’s Second Sunday programs are a fun, educational way to spend the afternoon learning about and creating art.  Each month features a different art making theme and project.  Upcoming Second Sundays will be held July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13 and December 11. Put down the electronic devices and create your own homemade masterpiece with a do-it-yourself kit from Board and Brush. At an affordable $25 price tag, these kid-friendly signage kits come in many different designs such as holidays, seasons, welcome signs and fun sayings and are equipped with step-by-step instructions and related art materials.  Photo of Second Sundays provided by the Erie Art Museum. 

Scallywags 4 Gibbens

Check items off the EPIC Erie Summer Bucket List

VisitErie and Macaroni KID Erie have teamed up this summer with the “EPIC Erie Summer Bucket List” challenge.  The challenge is a unique and entertaining option for families to explore Erie with 50 creative ways to make the most of your summer.  Download the free ‘Hello Erie’ trip planner app, check in at five or more of the bucket list stops and be entered to win one of three Erie prize packages.  Learn more and get started here! The contest ends August 30, 2022. Pictured: Scallywags Pirate Adventures

Eat for Free Kid Deals

Why worry about what to cook when you can take the kids out for a free meal!  On any given Sunday kids under 12 eat for free at Dickey’s Barbecue with the purchase of a minimum $10 adult order. Perry’s Tavern inside the Flagship City Food Hall has Family Nights on Mondays after 4 p.m. where kids can enjoy a free personal cheese pizza (minimum $5 purchase).  At all three Erie Applebee’s locations, small kid's meals are free and large kid's meals are 99 cents on Wednesdays, with the purchase of an adult meal.

Water World 3 Gibbens

Spend a Day at Waldameer Park and Water World

With free parking, free admission, and over 100 rides and slides set among beautifully landscaped grounds, Waldameer Park welcomes fun seekers of all ages!  If you’re brave enough, join your older children on the exhilarating Ravine Flyer II wooden coaster or scream alongside them on Chaos or Liquid Lightning. Families with younger children can take a spin on classic rides such as the dodgems or the paratrooper and those with toddlers can enjoy Waldameer’s special kiddie ride section or Water World’s Kidz Zone area filled with fun sprayers and fountains.  

Fun park GoKarts credit eriesportscenter v2

 “Drive” them Crazy at the Erie Sports Center

Challenge your family members to a friendly go-kart competition at the Erie Sports Center Fun Park.  Race up to 30 mph and satisfy your need for speed while competing for “fastest lap” or “most likely to spin-out”.  If your family is made up of thrill seekers, then this go-kart experience is the ride for them.  The Fun Park’s fleet of go-karts includes gas-powered single karts, junior-sized karts and double-seated go-karts. Photo credit: @eriesportscenter

Port Farms provided by Port Farms v2

Flower Festival Fun

This year, Port Farms is celebrating their 125th anniversary and they are planning something fun and exciting for every season!  First up is the annual Flower Festival, taking place August 6 through September 11. Pick one or pick a bundle of vibrant sunflowers or zinnias from their acres of blooming beauties.  Look for more family-friendly events in the fall and winter including Port Farms’ Fall Harvest Festival and Christmas Tree Farm and Holiday Celebration. 
Photo provided by Port Farms.

Child on MerryGoRound credit Erie Zoo

Be a Party Animal at the Erie Zoo

Go wild and celebrate your child’s birthday or special occasion with the animals at the Erie Zoo! The Zoo’s Adventure Center Party Room is available for two hour parties March through November.  A Zoo party includes zoo admission, an animal presentation with two animal ambassadors, a carousel ride for all party guests, pizza, treat bags and more!  Photo credit:  Erie Zoo

Breathe in the Fresh Air!

While the weather is still picture-perfect, get everyone outside to take advantage of Erie’s outdoor parks, gardens and farms. Take a relaxing stroll among the natural beauty of Frontier Park then kick things up a notch with a whoosh down The Griff.  Located on the north hillside of the park, The Griff is made up of three giant 40’ steel slides: a middle slide with two straight chutes and one curvy slide on each side. Throughout the summer months Goodell Gardens & Homestead holds kid-friendly programs, concerts and farmers markets.  On Sundays, free guided afternoon garden tours are available.

Partner Spotlight

Mazzqa resize

Mazza Vineyards and the South Shore Wine Company

Local wine is great for holiday entertaining, plus it makes a great gift! Stop by to try (and pick up) award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA.

Learn More

millcreek mall

Millcreek Mall

The Millcreek Mall features more than 160 stores, restaurants, and fun for the whole family on Upper Peach Street, Erie’s most popular shopping district! Shopping in Erie means no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Choose from a variety of hotels located on the Mall property and just minutes away at the intersection of Peach Street and Interstate 90.

Learn More

the cork

The Cork 1794

The Cork 1794 is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion! Indoor and outside seating available with amazing food.

Learn More

spotlgiht the cove

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

Join us today! The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern is sure to give you an unforgettable and care-free dining experience. Enjoy a nautical atmosphere with a beautiful view of Presque Isle Bay.

Learn More

dobbins landing

Dobbins Landing

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, the Port of Erie has been promoting industrial, commercial, and recreational opportunities on the waters of Lake Erie since 1959.

Learn More

u pick 6 spotlight

U Pick 6 Craft Beer Pubs & Restaurants

Erie’s own local craft beer pubs are a must-visit! With 4 great locations, just pick one that’s convenient for you! A casual, family friendly dining experience with something for everyone! To view our menu, check out what’s on tap, or get to directions to our pubs, learn more now!”

Learn More


UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 423-bed hospital in Erie, PA, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services, and serves as a regional referral hub and Level II Trauma Center.

Learn More

Untitled design 1

When you have an opportunity to fly, give Erie a try - support your hometown airport!

Direct Daily Flights to Charlotte and Chicago.
Erie International Airport is serviced by American Airlines and United Airlines with daily flights to Charlotte and Chicago with connections across the country and around the world. Book your flight today at or

Learn More

bayfront grille

Outdoor Dining at the Bayfront Grille

The Bayfront Grille Restaurant at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel is excited to announce that our Bayside Patio is open for Lunch and Dinner. Please check Open Table for reservations or contact the restaurant directly at 814-454-2005.

Learn More

PortFarms SpotlightAd NovDec 2

Christmas at Port Farms

Enjoy Santa’s Workshop every weekend for visits with Santa, live music, crafts, cookie decorating, and holiday food & drinks! They also offer cut-your-own trees, pre-cut trees, freshly made wreaths, holiday décor, and other great gifts throughout the week. The Port Farms Christmas season is November 25th - December 23rd and there is no admission fee. Plan an enchanting Christmas experience at Port Farms today! Visit for more info!

Learn More