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Winter in Erie

Winter in Erie, PA

No matter if you prefer the brisk outdoor air or the cozy warmth of staying inside, there are an abundance of ways to enjoy winter in Erie, Pennsylvania. From high energy hockey games and outrageous indoor water slides, to riveting performances and snowy slopes, your winter getaway awaits on Erie's snow-white shores.  

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Holiday Activities and Events

‘Tis the season to  set aside quality time to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the holidays with family and friends.  The Erie region has many different activities and events that are guaranteed to put everyone in the holiday spirit.  Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Erie Mayor Joe Schember December 2 and officially light up downtown Perry Square with a dazzling holiday display during Downtown d’Lights.(pictured) Search for the perfect Christmas tree or a take an old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow during Port Farms Christmas Tree Farm and Holiday Attraction.  Watch a modern holiday classic comes to life onstage during the Erie Playhouse’s production of “Elf, The Musical”, weekends December 2-18.  Throughout December, thousands of holiday lights will light up Asbury Woods and Presque Isle State Park.  Stroll through Asbury Woods Winter Wonderland where the woods and wetlands along the boardwalk trail are decorated with twinkling lights. The natural beauty of Presque Isle State Park is combined with colorful holiday illumination to equal the scenic holiday Presque Isle Lights drive-through experience.   

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Outdoor Recreation

As the snowflakes begin to fall, Erie transforms into a wintry playground for outdoor enthusiasts! With five miles of flat trails to explore via cross-country skis or snowshoes, Asbury Woods is a picture-perfect place to embrace Erie's winter season. Snow sport enthusiasts will find a myriad of trails to explore at Mount Pleasant of Edinboro or Peek’n Peak Ski Resort which both offer downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing for all ages and skill levels. New this season at Mount Pleasant is a 120-foot covered conveyor lift that increases the beginner terrain area and better assists new skiers and snowboarders. Take fishing to the extreme and go ice fishing for perch, northern pike and the occasional steelhead on the frozen waters of Presque Isle Bay. Presque Isle State Park is more than just beaches, it’s a year-round destination with a wealth of winter activities including naturalist-led hikes, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and birding.

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When the days get shorter, the lure of a warm, inviting dining space provides just the right atmosphere to catch up with family and friends. Dine under the stars but stay nice and toasty inside a climate-controlled igloo at the Bayfront Grille at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel (pictured, courtesy @happylifeblogspot). Complete with twinkling lights, exceptional cuisine, and gorgeous winter views of Presque Isle Bay, it’s like being inside a big, beautiful snow globe! Cozy up to The Colony Pub & Grille where three fireplaces set the scene for laidback conversations and classic comfort foods.  Relax with a group over a sumptuous Sunday brunch found at The Cork 1794, Voodoo Brewery, Bistro 210 at Peek’n Peak, and Luminary Distilling, Eatery, Fuhrman’s Cider. For those who simply can’t decide on what or where to eat, the nine local vendors inside the Flagship City Food Hall solve the problem by offering a wide variety of cuisines.

Check out a list of all of our recommendations for dining in Erie here

Save the date: Erie Restaurant Week returns January 20-29, 2023!

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Family Activities 

When the kids are on break, it’s the perfect time to get everyone together to spend quality family time doing something that everyone will enjoy. No matter if Erie is home or just a short drive away, planning a family winter getaway is a surefire way to cure those winter blues and create memories to last forever.  Cheer alongside fellow fans, pound on the plexiglass and high-five Otto during an Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League) home game (pictured). Take a break from life’s everyday routines and spend the day or a weekend splish splashing around the rides and slides inside the tropical paradise of Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort.  For those days when the kids have a little too much extra energy, the bouncy obstacles at Flying Monkey Inflata-Park and Family Fun Center will keep them occupied for hours, giving parents a well-deserved break.  Experience a live, interactive quest with challenging problem-solving tasks at 5 Wits and Escape Game Erie or share memories with a new generation while reliving fond memories of classic arcade games at Play Port Arcade and Family Fun Center, where over 100 games are set to “free play”, no quarters needed! 

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Tax-Free Shopping

Whether it’s a girlfriend getaway, a weekend family escape, or a holiday shopping spree, retail therapy is good for the soul and Pennsylvania’s tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes makes it good for the wallet too!  Stroll Erie's downtown district where locally owned specialty shops such as Glass Growers Gallery are within walking distance of each other. Erie’s bustling Upper Peach Street district is packed with nationally recognized retail outlets in and around the 2.2 million square foot Millcreek Mall Complex (pictured). Closer to shore, Erie’s west side features an eclectic mix of shops, including Village West Plaza, The Shops on the Hill, and The Shops at the Colony. Shops such as Buona Cucina Oils and More, Moose Head Pottery, Pulakos Chocolates, and Relish Studio & Gallery showcase hand-made, one-of-a-kind products designed by local and regional artisans.  

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Arts and Culture

It’s easy to spend a day or two getting lost in all the amazing galleries, museums, and performance venues found throughout the Erie region.  From a diverse collection of artifacts, photography, and objects at the Erie Art Museum, to the captivating tales of immigrants and families at the Hagen History Center, Erie’s history  is nothing short of fascinating.  Try art with an edge at the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA) where modern classics, concerts, art exhibitions and dance performances take the stage. Follow the lights on State Street to the Warner Theater, a recently restored shining example of an ornate Art Deco and French Renaissance-style theater (pictured, photo by Patrick Grab). The Warner Theater is home to the Erie Philharmonic, one of the oldest professional ensembles in the country, established in 1913.

Erie, PA Trip Ideas

An Erie getaway lets you go with the flow. Gather inspiration for things to do on your next trip to Erie below, or by clicking here

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Give the Gift of Memories

A Cheery Erie Gift Pack is a great way to give the gift of experiences in Erie, PA! Packages can be purchased through December 31, 2022. 

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Fun Indoor Things to Do with Kids in Erie, PA

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!


Cozy Restaurants in Erie

When the days are shorter, a nice meal in a cozy dining room is a welcome way to spend a winter night.

Partner Spotlight

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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