All-New Family District at CelebrateErie Aug. 16-18

CelebrateErie's Family District will showcase a different theme and surprises every day

August 14, 2019

Celebrate Erie is proud to announce the all-new UPMC Hamot Family District for 2019.

The district includes family-friendly entertainment and hands-on activities designed to engage both children and adults through wellness, learning, and the arts. It’s truly an area for kids of all ages parents to enjoy time together in the heart of downtown Erie.

“Each day of Celebrate Erie will look a little different,” said Lesley Ridge Allen, co-director of the district. “Our hope is to create a unique experience each day for families to enjoy.”

Friday: Game Time!

Day one of Celebrate Erie is all about friendly competition with games galore! Head over to the Play Yard (North Park Row) for big games like Jenga and Connect Four. Or join a game of Family Charades (3:30 pm, PNC Bank Family Stage). Before heading home, show off your best moves during the Dance Party in the Park (5 pm, PNC Bank Family Stage). 

Saturday: Sports and Wellness

Get out and get active during sports and wellness day in the family district. Saturday begins with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with the Police Athletic League. Or, slow down and catch a family yoga and meditation activity in the grass. There will be several group fitness opportunities throughout the day including taekwondo demonstrations. You won’t want to miss the hula hoop play shop (3:30 pm) or favorite childhood games like Red Rover and Simon Says with Erie’s favorite mascots — Clutch, Shooter, and C. Wolf (4:45 pm, PNC Bank Family Stage). 

Sunday: STEAM Day — Magic + Imagination

On Sunday, come dressed as your favorite character, princess, or superhero for a day of creative fun! Bring your favorite teddy bear and snack for the Teddy Bear Picnic and Parade (noon). And you won’t want to miss the Erie Playhouse’s magical musical storytim3:30 pm0pm, PNC Bank Family Stage). 

“There’s plenty of surprise activities that will be changing every day,” said Colleen Gross, fellow co-director of the family district. “There will truly be something for everyone — toddler to teen.”

This year, the Family District is sponsoring two unique events — an augmented reality scavenger hunt (think Pokémon Go!) and a kids’ public art installation via a painted rock garden to be housed outside of city hall. 

“Our goal was to create two unique experiences,” said Ridge-Allen. “Kids can paint their favorite thing about Erie on a rock and see it anytime they’re downtown. We hope it serves as a reminder of a fun day with family.”

“The scavenger hunt is another way we hope to engage teens and older kids, too,” continued Ridge-Allen. “Players download the ImaginationPark xenoplay app and search for eight different icons scattered throughout Celebrate Erie. Those who find all eight will be entered to win a sports prize pack.” 

The Family District is open from 12 to 6 p.m. each day. Families are encouraged to play in the fountain, stop by the activity tent, enjoy the full line up of performances from the PNC Bank Stage, and take in the beauty of the park. This year, a private tent is available in the southeastern corner for nursing mamas and parents with little ones still in diapers. 

For a full schedule of events, visit or the Celebrate Erie Facebook page.