It seems everyone in Erie is looking for ways to get out of the house this winter! Fresh air is good for the soul -- not to mention it helps to get the wiggles out of the kids.
So here is a list of five fun things to do outdoors with kids in Erie (or just a short drive away!) during these next few winter months:
Updated January 2022
1. Rent snowshoes or cross country skis at Asbury Woods
You can rent snowshoes ($5/hour for members; $7/hour for nonmembers) or cross country skis ($8/hour members; $10/hour nonmembers) at Asbury Woods when there is at least six inches of snow Mondays-Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The Asbury Woods folks also offer cross country lessons and snowshoe lessons for beginners regularly. Keep an eye on the Macaroni KID Erie Events Calendar for any upcoming dates. Ages 10-plus.
2. Whiz down a sledding hill
There are a lot of great sledding hills in Erie County but our favorite is at Frontier Park in the city of Erie. We asked readers for their favorite hills in the region. Here's where they told us they love to go! You can also join in the WLD Ranch sledding club which meets occasionally throughout the winter (and when there's enough snow). Find upcoming dates on our Macaroni KID Erie events calendar.
Photo Images via Canva
3. Get tube-ular
Peek'n Peak has fourteen tubing lanes! Go after dark to experience the lunar lights tubing experience, when thousands of LED and projector lights turn the hill into a light show. Kids must be ages 3 and up to tube. Open Mondays and Thursdays-Sundays. Mount Pleasant of Edinboro also has eight tubing hills open Fridays-Sundays. Pricing: Peek'n Peak: $25 for a two-hour snow tubing pass. Mount Pleasant: $20 for a two-hour session.
Here's a video of my family's visit to the Peak's tubing hills in 2019:
4. Catch a fish
If the weather allows, ice fishing is a memorable wintertime activity in Erie, Pa. The head of Presque Isle Bay and in Misery Bay and Horseshoe Pond fills with little fishing huts for those who are really committed to the sport. But you can also just drop a line through the ice to try your luck. Even if fishing isn't your family's thing, it's fun to walk out on the ice on the bay -- where it's safe, of course! Ice should be at least four inches thick when walking on it. FishErie.com offers updates on ice and fishing conditions in the region.
5. See the ice dunes on Presque Isle
The ice dunes on Presque Isle in the winter are a surreal site, making it look like you might be on the moon. Some reach as high as 15 feet. They form when waves freeze mid-air. Dunes form only on a few lakeshores and in the Arctic, so it's worth seeing this unusual phenomenon. Though be careful! Climbing on the dunes is not allowed as many of them are hollow and can be easily broken through. Here's a view of ice dunes beginning to form (posted by Erie Weather Now Jan. 13, 2022):