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Places to Swim, Splash and Cool Off in the Erie Area

Need to cool off on a hot day in Erie? Here's where to go in 2024!

By Kara Murphy June 2, 2023

Looking for the perfect spots in Erie to help your kids beat the heat? If you're unsure where to go, we've got you covered! Check out our comprehensive list of pools, splash pads, creeks, and lakes around Erie, all ideal for cooling off on those scorching summer days.

We advise always checking with the venue when possible before heading out, as hours and availability can change due to any number of factors, ranging from weather to staffing issues.

Know of a spot we missed? Let us know at karam@macaronikid.com.


Public pools in Erie County


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Belle Valley Pool

Chestnut Hill Pool

YMCA Rodger Young Pool

  • 1750 Buffalo Rd, Erie
  • Opens June 14
  • Hours: Wednesday, June 12 – Friday, August 16, noon to 5 p.m. Mon-Sat.
  • Ages: 6-17
  • Admission: Free

Edinboro American Legion Pool

  • 200 Fairway Dr, Edinboro
  • Open the last day of school until the Saturday before school starts
  • Hours: Noon-6 p.m. daily
  • Daily admission: $9 per person

Girard Borough Community Pool 

  • 23 Vine St., Girard Borough Park
  • First day of swimming season TBA.
  • 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. daily
  • Daily admission: 2023 admission was $4 kids, $5 adults.

Splash pads & fountains in Erie


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Perry Square Fountain
Sixth and State streets, downtown Erie

Kids have loved to splash at the Perry Square Fountain for decades. FREE

Bayview Park Splash Pad
Second and Cherry streets, Erie

Lots of fun at this splash pad, located at the picturesque Bayview Park. FREE


Lakes where you can swim in the Erie area


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Lake Erie

We had to start with that Great Big Beautiful Lake in our backyard. There are many of the guarded beaches along Presque Isle State Park, of course, but also public beaches all along Route 5 within easy driving distance — explore from Conneaut Lake Park in Ohio to Freeport Beach in North East. And they are all FREE!

Edinboro Lake

Pat Crawford Beach, 554-698 Lakeside Dr, Edinboro, is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with lifeguards on duty from noon to 4:00 PM. There is also the Mike Onda Beach, 383-499 Erie St, Edinboro, which is unguarded.


Creeks where you can splash in the Erie area




Creeks and streams

Fourmile Creek at Wintergreen Gorge

  • Wintergreen Gorge by Penn State Behrend offers my kids hours of entertainment — we like to walk to the waterfalls, jump into deep swimming holes (always watch your kids in the water!), and search for tadpoles.
  • Where to park: Please do not park on Cooper Road. Access the trailheads from either the Prischak Educational Building or the Ohio Hall parking lots. Here is a campus map.

Walnut Creek at Brown's Farm

  • We access Walnut Creek from the Greenway Trail at Brown's Farm, 5774 Sterrettania Road. Walk upstream and you'll find Buttermilk Falls, a great place for the kids to splash and get wet and for you to have a family picnic.
  • How to get there: Park at the Brown's Farm Barn parking lot, and it's just a short —but steep — hike down to the water. Follow the meadow through the parking area, then when the path Ts, follow the small path through the woods and down the hill to the creek.  Here's a trail map of the area from Asbury Woods.

Sixmile Creek at Whitford Park

  • Whitford Park, in Harbocreek, has long been a family favorite. Enjoy an easy walk along Sixmile Creek, where kids can explore and cool off in the shallow water. There is also an excellent playground at Whitford Park.

Cascade Creek at Frontier Park

  • Cascade Creek access is easy at the city's Frontier Park. My kids like to play in the shallow water and climb trees while I find a rock to sit on in the shade to watch. 
  • Important to know: There are no swimming signs posted where the water gets deep!

LeBoeuf Creek at Picnicana Park

There are 1.5 miles of pretty wooded trails at Picnicana Park, which involve two stream crossings of the small tributary to LeBoeuf Creek. It runs through the center of the park property and is fun for kids to splash and play.