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A Guide to 12 of Erie's Best Parks and Playgrounds

Kid-tested, mom-approved! Playgrounds and parks in Erie, Pa. families love

By Kara Murphy June 3, 2022

Erie, Pa., is lucky to have dozens of great parks and playgrounds to explore! Here are 12 of my family's favorite parks and playgrounds in Erie County:

Top Parks and Playgrounds in Erie, Pa.

Locations are listed alphabetically


Asbury Woods | Bayview Park | Frontier Park | Goodell Gardens & Homestead| Glenwood Park | Lake Erie Community Park | McClelland Park | Playground Paradise | Picnicana Park | Presque Isle State Park | Shades Beach Park | Whitford Park


Asbury Woods
4105 Asbury Road
Erie, PA 16506





🐟 Ponds and creek access
🏠Nature center 
👫Little Woods Play Area (natural playground)
📅Regular events
🅿️ Parking Lot
🍉 Picnic Tables 
🚶 Five miles of trails
🚫No dogs allowed


About Asbury Woods:

Asbury Woods is a great place to get out and explore with 205 natural acres of fields, forests and streams. Don't miss the Grandmother Tree (pictured above), along with the Little Woods natural playground, and make time to visit the Nature Center, where kids can see live animals and insects such as turtles, rabbits and bees.

Bayview Park
West Second and Walnut Streets
Erie, Pa. 



What we love about Bayview Park: 

Bayview Park — as its name suggests — overlooks Presque Isle Bay, offering beautiful waterfront and Presque Isle views. Along with a splash pad, the park is also home to a playground and a little free library. You will also find the new Erie sign so popular for photos on social media on the path nearby! 

Amenities at Bayview Park: 

🍉 Picnic tables (covered pavilions)
🚶 Trails
🧻Port-a-Potties

👫Playground

📚Little Free Library

💧Free Splash Pad


Frontier Park
1501 W. Sixth St.
Erie, Pa.




🅿️ Parking Lot
🚻 Restroom 
💐 Gardens
🍉 Picnic tables 
🚶 Trails
🐟 Creek access

🎾Tennis courts
⚽️Soccer fields
👫Large playground
🏠LEAF Education Center

🛝Griff Slides


About Frontier Park:

The city's Frontier Park, with more than 1,000 trees,  is full of treasures waiting to be discovered. Your kids will want to ride the 40-foot Griff Slides again and again on the bluff next to the playground, as well as spend time at the playground, run the labyrinth, climb trees and splash in the creek.  

Goodell Gardens & Homestead
221 Waterford Street
Edinboro, Pa.






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💐 Gardens
🚻 Restroom 
🅿️ Parking Lot

🏠Education Center
📅Regular events
🚶 Trails

About Goodell Gardens:

Goodell Gardens is Edinboro's public garden, arboretum and community event space. It's a beautiful space for a walk, or to have a picnic and let the kids run around. Goodell Gardens is free, though donations are welcome. Watch Macaroni KID Erie's calendar for regular classes and events at Goodell Gardens. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, May 1-October 31.


Glenwood Park
4021 Glenwood Park Ave.
Erie, Pa.


Some of the playground equipment at Glenwood Park.


🅿️ Parking Lot
🚻 Restroom 
👫Large playground
🍉 Picnic tables and grills (covered pavilions)
🐴Horseshoe courts



About Glenwood Park:

This park is located right next to the Erie Zoo. Along with a playground, there are covered pavilions which are a popular place to hold birthday parties and other celebrations.


Lake Erie Community Park
10192 W Lake Rd
Lake City, Pa.


The playground at Lake Erie Community Park.


🅿️ Parking Lot
🚻 Restroom 
🍉 Picnic Tables 
🚶 Trails
🐟 Lake views
👫Playground


 About Lake Erie Community Park:

The bluffs here offer spectacular views of Lake Erie. Early in the morning and in the evening you might see bald eagles flying (plus, sunset!). A playground here, built in 2014, offers lots of fun. The 125-acre park also has trails, including a walking trail that takes you down to the water edge. Pavilions available for rent.


McClelland Park
2438 E 26th St
Erie, Pa.






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What we love about McClelland Park:

McClelland Park's brand new playground just opened in spring 2021. It includes a really fun zipline, lots of trails — including some that are wheelchair accessible. We also love taking our dogs to the Larry R. Fabrizi Dog Park, located inside McClelland Park.


Playground Paradise
9333 Tate Road
Greene Township, Pa. 





Amenities at Playground Paradise: 

🅿️ Parking Lot
🍉 Picnic tables (covered pavilions)
👫Large playground
⚾️Fields

What we love about Playground Paradise

Playground Paradise opened the summer of 2019 and became an immediate favorite for families across Erie County. The park, built by the community, includes a three-story climbing structure, lots of fun slides, and tot areas.


Picnicana Park
9150 Old French Road
Waterford, Pa.


Along the trails at Picnicana.


🅿️ Parking Lot
🚻 Restrooms (handicap accessible)
🍉 Picnic tables (covered pavilions)
🚶 1.5 miles of trails
🐟 Creek access
⚾️Softball field
🐴Horseshoe courts
✊🏽Sand volleyball court
🏀Basketball courts
👫Large playground
🚫No dogs


About Picnicana Park:

Picnicana Park is located on 34 acres. There are two playgrounds, a wooded area, and a trail that takes you over a stream and into a forest carpeted with ferns later in the summer — it's quite magical. There are fully equipped kitchens and pavilions available for rent. 


Presque Isle State Park
301 Peninsula Drive
Erie, Pa.


View from the top of the lighthouse at Presque Isle State Park. 


🅿️ Parking Lots
🚻 Restrooms 
🍉 Picnic Tables 
🚶 Trails
🚲Bike and boat rentals
🏠Tom Ridge Environmental Center
🐟 Beaches and bayfront access
🍉 Picnic tables and grills
👫Playgrounds
🌅Lighthouse tours. (Kids must be 48 inches tall)
🐠Fishing


 About Presque Isle State Park:

It feels silly to put Presque Isle on this list. After all, the park gets about 4 million visitors a year and is, by far, Erie's top attraction! There are two playgrounds on Presque Isle: One is near the Waterworks Ponds, and includes fun climbing equipment that can be difficult for younger kids to navigate. The second one, at Beach 11, was just built in 2017, and is made of mostly natural materials. There are lots of places for kids to climb, play hide and seek, and explore. Beach 11 is also my favorite beach with my kids — it's wide and shallow and, since it's a bit of a drive, not typically not as busy as some of the other beaches.


Shades Beach Park
7000 East Lake Road
Harborcreek, Pa. 





🅿️ Parking Lot
🚻 Restroom 
🍉 Picnic tables and grills
🐟 Lake Erie and creek access
🏊🏼Beach
🚶Trails
🐴Horseshoe courts
👫Large playground


About Shades Beach Park:

Shades Beach Park includes trails, woodlands, play areas, picnic grounds, a beach area (a good place to find beach glass!), and a boat launch. There are also two picnic facilities available for rent, each with complete kitchen operations.


Whitford Park
5400 Iroquois Ave.
Harborcreek, Pa. 





🅿️ Parking Lot
🚻 Restroom 
🍉 Picnic Tables
🚶 Trails
🐟 Creek access
🎾Tennis courts
✊🏽Volleyball
🍦Concession stand
👫Playground


About Whitford Park:

It's easy to spend hours at this park: There is a playground, a creek, and a small children's pool to splash in. You can also play volleyball and tennis and buy treats (super cheap prices!) at the concession stand. There are also more than 50 outdoor tables and grilling facilities. Pavilions are available for rent.