Family Fun and Activities Ideas for Erie, PA!

Family Fun and Activities Ideas for Erie, PA!

It’s that time of year again — Summer!  If you’ve got kids, that means planning the days ahead in order to make the most of the summer and to ward off that boredom bug.  I had a blast putting together last year’s Staycation post and was thrilled to participate in The Happy Housewife’s “Year of the Staycation” blog tour again in 2012.    Many of the ideas in last year’s post are still applicable for this year, so I won’t repeat myself — just click on over and check out Staycation ideas from 2011.   Be sure to check back in tomorrow for link-ups of other Staycation posts from across America!

To get started, check out some of these fabulous Summer Planning Guides:

The Basics

What’s a vacation all about?  Eating, Sleeping, and Activities, right?   Let’s get some of those basics covered!


If you’re doing a Staycation in Erie, don’t visit a chain restaurant! Visit some of the local “Erie-only” places!  Don’t forget to check in your “Save Around Erie” book for some great discounts and coupons.   Wondering where to find these local restaurants?  Start downtown, especially State street.  My personal favorites?  The Breakfast Place (on E.38th), Sara’s (by the Peninsula) and Tickle’s (on State Street). If you want more ideas or to read reviews (and prices) before you go exploring, check out these sites:

My Summer goal?  To eat at 3 new Erie restaurants this summer.   I’m thinking about Pie in the Sky, The Summer House Cafe, and Papa Joe’s.  What about you?  Where is your favorite?  Or somewhere new you want to try?  Leave me a comment and let me know!  Of course, a picnic lunch is always a winner too (and way cheaper!)
Flickr by by Locobone


The beauty of a Staycation is that you get to STAY in your own home, significantly lowering the vacation costs.  But don’t be boring about it!  Mix things up a bit.  Have everyone sleep downstairs in the family room for one night, maybe watching Disney movies until you just can’t keep your eyes open any more.  Maybe head out to the backyard for a little tent-sleeping close to home.  (Build you own, with the help of Pinterest!) House-swap with a friend for a night!  House swap with a stranger through for a night!  Or if you want to get really crazy, you could even go camping out at Presque Isle.   With prices starting at $15, it might be worth a try!  Check out the full listing of camping options here or you can look at the cabin and cottage options if you’d like something a little more cushy (I know I would!!)  Also, the author of Cheap in Erie suggested checking out loyalty programs to get some lodging perks!


Of course, most of the fun of vacation lies in the activities of the day.   Try not to burn yourself out by running all over town (you are supposed to relax a little on vacation!).  Here’s some ideas to get you percolating.   I’m hoping to post my own Summer Bucket List, so stay tuned!

Cooks Forest

The Erie Times News just did a great article on all that Also, Cooks Forest has too offer.  Activities include tubing, canoeing, horseback riding, and lots more.  There are lots of options for lodging and you can’t beat the scenery.  My husband and I traveled here (to Hideaway Cottages to be exact) for our honeymoon and had a splendid time walking through the woods and enjoying nature.

Take a Class

I know! I know! It’s not exactly vacation-style, but learning can be fun!  Check the schedules at Asbury Woods, the Erie Zoo, the YMCA and the Erie Art Museum to get started.   Often, the Enjoy Erie site will list upcoming classes.   I saw an upcoming photography class with Art Becker that would be fantastic (but doesn’t fit my budget!).   There’s a Lunchtime Learning series offered by Hamot from 12:10-12:50 for only $5 a class.  There’s even a Hula Hooping class offered on Tuesdays at Frontier Park ($60)!

Don’t Forget about Reading!

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading, whether while lounging on the beach or chilling out in your backyard (with some tasty Chick-fil-a Lemonade!).   Check out these great programs to get some rewards for all your reading!

Flickr by wsh1266

Library: Buried Treasure!

Speaking of reading and the library, I was at the Iroquois Branch library the other day checking out Sign Language books.   The librarian told me about Manga, the online language learning service the library offers for free.  Sign language is one of the options, along with a ton more.  She told me there are lots of free resources at the library that no one knows about (like Freegal, the free music download service, for instance).  So stop by your favorite branch and ask what things they have available.  In the meantime, don’t forget about story hour times and the children’s events calendar.  Check out their home page for features and the latest news!

Fresh Every Day

Follow these people and hashtags on Twitter for fresh (mostly local) Summer time ideas everyday!

More Local Sites to Visit:

More Free Ideas

Summer Idea Newsletters

Tomorrow, I’ll feature links to blogs from all over America with more staycation ideas!


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