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Summer Activities for Families in Erie, PA

Summer is officially here! The kids are out of school, the ice cream man is making his rounds, and you're already wondering how you're going to entertain your kiddos all summer long! Never fear!! I have a list for you!


I started making this list for my own family, and realized that every parent is feeling the same way that I am right now! So I decided to share it with all of you! I've broken it down into activities that you can do weekly with your kids, and special things to do once in awhile.


A boy stands on a dirt road wearing a rash guard and grins at Erie, PA photographer Ashley Stack Photography
The summertime excitement is real!!

Weekly Activities:


Library

We love our local library! I plan on taking the kids multiple times per week. Not only can they refresh their book collection, but they can also take part in story times and fun events like meeting birds from the Tamarack center! Check out the whole list of events here! Erie County Public Library is also starting their summer reading program, so be sure to take the kids in and sign up!


Check out an outdoor movie

I can't wait to take my kids see some of these outdoor movies! Check out the lineup and locations here!


Hiking

Find a trail and go exploring! Get started on a trail from the Greater Erie Regional Trails. If you want to make it educational, download an app like Plantsnap and identify some plants along the way!



Erie photographer Ashley Stack Photography photographs a child's hand holding a flower
You never know what treasures you'll find on a hike!

School library hours

If you have elementary aged kids, ask your school if they have summer library hours. Our school district offers library hours, complete with activities, starting in July. It's a great way to get out of the house, do some learning, and meet up with friends!


Pool

Join your local neighborhood pool! They're usually relatively inexpensive and will provide an entire summer's worth of entertainment and exercise! If you don't have a neighborhood pool, look into local splash pads, Camp Sherwin, or your local YMCA!


Go get ice cream

I know this would be a daily activity for my kids if I let them!! There are tons of locally owned ice cream stands in Erie. Maybe make it a summertime goal to visit each one!



A young girl eats a popsicle on a sidewalk
Eating popsicles is a serious business!

Geocaching

I know I'm late to this trend; but have you tried geocaching?? I'm super excited about it! It sounds like a great way to get your kids outside and excited about exploring! To get started, just go to: https://www.geocaching.com/play and create an account. Download the app and navigate to your first "treasure!"


Visiting with friends

Remember those friends that you don't get to see enough? Invite them over! Or arrange a park playdate! This is something that I want to work on for myself because I get so busy, and forget to make time for my friends. But this is the perfect time to text that friend and say, "Hey, let's meet up, and bring the kids!"


Arrange a neighborhood game

My neighborhood friends and I always played Release as kids in the summertime. We would meet up after dinner and come home when the streetlights came on. Now, my kiddos are still a little young for that; but my oldest really wanted to have a big game the weekend after school let out. So she typed up invites, she and her brother delivered them to all of their buddies in the neighborhood, and I made a post about it in our neighborhood FB group, inviting the kiddos that we may not know. I provided water and freezer pops to the kids for two hours, and they had a BLAST!! All of the parents were really thankful, the kids got some exercise and helped build friendships and memories!


Have a picnic

Find a cute spot around town, pack a lunch and a blanket, and have a picnic! My husband works outside of the home, so my goal is to meet up with him during his lunch hour a couple times per month, and have a nice picnic lunch with him!


Beach

Alright, so this one is pretty obvious, living in Erie; but go to the beach! Bring along snacks, buckets and shovels, swimsuits and towels, and go for the whole day!



A boy jumps over a wave at the beach
The beach never gets old!

Paint and hide rocks around town

So back during Covid, we started noticing these fun, painted rocks popping up in hidden locations all around town! It made my kiddos so happy to find one; and we still occasionally encounter one! Have your children paint their own, and hide them for someone else to discover! It's a fun project for your kids, and they'll make someone else very excited!


Cook with your kids

It's easy to get bogged down in the monotony of prepping breakfasts/lunches/dinners every day. So let your kids help! Make ice cream together, let them help skewer shishkabobs for the grill, or give them the peeler for the veggies! Yes, it will take more time. Yes, you'll probably have to help them with the task. But you'll be teaching them life skills and giving them a sense of independence and pride!


Go to a festival

Erie is home to a ton of cultural festivals, fairs, and outdoor events! Check out my list of summertime festivals and events!


Check out Macaroni Kid

When in doubt, check out Erie's Macaroni Kid! There are so many fun events, activities, and classes listed on this website!


Zoo

We can't get enough of the zoo over the summer! We got a membership and plan on going weekly!


Special Events:


Gannon Classes

If you have older kids, you may want to look into summer classes through a local university. Sign your kiddos up for one of these camps this summer! You can always invite friends to make it really fun!


A girl sits on a couch in a ray of sunshine, reading a book
The summertime is the perfect time to curl up with a good book!

Summer Camps

Erie is home to some really great summer camp opportunities! Asbury Woods, Camp Notre Dame, and the Zoo all offer fun camps for kiddos to learn, make memories, and get outdoors!


Waldameer

We'll definitely be heading to Waldameer a few times this summer!


Camping

One of my goals is to go camping at least once this summer! Whether you want to sleep in a tent, or go "glamping," Erie has got you covered!


A young boy carrying a fishing pole walks down a path
Get those kiddos outdoors this summer!

Erie Art Museum

We're going to beat the heat this summer and check out the Erie Art Museum! It's a great way to introduce your kids to art, feed their creativity by enrolling in a class, and learn a little about regional artists!


Sleepovers

Invite a couple close friends for sleepovers! Some of my fondest memories from childhood are from sleepovers! So have your kiddos put together a list of friends, pop some popcorn, and have fun!


Pittsburgh trip

We have family that live in Pittsburgh, so we travel down there pretty often. But one of my goals this summer is to take a Pittsburgh trip and focus on all the fun activities down there! The Natural History Museum, Children's Museum, the National Aviary, University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms are all incredible places to take the kids this summer!


There are so many activities for families over the summer! I'd love to hear your favorites! Let me know if the comments what you and your family like doing! Do you have any goals that you've set for your family this summer?


I hope this list inspires you to get your kids out and about! And if you're looking to capture your family this summer, I'm happy to help! Contact me here! Until next time, take care and smile pretty!!

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