What’s New in Erie for 2016

Tall Ships Erie 2016 – September 8-11, 2016: In the summer of 2016, Tall Ships America will once again bring a fleet of tall ships to the Great Lakes, the world’s largest body of fresh surface water, as part of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 series. Featuring at least 7 Tall Ships, the four day festival begins September 8th with a Grand Parade of Sail in Presque Isle Bay led by Erie’s Brig Niagara.  Ship tours and sail—ways, festival marketplace, food vendors, beer garden, children’s activities live music and entertainment. www.TallShipsErie.org

Waldameer Park & Water World – Here they grow again! The family owned 118-year old amusement park is adding on to its water park, with the focus on young children and families.  New additions include a Kid’s Zone with 8 children’s slides and a 4,000 sq ft splash pad with over 30 spray features.  Opening May 2016. www.Waldameer.com

Erie Playhouse Celebrates their 100th Season!  One of the oldest and largest community theatres in the nation is celebrating their 100th season in 2016/2017! Along with a stellar season of mainstage and youtheatre performances, expect a huge anniversary gala (Sept 17), New Year’s Eve Bash (Dec 31), and Family Reunion, Concert Extraordinaire and Dinner Dance Celebration coming in July 2017.  Watch the Playhouse web site for more info! www.erieplayhouse.org

New Trampoline and Adventure Park. Part of Erie-based hospitality company Scott Enterprises, construction will begin in spring 2016 with a planned opening in late 2016. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the yet-to-be-named indoor park will be located on a 7-acre site off Upper Peach Street.  It will feature a giant trampoline jumping area, a ninja obstacle course, zip lines, a multi-level laser tag arena, and an interactive game arcade. Look for vacation packages to Scott Enterprises hotels, Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park and the trampoline park.  The park will be the perfect venue for parties, outings and events, team building, reunions and birthday parties. www.visitscott.com

expERIEnce Children’s Museum – There’s lots of fun to come at the expERIEnce Children’s Museum in 2016! The 2nd floor will become home to a new exhibit – a kid-sized GE locomotive! The locomotive will give kids the chance to be in the driver seat of a replica GE locomotive.  Phase Two of Discovery Corner, our outdoor classroom, will be complete in April, making us 1 of 10 of these classrooms in Pennsylvania!  2016 will also feature a variety of hands-on programming including tiny tot, preschool classes and summer camps! www.eriechildrensmuseum.org

Hooch & Blotto’s Bowling – You can now bowl at the Hooch! Hooch & Blotto’s Sports Bar & Grill has added bowling to the menu! The new 8 lane bowling lounge features over 20 interactive games as well as different ways to customize the customer experience. Get your friends and family together for a great night of bowling and craft beer! Mini bowling is also great for kids with its shorter lanes and smaller, easier to grip bowling balls. No shoe rentals required! www.hoochandblottos.com

Downtown Perry Square Renovation – $4 million renovation features a new two-sided pavilion/stage along State Street that can be used for concerts, parade viewing and other events. The 1929 Edison Electric Fountain will be refurbished with new LED lighting and a restored base. Other changes include planting of new trees, removal of the gazebo from West Perry Square, relocation of park monuments, new lighting and electrical work, new pillars and streetscape work. Spring 2016

Lake Erie Ale TrailA new destination in Erie has now grown to NINE local breweries!  Erie Ale Works, Lavery Brewing Company, Erie Brewing Company, The Brewerie at Union Station, Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing, Sprague Farm & Brew Works, Arundel Cellars & Brewing Company, Timbercreek Tap & Table, Voodoo Brewing Company.  www.LakeErieAleTrail.com  814-454-1000 for a free brochure.

Millcreek Brewing Company – Erie’s newest brewery and brew pub opened its doors fall 2016.  Offering 30 beers on tap including house beers and craft beers from around the world, plus all of Millcreek Brewing Company’s hand crafted beers are brewed on a 7 bbl brew system using only the finest and freshest ingredients. Not in the mood for beer? Don’t worry, MBC has fine wines and spirits too! Enjoy it all their lounge or European style beer hall. www.millcreekbrew.com

Presque Isle Wine Cellars Opens New LocationVisit one of Erie’s long-standing wineries at their 2nd location.  Stop by The Shops at the Colony Plaza (West 8th Street near Peninsula Drive) and sample some award-winning wines including Reflections of Lake Erie, Creekside Concord and Eskimo Kisses Dessert wine. www.piwine.com

Presque Isle Touring CompanySegways, surreys, canoes, kayaks and now Baja Cruise Fat Tire Bikes! Cruise the beaches of Presque Isle State Park in style with these new bikes, featuring tires over 4” wide.  Perfect for riding on the sandy beaches! www.presqueisletouringcompany.com

FIVE & 20 SPIRITS & BREWING – With the addition of a brewery in 2015, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars and Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing of Westfield became New York state’s first combination winery, distillery, and brewery. The Five & 20 line includes a Stout, Rye Pale Ale, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and Cream Ale. Beers are available by bottle at the brewery and through distribution in the Erie and western NY regions. Stay tuned in 2016…special releases of barrel aged beers and more! www.enjoymazza.com

The Thomas B. Hagen History Center The center includes the Watson-Curtze Mansion and the existing carriage house, both of which were renovated, as well as 10,000-square-foot King-Mertens Archive Building. The carriage house, connected to the archives, houses an Erie gift shop and reading room.  www.eriehistory.com

Presque Isle Lighthouse Tours The Lighthouse is open for tours 10 am to 4 pm every Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day- Labor Day.  Also open Memorial Day, July 4th weekend and Labor Day. Tickets may be purchased at the Lighthouse for $5 each. Tours are conducted every 20 minutes.  Each tour can accommodate 10 people.  Tours are first-come first-served. www.presqueislelighthouse.org

Courtyard by Marriott Bayfront Hotel Located to the west of the Bayfront Convention Center at 2 Sassafras Pier, the new 5-story hotel will feature 192 rooms with 14 suites, 56 king-bed rooms and 122 double suite rooms, some featuring a balcony with a breathtaking view of Presque Isle Bay.  Also: two bars, two meeting rooms, an outdoor terrace for intimate or large events, a fitness center, indoor pool plus an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Presque Isle Bay. As part of the Bayfront project, a 283 space parking garage with retail space and an outdoor enclosed terrace. Spring 2016.

Erie is Going International! The Erie Sports Commission will welcome two world championship events to the Flagship City in 2016. The VNEA World Junior Pool Championship will host more than 500 youth 8-ball players at the Bayfront Convention Center June 16-19, and some of the world’s best powerlifters will follow on October 7-9 to compete in the 100% RAW World Powerlifting Championships, also at the Bayfront Convention Center. www.eriesportscommission.com

 

Additional:

  • Erie Philharmonic 2016-17 season will include a full-length feature film with live orchestra
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott- 1st location in Erie to feature 2 Tesla Electric Car Chargers
  • Cobblestone Inn & Suites 2 new locations! Fall 2016 Erie’s Bayfront and near Penn State Behrend
  • IHOP opens Spring 2016 (Upper Peach Street Shopping District)
  • Lakeview on the Lake – Luxury Lakefront Cedar Log Home set to open 2016 (weekly rentals only)
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott complete renovation in 2016 to a new “Turning Points Décor”.