Find Your Family Fun at Asbury Woods Nature Center in Erie, PA

Erie, PA is the perfect Fall Family Getaway Destination from Pittsburgh

By Emily Papa, Macaroni KID Pittsburgh West - Robinson Publisher October 24, 2023

Recently my family went on a fall weekend getaway from Pittsburgh to Erie, PA where we were graciously hosted by Visit Erie. During our stay in Erie, one of the free activities we did was visit Asbury Woods Nature Center. Asbury Woods Nature Center is a massive 216-acre nature lover's dream. On the outside, it's got wetlands, miles of trails, forests, fields, streams, and historic properties with activities including hiking, mountain biking, running, and cross county skiing.

Inside the Asbury Woods Nature Center, half of which was the original home of Otto Behrend, you can learn about the rich history of Asbury Woods, explore at your leisure and have a chance to meet some of your favorite animal friends. 

Sarah Bennet, Director of Education, introducing us to a 60-year-old box turtle at Asbury Woods Nature Center

Explaining to my kiddos how this particular snake came to have a bump on her "back"

My son got to “walk” a turtle in one of the classrooms!

The Asbury Woods Nature Center hosts educational groups and of course my son found the learning cabinet. He was eager to learn about the bones, skeletons, and shells that were inside.

My kids were engrossed in finding the queen bee while learning about colonization!

Outside, my daughter and I walked only some of the 216-acre region that offered a perfect blend of hiking, wildlife encounters, and educational experiences. 

The gift shop had some really cute, locally sourced merchandise!

For Erie residents, the Asbury Woods Nature Center offers all sorts of exciting stuff throughout the year. Think educational field trips, fun-filled birthday parties, and weekly programs like Preschool Nature Discovery and Nature Tots.  

When we were visiting, we got a sneak peek at the Nature Center's annual "Scary Creature Feature," where actors dress up in costumes (made locally by Erie Playhouse) of nocturnal creatures like a spider, opossum, salamander, skunk, and owl to line the trails surrounding Asbury Woods Nature Center to educate families as they walk a spooky path of festive fun. My kids would have loved something like this!

As a mom with nature loving kids planning a weekend trip to Erie, the best part about the Asbury Woods Nature Center is that it's open seven days a week AND it’s free to visit. If you're planning a visit to the nature center, I'd suggest giving yourself at least an hour to experience the inside, and even more time if you plan to explore the outside. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Emily Papa (@recoveringmama)

Planning a day or weekend trip to Erie, PA this fall? Check out 10 family-friendly things to do in Erie during the fall and don't forget to check out the MacKID Erie event calendar!

My family and I were graciously hosted for the weekend by Visit Erie, but all opinions expressed are my own.