Best things to do in Erie when its cold

Maiya Florence-Harding, Staff Writer

Last year was my first year in Erie, so I made sure to explore everything I could. Here are some of my favorite places to go when the weather gets cold with hopes that you add them to your bucket lists. My absolute favorite memory was a day it was lightly snowing, and I went with my church to Romolo’s. Located across from Frontier Park, Romolo’s is a local chocolate shop that also sells ice cream, pastries and my favorite colder-weather drink, hot chocolate. I got the white chocolate flavor to try something new and I highly recommend giving it a try. I also made sure to buy some sponge candy to send back to my mom. Some people will tell you sponge candy originates in Buffalo, some say Erie, but regardless, it is a local tradition you must give a try if you are not from either place.

For those who like to be scared, Eriebyss on 12th Street is a great place to go at this time of year. It is a haunted house in a 120-year-old abandoned factory. If you didn’t get a chance to go by Oct. 31, add it to your list next year. They will not grab you, but they get close (I cannot emphasize this enough) and if you show your fear, they might even chase you out of the factory screaming.

Shopping is always a must at this time of year whether you are bringing home a gift for your Thanksgiving host or starting on Christmas presents. There are two malls in Erie. One is The Shops at the Colony on 8th Street. Most of the stores are Mom and Pops and the culture feels very “homey”. It is a strip mall, so be sure to go before it snows. Many people will recommend the meat from Bello’s. Looking to impress your family at Thanksgiving? They have free recipes weekly and have the best meat in the area to cook with. The Original Popcorn House is a place still on my bucket list to go, but they apparently have numerous fun flavors that would make a great gift for the movie popcorn lover. The other mall in Erie is of course Millcreek Mall. Given that it is indoors, it is a safe, warm place to enjoy in the heart of winter. Last year I took The e a few times to get there, so if you cannot drive or have a fear doing so in the snow, the bus is a great alternative. Plus, Mercyhurst students get free passes. If you do not have one, you can go to Police and Safety to get a sticker pass for the back of your ID card.

I cannot end this article without mentioning more food. One of my favorites is Mighty Fine. It is a donut shop on Parade Street. My freshman year it used to be open 24 hours and we would get cheap, delicious donuts at all hours of the night. They sell Fall themed donuts that are Instagram-worthy. Additionally, the Tipsy Bean on Peach Street is something you should try as it starts to get cold. The rustic vibe feels like fall and the delicious coffee will warm you from the inside out.

For those that like the theater, Warner Theater and Erie Playhouse have shows in their beautiful, historic locations. They will both also be putting on Christmas productions. I don’t know about you, but it does not feel like winter without dressing up to see a show. I always leave feeling energized and nostalgic walking out of the theater as the bitter cold hits. Or for the movie lover, there is also Tinseltown, which always has holiday movies playing as the season approaches. If you are looking for cheaper seats, I recommend matinee showings. That way it is also not too cold as you are leaving. Tickets are also discounted on Tuesdays. Be sure to check out some of theses fun places to go in Erie this time of year. Especially if it is your first winter here!