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“Fun, educational” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Tom Ridge Environmental Center
Ranked #5 of 58 things to do in Erie
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
108 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Fun, educational”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2011

Near the entrance to Presque Isle State Park. We were rained out for the morning so visited the Tom Ridge Center. Good with kids, displays, educational activities, movies, and presentations dealing with the ecology, wildlife, and flora and fauna of area.

Give yourself and hour or so, check out the observation tower. Multiple floors, but accessible.

Visited June 2011
Thank kmc11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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308 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Reading, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Pleasant Surprise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

My family hadn't heard of the Tom Ridge Center until we visited Erie to drop off one of
our kids to Penn State Erie. Nice surprise. Beautiful free environmental center with interesting exhibits. There is a fee for the IMAX shows. We saw BEAVERS: BIGGEST DAM MOVIE YOU EVER SAW. Very entertaining and educational. Beautiful gift shop. Very unique gifts. Highly recommend this attraction.Right next to Presque Isle State Park which is another gem, also free. We were very impressed with the Erie area. Nice place to vacation.

Visited August 2011
Thank fluffnstuff2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mercer, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great for small kids”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2011

We just went here for the first time this weekend. It was extremely clean and many areas that my daughters loved. They had fossils of different animals which my 6 year old thought was very interesting. They also had a small theater that was free to watch about Lake Erie changing over the years. It was very educational. We also had a good time climbing up the tower to look out at Lake Erie.

Visited April 2011
Thank MoonstoneHoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good For Young Kids”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2009

Overall, this is a place for young kids. Older children and adults may be bored.

Also, I'm not sure why there's such a huge parking lot for such a small facility.

And, leave it to government to make this mistake: The tower they built was not built high enough to clear the tree tops and see Lake Erie. So you just get to see the tree tops....pretty funny!

3 Thank pm914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valencia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Trec Trek!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2009

We visited the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in August and September 2008. I had been several times previously, including the grand opening week for my birthday with my Son. From the parking lot (free) to the lobby and center itself (also free!), this place is wonderful! It is immaculately clean. It is environmentally friendly in various ways, including low water flush toilets. It has all kinds of interactive exhibits and tv screens running wildlife films. Then there is the short film in this beautiful little theater. The film is SO relaxing and informative at the same time. It is a great place to cool off from the Presque Isle heat and rest your feet after walking all around the center. The only attraction that costs is the BIG GREEN SCREEN's film. About $7.50 for adults for an hour long movie. We saw "Amazing Caves" and it was amazing. I also saw "The Living Sea' several times and it was superb. The center also has a nice cafe with reasonable prices, and a great gift shop. It carries postcards, magnets, nature themed toys, jewelry, t~shirts and sweatshirts, nautical and nature decor, books, CDs and DVDs, candy, stuffed animals, lighthouse items and artwork. Even natural lotions and creams and great gift items! A perfect place to spend the day. Even in the middle of winter, and then be sure to drive around the Peninsula to see the frozen Lake Erie and ice "waves". Then head indoors for a hot chocolate or Irish coffee to warm up. This is one of my favorite places! Oh, and don't forget to take the elevator up to the tower to get a spectacular 360 degree view of Presque Isle, Waldameer Park, Lake Erie and on a very clear day all the way to Canada. Then take the steps down for some exercise!

2 Thank karpanpghpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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