Back in 1957, Otto Behrend established one of Erie’s most treasured spaces by bequeathing to the Millcreek Township School District his beloved 100-acre farm. The School District turned his cottage into the Asbury Woods Nature Center and used the land to educate students about the natural world. Thanks to him, and the foresight of the school district,
Asbury Woods has become a vital and vibrant part of the Erie community. It is a recreational gem that also enjoys a reputation as one of the premier environmental education centers in the tri-state region.
Every winter, we have the pleasure of sharing two holiday traditions with the community that have become iconic events in Erie. In early December, Asbury Woods staff and volunteers prepare for our annual Schoolhouse Craft Festival held at the McDowell ntermediate High School. This juried show includes 125 premier crafters showcasing all hand crafted merchandise.These local and regional artisans sell beautifully handmade items including hand sewn and knitted clothing, scented candles, decorating accessories, photography, collectibles, delicious candies, confections, kettle corn, honey and maple products, beautiful jewelry, wooden and metal crafts, dolls, toys and more. While shopping for these special keepsakes, the young and young
at heart can visit with Santa Claus and listen to the McDowell Choral and Band students perform a variety of holiday favorites to round out the festivities. Later in December, Asbury Woods will be converted into a Winter Wonderland where visitors will enjoy a woodland scene, illuminated with thousands of LED lights and synchronized holiday music. Volunteers are already hard at work hanging lights, making intricate paper snowflakes and decking the halls in ways that transform the Woods and Nature Center just for this special time of year. In addition, visitors will be able to enjoy an elaborate model train display, as four working engines travel through a miniature winter landscape. The Wonderland Express is a 120 square foot layout that includes a mix of model trains and miniature winter scenes. We hope you can join us for this family tradition of holiday lights, music, children’s crafts and visit the Winter Wonderland Café to buy and enjoy hot chocolate, s’mores, spiced cider, popcorn and more!
Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts at the Schoolhouse Craft Festival or snuggling up near the fire enjoying s’mores at Winter Wonderland, we hope to see you at these special events that have become part of the fabric of our community.
From the Woods,
Asbury Woods Partnership, Inc.