Keeping the kids entertained on spring break doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, especially when you can plan fun staycation style. While you’ll never need an excuse to visit the city, it’s always fun to go with a particular theme in mind. From families that are active to ones that love educational spots, here’s three fun options for Pittsburgh, PA, staycations.
3 Awesome Pittsburgh Staycation Ideas
I love reading and following along with family Spring Break travel tales but, personally, I’d rather stay home with my family and hit our favorite local spots. Not only do we save a ton of money by not traveling during the peak season, we save the headache of high crowds as well. For my family, local means heading to Pittsburgh and, with plenty to see and do with the kids, here are three Pittsburgh staycation ideas to keep the kids active and entertained.
Pittsburgh Staycation: Active
If your family is the adventurous type, then it’s an active staycation you’re looking for. Happily, Pittsburgh has miles plenty of ways to keep the kids active and entertained! Two fun options are the 37-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail System and Rachel Carson Trail.
No bikes? No problem. Golden Triangle Bikes offers rentals and maps for exploring the city. Did you know Pittsburgh is connected to Washington, DC, with a 335-mile long trail, the Great Allegheny Passage? Ambitious families can do day trips or longer adventures that include quaint pit stops.
If it’s a closer look at the three rivers that you want to check out, there are plenty of options. If you really want a unique experience, Three Rivers Rowing Association offers Dragon Boating! Want a more leisurely way to learn about the water? Venture Outdoors has the fun option of lunchtime fishing at Point state Park and North Shore Riverfront Park. Kayak Pittsburgh offers both affordable solo and tandem kayak rentals as well.
Pittsburgh Staycation: Culture
For families who want to take in local Pittsburgh sights and iconic spots, a culture staycation is ideal. Ride an incline to Mt. Washington and check out the view of the Golden Triangle through pay binoculars. Then ride it back down to see the Bessemer Converter in Station Square at Bessemer Court. The 10-ton piece of Pittsburgh history was used in a molten blast furnace and burned carbon and other impurities out of iron, making steel.
Point State Park is fun for learning about Pittsburgh’s pivotal role in the French and Indian War. The Strip District is always a good choice for foodies to learn about the cultures that came to the area to make a new life – and fill our stomachs with delicious food including the famous Primanti Bros. sandwich and snacks from Wholey’s Market.
After a full belly, check out Heinz History Center, where it’s a love of what makes Pittsburgh so appealing in a fun museum with awesome, kid-friendly displays.
The North Shore is perfect for taking in a ball game (the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers both have stadiums here!). What better way to really learn about Pittsburgh sports teams than with the roar of a crowd?
Then there’s my favorite hometown hero, Mr. Fred Rogers. His tribute sits on the North Shore and is a perfect way to show kids that kindness will always prevail in The ‘Burgh.
If the kids love to watch live shows, head to the Cultural District. Plenty of family-friendly (and affordable) shows are always running here.
Pittsburgh Staycation: Educational
I know, last thing kids want to do is learn while they’re on a school break, right? But if they’re having fun they’ll never know. Happily, Pittsburgh is famous for its family-friendly museums and educational hot spots. Even now, when I ask my teen daughter where she wants to visit in the city, museums are her go-to destinations.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is open year-round. Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland are connected, so an admission to one gets you free admission to the other. If you’re trying to save some cash, pack a lunch and head to the lunchroom.
Only a couple streets away is Phipps Conservatory, filled with thousands of gorgeous plants and separately-themed rooms. Next, it’s over to the North Shore to Carnegie Science Center for four floors of learning. All with a science aspect, kids love the salute to Pittsburgh robotics (the city is one of the leading spots for it!). The Miniature Railroad & Village is also a classic.
Only a few blocks away is Children’s Museum Pittsburgh. Catering to younger children (although my teen still loves to visit), it offers a giant art room, water play area, and the Foucault Pendulum – a remnant of the original Buhl Planetarium.