Who's Got Cabin Fever? 7 Ideas for a Staycation in Pittsburgh

You don't have to travel far to enjoy a great getaway with your family

By Emily Papa, Macaroni KID Publisher March 29, 2022

Feel the need to get away but want to stay close to home? We get it! Gas is outrageous, it's cold, then warm, then cold again. So we've rounded up five great staycation ideas for families living in Pittsburgh. Whether you want to get away overnight or just for a day trip close to the Pittsburgh area, here are five ways to enjoy a family staycation within a short drive of Robinson, PA.

1. Find Your Tropical Paradise

Are you ready to experience a Tropical Paradise right here in Pittsburgh? The National Aviary takes a seasonal approach to their activities and educational components, with a different theme every four months or so. Right now the theme is Tropical Paradise; and trust and believe that the warm, lush habitats at the Aviary will make you feel like you're on a tropical vacation without ever leaving Pittsburgh and help you find that staycation serotonin boost you've been seeking. Where else in Pittsburgh can you go for an immersive African Adventure Show (presented by AAA) where you can not only see amazing birds but actually experience the thrill of them flying right by you? We couldn't stop laughing as the birds whizzed overhead, leaving our hair blowing in their trails. Watching the birds walk right next to you and listening to the Circle of Life as your background ensemble will have you questioning whether you are still in Pittsburgh or on a real African adventure. Consider yourself a really lucky duck if you get picked to feed the birds a meatball from a stick! Check out some photos from our recent visit to the National Aviary along with 6 Things You Need to Know Before You Go!

Nothing screams tropical paradise like walking into the warm Wetlands habitat and being photo-bombed by a flock of pink flamingos!

2. Explore your creativity. 

Grab some craft supplies at the local dollar store and create some of the spring crafts we have featured in our Easter Guide. Check out some DIY classes at Kolor-N-Kiln (Robinson), Nailed It DIY Studio (Carnegie) or AR Robinson to stretch your imagination. Don't forget to mention your MacKID discount with AR Robinson!

3. Day trip to Erie

Do you know I've lived in the South Hills my entire life and I think I was in my 30s before I realized we had a BEACH in PA that was worth driving to? While you're not going to be swimming in the lake in March, you can still head to Presque Isle State Park to enjoy a nice stroll along the sand and watch the waves crash. If you're feeling ambitious and insisting on taking a dip, Splash Lagoon is open and offering some sweet deals right now! In addition to their pools and slides, they have a ropes course for those in your family that prefer dry land. Book a room right at Splash Lagoon or spend the night at the Sheraton (I always sleep so well there). Should you make a weekend out of it, be sure to check Macaroni Kid Erie for the inside scoop on more family fun!  Macaroni Mama tip - most times, if you stay overnight at one of the hotels connected to Splash Lagoon, you can get into the water park an hour before the public. Make sure to ask the front desk or when you make your reservation, so you can enjoy an extra hour of family fun! 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Emily Papa (@recoveringmama)

4. Romantic Weekend for Two

If you're willing to take a two-hour drive east and can get a sitter for the weekend, I have to suggest a romantic getaway to Omni Bedford Springs. Last year, my husband and I enjoyed the most relaxing 3 day stay there where we experienced the Bedford Bath's and Spa, swam in the luxurious indoor pool and devoured delicious meals. As parents, we need to treat ourselves to some self-care, and it was nice to slow down, disconnect and spend time with my husband. When I make that time for me, allowing myself to recharge and get centered, I'm always a better version of myself for my kiddos and my whole family. While it was too snowy when we were there to golf, the Old Course will be open this spring if you'd like to get in a few rounds. Only a short drive from Pittsburgh, Bedford Springs is sure to provide a top-notch getaway that will help you forget any stressors behind you in the 'Burgh. 

5. Head to Ohiopyle

Not wanting to be around people but need a change of scenery from your neighborhood? Ohiopyle is a great option for a day trip and overnight stays. It's not Niagra, but Ohiopyle Falls sure feels like a close second and is beautiful anytime of the year. Have an adventure hiking any of the many trails and grab dinner at The Historic Stone House. Want to make a few days out of it?  Ohiopyle Vacation Rentals has some unique rentals available that will help you get that breath of fresh air you are looking for. It's not every day you can stay in a Treehouse with a hot tub!

6. TeePee Travel

Pitch A Fête is just the cutest company that is sure to bring a smile to your face. This TeePee Rental and Party supply company was inspired by a mother who wanted to bring more magic to her daughters' life. What started as travels to Paris and beyond from a TeePee in their own living room, quickly turned into Pitch A Fête; a boutique party supply rental company. Pitch A Fête has come at a perfect time during the pandemic as we are itching for a change of scenery or transforming our homes, even if it's just for a night! Head to Pitch A Fête's website to browse their teepee themes then pick a date where they will be shipped right to your doorstep. Choose your destination right from your own living room and enjoy your fantasy trip without even leaving your house! Psstt..... Macaroni Kid Subscribers get 10% off all items!!!

7. Hotel Pool Party!

Another trend we saw a lot of during COVID was the hotel pool party. With plenty of options in Pittsburgh, kids and adults alike are loving the single overnight stay for family game night and time blocks for swimming (to allow for social distancing). Some local mama approved stays with pools consist of The Hilton Garden Inn at South PointeThe Drury at Settlers Ridge and Embassy Suites in Pittsburgh.

Please note: There may still be travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic. Please check with local and state governments before traveling. Also, while we are doing our best to update closures and cancellations, please make sure to double-check with the attraction before heading out! Be sure to use #pghmackid or tag Macaroni Kid Robinson in any staycation photos for a chance to be featured on our social media!

Would you like a Macaroni KID Ambassador to review your establishment? Please send inquiries to