Planning a Staycation in Pittsburgh, PA

May 13, 2014

in Free Entertainment, Travel Deals


Gas prices are on the rise again this year.  Instead of traveling far, many families are looking for frugal fun closer to home instead of spending all their money on gas.

If that is you, don’t worry.  I have teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers to share fun STAYCATION ideas for our respective neck of the woods.

Just because you aren’t traveling miles and miles doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun as a family, and after all isn’t that a point of a family vacation.

So if you are planning a Staycation in the Pittsburgh area here are some great frugal ideas for you.  While downtown Pittsburgh offers a lot of entertainment, there are also quite a few exciting destinations in the surrounding suburbs.

Historical Attractions

Staymates Log House and Barn — Enjoy a trip back in time by visiting Staymates Log House and Barn built in the late 1700s.  located in Murrysville, PA.  Get Directions to Staymates here.


Hartwood Acres Mansion Tours — You can tour this lavish Tudor mansion that is part of the Allegheny County Parks system.  They also offer outdoor summer concerts. ($6-$8 for Adults, $2 to $3 for Youth) 

Civil War Room at Andrew Carnegie Free Library  – Learn Civil War History without spending the miles to drive to Gettysburg.  The Civil War Room houses uniforms, Weapons, musical instruments, photos, documents and other items used in the civil war.   (FREE)

Depreciation Lands Museum  – A living history museum location in Allison Park, PA — just north of Pittsburgh.    On May 18, 2014 they will be holding Friendship Day at the museum and it will be open to the public free of charge.  Check out all the events for the museum here.


Heinz History CentersLocated downtown Pittsburgh, the history center is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania.  (Adults $15, Children $6)

Mongongahela Incline is very frugal adventure and at the top of Mt Washington you will get a great view of the beautiful city.  It is the oldest and steepest incline in the US.   You can see all the bridges and downtown building plus  the meeting of the three rivers in Pittsburgh. ($2.50 one way for adults, $1.25 one way for children)


The Outdoor Classroom — Located in Boyce Mayview Park offering 475 acres of hiking trails, Chartiers Creek and Wetlands, the Outdoor Classroom will enhance your understanding of plants and wildlife.

Raccoon Creek State ParkOver 7500 acres of park land including Raccoon Lake for swimming, boating and fishing.


McKeesport Renzie Park Rose GardenChosen as one of the top 10 rose gardens in the US, the three acre area features over 2000 roses, a butterfly garden, an herb garden and a water garden.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium  - Home to 475 species on 77 acres.  (Adult $15, Children $13)


Kennywood Amusement Park — Save on the tickets by picking them up at Giant Eagle.  They have other discounts available too.  It’s still not cheap, but definitely part of Pittsburgh history.

Idlewild and Soak ZoneA family friendly amusement and water park.  Giant Eagle offers BOGO tickets for visits Tuesday to Friday in June.

Spelunking or Guided Tours in Laurel Caverns 50 miles south of Pittsburgh

Geocaching in Pittsburgh (Free) — even allowed in national Parks here in Pennsylvania.

Cinema in the ParkWatch a movie with the family for free while enjoying the great parks of the city. 

Parks included are Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Brookline Memorial Park, Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park, Grandview Park in Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Riverview Park, or West End/Elliott Overlook.

Free Walking Tours — Get out and enjoy the fresh air and learn about the great architecture, history and famous Landmarks of Pittsburgh with Free MP3 tours found HERE or HERE.  While the tours are free, reservations are required.

Planning an Staycation in Pittsburgh, be sure to check out the Daily Deal sites like Amazon Local, Groupon and Living Social.

This is just a sampling of the great activities you can take advantage of in the Pittsburgh area.  If you have a frugal activity you love, let me know and I’ll add it to the list

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joey (@BTaC_blog) June 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm

We had a great time at the Frick Art Museum. There is a paid portion of the tour, but you can do a lot for free. Also, the Carnegie Museums (all 4), the Children’s Museum and Phipps Conservatory offer lots to do for families with kids of all ages. Point State Park is a great place to take a walk and enjoy the three rivers.


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