Who doesn’t remember the magic of taking a nap in the car and waking up somewhere new?! A weekend of family fun is just a nap away with these conveniently located destinations. Whether you’re looking for summer/spring breaks or just a chance to get away and make some memories together, we have plenty of kid-pleasing ideas for Pittsburgh weekend family getaways.
The Ultimate Pittsburgh Weekend Family Getaways
What makes for ultimate Pittsburgh weekend family getaways? Since traveling with kids can be difficult, the less time spent on the road, the better. Each destination has plenty of fun to fill up a whole weekend (or more) so plan for a one or two-night stay!
The Sweetest Place On Earth is just a car ride away! Hershey PA is home of the world-famous chocolate bar and makes for a sweet family weekend trip. Hersheypark is a must! It’s an excellent theme park for kids of all ages. The park covers 110 acres and has over 70 rides and attractions, ZooAmerica, entertainment and dining. During the summer months visit Hershey’s 11-acre waterpark,The Boardwalk. While you’re there stop by Hershey’s Chocolate World (free admission, some attractions/experiences extra). If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay, try one of Hershey’s official resorts. Hershey Lodge has an indoor waterpark, tons of dining, shopping, activities and more. There’s plenty of fun to fill an entire weekend (and then some).
Drive time: 3 hrs
Explore Niagara Falls USA. Stop by the Aquarium of Niagara or Niagara Falls State Park. You can also find hands on fun at the historical Sprout 1825. Grab a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, a unique, interactive dining experience the kids are sure to love. If you have your passports handy you can also visit Niagara Falls Canada. Plan an unforgettable trip on Niagara Helicopter Rides or Niagara Cruises. You’ll also want to check out the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark.
Drive time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Cartoon Network Hotel
Book a room at the world’s very first Cartoon Network Hotel! You’ll find character-themed guest rooms and Dream Suites, it’s like having a sleepover…in a cartoon! Dine-in at the Cartoon Kitchen and dig-in to delicious dishes straight from your favorite shows (Bacon pancakes, anyone?!) It’s everything you love about Cartoon Network in one fun family resort! Amenities include an indoor pool, outdoor pool, kids play area, arcade room, movie area and more. It’s also located minutes away from the kids amusement park, Dutch Wonderland! This hotel is the newest addition in the list of Pittsburgh weekend family getaways as construction was just finished late in 2019.
Drive time: 3 hrs 30 mins
If you’re looking to have all the family fun without breaking the bank Columbus is it! You’ll definitely want to check out COSI Columbus – a dynamic hands-on science center with more than 300 interactive exhibits (if you have a Carnegie Museum Membership you’ll get free admission). Another must see attraction is the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. In 2009, it was named by the USA Travel Guide as the number one zoo in the United States. During summer months you can also enjoy Zoombezi Bay. The 22.7 acre water park is owned by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and is located right next to the zoo. If you have any down time stop by Easton Town Center. It’s home to the American Girl Doll Store, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Columbus and plenty of shopping and dining options.
Drive time: 3 hrs 20 mins
You don’t have to travel far to beat the winter weather for spring break – it’s always 84 and sunny at Kalahari Resort Waterparks. Voted one of the nation’s Top Family Resorts by Family Fun magazine for 2013, Kalahari Resorts feature well-appointed guest rooms, full-service Spa Kalahari, a fully equipped fitness center, on-site restaurants, unique retail shops, and a state-of-the-art conference center. Pittsburghers have their choice of two convenient locations: Sandusky, Ohio and Poconos, Pennsylvania.
Drive time: 2 hrs 40 mins (Sandusky) | 4 hrs 45 mins (Poconos)
Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge resorts offer indoor water park fun and dry-land experiences for the entire family. There’s something for everyone such as kid-friendly activities, a lazy river, dining options, interactive games, and more all under one roof. This has been one of our personal favorite Pittsburgh weekend family getaways! Locations: Sandusky, Ohio | Poconos, Pennsylvania | Niagara Fall, Ontario
Drive time: 2 hrs 40 mins (Sandusky) | 4 hrs 45 mins (Poconos) | 3 hrs 40 mins (Niagara Falls, ON)
Sesame Place is the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®. Inside the park you’ll find a variety of attractions, shows, games, dining and meet & greets. During summer months enjoy water rides and attractions. A variety of hotel packages and deals are available on their website. If you’re looking for nearby fun, Sesame Place is located just 30 minutes north of Philadelphia, 90 minutes south of New York City and just an hour west of New Jersey shore!
Drive time: 4 hrs 45 mins
No matter the season, Erie PA has tons of fun to offer the whole family. Visit their 80,000 square feet indoor waterpark, Splash Lagoon. Explore the hands-on ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum. Enjoy various seasonal activities and events at Peek’n Peak Ski Resort. During summer/spring months visitors can enjoy Erie Zoo, Waldameer Park and Water World and Presque Isle State Park and Beach.
Drive time: 2 hrs
Cleveland is home to world famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, the museum documents the history of rock music and the artists. You can also find the Great Lakes Science Center located nearby. Enjoy a walk around the piers and the view of the lake. Cruises around Lake Erie are also offered during peak season. If you’re an animal lover you’ll want to check out Cleveland Metropark Zoo.
Drive time: 2 hrs
Camping at Yogi Bear Kozy Rest
Camping at Yogi Bear Jellystone at Kozy Rest is for absolutely everyone. They make it easy to enjoy our time together as a family. Booking one of their FullService Luxury Cabins for the weekend for unforgettable family memories casted over a campfire. Sluice for gemstones, ride a 4-person pedal bike, play bocce ball, frisbee, go on a hike, play on the playground or enjoy the planned activities throughout the themed weekend. A Kozy Rest family vacation includes the four-legged family members, too (please check campsite/cabin rules regarding pets). They even have a dog park!
Drive Time: 1 hr