Pittsburgh holds a very special place in our hearts. It’s where my husband and I met and fell silly in love as college students. We were inseparable then. And we pretty much still are — when he’s not working 😜
We recently went on a trip to Pittsburgh this spring.
We share everything we did on this trip because every place we did and ate reflect a modest training budget while raising a family of five. Also, we chose places that were kid-friendly because of our little crew in tow.
Now your family can go to Pittsburgh on a modest budget, too.
Where We Stayed
Hampton Inn in Cranberry. We used Hotwire to blind book a hotel. It’s no guarantee you would get ANY particular hotel when you book through Hotwire. But it does save you a ton.
We paid $68 including fees and taxes for each night at a 3.5 star Hampton Inn in Cranberry. It would have costed twice as much had we booked directly.
Kids absolutely loved the swimming pool and hot tub. Us parents loved the continental breakfast so we could feed hungry kids easily. It took us 30 minutes to drive into the city but at that price (and not having the pressure to be anywhere at a certain time), it didn’t bother us.
We have been very happy each time we booked with Hotwire and recommend it.
What We Did
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This was free for us because we’re members of another museum where we live that has a reciprocity program with this one. There’s three floors of a ton of activities. The kids absolutely loved this place and we stayed the entire day.
Carnegie Science Museum. Again, free because of the reciprocity program. The kids loved the sport complex next door where they got to rock climb and zipline.
The National Aviary. Again, this was free for us because we’re members of Holden Arboretum where we live with a reciprocity program. Otherwise, tickets are pricey at $18 per adult and $17 per kid 2 and older (most places charge at age 3). This place was unique and unlike even the dozen zoos I’ve seen before. Seeing the penguins swim and get fed were the kids’ favorites.
Playground at Frick Park. There’s blue slides the kids went down with bardboard boxes. It was a nice break.
We have been to these on previous trips and recommend them for young families.
- Strip District for shopping and food
- Phipps Conservatory
- Pittsburgh Zoo
- The Incline
Where We Ate
Every Day Noodles. Our hands-down favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh is in Squirrel Hill called Every Day Noodles. They make their noodles traditional style as they throw and twist it in the air. You can watch them make it from a window. You HAVE to try their soup dumplings, which have bone broth inside of them. You won’t eat a dumpling the same way again.
Hokkaido. We also went to Hokkaido, a seafood buffet with sashimi and sushi. At a price of $20 per adult, it was good value. The best item was the garlic lobster.
Szechuan Express. We discovered a hole in the wall restaurant called Szechuan. It’s authentic (at least to this Asian girl) with over 120 menu items. The most expensive item on their menu was $10. I got my eggplant and my husband got his twice-cooked beef. Keep in mind it’s tiny and definitely a place to carryout back to the hotel.
Various dessert runs. I have a sweet tooth and dessert makes me entirely happy. So we had a few dessert runs at bubble tea at Fuku Tea, crepes at T-Swirl, coffee drinks at Crazy Mocha Co, and Korean pastries at Pink Box.
We have been to and recommend these for young families on a modest budget.
- Dave & Andy’s Ice Cream
- Uncle Sam’s Subs
- The “O”
Interesting Things About Pittsburgh
Yes, in Pittsburgh, they serve fries already inside the sandwiches 😍 Legend has it that the steelworkers had to eat quickly and without utensils during their break and this was the best “method of delivery.”