As the weather improves and more things open, there’s a greater opportunity to get out and have fun with the kids. Celebrate the freedom to move by making plans for a road trip. While the journey is the real story with any road trip, it’s best to choose a target destination as a goal. Whether it’s getting back to nature, riding the roller coaster at an amusement park, or seeing weird roadside attractions, talk it over with your family, make your plans, then pack them up for a road trip. To help, here’s a short selection of the best family road trips near Pittsburgh less than an hour or two away from the city.
Idlewild and Soak Zone
Just an hour away in Ligonier, PA, Idlewild and Soak Zone provides plenty of fun activities, entertaining events, and exciting rides with several parks in one in the Laurel Highlands. One of the oldest amusement parks in Pennsylvania, Idlewild and Soak Zone has classic rides like its Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel Rollo Coaster as well as more contemporary inner-tube and body slides. Younger kids will love the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood attraction featuring beloved characters from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.
A trip underground might be the ticket for kids with an adventurous explorer’s streak. Laurel Caverns is one of the largest cave networks in Pennsylvania. The upper section is lit for easy exploration, but a three-hour unlighted tour of the lower branch is available. Visitors explore and climb to the bottom of the cave system, seeing some of the larger caverns and passages and up to three miles of caves. Expect a good climbing, crawling, and walking workout for that one!
Just two hours away, Cleveland offers a huge selection of attractions for kids and grown-ups. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest offers 183 acres of flora and fauna, with 600 different species from around the world. Elsewhere, the Children’s Museum of Cleveland presents hundreds of interactive exhibits in sections like Adventure City, the Wonder Lab, and Arts and Parts. View the underwater grace and beauty at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, or stop by and walk among the lovely sights at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. And that’s just for starters. As one of the best family road trips near Pittsburgh, there’s so much to do in Cleveland that you might want to make a weekend of it!
Seven Springs Mountain Resort
Any time of year, drive less than an hour out to Seven Springs Mountain Resort. After you’ve gasped at the natural beauty of the area, get ready for a heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping time. You can ski and snowboard during the winter, of course, but there’s plenty of other activities you and the kids will enjoy, like ziplining, downhill biking, hiking, fishing, golf and miniature golf, and more. Special events happen all year round, celebrating with food, fireworks, and races.