This guest post is written by Miranda Bauer, a Pittsburgh mother and founder of the PittsburghPass, Pittsburgh’s first discounted Summer Pass to five of our favorite local attractions.

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Miranda and her husband, Josh
Miranda and her husband, Josh

About five summers ago, my husband and I decided to take a week’s vacation from our jobs.  Instead of driving for eight hours and spending over $1,500 for our usual beach vacation, we decided to stay “home.”  The decision to stay local created, by far, one of the most enjoyable weeks I have ever spent on “vacation” (a very close second to my honeymoon, spent in Montego Bay, Jamaica).

My husband and I both grew up in Pittsburgh.  However, like many other locals, we often failed to stop and smell the roses regarding the wonderful things that our city had to offer.  We really wanted to spend the week as “tourists” and do all of the things that we thought someone who had never been to Pittsburgh might do.

We visited Kennywood one night (very romantic), went on the Just Ducky Tour another afternoon, strolled through the Zoo the next day, enjoyed a delicious dinner at Silky’s Crow’s Nest (they have fabulous outdoor seating overlooking the Allegheny River Marina), and journeyed to Vanilla Pastry to handpick gourmet cupcakes. The entire experience was AMAZING!

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Think about it: when most of us East Coasters go on a week-long summer vacation we leave on a Friday or a Saturday and spend a good 1-2 days recovering from the 6-10 hour drive. Then, we return to town the following Saturday (often in the wee hours of Sunday morning), spend the next day readjusting to life, unpacking, doing mounds of laundry, and preparing to get right back to work on Monday. Ever hear the phrase, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

That year, Josh and I cut these stressful parts of vacation out of the equation.  We made a decision to relax that week, move at a slow pace, put household chores to the wayside, and treat ourselves just like we were on vacation…only we were in the comforts of our own home.  Ironically, we returned to work the following Monday rested, refreshed and happy (our bosses appreciated our staycation theme that year, too).

Miranda and her family at the Pittsburgh Zoo
Miranda and her family at the Pittsburgh Zoo

Fast forward three years and along came motherhood.  At that point, an even newer “Pittsburgh world” opened up to me.  All of the sudden, I was a stay-at-home mom who was often visiting places like  The Children’s Museum,  soaking up the sun at Sandcastle‘s Tad Pool, and exploring lots of neat things at the Carnegie Science Center. That’s when it dawned on me!  Pittsburghers needed a discount ticket package that included a variety of the city’s most classic attractions at one low price!  So, I created PittsburghPass.

At Sandcastle
At Sandcastle

My goal in creating the PittsburghPass is to provide fellow mommies and their loved ones with the opportunity to create lasting memories during a fun and affordable staycation.  If you have not yet planned a summer vacation this season, or simply cannot afford one, I challenge you to take 3-5 days this summer and dedicate it to fun, adventure, and relaxation right here in the ‘Burgh.  Whether you decide to make PittsburghPass a part of this adventure, or not, I can tell you from experience that your staycation will be a surprisingly wonderful and memorable time.

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The PittsburghPass gives families the opportunity to buy one-time admission to five favorite local destinations (Sandcastle, Kennywood, the Carnegie Science Center, The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium) at a discounted price ($83.99/person). Purchase available online only until June 7th.  Good until September 2, 2014 (some venues even longer).

Interested in submitting a guest post to the Pittsburgh Mommy Blog? I welcome guest posts by local parents who have unique perspectives on parenting in the city. Please email me at pittsburghmommyblog@gmail.com if you are interested!

 

© Copyright 2014 Nadine Champsi, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog
Nadine Champsi

Nadine Champsi

I am a doctor turned write-at-home-mom who runs the Pittsburgh Mommy Blog and is editor of Kidsburgh. I have two wonderful young children and am happily married. My interests include cooking, green-living, gardening, being in the outdoors, listening to great music, checking out the city's cool art, coming up with creative things to do with my kids, and having as many adventures as I can!
Nadine Champsi

1 Comment on Guest Post: “The Pittsburgh Staycation is Born” by Miranda Bauer

  1. I grew up in Pittsburgh and I’ve made it a destination twice with my adult daughter. Once for a few days and once for a week. When it comes to attraction, the Pittsburgh area rivals any in the country. Many of the places you listed were on our list.