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Where to stay and what to do near Penn

Grand Rapids...
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Where to stay and what to do near Penn

We just found out our family is going to need to stay for a week near Penn while my DH is in class. I have 2 kids (age 10 and 13). We would like more than one room if possible. Any ideas?

I will be entertaining the kids most days and some pm. I would love ideas of what to do in PA and nearby. I am not opposed to taking them to NYC if it is easy. What other day trips does anyone recommend?

Marlton, NJ
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1. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

Your kids would probably really enjoy the Franklin Institute. They have amazing exhibits and are really good at catering to your children's age group.

Take the ferry from Penn's Landing to Adventure Aquarium. It was re-done in the past year or two and is great.

Not sure when you're going to be here, but they would probably also like the Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern Penitentiary that runs through Halloween.

Outside of that time period, it's daily tours are fascinating for kids & parents alike.

Our zoo is pretty good and not far from Penn.

If they are into music, check out what's going on at the World Cafe Live @ 30th & Walnut. It's run, in part, by WXPN 88.5 FM and aside from having great shows and food they often have free live music upstairs each evening and free lunchtime concerts (pretty big acts sometimes) every Friday. Last week was Barenaked Ladies.

Sports? Minor League Hockey is affordable and fun. Check out the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Sign up for Philly Fun Savers (I think it's phillyfunsavers.com) and each Thursday they email discounts for area attractions/tours/shows, etc.

You'll be close to the train, so a trip to NYC would be very easy and accessible also.

I don't know much about the hotels there, sorry.

Have a great time and enjoy the city.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

sybl,

I'm not sure how near to Penn you wish to be, but there are far more accomodations in Center City, Philadelphia's downtown. It is directly across the Schuykill River from Penn and an easy ride on public transportation.

With regard to activities, are you interested in Philadelphia or just things outside the City? Philly has lots to offer, here are a few possibilities in addition to Sharbev's:

Independence National Historical Park

Fireman's Hall - great old equipment, pictures, and documents showing the history of firefighting in Philadelphia, and more.

Philadelphia City Hall - this amazing structure has a one hour tour weekdays at 12:30. The tour ends with the clock tower. You may also go up the tower without taking the tour. Great views!

The Philadelphia Museum of Art - quite a variety of collections

A few possible day trips:

Amish Country - about an hour and a half drive to Lancaster County

Valley Forge National Park

New Hope (scenic old arsty town) and Washington Crossing (where Washington Crossed the Delaware) - about one hour drive north of Center City in Bucks County

The Jersey Shore - depending on exactly where you go about an hour and a half drive.

Those are a few thoughts.

Lynn

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

I would also suggest the Archaelogy Museum at Penn. They are getting the King tut exhibit this fall.

A day trip to New York is not hard at all from Philadelphia. You can either catch Amtrak or SEPTA (our local transit train) to trenton, NJ and transfer to NJ transit which will deposit you at Penn station New York. It is very easy, doesn't take long, and is a great excursion from philadelphia!

I would also suggest taking the duck tour. I think it is very kid friendly!

Have a great visit in Philly!

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

Good suggestion from Felicia. That's The University Museum. They often have special events on weekends.

Another day trip - Hershey Park in Hershey, PA. Depending on what time of year you'll be here parts of it may be closed.

Lynn

Grand Rapids...
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5. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

Wow

I was worried we wouldn't have much to do! Thanks so much

We will be there in early June.

Any tips on hotels. I think my DH could make it across the river so suggestions for the downtown area are welcome.

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

June is a great time to be in Philly. The National Park comes alive with actors and story tellers. Which makes me think of another activity you would all enjoy - The Lights of Liberty. Go to Onceuponanation.com and look at the evening tour that combines Lights of Liberty with a tour of some of the parks major sites plus dinner at City Tavern. We've heard great reviews of that package.

Regarding hotel, do you have a price range? Are you comfortable going through a service like hotwire.com to book?

Lynn

Grand Rapids...
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7. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

Lynn

DH's work will pay for hotel so we have some flexability on cost. Are there any suites or places with kitchenettes? Don't love the idea of 21 meals out...

Philadelphia...
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8. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

There are not a lot of suite hotels in downtown Philly and the ones that are tend to get less than favorable reviews (Embassy Suites, Windsor Hotel) - The exception that I would check out is the Residence Inn right in CC Philly - the location is great. Suites and free breakfast included. I think I recall reading that the pool is small, though - I don't know if that particular amentity is a requirement with your kids ( it is with mine!)

Other than that, I'd look into a hotel that maybe includes breakfast and is family friendly. Sometimes if you check on a hotel's direct website, they offer special rates that include breakfast. Possibly try the following, but keep in mind they are standard sized hotel rooms:

Courtyard Downtown

Omni Independence Park

Four Seasons

Doubletree Philadelphia

Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing

Hampton Inn Convention Center

Hilton Garden Inn Center City

Sheraton Society Hill

All of the above have indoor pools. Let me know if you have questions and good luck!

Suzanne

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

to piggyback what suzanne said about the residence Inn, I had friends in town a few months ago and their children were permitted to use the bigger pool at theMarriott accross the street since they are sister properties... The Residence Inn was very nice and was more spacious than I expected.

Philadelphia...
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10. Re: Where to stay and what to do near Penn

I stayed at the downtown Marriott earlier this year and I thought their pool was small (I can't imagine what the Residence Inn must have!) Maybe look on their website and see if they even post a picture...

Suzanne