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1st time to Philly

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West Virginia
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189 posts
36 reviews
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1st time to Philly

Have been reading a few guidebooks and the comments on this board to plan for a spring break trip to Philly. Wanted to get a few comments on our itineary. We will be in Philly the first week of April---two adults, two kids (boy 15, girl 13). I got what I think is a reasonable rate at the Downtown Courtyard for $135.00/night (any comments thoughts on this hotel would be apppreciated as well).

Day 1 - Visit the historic area, see the Liberty bell, Independence Hall, the Constitutuion Center, Christ Church, etc.--was not planning to rush and thought a whole day here would not be overkill. is this too much time for this area?

Day 2 - Visit the Franklin Institute (see the King Tut Exhibit)--other stuff there as well, have some luch and the head to the Mint for a Tour in the afternoon.

Day 3 - Philadephia Art Museum and then the Eastern State Penitentiary (thought the kids might find the prison interesting). I have read that the Barnes Faoundation has an impresive collection of art---would that be a better choice than the Philadelphia Art Museum? I think we will do one or the other as too much art may not hold the kids attention.

Day 4 - Take a trip out to Valley Forge and see the park. Any suggestions for accomodations there or would we be just as well coming back to Philly for the evening?

I amnot big on rushing around to see "everything"---I would rather go a pace where we can take our time and not feel rushed. thanks for your help in advance.

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1. Re: 1st time to Philly

Downtown Courtyard is a nice 3* hotel in a great location. Very central to everything in the city. I think you got a reasonable price - but do they have a deal that includes breakfast in the morning? I know the last time we stayed at a Courtyard with our kids, it was like an extra $10 for the room, but they included their breakfast buffet in with the rate, which was well worth it for hungry kids in the a.m. Also, the Courtyard has an indoor pool, but I do believe it is small, but if your kids want to swim, it should serve that purpose just fine.

I think your schedule looks fine. With kids, I would do the Philadelphia Museum of Art over the Barnes Foundation. Day One in the Historic District is fine. With regard to Valley Forge, I'd come back to Philly for the evening - there are hotels out there, but nothing all that noteworthy. If you want to shop at all, the King of Prussia Mall is literally down the street from the park - also plenty of restaurants in that area should you want to get something to eat.

Hope that helps a little and let us know if you have additional questions.


West Virginia
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189 posts
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2. Re: 1st time to Philly

Thanks for taking the time to get back to me---let's hope the weather hold out when we are there!

New Jersey
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3. Re: 1st time to Philly

I agree with McCarthy - Valley Forge is not far and it would be easier not to have to check in and out of hotels.

Another fun place to visit & eat is the Reading Terminal Market. It's at 12th & Arch so I don't think it's too far from your hotel (if I'm thinking of the right hotel).

Have fun!


Dundee, Michigan
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4. Re: 1st time to Philly

I saw this and just had to comment. I have never been to the downtown Courtyard, and it is probably very nice, but when we visited Philly two years ago, by using Priceline I got the Hyatt Regency at Penn's Landing for only $52/night--and that was in mid-July, peak tourist season! We also have two kids, a boy and a girl the same ages as yours, and we all loved it. It has an indoor pool on the 4th floor and is very swanky. Best of all, it is right on the river, so the view is spectacular, and it is only a few blocks' walk to the historic district. Maybe Priceline isn't for everyone, but we have been very happy with it for the most part. I did the "name your own price" feature and requested a four-star hotel in the area of downtown Philly and the Hyatt is what they gave me. The only thing with Priceline is that you will not get a refund if you have to cancel unless you buy the trip cancellation insurance which only costs $5/day and will let you off the hook if you have unforeseen illness in the family. If you are very sure that you are planning on making the trip, then it is a great deal. The Hyatt was great and the price was unbelievable. If we ever go back to Philly I am going to do the exact same thing and hopefully we will get the Hyatt again.

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5. Re: 1st time to Philly

Sounds good! If it's nice, I'd highly suggest taking the Ride the Ducks tour. You can pick this up outside of the Constitution Center. Your kids will love it!!! Check out www.phillyducks.com. Also, be sure to order tickets ahead of time for King Tut. As for Valley Forge, you can make it up there and back in a day. It's not that far. Pack a nice picnic lunch and make a day of it. Enjoy your trip! There are so many fun things to do here!

6. Re: 1st time to Philly

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