Located in the quiet and safe Upper West Side, a short walk from Central Park, the Hotel Beacon is very popular among families. It's on a lovely stretch of Broadway, more than 20 blocks north of the theatre district. Instead of the bright lights of the theatre marquees, this part of Broadway has medians planted with tulips and trees.

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Best Hotels for an Educational Family Vacation (1 of 25)

 Located in the quiet and safe Upper West Side, a short walk from Central Park, the Hotel Beacon is very popular among families. It's on a lovely stretch of Broadway, more than 20 blocks north of the theatre district. Instead of the bright lights of the theatre marquees, this part of Broadway has medians planted with tulips and trees.
Located in the quiet and safe Upper West Side, a short walk from Central Park, the Hotel Beacon is very popular among families. It's on a lovely stretch of Broadway, more than 20 blocks north of the theatre district. Instead of the bright lights of the theatre marquees, this part of Broadway has medians planted with tulips and trees. There is, however, a theatre right next to the hotel in the form of its namesake: the Beacon Theatre. Known as the "older sister" to Radio City Music Hall, the historic theatre has been the recent venue for performers ranging from Leonard Cohen to Tyler Perry to Cirque du Soleil's new acrobatic comedy, "Banana Shpeel." Even better, the Hotel Beacon is just a short walk from the best and most kid-friendly museums in New York City -- the Children's Museum of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park. About half of the hotel's rooms are dedicated to one- and two-bedroom suites that can comfortably sleep a family of six. Even the standard rooms at the Beacon can easily accommodate cribs and rollaway beds. All rooms have well-equipped kitchenettes, and the hotel's 24-hour coin-operated laundry room is especially handy for those traveling with spill-prone toddlers. Food freebies and a convenient location -- just a 10-minute walk from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Mall -- make the Residence Inn by the Capitol a great value for families. Kids will love the indoor heated pool. Parents will love the large, suite-style rooms with fully equipped kitchens. And if that isn't enough, the hotel serves a free hot breakfast buffet each morning, and a free "social hour" dinner buffet Mondays through Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m (which includes a meat, veggie, salad, and dessert). Like most Marriott Vacation Club properties, all of the guest rooms at the Custom House hotel are huge one-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and pullout couches. But unlike the others, this one is housed in a historic 1847 building. The location is ideal: The New England Aquarium, whale-watching boats, an IMAX theater, and over a hundred shops at Faneuil Hall are just across the street. And the in-house features and services include an arcade, staff-led historic walking tours or T-shirt-making workshops, free access to the pool at Marriott Long Wharf across the street, free laundry machines (and detergent!), and freshly baked cookies in the lobby. The Radisson doesn't play up its family appeal, but it should. Its heated outdoor pool is among the nicest in the city, especially given the electric firepit, gardens, palm trees, and plenty of deck chairs and umbrella tables on the pool deck. And while there are about a half-dozen other big-chain hotels vying for tourists in the family-focused waterfront area of Fisherman's Wharf, and the Radisson is closer to the wharf than the Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn (and it's often cheaper too). The Radisson is conveniently located near the docks where ferries leave for Alcatraz, as well as all the sights and educational activities along the Wharf, such as the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Aquarium of the Bay, and, of course, all the sea lions. Caneel Bay lacks an elaborate pool or even TVs in the rooms, but it has one of the best, and rarest, of kid-friendly amenities in the Virgin Islands: free supervised activities. Kids three to 12 can spend the day participating in arts and crafts, treasure hunts, and nature walks through the activity center, Turtle Town. Plus, you're bound to see a little nature just walking the grounds. But the best part of Caneel Bay is its location -- in the midst of the Virgin Islands National Park. The largest resort in Hawaii, the amenities-packed Hilton Hawaiian Village has more to offer families than any other property on Oahu -- or Maui or Kauai for that matter. The crowds are big. But if you can make a pre-breakfast detour to stake out chairs by one of the four impressive pools -- one is Waikiki's largest-- your kids will be thoroughly entertained. Among the top-shelf attractions are the dozens of species of animals on the grounds, including parrots and penguins, and the calm, coral-reef-protected waters at the beach. A chance for kid-free relaxation comes with the Hilton's Rainbow Express Keiki Club, which plans educational field trips to the aquarium or zoo and activities like sandcastle building, for kids ages five to 12. Just outside the resort, there are also ample opportunities for kids to learn -- a nature excursion along Oahu's north shore, a visit to the WWII memorials and museums at Pearl Harbor, a free hula or free ukulele lesson, and more.
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