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Embassy Suites Kids-Eye View Program Locates Kid-Tested Attractions for Families

Many parents have expressed an interest in having a list of kid-tested and kid-approved locations to visit during their upcoming summer family vacations or trips to visit extended family members. A list like that would likely put an end to loud sighs, endless eye rolls and reports of "uncool" parents.

Now, the Embassy Suites Hotels(R) chain has made that list a reality through their Kids-Eye View(TM) program, the first-ever hotel program created by kids, for kids. From providing information about "wicked" skate parks to the best burger and ice cream joints around, Embassy Suites Hotels Kids-Eye View can help parents increase the "fun" factor on their next family vacation or outing.

The Kids-Eye View program has expanded this year to include a total of 20 vacation destinations across the country. These are:

-- Atlanta
-- Nashville, Tenn. (New)
-- Boston
-- New York City
-- Chicago
-- Orange County, Calif. (New)
-- Dallas
-- Orlando, Fla. (New)
-- Denver
-- Phoenix
-- Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (New)
-- Portland, Ore. (New)
-- Las Vegas (New)
-- San Diego (New)
-- Los Angeles
-- San Francisco
-- Memphis, Tenn. (New)
-- Seattle (New) -- Minneapolis (New)
-- Washington, D.C

To see the world from a Kids-Eye View, Embassy Suites Hotels polled "locals," ages six to 16, in the country's top vacation destinations to get a kid's perspective on what's hip, hot and happening in their hometowns. An insider's guide to the "best of" spots and activities, Kids-Eye View helps visiting parents uncover a city's best-kept secrets.

To provide examples, given below is a brief look at some of the activities local kids raved about in the newest Kids-Eye View cities(a). Families wanting an inside look at their vacation destination to assist with the planning process in all 20 markets can visit the Specials & Packages section of www.embassysuites.com for complete survey results. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, families on vacation can stop by the front desk for survey results, including attraction addresses, during their stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel in participating Kids-Eye View cities.

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

-- Jungle Queen(R) Riverboat: Get up-close-and-personal with Florida's most famous residents -- the gators! This river cruise sails nightly and offers a tour of the Everglades, all-you-can-eat barbeque and entertainment, including live alligator wrestling.

-- Wannado City(TM): America's first role-playing theme park, Wannado City recreates grown-up jobs from a kid's point of view. The ultimate in pretend, kids can try being a doctor, a firefighter, a reporter and more!

-- Other Ft. Lauderdale kid-suggested "hot spots" include: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Jack's Old-Fashioned Hamburger and Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor

Las Vegas, Nevada

-- The Elvis-a-Rama Museum: Get close to the "King" at this retro museum jam-packed with cool stuff that spans his most popular decades -- from clothes to cars and records. Even the kids "won't be cruel" while visiting this "must-see" attraction.

-- Flyaway Indoor Skydiving: "Ever wanted to know what it's like to be Superman?" one kid asked. This is it -- parents and kids can experience the thrill of skydiving from just a few feet above the ground in this vertical wind tunnel.

-- Other kid-approved choices in Las Vegas include: Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix, Madame Tussauds and Red Rock Canyon

Memphis, Tennessee

-- Fire Museum of Memphis: At this museum, kids get to slide down the firehouse pole, explore the fire engine and antique firefighting equipment and actually feel the heat and other sensations caused by fire. Safety rules and survival skills are also stressed at this educational, but fun locale.

-- Tops BBQ: A trip to Memphis wouldn't be complete without some BBQ. One kid raved about Tops BBQ -- it's so good, his family goes there for Saturday morning breakfasts!

-- Kids in Memphis were also talking about: LibertyLand, National Civil Rights Museum(TM) and Sheridan's Frozen Custard

Minneapolis, Minnesota

-- 3rd Lair Skate Park: This skate park offers clinics and camps taught by pros. For the younger set, on Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to noon, the park is only open to skaters under the age of 12. And there are free donuts and coffee for mom and dad!

-- Mall of America(R): Of course every kid -- and parent -- loves the Mall of America. What's not to like? More than 500 stores, a four-story LEGO Imagination Center, an Underwater Adventure Aquarium -- with real sharks! -- and more than 50 restaurants are sure to keep the family busy all day -- and maybe all night too!

-- Other kid-friendly locales in Minneapolis include: The Depot, Science Museum of Minnesota(R) and Snuffy's Malt Shop

Nashville, Tennessee

-- Nashville Zoo at Grassmere: Home to a working farm, a petting zoo and a 6,600-square-foot jungle gym just for monkeying around, this zoo is not like any other. But kids say the cool events -- like camp outs on the zoo grounds -- are what put this animal sanctuary in a league of its own.

-- Rocketown: For kids who are a bit older and more "sophisticated," this dance club-cafe-skate park combo is just for them. Teens between the ages of 14 and 20 are the only ones allowed in on Friday and Saturday nights, but mom and dad can still chill in the cafe area.

-- Nashville kids who know how to have fun also go to: The Grand Ole Opry(R), Pizza Perfect and Wave Country Orange County, California

-- Bowers KIDSEUM: Definitely not the look-but-don't-touch type, the KIDSEUM has everything from arts and crafts projects to storytellers and puppet and dance performances. It's 100 percent hands-on and designed just for kids!

-- South Coast Plaza: This shopping center is bursting with hip fashions seen on the hit TV show, "The OC." And, as a bonus, the mall has been featured on the show several times in the last two seasons, which makes it a place to "see and be seen."

-- Hip kids in Orange County also know about: Balboa Fun Zone, Huntington State Beach and IN-N-OUT Burger(R)

Orlando, Florida

-- Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World(R) Resort: Take a dip, a drop or a dive at this water park that features 20 soaking attractions catering to thrill-seekers and landlubbers alike. A great place to cool off in Florida's hot summer, this water park features some of the largest and longest water slides in the country.

-- Wonder Works: Technology and fun-house charm collide in this unique place with an upside-down facade. Not like anywhere else, kids -- and parents -- learn science through simulations, virtual rides and contests of physical endurance -- all set to a pumping soundtrack of '80s tunes.

-- In-the-know kids from Orlando also suggest: Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede(R), Gatorland(R) and Twistee Treat(R)

Portland, Oregon

-- The McMenamins Kennedy School: The last thing most kids want to do on summer vacation is go to school. But this school is worth it! It offers some of the best pizza in town, and, you can eat it while watching movies in the auditorium.

-- Peanut Butter & Ellie's: This place was designed especially for kids. With a giant chalkboard running down one wall for endless drawing and every kind of sandwich that you can think of, Peanut Butter & Ellie's is sure to be a hit. And, as an added bonus, if the kids eat all their veggies, they get a treat!

-- For a fun vacation in Portland, local kids also recommend: Oregon Museum of Science & Industry and Powell's City of Books

San Diego, California

-- Balboa Park: Never heard of "frolf?" Then head to Balboa Park for hours of fun playing Frisbee golf, a San Diego specialty, in the park's Morley Field. The entire park is more than 1,200 acres, perfect for hiking, playing football or riding bikes.

-- Epicentre: Local teens call this a total "rock-out" spot. It's a cafe and a school of music where teens can learn to play their favorite instrument and even make their own record.

-- San Diego's kids say these activities are also winners: Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour and the San Diego Zoo

Seattle, Washington

-- Dick's Drive-In Restaurant: This homegrown Seattle restaurant is legendary for its thick milkshakes, special sauce, great fries -- and a touch of nostalgia. The food is brought right to your car window at this tried-and-true burger joint.

-- Pacific Science Center: Ranked by kids as one of Seattle's best educational activities, the Pacific Science Center is home to an endless list of fun and unusual things to do, including a virtual roller coaster, 3D movies, a butterfly exhibit and photographic impressions.

-- Seattle's kids are also buzzing about: Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour, EMP (Experience Music Project(TM)) and Mad Pizza

Embassy Suites Hotels was recently named one of the top hotel chains for families in the 2004 U.S. Family Travel Guide by Zagat Survey(R). The hotel brand also received a 2003 Playful Travel Award as "Suite-est Hotel Chain for Families" from Nick Jr. Family Magazine as reported in its April/May 2003 issue. The nationwide "quest for the best" involved input from top family travel experts, editors, parents and two Nick Jr. online surveys. Embassy Suites Hotels scored high in the areas of accessibility, affordability and accommodations for families, making kids feel special and parents feel cared for and comfortable.

Each Embassy Suites Hotel offers spacious, two-room suites that include a separate living area with a sofa bed, private bedroom and bath, two televisions, a wet bar, refrigerator, microwave oven and work desk. In addition, all Embassy Suites Hotels offer a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast each morning and a two-hour Manager's Reception(b) each evening. Other standard amenities include an indoor or outdoor pool, health club and on-property restaurant.

To make reservations or learn the locations of Embassy Suites Hotels in urban, suburban, airport and resort areas, travelers can visit the Embassy Suites Hotels Web site at embassysuites.com or call 1-800-EMBASSY.

(a)The information is provided for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement or recommendation by Embassy Suites Hotels or Hilton Hotels Corporation. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed, so pease contact the business or event sponsor for specific details or more information.

(b)Subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.

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