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Almost every hotel in the Boston area regularly plays host to children, and many offer special family packages. Moderately priced chains have the most experience with youngsters, but their higher-end competitors put on a good show.

Units at the Doubletree Guest Suites are a great deal -- they have two rooms in which to spread out, and they cost far less than adjoining rooms at any other hotel this nice. Stash breakfast fixings in the in-room refrigerator, then splurge on lunch and dinner.

In the Back Bay, the Colonnade Hotel Boston offers a family weekend package that includes parking, breakfast for two adults, up to four passes (for two adults and two children) to an attraction of your choice, and a fanny pack for younger guests that holds sunglasses, a pad and pen, a yo-yo, and a toy duck.

The Omni Parker House is on the Freedom Trail and within easy walking distance to the waterfront. Young guests receive a backpack that contains games and toys at check-in, and milk and cookies on the first night of their stay. Parents can request a kit with outlet covers and a night light.

The Seaport Hotel, near Museum Wharf, offers excellent weekend deals, splendid views of the harbor and airport, underwater music piped into the swimming pool, and even a grandparent-grandchild package.

In Cambridge, the Royal Sonesta Hotel is around the corner from the Museum of Science and has a large indoor/outdoor pool. It fills the vacation months with Summerfest, which includes free use of bicycles, ice cream, and boat rides along the Charles River. On off-season weekends, the Family Fun package includes four passes to the Museum of Science.

Across the street, Hotel Marlowe boasts an excellent location, the welcoming atmosphere that family travelers have come to expect from the Kimpton chain, and special weekend packages.

The riverfront Hyatt Regency Cambridge courts families with its pool, bicycle rentals, easy access to the banks of the Charles, and discounted rates (subject to availability) on a separate room for the kids.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.