If you’re taking a driving trip southwest from the NY area and need a place to stay for the night just 12 miles from Philadelphia, the Hotel ML might be the perfect place for you if you have kids, ages 3-10ish. It’s located in Mount Laurel , NJ (hence the “ML”) and an easy drive to a quite a few nearby fun family attractions. While there are several hotels in the vicinity, the Hotel ML is the only one with an indoor water park. So after a day out, the kids might enjoy splashing around before bed.
What it is:
Pretty hotel (and conference center) with Coco Key water park in it. Great as your home base for a few nights as you explore Philly or some of the local NJ attractions. Cocokey is 55,000 square feet and features 3 waterslides, a play structure with dumping bucket(even the teens and adults always seem to love the clanging of the bell signaling the bucket’s almost full and they all run over!), a lazy river and an indoor/outdoor whirlpool spa for adults only ( ahhhhh). There’s also a water play area and mini slide for the real little ones and a basketball pool plus a lily pad walk. Outside the waterpark is an arcade which can keep the kids busy for a while. At night, they were showing a free movie in the ballroom, where families can come down in PJ’s and watch. This is weekends only. The water park is only open Friday evenings, from 4pm, weekends and school holidays so bear that in mind.
Our room was clean and spacious compared to some I’ve stayed in and when I requested some extra pillows, housekeeping was at my door within 5 minutes. There’s on on site restaurant and small store where you can grab snacks or coffee. All in all we had a nice stay.
What it’s NOT: a resort. It’s not a place with many kid activities or a waterpark for older kids 10+. My teens left the waterpark after about 30 minutes…..they want big slides, flowrider and water coasters. Coco Key does not have these things so knowing this will avoid disappointed kids. However, like I said, little ones, especially in the age range of say 3-8, will really enjoy the water area!
What’s nearby:(plenty to keep a family busy!!)
Philadelphia is only 12 miles away. We spent a day there and I highly recommend The Franklin Institute and Penn’s Landing- an area over near the water that has a huge seasonal ice rink, food, arcade with beautiful lights and decorations. It’s just lovely! I’m sure summer is gorgeous there too. Plus there’s lots more to do in Philadelphia of course!
Funplex (huge indoor/outdoor place for kids of all ages) We went for about 5 hours…there’s go carts (indoor!), rides, laser tag, 4d ride, huge arcade, bowling and more. Plus when the weather is nice, the outside area looks awesome too.
The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
The Philadelphia Zoo
Garden State Discovery Museum
Laurel Lanes bowling