Holiday Inn launches Summer of Smiles family campaign

Summer of Smiles

InterContinental Hotels Group's Holiday Inn brand will host a collection of new experiences crafted specifically for families during its first ever Summer of Smiles program.

Beginning in June, select Holiday Inn hotels will host on-property events through the brand’s new collaboration with Scholastic to help keep kids reading all summer long. Events also include Chocolate Milk Happy Hours in partnership with fairlife ultra-filtered milk and Otis Spunkmeyer baked goods.

The multimillion-dollar television, digital and experiential Smiles Ahead marketing campaign launched in April. The campaign underscores the brand’s priority and personal promise to make guests’ stays more memorable than expected, and the Summer of Smiles program is an in-hotel extension of the campaign to create fun for families on property.

Actor Gaten Matarazzo, best known for his role as Dustin Henderson on the Netflix show “Stranger Things,” will serve as the Holiday Inn brand’s kid ambassador throughout the summer. Matarazzo will host one of the brand’s in-hotel Summer of Smiles events, where he will mingle and interact with guests, and will also interact with fans across social media.

Matarazzo started his career in theater starring in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Les Misérables.” At 14 years old, he has added an MTV Award for Show of the Year (“Stranger Things”) and the 2017 SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series (“Stranger Things“) to his resume.

Gaten Matarazzo poses with Clifford the Big Red Dog.

The Holiday Inn brand has teamed up with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to offer kid-focused breakfast events attended by popular Scholastic book characters Clifford the Big Red Dog and Geronimo Stilton, and gift them a Scholastic book at check-in the week of the event. Kids can meet and take pictures with their favorite characters, and they will also receive a take-home frame to display their character photo and can take part in fun craft activities during the breakfast. For a list of participating Holiday Inn hotels and event dates, visit HolidayInn.com/smilesahead.

Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
On Aug. 21, the Holiday Inn Nashville-Vanderbilt hotel and Scholastic will provide guests with an opportunity to watch the first total solar eclipse in America in nearly 100 years. The hotel is along the eclipse totality line, providing families with the optimal view of this rare celestial occurrence. Kids and parents alike will learn about space with the “Magic School Bus Presents: Our Solar System” book while cherishing this moment together. Guests will also receive a special pair of eclipse-viewing glasses and have the opportunity to meet two Scholastic characters. The solar eclipse viewing party is complimentary for hotel guests.

Lending Library
From June – August, select Holiday Inn hotels will offer a Scholastic lending library where kids can borrow a book to read during their stay. Parents who are away from home on business can also borrow a book to read their kids a virtual bedtime story. Participating hotels will lend traveling parents a stand for their smartphone or tablet so they can read hands-free to their little ones at home. For a list of participating Holiday Inn hotels, visit HolidayInn.com/smilesahead.

Chocolate Milk Happy Hour
This summer, Holiday Inn hotels will offer parents and kids a complimentary Chocolate Milk Happy Hour at select Holiday Inn properties. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy fairlife ultra-filtered milk, which has 50 percent more protein and 50 percent less sugar than ordinary milk—and is lactose free—and the new Delicious Essentials cookies from Otis Spunkmeyer, which are made with 51 percent whole grain. Chocolate Milk Happy Hour days and times vary by location. For a list of participating Holiday Inn hotels, visit HolidayInn.com/smilesahead.

“Nothing puts a smile on kids’ faces like summertime, and we want all of our guests to feel that same sense of joy when they visit our hotels this summer," Eric Lent, VP, full service hotels & food and beverage solutions, the Americas, said in a statement. "We’re going above and beyond to celebrate even more of those unforgettable moments that truly put the joy in travel and leave a positive lasting impact on our guests. The beloved characters and popular books from Scholastic combined with fairlife and Otis Spunkmeyer’s nutritious, yet delicious, treats have helped us create a unique and fun summer program that will create life-long memories for both kids and parents alike.”