Hershey is really more than a park, it’s a whole area of attractions for fun loving families, especially ones who love chocolate (who doesn’t?). I’ve heard it called the “Disney of the Northeast” and I agree. Plus it’s an easy drive for so many of us, so what’s not to love?
Though the park is the main attraction in the area OF COURSE, and it’s certainly an awesome one. You can read my newest Hershey blog here and learn about the new Glow Coaster and the park. There’s much more to do in Hershey.
*Hershey Lodge This was our first time staying at the LODGE and now I know why just about all 665 rooms were sold- this place is THE PLACE for families to stay in Hershey. Luckily, we got there by noon and decided to spend the afternoon at the hotel so we could experience it, not just SLEEP in it. Try to spend some of your first and last days of your vacation at the LODGE or partial days before or after the park. they have lovely amenities like the indoor pool (which almost feels like it’s outdoors) We enjoyed the pool for an hour or two. Plus there are 2 beautiful outdoor pools. A little noted luxury was that the pool towels were fluffy and really absorbed water and actually dried my kids, not like the flimsy little white ones some other places offer. There’s mini-golf for guests (free) and a game room with arcade games and ping pong (when my kids see ping pong, it’s all good).
The lobby is lovely to just sit and relax in. And then there’s the food- with 6 restaurant choices, there’s something for everyone. We ate at the Hershey Grill and chose a patio table near the beautiful garden and koi pond. Our sandwiches were DELISH and they had the BEST mashed potatoes that had 4 of us fork fighting for them. Breakfast was cafe style OR a sit down meal. We chose cafe style and enjoyed it thoroughly ( note added- the coffee was absolutely amazing-could it be the cocoa beans?)
The room was lovely too and on a side note, I have to add that each and every employee I encountered went out of their way to go above and beyond and were very “sweet” ( must be the chocolate? )Well done HERSHEY LODGE!
And a few other perks of the Lodge:
FREE daily shuttle to and from the park
FREE daily kids activities like crafts, bingo, s’mores and character appearances
FREE tix to Hershey Gardens and Hershey Story Museum included
FREE pre-view night at the park by showing your next day tix and room key
*The Hershey Story Museum
This was our first time here. I definitely recommend it for when you need an hour or 2 away from the hustle and bustle. It’s got plenty of hands on exhibits for the whole family (best for school age children) while learning about the pretty fascinating life of Milton Hershey (Did you know he had a deposit to sail on the Titanic?) If it rains, the Hershey Story Museum is a great place to visit.
Beautiful grounds for a relaxing stroll and a nice view of the park too. Even if you don’t love strolling gardens and looking at flowers, you may like the butterfly house. Again, as a guest at a Hershey resort, you can get in free here. There’s a Children’s Garden, themed gardens, a pond and more.
*Chocolate World: The other BIG and SWEET attraction in Hershey is Chocolate World. They have quite a few fun activities that you can pay for separately or buy a combo ticket for. Of course, the free chocolate factory tour ride is the main attraction as it’s been since I was a child. Go on it once, twice or repeatedly and each time get a nice little Hershey’s treat as you exit. We went on it 3 times this year ( twice one day and once another day) and enjoyed it each time. There’s something very appealing and catchy about it – I always walk out singing! Chocolate World also has…drumroll…chocolate! Buy big bars, small bars, bags, boxes or fill your own bag. Cupcakes looked dreamy. And there are several choices for meals including their signature chicken chili infused with chocolate served in a bread bowl. Plenty of souvenirs, shorts and stuffed animals too!
Make your own Candy Bar: This was new to us this year and a BIG family hit! Choose your own toppings, design your own label, watch the machines follow your commands, all while wearing your special candy making apron and hairnet. Totally fun for kids of all ages- even the teens will love it!
The Chocolate Tasting Experience: While this was not as exciting for my kids as making their own bar, they did get to eat chocolate so enough said. It’s about 30 minutes long and gives you a good overview of how to eat your chocolate ( you may have been doing it wrong all along). Certificates handed out at the end and we are official “palateers”! But I knew that. Dark chocolate is my new fave with it’s earthy, mushroomy and coffee subtleties (take the experience to find out what I’m talking about!)
Hershey’s 4D Chocolate Mystery: A 4d adventure show for the family with a touch of audience interaction ( you vote on the outcome!) Before the show you’ll meet with a guide who loves to tell jokes and asks the kids questions. hint-Encourage your children to answer. Fun show and a must see for all kids!
Read about Hershey Park and the new Laff Trakk ride here.
Enjoy your trip!