If you’re familiar with chocolate then you’re more than likely familiar with the name Hershey. Actually, the world is familiar with Hershey, Their sales for 2021 were $8,971.3 million. The name is synonymous with chocolate but not necessarily all that is attached to that name is chocolate. It is the name of a charming little town in Pennsylvania that is loaded with fun. There is so much to do in Hershey and close to Hershey, so, if you’re looking for a long weekend or week away, I would highly suggest Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Hershey has an amusement park that boasts 15 roller coasters, the newest of which is the Candymonium. It also has your typical amusement park rides, a midway, games, entertainment, and food that features Hershey. Tickets are normally 76.95 for ages 3 and up, however right now they are on sale for 47.95. There are Holiday events in October for Halloween and in December. Plus, there is an 11 acre waterpark with a Boardwalk. I’ve been to the amusement park several times. I like the the layout and the variety of rides.
There are concerts in the park and in the nearby stadium. Last time my SO was there with his kids KISS was playing. There are also concerts at the nearby Hersheypark Stadium. The concerts are a seperate ticket price and you can get a discount to the Hershey Amusement park with your concert ticket stub. Here is a sample of some of the upcoming concerts.
Jun 24. Fri • 7:30pm
Jul 12 Tue • 4:30pm
Motley Crue and Def Leppard with Poison (Rescheduled from 8/11/2020, 7/20/2021)
Aug 6 Sat • 6:00pm
Santana with Earth Wind and Fire (Rescheduled from 8/8/2020, 8/7/2021)
Aug 14 Sun • 7:00pm
Zac Brown Band
Aug 20 Sat • 7:30pm
Rod Stewart (Rescheduled from 7/31/2020, 7/17/2021)
Aug 27 Sat • 7:00pm
Hershey has a park named ZooAmerica®, which is included in the park admission or you can buy tickets for just the zoo. The zoo is divided up into different areas like: Big Sky Country, Southern Swamps, the Great Southwest, Northlands, and Eastern Woodlands. The zoo host over 200 animals from these different regions. This is a lovely little zoo and a perfect addition to the main theme park.
The zoo is involved in the Species Survival Plan® .for 11 different species, This program oversees population management within the zoo system and animal conservation in the wild. They have several other projects including working with Fort Indiantown Gap to raise Regal Fritillary Butterflies. These butterflies have disappeared from their entire historic range except for one location which is Fort Indiantown Gap which is 15 miles from Hershey. In August, a few females, which can lay up to 2000 eggs, are taken to the zoo to manage their eggs. After the eggs hatch, the zoo overwinters them either outdoors or indoors and then re-introduces them into certain locations. If you are interested in more of the zoo’s conservation efforts follow this link: https://www.zooamerica.com/conservation/
Park Hours (until April 30th) 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Regular Ages 9-61: $13*
Junior Ages 3-8: $11*
Seniors Ages 62+: $11*
Children 2 & Younger: FREE
ZooAmerica® Pass Holders: FREE
- Individual Annual Pass: $50
- Family Annual Pass: $135
Hersheypark® Season Pass Holders: FREE
There is also the Hotel Hershey which was built during the depression and is the location of one of nicest spas in the US. I am not going into length here since I have another blog about the spa. Here is a quick bit of information. Their menu is as follows:
- Massage, Facial, and Wet Treatment Rooms
- Soaking Tubs, Hydrotherapy Baths, and Vichy Showers
- Steam Rooms and Saunas
- Inhalation Room and Silent Meditation Room
- Quiet Room
- The Oasis, restaurant and lounge
- Nail and Hair Salon
- Teen and Bridal Services
- Spa Boutique
- Indoor Pool and Jacuzzi
- Fitness Center
Another attraction in the area is Mount Hope Winery which is almost 16 miles from Hershey and takes a little over 20 minutes to get there. The winery has a theatre that features comedy nights, a murder mystery, and holidays programs. There are several events on their grounds:
Volksfest May 28-29, 2022
Mt. Hope Brewfest June 11, 2022
Celtic Fling June 24-26, 2022
Blues and Brews July 9, 2022
PA Renaissance Faire August 30, 2022 TO October 30, 2022
I have been to Renaissance Faire many times and it is always a great time. This last year I noticed that they have more than just wine and beer available. I found that there were distilleries and ciders available. The kids found a distillery of whiskey and there was also a rum vendor. They have lovely little shops and one of my favorite is a tea shop and an herb shop. The food is always good and plentiful although I am not a fan of the turkey leg or mead. The mud show funny and something we don’t miss. The sites are eye catching and there are a lot of artisan crafts to peruse. It is also dog friendly and you are able to take your pooch with you.
There is also the Hershey Chocolate World. It’s as if Willy Wonka came to life. This place is all about Hershey. There are tickets for sale that you can buy in advance for $44.80 for an adult and $37.80 for a child. With the ticket you can create your own chocolate bar, see a 4D chocolate movie, ride the Hershey trolley Works, experience Hershey’s unwrapped, and there is free parking. There are other bundles available. at the http://www.chocolateworld.com website.
A few years ago Amanda and I (Alex was still not wanting to travel with us. 16-year-olds!) made chocolate bars. You chose what kind of chocolate and what you want to add to it and you watch it being made on a conveyor belt. We also did a chocolate tasting. This was extremely cool because it taught us how to taste the different subtle undertones in chocolate and how to pair it with food. I really enjoyed this and didn’t see it on this trip. I’m really sorry to say that it might be gone.
I love going to chocolate world every so often and this was the time. I like looking into the new candies and located some really great finds. I found lemon crisp and raspberry cream Kit Kat bars. I cannot tell you how delicious they were and the raspberry cream has definitely become my favorite. Unfortunately, they are a limited edition. The Reese’s Easter candy was for my best friend who loves them because of the chocolate peanut butter ratio. I tried the Reese’s snack bar and to tell you the truth didn’t really care for those. The mocha and mint Kit Kats were a big hit.
There’s an outlet mall there in the form of Tangers for those who want to stroll through some shops. This is the usual fare and includes Disney, Bath & Body Works, Vera Bradley, and Starbucks. It not a large mall and is easily navigated in a half to a full day depending upon how much you want to shop. If you are looking for something to eat, I would suggest going off the mall promises. As of the writing of this, only Subway and Wendy’s were listed as restaurants.
Of course there’s a lot more to do in this area. During the month of October, there is the Field of Screams which I wrote about last fall. Amanda and Jimmy absolutely loved it and they are definitely connoisseurs of haunted attractions. As a matter of fact, Amanda will tell you Pennsylvania is a mega for great haunted attractions. Other favorites are Pennhurst and Eastern State Penn. But, I digress. Another great place to go is Lancaster, PA which is in the heart of Amish country outside of the Philly area. There’s outlet malls, the American Theater, Dutch Wonderland amusement park, Landis Valley Village in Farm Museum plus Strasburg is down the road and has a railroad museum with a train you can ride.
This is the abbreviated version of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Honestly, there is so much to do and I could probably write a blog on each one of these items. Do your research and just go. You will not regret it!