Visiting Hershey, PA
When we departed New Hampshire on our trek halfway across the country to Tennessee this past June, we planned our first stop to be in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We left town a bit later than planned, due to the Departure Day Drama, but full of excitement for what was in store! We had Cuddles with us, so we needed a pet friendly place to spend the night. The only pet friendly hotel in the area with a vacancy, was the Red Roof Inn. It was dark and rainy as we were driving, so we couldn’t really see much of the area. We were relieved to arrive. The Red Roof Inn was actually a motel, but I liked the convenience of having the van right outside the door so we didn’t have to carry bags far in the rain. It was a bit noisy outside the door, but we were tired, and fell right to sleep. The bed was comfortable, the room had been recently remodeled with new hardwood floors and new furniture. The bathroom was tiny, older, and the only continental breakfast item was coffee. There was an outdoor pool next to the front office, but with temperatures in the 50’s and raining, we didn’t have to opportunity to try it out.
As we drove down Chocolate Avenue, we were in awe of this gorgeous building. It is the Hershey Theatre. I would’ve loved the opportunity to go inside, the pictures I’ve seen online are gorgeous. It was built during 1929 and 1933, when Mr. Hershey held a “Great Building Campaign” during the Great Depression.
*Side Note: How cute are the little Hershey Kisses on the light posts!*
We continued down Chocolate Avenue, in search of Hershey Chocolate World. The GPS gave us instructions to turn, not aware that there was construction on the road, and we should’ve continued on. We were detoured by a barrier, took a few turns trying to find our way back to Chocolate Avenue, and somehow ended up in an area just behind ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. (I’m not entirely sure it was an area open to the public…). We could see a few exhibits through the back fencing, and the kids were pretty excited to see this American Elk. We could also see the Mountain Lion exhibit, and the birds in the Big Sky Country Exhibit as we drove by. The tickets are very reasonably priced, and there were discount coupons that we found around town as well. We weren’t able to go in this trip, because we were didn’t have a full day to spend in Hershey. Also, the weather was cool and rainy, so not the best time for an outdoor adventure.
As we were driving around the Hershey Attraction area, we could also see many rides inside Hershey Park. My boys are 10-14, and LOVE theme parks, so by this time, they were pretty annoyed with me that we weren’t stopping do any of the things they could clearly see would be fun to do 🙂 Admission tickets here are a bit steeper, at just under $65 per day. They do have discount tickets, and package deals available at local hotels. Since we were planning to drive most of the way to East Tennessee after leaving Pennsylvania, we did not have time to spend inside the park. At $65 per ticket, we wouldn’t be going in for just an hour or two… One thing that I do appreciate about the Hershey Park website, is how they have the ride page set up. It lists ALL the rides, and then has them broken down by height requirements, ride type, park regions, ride rating, and ride name. While my kids are close in age, some have hit growth spurts and some have not, so there is a disparity in what rides they are eligible to safely go on. I wish all parks had this on their websites. It makes it very easy to plan your day. It’s so upsetting to a child to be excited about going on a ride, getting to the entrance and discover they aren’t quite tall enough yet, and then watching your older siblings run through the entrance to go on the ride without you. When we know ahead of time, we can prepare and take the smaller one to a different ride. Since Hershey is just about 6 hours away from where we live, we do plan to go back for a long weekend trip, and take the kids to Hershey Park 🙂
We found our way back to Chocolate Avenue, and soon saw The Hershey Story museum on the right. There was a free parking garage right behind the museum, so we parked and went inside to look around. Inside, they have the Museum Experience, Chocolate Lab Class, and Tastings. The tickets were reasonably priced, but the tour times available were for later in the day. We went inside the Gift Shop and looked around, and the kids were fascinated at the things that were available.
We probably took over 30 pictures inside here. I chose this one to show, because Reese’s is one of my kids favorite candy bars. They could each choose one item to buy, and one of them bought a jar of Reese’s Peanut Butter. He kept it hidden from everyone, which turned into a pretty funny event, with his uncle trying to find it and eat it all up 🙂 The gift store has commemorative tins, mugs, apparel, drinking cups, candy scented candles, gigantic candy bars, bags of candy, Christmas Ornaments, Cookbooks, signs, jewelry, candy flavored lip balm, and more.
Finally, we found our way to our original destination, Hershey’s Chocolate World. This place is simply amazing. It is free to enter the Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction and take the Hershey’s Chocolate Tour. You will need to purchase tickets for the other attractions: Create Your Own Candy Bar, Chocolate Tasting Experience, 4D Chocolate Mystery, and Trolley Tours.
We went on the Hershey Chocolate Factory Tour, and it was really fun and informative. You ride inside these little cars, and it takes you through an automated depiction of how the Chocolate Factory works. You get to see how each step of the candy is made from the bean to the bar, and everything in between.
When we saw all the Reese’s Candy Bars, one or more children may have asked if we could move here, haha! At the end of the tour, you also get a free sample of Hershey’s Candy.
Of course, they wanted one of everything inside the Candy Store. The gift shop here was massive, and I think it sold every candy item Hershey makes. We found a nice selection of sugar free candy to take to relative who is diabetic.
If you aren’t able to visit Hershey to shop in this fabulous gift shop, here are some Hershey Items sold on Amazon:
Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates (40-Ounce Bag)Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, 1.55 Ounce (Pack of 36)HERSHEY’S S’mores Maker (6203)Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa, 23-OuncesHershey’s Milk Chocolate Licensed T-Shirt | Poly Cotton Blend | Classic Look – largeHershey’s Sugar Free Syrup, 17.5-Ounce BottleWho Was Milton Hershey?REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups (1.5-Ounce Packages, Pack of 36)Reese’s Cast Iron Skillet Peanut Butter Cookie Mix 1Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter, 18-Ounce Jar (Pack of 2)Reese’s Spreads Peanut Butter Chocolate, 13 Ounce
This post was not sponsored, but may contain affiliate links. Also, thank you to my partners at Verizon, for lending me the new HTC 10 Smartphone to take with me on our trip, so I could capture some great memories with the camera phone!