Although Hershey, PA is small there are many things for families to do. This little town is nestled right in the heart of Pennsylvania. It has Milton Hershey to thank for its fame. He built his first chocolate factory there in 1905 and took many steps to ensure that this little town would thrive. If your family loves chocolate, then this is the place for you! Hershey is referred to by many as “Chocolatetown, USA”, and the town certainly lives up to its name. From Hershey Park to Hershey’s Chocolate World, there are so many exciting things to do in this town.
The Main Attractions- Most Popular Things to Do in Hershey
Hershey Park- #1 Thing to Do in Hershey, PA
Ah, Hershey Park. This park is a dream for both chocolate lovers and thrill seekers alike. It has rides for children and adults of all ages, various shops, and a multitude of places to eat. Near the entrance you can measure your children on height charts that are categorized by candy, ranging from a Hershey’s Miniature to a Jolly Rancher. Hershey Park has many traditional smaller rides, such as the Scrambler, Tea Cups, Tilt-a-Whirl, and a Ferris wheel.
If coasters are more your thing, then you can check out any of the fourteen coasters that the park has to offer. For a thrilling ride, wooden coasters such as Wildcat℠, Comet℠, or Lightning Racer® will jostle you around. An absolute must do is the Sky rush®. This coaster takes you 200 feet in the air and drops you down the hill at an exhilarating 75 mph, and then proceeds to take you for one wild ride!
You might work up an appetite running all around the park! Luckily, there over 60 different dining locations located throughout the park. You can find all the theme park basics from hot dogs to pizza to sandwiches. To no surprise, the dessert options are extensive here! Hershey Park has multiple creameries within the park, as well as Dippin’ Dots, slushies, and even a place to get whoopie pies.
As the day comes to an end, don’t forget to check out the shops before you leave. There are tons of sweet souvenirs to choose from. You can purchase tickets here.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
If you’re looking for a free activity then this chocolate tour is for you! This attraction is right next to Hershey Park and definitely does not disappoint. Hershey’s Chocolate World is an indoor ride that takes you on a tour of the “factory”. You get to learn a little bit about the history of the chocolate and this unique town in a very visual and appealing manner. What is the best part you ask? At the end of the ride, visitors are each given a yummy chocolate treat! You can also create your own chocolate bar or participate in a chocolate tasting while here.
Outdoor Things To Do in Hershey, PA
Located next to Hershey Park, ZooAmerica is an eleven-acre wildlife park that contains over 200 different species of animals native to North America. The park is divided into different regions, so you are essentially taking a tour of North America as you walk through the zoo. Conservation efforts are very important to ZooAmerica, and they have a host of different projects and programs currently going on to further those efforts. The staff here are also very knowledgeable and are more than happy to answer any questions that their guests may have. Learn more about the zoo here!
Hershey Gardens is a must-see when visiting this town. This picturesque 23-acre garden is easily navigated by following the one-mile trail loop within the grounds. The garden boasts a variety of different trees, flowers, and shrubs. This includes the Historic Hershey Rose Garden, which is where it all began. Different plants are blooming at different times of the year, so be sure to check the website to see what is in bloom. I highly recommend checking out the gardens in April, as the tulips are truly mesmerizing.
There are also plenty of activities for the children to participate in as well. The Children’s Garden offers many hands-on activities that are both fun and educational. The kids can even learn how to grow their own garden in the Hoop House.
Last, but not least, is the Butterfly Atrium. This indoor, tropical butterfly atrium allows visitors to get up close and personal with lots of different species of butterfly native to other countries. It truly is a magical experience.
Culture & Arts in Hershey, PA-
Built by Milton Hershey in the early 1930s, the Hershey Theater has served as a performing arts center for about eighty years now. The theater offers a variety of performances, ranging from Broadway shows to comedians. If you do get the chance to visit, be sure to absorb the beauty and intricacy of the architecture and artistry that the building possesses. Check out current events here!
The Hershey Story: The Museum on Chocolate Avenue
To learn a little more about the history of Hershey, one can visit The Hershey Story. This museum offers a unique perspective into the life of Milton Hershey and explains exactly how the town of Hershey and Hershey chocolate came to be. There are many interactive activities to participate in, as well as the Chocolate Lab. In the Chocolate Lab, the whole family can learn about the process of making chocolate, as well as being able to develop your own chocolate creations and take them home. Museum tickets are around $13, check current pricing here!
Other Things to Do in Hershey, PA
Tanger Outlets in Hershey
The Outlets in Hershey are a shopper’s delight. This shopping center has something for everyone. There are over fifty stores to shop at, including the Disney outlet, the Old Navy outlet, the Under Armour outlet, and The Children’s Place. That is just to name a few! Here’s further information and directions to the outlets.
The Falconry Experience
The Hotel Hershey also offers a unique experience called The Falconry Experience. The Falconry Experience consists of various demonstrations involving various raptors, including a Golden Eagle. This really is an amazing experience for all ages to enjoy, and you might even get the opportunity to have one of these amazing creatures land on your hand! Make your reservations here.
The Circular Restaurant- For Something Luxurious to do in Hershey, PA
There are many different amazing restaurants to choose from in The Hotel Hershey, but The Circular stands out with some interesting Hershey inspired dishes. You can try the Cocoa Dusted Diver Scallops as an appetizer, and then for dinner delve into some savory Expresso and Cocoa Crusted Venison. They do offer a great menu for the children as well. For the adults, I highly recommend trying any of the Hershey™ martinis that The Hotel Hershey has to offer. I cannot express in words how ridiculously amazing that they are. Learn more about dining at The Hotel Hershey here.
Catch a Hockey Game at the Giant Center
Are you a hockey fan? The Giant Center in Hershey is the official home of the AHL team the Hershey Bears. Enjoy a jam-packed hockey game that fans of all ages will enjoy! Get your tickets today!
The Hershey Story: The Museum on Chocolate Avenue
To learn a little more about the history of Hershey, one can visit The Hershey Story. This museum offers a unique perspective into the life of Milton Hershey and explains exactly how the town of Hershey and Hershey chocolate came to be. There are many interactive activities to participate in, as well as the Chocolate Lab. In the Chocolate Lab, the whole family can learn about the process of making chocolate, as well as being able to develop your own chocolate creations and take them home. Here you can learn more about the museum!
Things To Do Near Hershey, PA
About an hour away from Hershey lies the site of one of the most famous battles of the Civil War. If you are a history buff, I highly recommend taking one of the Gettysburg Battlefield tours. They also have an orientation for first-time visitors. There are a few different tours to choose from, as well as ways to get around (some tours are offered on horseback!). If you plan on visiting Gettysburg, check out all there is to do here.
Located about 45 minutes from Hershey, Dutch Wonderland is a theme park created with children in mind. The family can enjoy some rides in Merlin’s Mayhem, make a splash in Duke’s Lagoon, or check out some dinosaurs on Exploration Island. Old Mill Stream Campground is conveniently located right next to Dutch Wonderland and is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy your stay after a long day at the park. Get your tickets here!
Amish Buggy Rides in Lancaster
Lancaster, Pa is known as Amish country. One of the best ways to learn about the Amish culture and history is to experience an Amish buggy ride. AAA buggy rides begin at Kitchen Kettle Village (which is an awesome Pennsylvania Dutch shopping experience if you have the time to explore), and they offer multiple tours, including a farm tour. Your Amish guide will be able to share a lot of information about Amish history and culture, and you will be able to enjoy the scenic countryside that Pennsylvania has to offer. You can book this experience here!
Hershey really is a hidden gem in the heart of Pennsylvania. This area has so many exciting experiences to offer, while also reminding us of the fact that this country came from a humble beginning. It is a great family vacation spot whether you’re looking for a day trip or a longer vacation. You won’t be disappointed!
Questions about Hershey Pa? Feel free to reach out in the comments or through Instagram with any travel questions!
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