There are so many fun things to do in Hershey PA with kids. It is a great family friendly destination for a weekend getaway or a family vacation. Today we are sharing the best things to do in Hershey Pennsylvania for your family visit.
We have visited Hershey many times in the last few years and have experienced many family attractions near Hershey, PA including Hersheypark as well as other attractions in town.
As we return year after year, we found that we have our favorite family activities we keep going back to. We created this list for your family to plan an awesome visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania.
We’ve included some of our favorite attractions at Hersheypark as well as things to do around Hershey, PA outside the amusement park.
Fun Things to do in Hershey PA for Families
- Ride Laff Trakk at Hersheypark
- Taste Test Chocolate at the Hershey Story Museum
- Take a ride on the Hershey Factory Tour at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
- Experience a Hershey Trolley Tour.
- Enjoy the view from the Kissing Tower at Hersheypark.
- Walk through ZooAmerica to see animals of North America.
- Take a early morning or late evening tour of ZooAmerica.
- Enjoy breakfast at The Circular restaurant at the Hotel Hershey.
- Make S’mores and go camping at Hersheypark Camping Resort.
- Spend the day at the Boardwalk, Hersheyparks water park. (Seasonal)
- Enjoy Hershey Lodge Water Works as a guest at the Hershey Lodge.
- Create your own unique candy bar at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
- Watch the 4D Adventure show at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
- Enjoy a King Size Shake at Simply Chocolate inside Hersheypark.
- Eat Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab Fries inside Hersheypark.
- See the Butterfly Observatory at Hershey Gardens.
- Indulge in a Spa treatment at the Hershey Spa located in the Hotel Hershey.
- Meet characters inside Hersheypark.
- Shop at the World’s Largest Hershey gift shop inside Hershey’s Chocolate World.
- Learn about the journey of your chocolate bar from bean to bar in Hershey’s Unwrapped at Chocolate World.
- Enjoy a sweet treat from Hershey’s Chocolate World bakery.
- Trick or Treat at Hersheypark in the Dark for Halloween. (Seasonal)
- Visit Santa at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane for the Holidays. (Seasonal)
- Take a drive to see the holiday lights at Hershey Sweet Lights.
- Help save the day in the all new Reese’s Cupfusion at Hersheypark.
- Visit The Hershey Story Museum to learn about the impact Milton Hershey had on the town.
- Stop at Duck Donuts to create your unique tasty treat.
- Visit Troeg’s Brewery for giant pretzels.
- Check out the antique cars at the Antique Automobile Museum.
- Enjoy an original Hershey Chocolate Bar where it all began.
Where to Stay in Hershey PA: Hershey Accomodations
We have stayed at the local hotels for a few visits but some of the best places to stay are the Hershey Resorts. They offer great accommodations and many on-site perks like transportation to the park and early entry. They also have daily activities for families.
Hershey Lodge is a great place for families because it has Hershey Water Works, an indoor water park available for on-site guests. After a fun day at the parks it was great to let the kids burn off some steam playing in the splash pads and water slides.
If you are considering a stay at Hershey Lodge I recommend reading my post, Hershey Lodge: A Family Weekend Getaway, that goes into more details about our stay.
Hersheypark Camping Resort
If you enjoy camping and are on a budget, Hersheypark Camping Resort is a good choice. At the resort they have cabins and camping sites. We stayed in a cabin during a December visit and we would definitely do it again.
As a family of five I appreciated the space it gave us and I loved having our own kitchen to prepare a few meals. I go into more details of what you need for your stay at the cabins in my post, Hersheypark Camping Resort Winter Stay.
The Hotel Hershey
The Hershey Hotel is the last of the three Hershey resorts and it is the most luxurious. It has a spa, a Kid’s Club(additional cost), an indoor and outdoor pool, private luxury cottages, and on-site restaurants. This is family travel luxury and is may be worth the splurge on your Hershey visit.
My favorite part of the Hotel Hershey is the Circular that offers amazing dining options for families. You can learn more about staying at the Hotel Hershey in our post.
Discovering Hershey Chocolate World
After we have checked-in to our resort, our typical first stop is Hershey Chocolate World. Hershey Chocolate World is a shop and entertainment visitors center that is one of the best and biggest Hershey stores in the world. You will find treats to try, interactive experiences, and a lot of Hershey shopping.
Hershey’s Chocolate Tour
Hershey’s Chocolate Tour is a ride attraction. You board moving carts that take you through the history and creation of Hershey Chocolate. This free tour has a catchy song and animatronic Hershey characters throughout the tour. It is fun for the entire family. You even receive a special Hershey treat at the end.
4D Chocolate Mystery
This 4D show has seen a few changes in the last few years and it has only gotten better. It begins with the introduction of a mystery inside the chocolate factory and together with Kiss, Reese, and Hershey, the audience helps solve the mystery. Kids love the interactive element of this show and it is so much fun. Tickets can be purchased in the lobby.
Create a Candy Bar
If you have ever wanted to create your own candy bar this is for you! Guest will take a 45 minute authentic Hershey factory tour and create their own candy bar at the conclusion. This does require reservations and you must purchase tickets, I suggest calling ahead or ordering online.
Enjoy all the many flavors of chocolate and step inside the chocolate tasting lab. Here you will be immersed in the sights and smells of chocolate and discover what your favorite chocolate is. Tickets can be purchased online or in the lobby.
The Summer Trolley Tours takes you on a tour of Hershey, PA and shares the story and history of Milton Hershey. The tour is family friendly and requires reservations that can be made online or in the lobby of Hershey Chocolate World. They also offer many different tours through out the year.
- Historical Trolley Tour is offered year round and takes you on a tour of the town with a tour guide that shares all about the history of Hershey.
- Seasonal Trolley Tour is offered Memorial Day-Labor Day and has actors as your tour guide to engage and entertain while learning about the history of Hershey.
- Seasonal Trick or Treat Trolley blends the entertainment of the Seasonal Trolley Tour with some kid friendly Halloween fun.
- Seasonal Holly Jolly Trolley is a Christmas themed tour with a visit from Santa Claus!
- Sweet Lights Trolley drives through Hershey Sweet Lights celebration during the Christmas holiday. This is a great way to see the lights and not have to worry about driving and waiting in line.
Tickets for all the attractions at Hershey Chocolate World can be found on their website. To save on ticket prices consider purchasing your tickets online and as a bundle.
If you like shopping you will enjoy the Hershey Chocolate World gift shop. From clothing to stuffed animals, toys to coffee mugs, you will find something for everyone on your list. You can also purchase some of the largest chocolate bars I have ever seen!
The Bakery is the signature treat stop inside Hershey Chocolate World. The cupcakes and chocolate covered treats will be sure to make everyone in your family happy.
Thrills and Food at Hersheypark
Hersheypark is a family amusement park that has rides, attractions, shows and food for the whole family. Your family can spend the day on thrilling coasters, floating in the lazy river, or sharing a sweet treat. Hershey has something everyone will love.
Try a Milkshake at Simply Chocolate
I know you can have a milkshake anywhere but nothing compares to the milkshakes at Simply Chocolate inside Hersheypark. Simply Chocolate is home to the King Size Shake and it truly lives up to it’s name. We tried the Hershey Kiss one and it was perfect to share!
Share a Bucket of Fries at Chickie’s & Pete’s
Chickie’s & Pete’s have two locations inside Hersheypark: Pioneer Frontier and the Boardwalk. The Crabfries are our number one choice during our visit and we always purchase the big bucket to share. Often this replaces a meal or we will add on a basket of chicken fingers.
Meet Characters at Hersheypark
At Hersheypark you have the opportunity to meet all different Hershey characters. Typically we see Kiss, Hershey, and Reese, but there have been moments where we have seen Twizzler or Jolly Rancher. Check the park guide book when you arrive for time and locations. Be sure to meet the characters during the seasonal events to see them dressed for the season.
Thrill Rides and More
Hersheypark is known for it’s thrill rides but what I have always loved about visiting is that there are rides and attractions for all ages. We love riding Laff Trakk(an indoor coaster), the Monorail around the park, and the Reese Cup Challenge. (Reese Cup Challenge closed at the end of the 2018 season and will reopen as Reese’s Cupfusion in 2019).
There are also big coasters for your older children and many rides that are for the little ones. Check out this article that tells you about the rides and Hersheypark ride height restrictions.
Enjoy the View of Hershey on the Hershey Kissing Tower (Hersheypark)
I am not the biggest fan of heights but a ride up the Hershey Kissing Tower is the best way to see some breathtaking views of Hershey, PA. It is a slow climb and great for all ages. It gives you a 360 degree view of the town of Hershey.
ZooAmerica is a Zoo located inside Hersheypark. They have animal exhibits that focus on North American Wildlife. It is a small sized zoo and you could spend about 1-2 hours depending on the age of your kids and their interest in animals. Typically we will visit for about an hour. When you purchase tickets to Hersheypark, ZooAmerica is included in your ticket.
Take a Behind the Scenes Tour at ZooAmerica
ZooAmerica offers ticketed behind the scenes tours for guests to enjoy special animal encounters. I share more about my experience in this article, ZooAmerica Tips and After Hour Tour.
Hersheypark the Boardwalk
Hersheypark the Boardwalk is an 11 acre water park inside Hersheypark. The latest addition is Breaker’s Edge Water Coaster that is part water slide part roller coaster and all thrills. For a more relaxing visit they have a lazy river and splash pad to cool down in. Admission to the Boardwalk is included in your park admission.
Seasonal Events in Hershey PA
Hershey celebrates the season with special events to enjoy with your family at Halloween and Christmas time.
Hersheypark in the Dark
Hersheypark in the Dark is Hersheypark’s annual Halloween seasonal event. Walk around the park dressed up in your favorite costume and stop at the special Trick or Treat stops along the way. The park is decorated but all the Halloween fun is kid friendly and not scary at all.
We loved the event and I wrote about it in my post, Trick or Treat Fun at Hersheypark in the Dark.
Christmas Candylane is the holiday event that typically runs mid-November until January 1st. The park is decorated with holiday lights, the characters are wearing their holiday costumes, and there are special attractions throughout the park. Your family can meet Santa and see his reindeer and there are a few rides and attractions open.
Hershey Sweet Lights
Hershey Sweet Lights is 2 miles of holiday lights set along a wooded area near Hersheypark. It is not located in Hersheypark and you can purchase your tickets online. I recommend arriving early because the car line can get very busy. Learn more in this article, Hersheypark Christmas Candylane: A Family Holiday Tradition
Coming Soon to Hersheypark
There are a few new attractions coming to Hersheypark. In 2019 Reese Cupfusion, an interactive dark ride, will open for guests. In 2020, Hershey Chocolatetown will open. Hershey Chocolatetown will be a entertainment area featuring shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Around Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hersheypark and Hershey Chocolate World are not the only things to do in Hershey. We found a few more fun destinations that are great for families.
Hershey Gardens is an outdoor garden area to explore. They have a children’s garden area as well as an indoor butterfly garden. The outdoor area is the largest part and the rose garden is beautiful in full bloom. If you can time your visit when you can explore outdoors. They also have seasonal Halloween and Christmas events that look fun during the off-season visits.
Hershey Story Museum
The Hershey Story Museum shares the history of the town of Hershey, where it started, and how it got where it is today. The kids loved visiting because they had a special scavenger hunt activity for the kids to participate in during our visit.
Duck Donuts is our most recent discovery on our Hershey visits and we will definitely be back. Duck Donuts offers a customized donut experience. You can pick the toppings and flavors you like and create your best donuts ever! The kids can’t wait to go back and create their next specialized donut.
Troegs Brewery is not just a brewery but a unique restaurant too. Some families may not want to visit a brewery on their family vacation but we found Troegs to be very family friendly and the kids couldn’t resist the Oktoberfest pretzel!
The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum
I recently discovered The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum and think it would be a great place to show the kids how much automobiles have changed throughout history. It offers impressive exhibits and I’m hoping to add it to our next visit.
As I finish writing this list I can’t wait to plan our next visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania. There are so many things to do in Hershey PA for families and with all the upcoming attractions there is always something new and exciting to check out.
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