It's hard to believe that signs of Christmas are now everywhere. From trees, to lights, to shopping for loved ones, the air is filled with Holiday cheer. If you're looking to add a little sweetness to the final days of 2020, I highly suggest heading to the Hershey, PA, the sweetest place on Earth!
Located just west of the state's Capital City of Harrisburg, Hershey is a an easy weekend getaway from DC and many other major east coast cities. The thrill of the rides, the tastiness of the chocolate, and warmth of this small town will have you adding Hershey to your must do list for years to come.
My Earmate had the pleasure of sampling a taste of HersheyPark Christmas Candylane® and Hershey Sweet Lights® during their opening weekend.
With a chill in the air, they arrived at the Hotel Hershey, which sits high atop a hill overlooking the fun of Hershey Park located right across the street. The 1930's hotel, built by Milton Hershey during the Great Depression to provide employment for his town, has been a recipient of both the Forbes Four-Star Award and the AAA Four-Diamond Award.
Upon arrival, the simple yet elegant lobby invites you, as does the full sized candy bar each guest receives. They also packaged their stay with Cookies From Santa so the kiddos in the group received milk and freshly baked goodies to enjoy before hitting some rides! The package is a fun option and in addition to the yumminess includes accommodations, tickets for Christmas Candylane (including a preview night), Sweet Lights, and admission to both Hershey Gardens and The Hershey Story's Museum Experience.
DAY 1: PREVIEW NIGHT!!!
We highly recommend checking in the night prior to your Candylane ticketed day. This is because 2.5 hours prior to Park closing, you are invited to join in the fun with a preview night!
There is a lot to see and do and this is a great way to see all that the Park has to offer and gives you the opportunity to hit up a few rides so that you can maximize your time tomorrow.
CURATED TIP: Be sure to ride the Monorail and Skyview, not only for the beauty of the lights but to get get an overview of the Park and make your list of things you want to ride.
CURATED TIP: We would suggest visiting Santa if that is on your list as well as his reindeer. If you choose to wait until tomorrow the lines will be long, but Santa's line did seem to let up later in the evening.
Dinner: They chose to grab a quick bite in the park at Nathan's Famous (after riding the Tilt-a-While of course). The chicken tenders were delicious and food was plentiful and can easily be shared. There is also the options of Chick-Fil-A and Subway closer to the front of the Park as well.
CURATED TIP: If Chick-Fil-A is your choice, hit up their food truck located in The Hollow. The line was non-existent and this is where the light show set to music is located. So find a park bench and enjoy dinner with the show. There is also a great Christmas tree nearby for family photos.
With Candylane not opening until 2 PM, there is plenty of time to enjoy your Hotel!
DAY 2: POOL TIME!!!
Don't forget your bathing suit! What kid doesn't love to swim? Parents, grab your coffee or your mimosa, because this was just exciting to the kids as the anticipation of riding coasters.
Some of the activities available for kids at Hotel Hershey:
CURATED TIP: If the weather allows, grab lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy at the tables at Harvest Plaza, just a short walk from the main building. There is plenty of seating as well as ping pong and cornhole to entertain the kids!
Check out the beauty of the Gardens nestled right outside the Hotel
This is a great place for the kids to run of some energy (and calories) while the adults relax before hitting the Park.
DAY 2 CONTINUED: PARK TIME!!!!
The crowds were heavy compared to the night prior, so we headed towards the back of the Park and worked our way forward. The nice thing about Hershey is that it is a Park for all ages. Whether you have thrill seekers looking to ride the new Candymonium or littles still excited for the merry-go-round, there is something for everyone.
CURATED TIP: Arrive early! With the temperature check prior to the entrance, allow yourself extra time as the line was long.
CURATED TIP: if you are interested in Zoo America, which is included in your Park admission, check the hours as it does close prior to sunset.
Dinner: If you are a cheesesteak fan, I highly recommend Chickie's & Pete's. A Philadelphia original, this was one of the best I've had! The sandwiches are just as big as they are delicious, so consider sharing. And don't forget an order of Crabfries with cheese sauce for the table!
Sweet Lights: After a fun filled day in the Park, enjoy more than two miles of christmas cheer from the warmth of your car. With over two million lights and 600 animatronics set to music, there is a surprise around every turn and I highly recommend as a the perfect way to end your night.
CURATED TIP: Before leaving the park grab a Starbucks or hot chocolate to sip on while viewing the lights.
DAY 3: HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD
Ever wonder how they make this world famous chocolate? Check out Chocolate World for the behind the scenes tour as you ride through the chocolate process from bean to candy. There is even a sweet yummy surprise at the end. This is also your go to place for a souvenir and any Hershey product you would like to take home with you. I recommend the Reese's peanut butter and the yummy hot cocoa.
CURATED TIP: Be sure to schedule your visit online at tickets.hersheys.com for a timed entry pass.
Lunch: We grabbed a quick bite at the food court before hitting the road. They had soup and sandwiches for the adults and a generous kid's meal. The next time I go however, I'm saving room for the milkshakes! They looked delicious and could totally be a meal itself.
I hope you decide to take a road trip to Hershey for the Holidays. If it's not in the cards this year, keep it in mind for next!
Hershey Christmas Candylane® and Hershey Sweet Lights® are open most nights through January 3, 2021. Please be sure to check the state of Pennsylvania COVID regulations prior to traveling.
If you haven't visited Hershey -- totally let me know when you would love help in booking this "Sweet" getaway!!
If you have visited -- I would love to hear your favorite memory!!!!
Monica Clark, your