Over the years, I’ve heard so many great things about visiting Hershey, PA. Living in NJ, many people in the area travel there. I had never been, but was always intrigued! I also thought that it was something to do in the warmer spring, summer and fall months. I couldn’t have been more wrong, as I found out after visiting Hershey last weekend. I took part in a media event, Sweet Welcome 2015. I was invited, with other area bloggers, to see the magic of Hershey during the holidays! It is amazing how much there is to do! I had always thought of Hershey, PA as just being Hersheypark. I had no idea how much more there was to do! I left the weekend super excited to share Hershey with my family. So much so, that we promptly booked a trip for the day after Christmas to catch the end of the holiday events and attractions.
So what makes the holidays in Hershey so special?
HersheyPark Christmas Candylane
The holidays come to life at Hersheypark for the Christmas Candylane which is double the size this year – featuring more lights (4 million to be exact), 4 roller coasters – part of 40 rides open for Christmas Candylane. At night, the park is stunning – and walking through the park alone is festive and fun! Add in the attractions, food, shops – and it is fun for the entire family and all ages! The dazzling lights are made even more spectacular in NOEL, a holiday light show which features lights set to holiday music. It runs every half-hour in the Hollow and is something that you cannot miss!
You can visit Santa’s Stables to meet Santa’s 9 reindeer! SO cool. My favorite ride was the Laff Trakk, Hersheypark’s newest coaster, which is an indoor, spinning, glow-coaster. We loved it so much, we rode twice. We also took a ride to the top of the “Kissing Tower” for a beautiful view of the park and surrounding areas.
You can visit with Santa in Santa’s Candy Cottage, participate in a storytime, or go ice-skating on Rudolph’s Pond! You can also catch a show – A Music Box Christmas: The Littlest Tree. Christmas Candylane is perfect for your whole family – especially during the holidays. I recommend the HersheyPark mobile app, which makes navigating the park a breeze!
Sweet Lights is a holiday, drive-thru show features nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays as you drive through two miles of wooded trails from the comfort of your warm car! Grab some hot chocolate and load everyone up for a beautiful ride that cannot be missed!
Open year round, ZooAmerica – a North American Wildlife Park, features more than 200 animals representing 65 species and five regions of North America. You can schedule behind the scenes tours among a variety of educational and entertaining programs. Same day admission is free with Hersheypark ticket. The zoo is just the right size, especially for children, and features great animals with an amazing and caring staff on hand to care for them and educate the public.
A Chocolate Avenue Christmas: Christmas Dinner Theatre at Hershey Lodge
All ages will enjoy this show in this musical show which brings the magic of the season to life. You get to enjoy a three-course holiday dinner, followed by a Broadway-style performance of the season featuring favorite Christmas songs. The talent, dancing and singing is amazing.
Breakfast or Lunch with Santa
This is such a great experience for kids and families – and so much fun! Hosted by Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, it’s an experience that can be enjoyed at Hersheypark, HersheyLodge or Hotel Hershey.
AHL Hershey Bears at the Giant Center
While visiting this winter, you can make your stay even sweeter by taking in a game at The Giant Center, a 10,500 seat center. You can root for the Hershey Bears, the affiliate of the Washington Capitals. But that’s not all – Hershey Entertainment also includes Hersheypark Stadium, a 32,000 seat stadium, and a 1,900 seat theatre. Hershey has hosted more than 50 shows and concerts this year alone from top notch, high demand performers and shows.
I stayed at the HersheyLodge and I was beyond impressed with the quality of service, beauty of hotel, decorations for the season and food on-site. One thing about Hershey – you will not go hungry! Dining in Hershey has so much to offer at the hotels, the park and around town. At the center of HersheyLodge, you’ll find an enormous fireplace which can be enjoyed from all sides, a giant Christmas tree, deluxe accommodations, amazing options for dining and first-class amenities. Not to mention, the Hershey Kisses are a nice touch on turn-down service! You can even enjoy add-ons like Milk & Cookies delivered to your room, and kids check-in.
Get more information on Hershey Entertainment and Resorts HERE.
Next week, I’ll be featuring more about my visit to Hershey, PA and talking more about why Hershey Entertainment and Resorts is perfect for year-round family fun. I’ll share about my experiences with the Hotel Hershey, The Spa at Hotel Hershey, Dining in Hershey, Hersheypark Camping Resort – along with more on the history and legacy of Milton S. Hershey – and the Milton Hershey School.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary accommodations, meals, activities, and tickets in order to facilitate this review. I received no monetary compensation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.