I was invited to attend Sweet Welcome by the great folks at Hersheypark and will be sharing why you should consider a visit to Hershey at Christmas. And let me tell you if you’re close by or in driving distance you need to go visit this holiday season. Psst..it’s also the perfect holiday gift if you want to give an experience to your family or loved ones!
The Sweet Welcome event was a weekend long gathering of a small group of bloggers where we got to see, hear, taste (of course!), feel, and smell Hershey Park at the holidays. Yes, smell. The whole town smells like chocolate!
Things to do in Hershey at Christmas
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some of the highlights from our trip.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane is a way to experience the park as you never have before.
Meet some friends: You can meet your favorite candies!
See the lights: Over 4 million! lights are featured all over the park including musical light shows every 30 minutes at the Hollow.
View from the Kissing Tower
View from the top of the Kissing Tower
Light show at The Hollow
Reindeer: You really can see Rudolph and all his pals at Hershey Park! It’s such a fun sight to see and I got such a kick out of seeing these gentle creatures up close.
Visit with Santa: You can visit Santa and get your photo taken together right inside the park! It’s a great way to get that classic Santa photo while you’re visiting a magical Christmas wonderland. You can also visit Santa at Chocolate World or go to breakfast with Santa!
Ride the rides: You can ride a ton of rides while you’re visiting including four of their coasters! My favorite was Laff Trakk, an indoor roller coaster that spins and turns you. You’re sure to laugh!
Get some hot cocoa: Because of course you will!
Hershey: Beyond the park
Beyond Hersheypark is a whole town of fun and of course even more chocolate!
Visit Chocolate World: Right outside the park you’ll find Chocolate World where you can indulge in candy treats, milkshakes, grab a snack, and find a huge selection of candy and candy-themed souvenirs to take home. You’ll also find one of my favorite rides: The Chocolate Tour where you’ll learn about the process of making candy (and hear an earworm of a tune sung by a few cows!). You can also take in a 4D chocolate mystery show, design your own candy bar, get a taste test, or pick up a ride on the Hershey Trolley.
Take a trolley tour: Speaking of the trolley, this is a great way to learn all about the history of Hershey: the town, the candy, and the man behind it all.
Trolley picking us up!
Yes, they give out candy! Our tour guide was fantastic!
All decked out for the holidays.
Old school trolley.
Milton Hershey’s home as seen from the trolley tour.
Part of the Milton Hershey School as seen from the trolley tour. The school is a long lasting legacy built by Mr. Hershey and his wife to educate children and provide them with health insurance, housing, and more. It serves over 2,000 low-income students in the largest residential school in the U.S.
Be entertained: There are a lot of options when it comes to entertainment. While we were visiting there was a local high school football game, a Hershey Bears game, and a theatre show all at once! You can find all the entertainment options for your visit here. We saw a Hershey Bears game while we visited.
Take an after dark tour of ZooAmerica: The zoo is open during regular hours to see the animals, but if you go on a tour after dark you will get to feed the animals and see how they’re cared for. The zoo is home to over 200 animals from five regions of North America. They have a strong background in conservation and education and we learned so much on our tour!
Made friends with a screech owl.
Feeding a bear!
Sweet little porcupine.
See Sweet Lights: Drive on over to Sweet Lights for a fun outdoor light tour from the comfort of your car. It’s a fun show set to music that everyone will adore!
See A Chocolate Avenue Christmas: This show is a fun dinner theatre tribute to the holidays and to Hershey! The performances are amazing and the cast is so incredibly talented! This is a family-friendly show, so be sure to take the whole family.
Stay at Hershey: If you’re in the area you might as well spend a night at one of the lodging areas for Hershey. They offer amazing options, great dining, and so much that you’ll need more than a day trip to explore. Staying at these locations means you get a complimentary shuttle to and from Hersheypark, 1 hour early access to select rides and attractions, and discounts and perks.
Hershey Camping Resort: Bring your RV or rent a cabin. they even have 2 bedroom premium cabins that sleep up to 8! With a mini-kitchen, and lots of fun on site including an arcade, campground store, playgrounds, and more you’re sure to enjoy this rustic lodging.
Premium cabins at Hershey Camping Resort.
A peek inside the cozy cabins.
Hershey Camping Resort barn
Hershey Camping Resort store
Arcade at Hershey Camping Resort
Hershey Lodge: The Lodge is an enormous hotel (over 650 rooms) and meeting location and includes a ton of family activities as well. There is a fitness room, kids’ check in with all kinds of kid-friendly activities, and more.
(photos of the Hershey Lodge thanks to Susan from Mom on the Map)
The Hotel Hershey: The hotel was built during the Great Depression as a way to help the community when candy sales stalled. Mr. Hershey designed the property with a Mediterranean feel, and it continues to showcase the original lobby and design throughout the hotel. It’s also home to The Chocolate Spa. (more on that in a bit)
The original entryway.
Dine out: If you’re on vacation you should really take full advantage of the amazing array of dining options from the amazing buffet at The Circular to the many opportunities to eat chocolate. As someone who suffers from food allergies I was incredibly impressed with how well they handled my allergies at every location we visited. They even have a food stand within Hersheypark called The Outpost that caters to food allergies!
Wine by the fireside at the Hershey Lodge.
Harvest farm to table restaurant at the Hotel Hershey.
Breakfast buffet at The Circular at The Hotel Hershey
Private dining room at The Circular
Bear’s Den restaurant-themed after the local hockey team The Hershey Bears
Visit the Chocolate Spa: I need to write a whole post on the spa, but chocolate and spa? Yes, please! They offer an array of services including chocolate treatments. It’s all chocolate without any of the calories! It’s technically called The Spa at The Hotel Hershey, but everyone refers to it as The Chocolate Spa!
Silent Room at The Chocolate Spa
The Oasis at The Chocolate Spa
Sweet Feet pedicure
Shop: Of course you’ll want to pick up a few souvenirs and you’ll find a ton of options in Hershey! From Twizzlers pillows to Hershey chocolate lip balm you’ll find everything you could ever want or need!
After a weekend trip I was ready to go back! I am already planning a trip with the whole family for the holiday break, and I booked our anniversary trip to the Hotel Hershey and spa! It’s a perfect getaway-close enough to home to travel, affordable, and the spa needed a more thorough review. 😉
Now you’re ready to go, right? Learn more about Hershey at Christmas, reserve lodging, or plan your trip to the sweetest place on Earth.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Hershey. All opinions and info are my own thoughts.