Family fun is only a three hour drive away at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Dubbed “the sweetest place on earth,” Hersheypark is currently open Friday-Sundays through Sunday, November 2 for the Halloween season’s Hersheypark In the Dark. One crisp autumn weekend, we visited the thrilling holiday-themed entertainment including “roller ghosters” (at least from afar) and “spooktacular attractions.” More than the rides, we enjoyed exploring the park’s impressive ZooAmerica, particularly watching the mountain lion, ocelots and Lynx.
During Hersheypark In the Dark, kids 12 and under can dress up in their Halloween costumes and participate in Hershey’s Trick-or-Treat Adventure, which begins at Hershey’s Chocolate World near the entrance of the park and extends into Treatville, the park’s hometown village of sweets and treats. Hersheypark will also be open select dates November 14-Decemeber 31 for Hersheypark Christmas Candylane.
And don’t miss Hershey’s Chocolate World’s festive attractions and marketplace. Plus, you’ll enjoy the free Great American Tour ride; you get a chocolate treat when you get off.
Where to stay
The Hotel Hershey is a beautifully landscaped family resort centrally located near Hersheypark and other nearby attractions. With 276 rooms, the hotel is a great way to get wrapped up in the Hershey tradition. Upon check-in, guests receive a Hershey chocolate bar (dark or milk chocolate) and complimentary passes to the lush Hershey Gardens at the foot of the hotel’s property and to The Hershey Story museum, where visitors learn about the history and legacy of Milton S. Hershey, the man behind the candy. The hotel also offers free shuttle service to and from Hersheypark.
If you opt for a more private stay, there are several Woodside Cottages (four six-bedroom and six four-bedroom cottages) behind the main hotel, which opened in 2009 as part of a grand expansion following the hotel’s 75th anniversary.
The cottages have larger bedrooms than the standard rooms in the main hotel, as well as modern bathrooms featuring a rain forest showerhead and soaking tub with a flat-screen TV. Each cottage includes a private outdoor entrance, exterior porch and adjacent parking. Guests can reserve one bedroom or the entire cottage.
For the fall/winter season, rates for The Hotel Hershey are $279 on weekdays and $359 on weekends.
Go to the spa
Even if you’re not a hotel guest, you can enjoy pamper time at the luxe Spa at The Hotel Hershey, specializing in chocolate and pumpkin facial and body treatments.
Where to eat
The Hotel Hershey has several restaurants and there are a few fast food eateries in the area, including Red Robin. Yum!