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Called the sweetest place on earth—thanks to its eponymous chocolate factory—Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a family vacation destination. A vision of Milton S. Hershey, the town was designed as a community for its factory workers. What started as an employee perk turned into an amusement park, drawing visitors looking for thrill rides and a sugar high. Other things to do include the AACA Museum, which explores the history of the motor vehicle, and ZooAmerica.
Opening dates and hours for much of Hersheypark vary by season. The busiest time is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when the rides are fully operational and families are vacationing. To avoid crowds, try to visit on weekends in May or in June. Saturdays are usually busy, so plan for a weekday if possible. Seasonal and holiday-themed events take place throughout the year, such as Hersheypark in the Dark, which includes a special treat-or-trick trail.
Hershey, Pennsylvania, is located just east of the state capital, Harrisburg. It’s about a 2-hour drive west of Philadelphia via I-76 and 40 minutes northwest of Lancaster via Route 283. To help navigate the park, download the Hersheypark app, which lets you filter ride options by type and height category, view entertainment schedules, and browse food locations and place mobile orders. Shuttle service from the parking lot to the park entrance is provided.
To avoid long ride lines, plan to head to the back of the park upon arrival and work your way toward the front. This also makes for an easier exit at the end of the day. Consider visiting ZooAmerica before lunch or in the evening. Since the animals are usually most active in cooler temperatures, you’re more likely to see them during these times.
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Yes. Known for its family-friendly atmosphere, Hershey is fun for kids and adults. In addition to visiting Hersheypark and its attractions, visitors can catch a show at Hersheypark Stadium, GIANT Center, or Hershey Theatre; indulge at its spas; and enjoy a range of dining options and sip chocolate-inspired cocktails....More
Yes. Admission into Hershey's Chocolate World and the chocolate tour ride, which runs continuously during operating hours, is free year-round and does not require tickets. All other attractions—including Create Your Own Candy Bar, Hershey's Unwrapped, and Hershey Trolley Works—require paid tickets. Hersheypark tickets are separate from Hershey's Chocolate World attractions....More
Yes, you can do it in a day, but you probably won’t experience ancillary attractions like ZooAmerica. Remember that the water rides only operate at certain temperatures. Download the park’s app for updates on wait times and closures. Consider reserving an additional day to visit Hershey's Chocolate World....More
Plan to spend one day riding the rides at Hersheypark and the other visiting company-affiliated attractions such as Hershey Gardens, the interactive Hershey Story museum, and ZooAmerica. Other things to do in Hershey include the AACA Museum (covering the motor vehicle history), Cullari Vineyards and Winery, and Troegs Brewing Company....More
Go on a weekday, especially when school is in session, to encounter fewer park crowds. Expect the most visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day and on Saturdays. Instead, try to visit Sunday afternoons, Mondays, and evenings after most folks have gone. In summer, June is the least crowded....More
To make the most out of a visit to Hershey, visit Hersheypark between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is when all the rides are open, including the waterpark, which also means it’s at its busiest. Summer is prime season for concerts at Giant Center, adjacent to Hersheypark....More