If you are a chocoholic or have never had the most delicious chocolate bar in the world, you will quickly convert from the moment you visit Hershey. Everything is chocolate, and I mean everything. The wallpaper in the room is all Hershey kisses. The shower curtain is chocolate colored as is the mirror, drapes, towels, furniture, and the carpets. The shampoo, conditioner and lotion in the bathrooms are, you guessed, infused with chocolate. Even the air smells of chocolate.
Our family, consisting of 6 adults and 4 kids, wanted to do something different. I already had too much Disney, visited all the local and drive-to recommended vacation spots and then, voila, decided to discover Hershey. My one regret is I didn’t stay a day longer. EVERYTHING is CHOCOLATE. Not only are there Hershey chocolate of every kind, but chocolate drinks, chocolate shakes, and chocolate nuts in my salad.
Thank you to Kaylee Dugan and her team of professionals providing us with the most beautiful hotel – The Hershey Lodge- great promo basket and lots of yummy Hershey products. And a million thanks for the day of fun at Hershey Park. Here we are mid-November and the Park was full. The only rides not operating were ones I only would go on as a teenager. The roller coasters were HUGE. There are 13 roller coasters – 13!!! Of course we have to come back so my brave kids and grandkids can experience the thrill of each coaster. We are already planning to return.
There was so much to do and see. Many of the rides and attractions were open and operating and although the park is not as big as Disney, the variety of things do takes up the entire day. The park is spotless and the grounds in the Park as well as the grounds within the town of Hershey are quite beautiful.
My grandson, who is 9, reminded me that he was there was he was 6 months old. But he doesn’t remember much more. Go figure. This time ‘round he made sure to do as much as he could until the weather changed.
But that was just the next step in our full day.
It snowed, hailed and the weather forced us to do the second most voted activity – EAT. I must say, we were given a list of many, many restaurants in and around Hershey. Yet, the weather kept us delightfully inside the Hershey Lodge, which is so, so beautiful, in itself, it is an attraction.
There was the 10th anniversary concert being held with R&B groups crooning and entertaining the many guests who were fortunate enough to hold tickets. The Lodge was bustling with music, people, food, fun, happiness and excitement for the holiday season.
The ten of us still starving, made one of the best decisions regarding where to eat.
The Hershey Lodge has enough restaurants from which to choose. We were sitting in the lobby and The Bear’s Den caught our attention. It’s a casual, yet well decorated and cheerful restaurant and by the look of all the kids there, it was unanimous. The food was FABULOUS, and it got a full 10 from each and every one of us, who all have different taste preferences from my 9-year-old who had pasta with French fries on the side and milk, to me, a fabulous steak salad with, you guessed it, chocolate cashews. Burgers bigger than a normal mouth can hold decorated our table of 10. The dessert, ahhhh, the dessert. The waiter said it was enough for 2, but 5 of us shared a double chocolate mousse cake with a major scoop of ice cream AND four mountains of whipped cream topped with Hershey’s chocolate sauce. I dove into that dessert so fast, I apologize that I forgot to take a picture. Thank you to the staff at The Bear’s Den. You were so patient and never left our glasses empty. When one of the kids asked for some Hershey kisses to take to their room, the staff filled up an entire bag. Hershey Heaven.
The kids were eating dinner with their bathing suits under their clothing, because the best was yet to come. The pool ‘universe’ can only be explained by being there. With a multitude of pools, all different levels for different kids and adults, there were basketball courts in one pool, slides and jungle gyms in another, water sports, all accessories, and all encompassing.
The kids ran from The Bear’s Den right to the water slides. The old adage about waiting an hour after eating to swim, did not hold true in our family.
What was the eye-opener for me was I hadn’t seen ONE Kindle, cell phone, IPad, laptop or any other piece of electronic equipment large or small in the hands of any of my four grandchildren at any point of the trip. I have never had that pleasure. Instead of being glued to any form of electronics, they were busy planning when they were eating, what time they were swimming, how many rides they were taking and, my youngest asked guest services if they could stay an extra week.
Drive through two miles of lighted displays from the comfort of your car in Hershey Sweet Lights. Enjoy illuminated holiday lights through the fields and wooded trails while listening to holiday music. Sweet Lights began on Friday, November 11th and is open on select dates through Sunday, January 1st. For operational hours and dates visit Hershey Park. Don’t forget your camera. Four million gorgeous holiday lights in a special 2 ½ mile drive will astound you and your loved ones. It truly is a sight to behold.
Might I make a final suggestion: One day in Hershey is not nearly enough, even in the winter months. Two full days at a minimum. Remember, full day at the Park and, if you are bringing little or big ones with you, one full day in the pool. Much to do while enjoying the beautiful accommodations and yummy food.
The next time you bite into any Hershey product, you will be doing more than giving your taste buds a treat; you will be part of Milton Hershey’s legacy. The Milton Hershey School Trust also has 100% control of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, which owns the Hotel Hershey and Hersheypark, among other properties. The Hershey’s, having no children of their own, donated everything they made to build and grow The Hershey School. The Hershey’s took great pride in the growth of the school, the town, and his business. He placed the quality of his product and the well-being of his workers ahead of profits. Milton Hershey School is a cost-free, private, co-residential school and home for children from lower income families. I urge you to visit: Milton Hershey kids website
As you treat yourself to a wonderful day at Hershey Park, always keep in mind you are keeping Mr. Hershey’s dream alive by always contributing to the continued education of children.
Hershey hotels, parks and all attractions within the beautiful town that Milton Hershey built, is a car ride from any of the boroughs of New York, New Jersey and all the surrounding states. Instead of Disney, again and again, pack up the car and drive to Hershey. It won’t disappoint.