Recently I took my whole family to Hersheypark for a weekend. We live in Upstate New York so it is not that long a drive (about 5 hours) and we were all really excited to go! My husband grew up in New York and so he had been there with his family when he was younger but not recently. Myself and our young daughters had never been – but had heard great things. We spent our entire Saturday in the park and had more fun than we ever imagined.
The Kiddie Rides
We are an on the go family. We enjoy taking weekend road trips and have taken our (still young) daughters all over the Northeast to check our different parks. One issue that we have come across a lot is there are not many rides for our 3 year old. She can usually go on a couple like the carousel and a few others, but never a whole days worth of rides. But at Hersheypark there are over 20 kiddie rides that she could go on and she had the time of her life. From the moment we walked in to the park, she was running around excited to pick out what ride she wanted to go on next. I was so happy to see her get to go on over 20 rides through out the course of the day.
When you first walk in to Hersheypark there is a place to bring your kids to get them measured (there are other official measurement stations throughout the park as well). The different categories are: Miniatures (under 36″), Kisses (36″ to 42″), Reese’s (42″ to 48″), Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (48″ to 54″), Twizzlers (54″ to 60″), or Jolly Rancher (60″+). Your child will then get a wristband that matches their category. This makes going on rides so much easier. No more stopping to be measured as we enter each one. I love this system and would be thrilled if every theme park adopted the same policy. It made our day go so much smoother.
The Roller Coasters
If you are a thrill seeker then Hersheypark is the place for you. With 13 roller coasters varying in speed, loops, and dips – there is something for everyone. My 3 year old loved that she could go on a smaller one – the Cocoa Cruiser – and it ended up being a lot of fun for the whole family. My 5 year old is a bit of a thrill seeker herself and so my husband took her on the superdooperlooper – her first upside down roller coaster! I was nervous and terrified for her as I waited with her younger sister for them to get off – but all she could talk about was wanting to go back on it! You can check out all of the roller coasters at Hershey Park here.
Access to ZooAmerica Included
Included in your park admission is ZooAmerica which is an 11-acre, walk-thru zoo adjacent to Hersheypark. Stroll the tree-lined pathways as you learn about more than 200 animals from five regions of North America. My family loves zoos – in fact, we are members to our local one. So this was a HUGE plus for us. It is nice to take a break from the park (maybe after you just ate so you can let your stomach settle before going on some more rides) and check out everything the zoo has to offer. We got to see the Lions be fed and that was really amazing! There are so many animals to look at and we had a lot of fun walking through the zoo. It is definitely worth it to cross over to ZooAmerica while you are at Hersheypark. ZooAmerica is included in your one-price admission when you visit from within Hersheypark, or choose to visit only the Zoo and pay separately at the off-street entrance.
Let’s admit it, theme park food is not always the best. Usually you don’t have many options to choose from but at Hersheypark there are several places to eat and all have great options. From Black Angus Burgers, to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, to Pizza – to Burritos, to Buffalo Chicken Paninis (my personal favorite) and endless salads – there is something for everyone. Of course, there are lots of chocolate and sweets to be had as well. The Dippin’ Dots flavors are amazing and there are milkshakes that you must try! At Hearsheypark you can find something for even the pickiest eater to enjoy.
There is a water ride section – The Boardwalk – which is open during the summer months. We were having so much fun with the kiddie rides that we never even checked it out – but it looks amazing! So be sure to bring your suits when you visit end of May through beginning of September! Be sure to also check out Hershey’s Chocolate World, which is a quick walk from the park. There is a free ride that takes you through the process of how to make chocolate which my whole family loved. There are lots more things to do there like create your own chocolate bar, solve a 4D chocolate mystery, and of course, the chocolate tasting experience. I highly recommend taking a family trip to Hershey, PA if you can. There is so much to do and we will certainly be going back again!
Next week, I will share why you should stay at Hershey Lodge while visiting Hershey, PA – so be sure to come back.