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Calling all Halloween aficionados! When October rolls around, bringing with it the Halloween season, our whole family is itching for some witching. Bonus points if it involves chocolate.
This year brought us to the one and only Hershey, Pennsylvania, more specifically, Hersheypark. This amusement park is the birthplace of all those little chocolate candies found in Halloween bowls throughout the US come October 31st.
This is the time of year to visit Hershey; between the fall colors, the sweet treats, and the special events, the fall season amplifies all that Hersheypark offers.
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Hersheypark: Where Halloween Gets the Chocolate Treatment
You haven’t really celebrated Halloween until you’ve done it at Hersheypark. The streets might not be paved with chocolate, but everything else certainly seems to be. It truly is the sweetest place on earth.
Hersheypark’s Chocolate World: A Cocoa-Lover’s Dream Come True
Hersheypark’s Chocolate World is a heavenly place that is decadently adorned with all things cocoa. It offers guests an immersive journey into the world of chocolate creation.
Nestled amidst the thrill rides and vibrant attractions of Hersheypark. Chocolate World is home to the Chocolate Tour, a free ride that takes visitors through the entire chocolate production process from bean to kiss.
Visitors have the opportunity to purchase extensions that include Create Your Own Candy Bar and Hershey’s Unwrapped. My family chose Hershey’s Unwrapped, a taste-testing adventure that was part show and part science. It truly made us feel just like we had scored a golden ticket into Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
What to Do: Halloween Festivities Galore!
During the holiday season, Hersheypark transforms into an immersive haunt experience, Hersheypark Halloween!
During this seasonal event, the park is adorned with jack-o-lanterns, ghostly decorations, and a friendly, not-so-spooky atmosphere perfect for families with children of all ages.
One of the fun things that my boys loved was seeing the Hershey characters dressed in their Halloween costumes. Spend a good amount of time with them at one of the character glow dance parties in The Music Box Theatre. During The Glow Dance Party, Hershey Bar hosts a pageant where the audience gets to decide which is the best-dressed monster.
Come 6:00 pm, take heed because Dark Nights begins, and the park transforms into a spookier version of itself. Halloween costumes are a must.
Fog machines and scary music fill the park with eerie sensations. Screams from the blacked-out coasters are the soundtrack to the evening’s thrills. The haunted houses and scare zones are created for an older audience who loves a good scare.
Parents, need some liquid courage? Hershey created three signature cocktails for the season. The Dark Night’s Inferno is a blend of cranberry and Fireball, perfect for a cooler evening. The Blue Beast is a cooling concoction of blue raspberry lemonade and malted spirits. Finally, The Rotten Apple combines tart Sour Apple with malted spirits and really is anything but Rotten.
Don’t miss! Unbelievable Candy from Around the World
For thrill-seekers, many roller coasters are open, and here’s the fun twist, they’re in the dark! Our family’s favorite rides? The Candymonium – the park’s tallest and fastest hyper-coaster- and Laff Trakk– accurately described as “the fun house of the 21st century.” The Lightning Racer is another one that catered to my boys’ endless desire to compete with one another; a pair of wooden, dueling race tracks that become truly wild in the dark (during the last hour of operation during Dark Nights).
Creatures Of The Night
One of the favorite Halloween events for little ones is found in ZooAmerica, right next door to Hersheypark. It comes alive (in a very family-friendly way) after dark. We learned about nocturnal animals and even caught an up-close encounter with bats and wolves!
The best-loved Hersheypark Halloween event is located in The Boardwalk region and Chocolate World, The Trick-or-Treat Trail, which is made up of 13 delicious sweet stops. Our little ones, dressed in their Halloween best, went stop-to-stop collecting candy from some very friendly Hershey characters. Don’t worry about bringing a bag because the first stop includes one bag and a few candies.
Autumn in Hershey, Pennsylvania – fall colors, sweet treats and thrilling rides. There is no better time to visit Hersheypark than this.
Best Places To Eat At Hersheypark
Okay, let’s be real – a trip to Hershey Park means indulging that sweet tooth just a smidge (or a lot).
Milton’s Ice Cream Parlor
Our family devoured the ice cream sundaes here. We were able to choose our own mix-ins, and I swear one of our sundaes had every chocolate product made in Hershey!
It’s the park’s flagship restaurant, bar, and patio, and boy, is it worth a visit! Try the Ferris Wheel Sampler. Thank us later.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Just outside the park, this place is an absolute must. From creating your own candy bar to embarking on a chocolate tour (which, by the way, ends with a complimentary Hershey’s treat), it’s a chocolate lover’s paradise.
For non-chocolate cravings (yes, they exist), the park has numerous eateries serving pizzas, smoked BBQs, and even some gluten-free options.
When You Go
Getting To Hershey From Los Angeles
American, United, Spirit, and Southwest have direct flights to Hershey that take about five hours. It’s a 20-minute drive to Hersheypark.
An excellent discount site for flights (and cars, hotels) is Expedia! This is where we start our research for the best deals!
Where to Stay Near Hersheypark
For a budget-friendly stay, consider The Hersheypark Camping Resort. This pristine campsite includes places to tent camp and RV camp, but families can also find cabins to rent and even a trendy tiny home.
Our little clan chose to stay at the moderately priced Hershey Lodge.
It’s got an ultra-cozy lodge vibe with cocoa-infused everything. A Hershey chocolate bar at check-in. Cocoa-scented toiletries. Our kiddos loved unlimited access to the indoor waterpark, and hey, with an obstacle course throughout the pool that is Reese’s Cup-themed, who wouldn’t?
Included in our stay were a set of general admission tickets to Hershey Gardens and The Hershey Story Museum. Don’t skip these. Milton Hershey’s legacy is worth exploring, and families won’t truly understand it without a trip to these two important stops.
For a more luxurious stay, there’s The Hotel Hershey, boasting a spa where you can actually get a chocolate-infused massage. (The answer is yes, it’s as heavenly as it sounds.)
By the end of our trip, our hearts were full (and our bellies even fuller).
Between the adrenaline-pumping rides in the dark, the heartwarming sight of our kids trick-or-treating with sheer joy, and indulging in everything chocolate, this was one Halloween trip we won’t forget. (Last year’s trick-or-treating through the neighborhood doesn’t even compare!)
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