This past weekend we kicked off our Christmas holiday season and Thanksgiving break with a mini getaway to Hershey PA to visit Hersheypark and Hotel Hershey. I love going on vacations where we can hop in the car and arrive at our destination in less than 90 minutes and be transported to another atmosphere of fun and luxury. Hotel Hershey is totally a high end hotel and we thought it was wonderful.
Winter Must Do Attractions at Hersheypark in Hershey PA
So, what’s not to miss if you visit Hersheypark at Christmas ?
#1 Live Reindeer Stables at Hersheypark
Our #1 tip is to stop by to see the live reindeer. Your kids will love it! And I thought it was really cool too as I’ve never seen reindeer before in real life either!
#2 Sweet Lights
Next, be sure to add the Sweet Lights to your nightly itinerary. It’s $25 per car to drive through fun holiday festive lights. Your kids will be impressed at the beginning when they can pop on 3D glasses and all the lights will appear to look like snowflakes. This is really cool when you see street lights or car headlights.
And… save your glasses as the next time you drive in the evening the kids will be impressed to see Snowflakes on all the car headlights and taillights again too!
#3 Dining at Hotel Hershey
The food is awesome at all the restaurants we sampled. Enjoying a warm meal by a fireplace in the winter is wonderful!
#4 The Chocolate Spa
I’ve never experienced it myself, but I hear it is amazing. I can’t imagine the aroma of chocolate during a pampering spa! Heaven!
So, book some alone time for Mom or Mom and her girlfriends to enjoy this sweet escape.
(Please be sure to make an advance reservation and note that children under age 13 can not get a treatment as this is for adults only. )
#5 Visit the Hershey Story Museum
We are super impressed with this museum. Your stay at the Hotel Hershey or Hershey Lodge also includes free passes to the museum. It’s all about the life of Milton Hershey and the Hershey company. There are tons of hands on activities for the kids to participate in too – like the current special exhibit, Chocolate Workers, that let’s everyone see what it would have been like to work in Hershey’s original factories. Fascinating!
You can also do the Chocolate Lab and taste a flight of hot chocolates from around the world. We did both those activities and loved it!
#6 Visit Chocolate World
My kids love the free attraction here all about how chocolate is made. There’s also a 4D movie to view and some chocolate bar making activities along with a stellar chocolate shop that will make your mouth water!
Dining at the Hotel Hershey
Wow! We were so impressed with the fantastic meals at the Hotel Hershey. Bonus: They were stella at accommodating for gluten free guests too – we’re talking gluten free pasta, gluten free pancakes, and even fresh baked gluten free rolls. My 6 year old son was thrilled!!!!
We had 2 incredible dinners on Saturday and Sunday evening. If you plan to visit for the holidays or in the winter, I highly recommend making reservations in advance. We did not realize we’d need to do this and almost were not able to eat at the hotel, even though we arrived to eat early at 5:00 pm for our family of 4. Luckily, one of the restaurants was able to squeeze us in. The food is so fantastic and the Hotel Hershey is such a popular destination with the Chocolate Spa and holiday events that the restaurants are packed with guests wanting to enjoy the superb food.
We ate at Harvest, which sources from local farms, and it was incredible. I had the best scallops, grilled broccoli, and mashed potatoes ever! We also ate at Trevi 5, an Italian restaurant and it was fabulous. They offered gluten free pasta for my son too!
For breakfast, we ate at the classic and original restaurant at Hotel Hershey, The Circular. It looks out onto the beautiful grounds and offers a fabulous view and affordable breakfast buffet or you can order from the menu.
Aren’t our Kiss Waffles too cute?
Dining Options at Hotel Hershey include the following:
The Circular: Experience the fresh flavors of fine dining and enjoy history with a twist of innovation in the iconic atmosphere.
o Trevi 5: An authentically modern Italian grill, offering a contemporary twist on traditional Italian cuisine.
o Harvest: Genuine American cuisine using fresh, local ingredients, featuring microbrews and an American wine list.
o Iberian Lounge: Lite fare and chocolate cocktails are served by the grand fireplace in this cozy lounge. Live music on weekends.
o The Cocoa Beanery: specialty coffees, espresso, pastries and lunch items
Scenes from Hotel Hershey
1930’s elegance at Hotel Hershey. This view is the same as it was when the hotel was first built.
This is the view from our breakfast at The Circular. Gorgeous!
Chocolate Lab at The Hershey Story Museum
We did the Chocolate Lab experience and learned all about the making of chocolate and even got to make our own chocolate bars. Fun!
Holiday Festive Fun at Hersheypark Candylane
The park is decked out in holiday decor, lights, and has holiday themed shows too. The lines are short and the live reindeer stables are really neat.
There’s even an ice skating rink and many of the prizes – along with the official characters roaming the park – are decked out in festive holiday scarves and hats!
Note: My family is participating in the Sweetest Ambassador program with Hersheypark. They provided complimentary hotel and park tickets for our visit to facilitate our feature story. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.