Vacationing at Hershey Park with Little Kids

In May we took our first vacation to Hershey, PA and we all enjoyed it.  We stayed at The Suites at Hershey by Bluegreen, our time share.  We liked that option because the suites have a full kitchen and dining room.  That allowed us to eat most of our meals at the hotel (very important for me the health nut) and have a place to prepare snacks and to-go lunches for when we were out all day.

Biggest Lessons Learned:  May is a great time to visit Hershey Park.  Although the water park portion is not opened, there is still plenty to do and no lines.  We waited no more than 5 minutes for any ride and our kids got to go on many of their favorites again and again.  Note that during this time of year, it is only opened on the weekends.

As always, I recommend buying groceries vice eating out.  Vacation is a great time to get sick because you are outside of your normal "habitat" and you are in places that are visited and frequented by thousands of people.  Healthy meals keep your immune system strong.  It also saves you a lot of money. The only day we ate out was at Hershey Park and we all regretted it.  It was gross and very expensive.


THE SITES WE VISITED

Hershey Park:  One of our worries was whether there would be enough to do for our kids who are not yet old enough to ride roller coasters.  We were very pleased that there were plenty of options for our six-year-old and our one-year-old.  The other nice surprise was that we could rent a stroller for $12 a day which I thought was very reasonable.  The only thing we were not happy about (this is probably true for most amusement parks) was that the food was over priced and not very good.

Chocolate World:  The information that you get on their website is very confusing.  It seems as though you pay for each of the attractions.  Thankfully, we got some pointers from the museum workers.  The main ride is free although you pay for the extras such as making your own candy bar.  Unless you take part in the extra activities, you will not spend more than an hour there, but it is a fun little outing.

The Hershey Museum:  It is a small but very nice and interactive museum.  Our six-year-old really enjoyed the scavenger hunt.  My husband and my daughter took the chocolate making class and it was definitely not geared for little kids.  My six-year-old was bored for most of it, except at the end when she actually got to make the chocolate treat.




Zoo America:  Price of admission is included in your Hershey Park admission.  We mistakenly thought that this would similar to a "normal" zoo with tigers, zebras, and giraffes.  That is not the case.  Zooamerica only showcases animals in North America, but we still enjoyed it.  It is not very big so we were able to see the entire Zoo in about an hour or so.

Whitaker Science Center:  This was one of the nicest surprises of our trip and well worth the price.  It is in Harrisburg (and not in Hershey), but it was no more than a 15-20 minute trip.  Not only is it interactive and fun for the kids, it is educational as well.  They get to do things like touch a tornado, build a paper airplane, or create dunes to keep a town from being flooded.  There is so much to do and although we spent several hours there, we didn't get to see everything.  Even my one-year-old enjoyed playing in their toddler area.

At the Whitaker Science Center.  On the left is a real live tornado for the kids to see and touch.  The center is my daughter using their rock climbing wall.  The picture on the right is my one-year old enjoying the water table. 


Strasburg Train:  With no traffic, it took us about 40 minute to get there from Hershey, PA.
I thought it was a neat experience and my girls enjoyed it.  I was a little disappointed that the 40 minute ride is not really a 40 minute ride.  You are physically moving for 40 minutes but you travel in a straight line (vice a loop).  In other words the second half of the trip is the same scenery as the first, you are just going in the opposite direction.




ITINERARY:

Day 1:  Spent the morning/early afternoon at the outlet mall.  We then checked in at the hotel and I went grocery shopping for the week.

Day 2:  Hershey Park and Zoo America.  Since there were no lines, it was easy to get through the whole park, Zoo America, and still leave by 5:30 P.M.

Day 3:  The Hershey Museum in the morning and Chocolate World in the afternoon.

Day 4:  Whitaker Science Center

Day5:  Checked Out of the Hotel and then hit the Strasburg Train.



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