Halloween isn’t quite the way it was years ago, but in some ways — in some places — it’s better! Today, when it comes to the little ones, parents are hesitant to let them wander throughout the neighborhood at night. City dwellers and those who live in remote areas can’t trick or treat. As for older kids – and these days, they’re growing up faster and faster – the holiday should be celebrated on a larger, more exciting and engaging level. What more memorable way for the whole family to get into the spirit (!) than a stay in Hershey, PA. Hersheypark After Dark is the epicenter of all the festivities.
Accommodations: There are two different excellent choices to stay, adding to your immersion in the Hershey experience. For that super comfy, homey feeling, there’s Hershey Lodge. High wood beams, warm candy ambient fragrance as you enter, a crackling fire to welcome you and relaxing environment adds to home away from home feeling. The brand new indoor pool complex has two interactive indoor pools, Twizzlers Twists Slides, Reese’s Water Walk, water play structures and the Cocoa Cabana dining location with a full bar. To that end, complimentary shuttle service to all Hershey attractions, the spa and dining spots takes away the stress of driving.
For an elegant and sophisticated experience, The Hotel Hershey is considered a world-class resort. The tints and hues of the hotel’s “soft goods” harken back to the colors of fine chocolates and caramels. Inside the main building is a shopping arcade that has everything from candies, souvenirs, as well as chic clothing and luxury items. Different themes can be seen in the interior, reflecting upon different aspects of Milton Hershey’s life. An indoor courtyard with recessed bar, lounging areas, Moorish architecture, warm lighting and plants hint at old Spain and the Havana, Cuba to which the Hersheys traveled and conducted business. The hotel has daily activities for both children and adults, incorporating chocolate tastings, making things and other fun past times. Complimentary transportation to all Hershey attractions and local destinations is easy to arrange.
What to do: There’s a delicious, cinematic-like thrill in getting to experience an amusement park “after hours”. HersheyPark After Dark really pulls out all the stops for the spookiest of holidays! You’ll find lots of rides – including 13 roller coasters. The three classic wooden roller coasters, complete with naturally rickety sound, even run without lights during the last hour the park is open. And, of course, what’s Halloween without candy! Throughout the park, you’ll find cute shops selling unusual sizes and collections of your favorite Hershey candies, along with chocolate-themed gifts.
If Hershey is the “Sweetest Place on Earth”, then Hershey’s Chocolate World must be its capital! Learn how West African cocoa and the rich milk of Central Pennsylvania come together to make one of the world’s favorite treats. Design your own fancy chocolate bar to take home. The gigantic candy store-emporium will create sensory overload, for sure!
The Hershey Story – The Museum on Chocolate Avenue is educational on many levels. You’ll learn the inspiring story of Milton Hershey’s life along with the business and philanthropic perseverance he had. Foodies will appreciate fine chocolate tastings and making treats in the Chocolate Lab.
Hershey Gardens was created in honor of Mrs. Hershey’s love of botanicals. They get all into Halloween, with over 150 awesome and cool carved and lit pumpkins. You can pick up candy treats – just like at home – at stops along the way. This part of the celebration is geared towards kids 12 and younger, who are encouraged to wear costumes. It might be October, but the garden is still in bloom, and the roses are both lovely and fragrant. The butterflies are ready to see and be seen as well- even if they aren’t all decked out for Halloween.