Family Travel

Hershey, PA: The Sweetest Place on Earth

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

I grew up in Southern New Jersey.  Every summer, I’d pile into a van with my best friend and her family and we’d head West to Hershey, PA, pop-up camper in tow.  This was the highlight of our summer.  Rides, food, CHOCOLATE, corny jokes from her dad (they were seriously the best), and quality family time.  While everyone else was heading TO the shore, we were heading AWAY from it.  That’s just what happens when you grow up on the Jersey Shore.

hershey hersheypark

After a quick stop in the Lancaster Amish country, we’d drive out to Hershey and get the camper set up at the Hershey Camping Resort.  That night, my BFF and I would roam the campground looking for boys exploring the sites and have a campfire, complete with Hershey’s chocolate s’mores, of course.

The next day, we’d wake up bright and early (no small feat for teenage girls) and head over to Hersheypark, where we’d ride the Wildcat and Comet until the park closed.  There are photos of said events, but I am not posting photos of me from the early 90’s.

Fast forward a few years later, and I was making my annual summer trip to Hershey to see the Dave Matthews Band at the Hershey Park Stadium.  We’d cram into tents at the campground and play in the park like kids.  Hershey Park Stadium was always an awesome place to see my favorite band (tip: try and sit on the floor sections, not the sides) and it was awesome to combine a concert with some park time.

A few years later (again), I met my husband, who happened to be from the Lancaster area.  Whenever we went home to visit is parents, we’d drive out to Hersheypark for the day.  Now, we’re able to take the entire family.  We’re hoping to visit this summer so we can take advantage of The Boardwalk (the water park within Hersheypark). It will most likely be our first time camping as a family, too!  Hershey Camping Resort makes it fun to camp without really having to rough it…perfect for families with small kids like ours!

I’m also excited that Hershey has added a half marathon race!  The Hershey Half Marathon will take place on October 20th of this year.  You can run/walk the half marathon as an individual or sign up for a two-person relay team.  Hershey, PA is a very scenic historic town, which will make for a very pretty run, and  how can you not love a race where a) you smell chocolate in the air while running and b) the swag bags come with chocolate inside?  I may try and convince the husband to take an adults-only weekend trip to Hershey for the race and a little pampering at the spa at the Hotel Hershey.

Have you been to Hersheypark before?  I highly recommend it for a weekend road trip for those in the Northeast!

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17 Comments

  • Reply Shannan P May 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I have been to Hershey and have done the factory tour before, but haven’t ever done Hershey Park! I think I’ll add it to my list of places to visit!

  • Reply Annie @ Mama Dweeb May 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Those sound like amazing memories!! I cannot wait to take my kids to Hershey Park someday. I keep hearing amazing things about it and how fun it is for kids.

  • Reply Sara @ Mom Endeavors May 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    We’ve never been there, but I’ve always thought it would be a super fun place to visit!! 🙂

  • Reply Karen - Desert Chica Ramblings May 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    We have never been to Hersheypark before… we are so far out west that it would be more than a road trip for us. It is on our bucket list though – we will make it there someday!

  • Reply Jenny F May 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    We have this on our places to visit. We also want to see the Zoo at Hershey Park! Sounds like you have the inside scoop, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Carrie with Children May 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve heard about Hershey Park my entire life and have always wanted to visit there. It sounds like so much fun! I think it would be fun to go there and camp too!

  • Reply Cassie May 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I had honestly never head of this place until recently. It sounds like such a fun place to visit. What is better then chocolate and roller coasters though.

  • Reply Hanan May 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve always heard about that place, but of course we’ve never been. Sounds like fun though!

  • Reply Trinity May 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve actually never been to Hershey Park. It’s a shame, because I grew up in Pennsylvania.

  • Reply Jessica @FoundtheMarbles May 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Hershey is such a fun trip!

  • Reply Angela May 18, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Who wouldn’t want to visit Hershey? I hope to get my family there soon.

  • Reply Lolo May 18, 2013 at 6:51 am

    I went there for my 8th grade field trip! Love Hershey Park!

  • Reply Theresa May 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I grew up going to Hershey at least once every summer, and even had my bachelorette party there (since my cousins who were bridesmaids were both under 21 at the time). One of my 30 Before 30 plans is to run a half marathon, and this sounds like the perfect one to pick!

  • Reply Mchelle May 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    i haven’t been in years, but I can still remember entering the highway down the road and the smell of the chocolate wafting in through the car vents! Delish! I think the kids would love it, and I would like to see the changes and compare my childhood trip to theirs!

  • Reply Tammilee Tillison May 19, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I would love to visit Hershey Park. We drove by when I was a kid traveling but did not have time to stop. It looks amazing!

  • Reply Becca May 19, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I went to Hersey with my high school bad and LOVED it! It’s on my list of places to take my boys to visit!

  • Reply Brian Skinner July 22, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Hersheypark and the surrounding countryside is a great place for a family vacation. We have taken our camper to the Hershey Highmeadow Campground just about every Labor Day weekend for the past 6 or 7 years and love it. If you do not have a RV or camper they offer quite a few cabins and they have just added even more and by staying there you are a Hershey Resort Guest so there are a lot of perks such as getting into Hershey Park a hour before the public. Hershey has recently changed name of the campground from Hershey Highmeadow to Hershey Camping Resort and the name of the road has also changed from Matlack to something else…just a FYI for anyone thinking of staying there!
    Some other great things to do are Amish Country, The UTZ and Herr’s Potato Chip factory tours, Snyders of Hanover Factory, Harley Davidson tour, Knoebels Amusement Park, and so much more!

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