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Christmas Comes to Hershey
This past Saturday, my family and I headed to Hershey, PA to see the sweetest place on earth decorated for the holidays. We pulled up to the Hershey Lodge and checked in to find that our room was ready for us.
As we headed to our room, we stopped to look at the Christmas tree in the lobby. I LOVE how Hershey decorates for Christmas! Look at all the chocolate on the tree! Over the weekend, we found that there were many people who waited to take photos in front of the tree. There were many families who wore festive clothes like this would be their family Christmas photo.
After dropping our things in our room, we took the shuttle over to Hersheypark. Our plan was to head through the park and spend some time in ZooAmerica before it got dark. On our way through, we saw Santa and his reindeer on the roller coaster. After dark, it looked like he was flying up in the sky.
ZooAmerica is a fun, laid-back zoo. There is such a wide variety of animals there, considering the area. There is a building of nocturnal animals, and it is nice to be able to see them in their environment. The otters are among our favorites in the entire zoo. When we have been there previously, the otters were swimming. They were so cute lying there together having a nap this time! The animals appear to be well taken care of, even the squirrels. ZooAmerica has some of the most well-fed squirrels I have ever seen.
As nightfall came, we headed to grab some food. We decided to get some hot chocolate and were happy to see that our purchase of these mugs would help out others. Hershey and Hersheypark is really founded on a giving spirit, and it was nice to see that $1 of every mug price benefits the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Not only that, this is now my new favorite travel mug!
After supper, we headed out to see the lights. NOEL is played in this area. There are 4 different programs that last about 10-15 minutes each and are comprised of different Christmas songs with the lights twinkling in time to the music. There are colored lights like in the above picture and clear lights on everything, too. It is a very nice effect.
There are festive Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. We took a train ride through lighted displays and even…
…visited Santa’s reindeer. It is so cool that Hersheypark gets to take care of Santa’s reindeer until he is ready to deliver the presents. The person working in this area even pointed out Rudolph for us.
But you know, there is so much more to Christmas in Hershey than Christmas Candylane in Hersheypark. There is also the Hershey Sweet Lights. Sweet Lights is a 2 1/2 mile drive through with lots of Christmas light displays. I am a huge fan of drive through lights but haven’t had the chance to go to one in quite a few years. Sweet Lights was such a treat!
I love how they are able to bring Hersheypark into the displays here. See the Kissing Tower in the background? There are so many light displays here that they even have…
…the partridge in the pear tree. Actually, they have displays for the entire 12 days of Christmas.
One of my favorite parts of Sweet Lights was the section of student submissions. I didn’t get to read the sign very closely, but it appeared that several of the display ideas were submitted by students of the Milton Hershey School. I wish the picture of my favorite one had turned out well enough to share. My favorite was a snow globe with a snowman inside.
After we finished up at the Sweet Lights, we headed back to Hershey Lodge for the night. There we had a snack, took a look in the gift shop, and headed up to the room where we had a sweet sleep. Sunday morning, we got up and headed downstairs for breakfast.
After breakfast, we packed up our things and said goodbye to the Hershey Lodge. (Goodbye for now but see you next time…) We had decided to spend some time at The Hershey Story in downtown Hershey. The Hershey Story tells the history of Hershey, and it sure is amazing! Most of our experience at The Hershey Story (including the Chocolate Tasting) is going to have to be a whole post on its own, but I want to share one of the Christmas offerings here. The Hershey Story is host to The Little Elves Workshop. At The Little Elves Workshop, the kids were able to make their own Christmas ornament ($5 each). They rolled the dough (chocolate, of course), and it smelled SO wonderful in there!
Then, they had several shapes they could choose from. Songbird chose a star and DS11 (aka Marvel Boy) chose a snowman. After decorating their ornaments, they decorated a box to carry their ornaments home in.
There are so many things going on at Hersheypark this season! There’s dining with Santa. There’s rides (no roller coasters, though) and lots of festive lights. Don’t forget the ice skating. Check out all that Hersheypark has to offer for the holidays! There are other Christmas offerings at the Hershey resorts! Hershey at Christmastime is now on our yearly must-do list!