Christmastime in Hershey, PA
On the weekend before Thanksgiving, we headed over to Hershey, PA to enjoy a short one-night getaway to see some of the things that there are to do for the holidays. There are so many things that we wanted to do, but there was only so much time… Ready for a short trip report? Here we go!
It took a little while to get checked in, so we started our stay at Hershey Lodge by heading over to the Bear’s Den for a late lunch. The Bear’s Den is Marvel Boy’s FAVORITE place to eat in Hershey, so he was very happy with this turn of events. The Bear’s Den already had its hockey themed Christmas tree in place.
We all like the nachos, but not everyone likes everything that is included on top. We asked for all the toppings on the side, and our server brought us what she likes to call “deconstructed” nachos. The cheese dip at the Bear’s Den is the BEST! For my meal, I ordered the Veggie Quesadillas. Even though, it is technically an appetizer, it has quickly become my favorite thing to order.
Soon after we ate, we were in our room. We quickly put organized our things and our plans. Coming up with the best order of plans was definitely going to be needed tonight! Last year, we waited for a long time in line to see the Sweet Lights (drive through Christmas light display), and we didn’t want to waste any time this year. We decided that we would hit the Sweet Lights right when it opened at 5 pm and then head back to the Hershey Lodge to catch the bus over to Hersheypark.
Heading to Sweet Lights first was the best thing to do! There wasn’t a line to get in, and we headed right in through the light displays. While Sweet Lights is a SWEET experience, make sure to bring your patience… There are those who will drive very slowly. After all, it does take time to really see all the lights there. While there are those who go slowly, there are also those who want to speed through and end up tailgating those in front of them. This is what I ran into. A minivan from New Jersey. He was tailgating me, even though there was supposed to be two lanes of traffic, and there was no one in the other lane. I pulled over and waved him on. He then proceeded to tailgate the person in front of me the entire way through the rest of the trip. I don’t write this to complain. It’s a fact of life. Just bring your patience and enjoy the lights!
After we drove through Sweet Lights, we grabbed the bus from the Hershey Lodge to Hersheypark. It was raining lightly, and there was relatively few people in the park. Actually, the park seemed deserted, and it was great for seeing the lights. However, because it was deserted, most things (stores, drink, and food stands) were closed. Sans hot chocolate, we headed out to see the lights. While there wasn’t a lot of time until park closing, we decided to divide and conquer.
Marvel Boy and I headed out to see a few things throughout the park. Because the park was deserted, we were able to easily see Santa’s reindeer. In fact, there was a period of time that we were the only guests in that area. We watched the reindeer rest for a bit, and then, they started to get up and eat. One of the park employees came out and talked about the reindeer, as well as pointing out the different reindeer including Rudolph.
Then, we headed up toward Laff Trakk and rode the Whip. After riding the Whip, we headed back to meet the others.
Songbird had wanted to see A Music Box Christmas: The Enchanted Journey at the Music Box Theatre, so she and Don saw that while Marvel Boy and I visited the reindeer. Songbird said it was a cute show and that it was a perfect option for a rainy evening!
While Don, Marvel Boy, and Songbird headed out to ride Laff Trakk, I walked down to see the lights of NOEL. NOEL is a light show featuring more than 200,000 lights that dance in time to Christmas music. There are four different shows beginning nightly at 5 PM. The shows begin every half hour.
While I like to watch NOEL from near the water, I also enjoy watching the show while riding the Skyview. It can be difficult to time getting on the ride with the beginning of the show, though. However, it is nice to see the show while “flying” through the middle of the lights.
We ended our day with a very late dinner at Fire & Grain in the Hershey Lodge. Don and I really enjoyed the food here, and I can’t wait to eat there again!
We had a great time in Hershey, PA; however, I wish we had had more time. We will definitely (and have already) go back throughout the holidays to experience different holiday happenings. In fact, we will be heading over to Chocolate World later this week… Check out the official list below of many of the holiday experiences happening throughout Hershey, PA this winter! Make sure to check the Hershey, PA and Hersheypark websites listed below to find dates and times that events are happening. Keep in mind that rides announced as being open may be closed if the weather/temperature does not fall within operating limitations.
Disclosure: My family and I received one night free lodging as part of the Sweetest Moms panel in order to share our experiences with you. All opinions are mine.
Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark
Christmas Candylane holiday attraction will feature:
A new addition to the roller coaster line-up – Sidewinder coaster will join favorites Wildcat, sooperdooperLooper, Cocoa Cruiser, Wild Mouse and Laff Trakk coasters that will open during the Christmas Candylane holiday event (weather permitting). The new for 2017 Hershey Triple Towers attraction also will be one of the more than 50 rides open for the season.
Four million sparkling lights will illuminate and excite as you make your way through Hersheypark Amusement Park. A new holiday show, A Music Box Christmas, will be sure to put you in the holiday spirit. And iconic Christmas Candylane activities will return, including Santa and his live reindeer, Rudolph’s Skating Pond, and NOEL, the breathtaking light show.
Christmas Candylane holiday attraction begins Friday, November 10 and is open on select dates through Monday, January 1, 2018. For operational hours and dates visit www.Hersheypark.com.
Hershey Sweet Lights
Drive through two miles of lighted displays from the comfort of your car in Hershey Sweet Lights attraction. Hershey Sweet Lights attraction begins Friday, November 10 and is open daily through Monday, January 1, 2018. For operational hours and dates visit www.Hersheypark.com.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park
The zoo is open year round with Wild Winter Treats, Wild Winter Adventures, specialty tours and more available at ZooAmerica wildlife park during this holiday season.
Visit www.ZooAmerica.com for more information.
The Hotel Hershey & Hershey Lodge
New for 2017 is the Hersheypark Happy! Christmas Package, available at Hershey Lodge and The Hotel Hershey resorts during the holiday season.
Package Includes: Deluxe accommodations for two nights, milk and cookies for four on night of arrival, two-day admission to Christmas Candylane holiday attraction per person, admission for one vehicle to Hershey Sweet Lights attraction, admission to Hershey Gardens (including the year-round Butterfly Atrium), and admission to The Hershey Story’s Museum Experience.
The Spa At The Hotel Hershey
There will be special holiday-themed treatments, ranging from peppermint hot chocolate immersions to holiday season samplers. These will be offered select times, November 1 through February 28. To see a full list of treatments visit www.ChocolateSpa.com.
MeltSpa by Hershey
New for 2017 is MeltSpa by Hershey day spa. Located in the heart of downtown Hershey at 11 E Chocolate Ave., MeltSpa by Hershey features exclusive Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Treatments and additional services. To see a full list of treatments visit www.MeltSpa.com.
Dining In Hershey, PA
Holiday with Dickens at The Hotel Hershey resort
The holiday tradition returns on Sunday, December 3 with a 3:00 p.m. Holiday Tea ($40) and Holiday Dinner ($99) at 6:30 p.m.
Visit www.Hersheypa.com for more information.
Amazing festive shows will be featured in Hershey, Pa., during the holiday season.
“Rudolph” – December 6 and 7 at Hershey Theatre
Hershey Symphony presents Holiday Spectacular – December 9 at Hershey Theatre
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – December 15 at Giant Center
George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” – December 16 and 17 at Hershey Theatre
Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith Christmas Tour – December 17 at Giant Center
Straight No Chaser – December 23 at Hershey Theatre
Visit www.HersheyEntertainment.com for tickets and more information.