Visiting Hershey Park with Kids

We are a family who loves theme parks! Hershey Park ranks up there with our favorite theme park outside of Disney and Universal. We visited last summer on our Northeast road trip and Hershey Park with your family is a must do! So here is my review on visiting Hershey Park with kids:

Hershey Park Family

Hershey Park Location

Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a small town about 2 hours west of Philadelphia and 1 1/2 hours north of Baltimore (meaning it is not in the middle of nowhere). It is not far to reach if you are on a road trip in the area or are visiting Baltimore, Washington D.C. or Philadelphia.

Hershey Chocolate World

There are many family activities in Hershey, PA. This was our first stop when we arrived from Baltimore. They are open until late (8:00 pm), which was very helpful when you are like our family who tries to squeeze everything in on vacation. If you are visiting Hershey Park anyways, I highly recommend you go here the day before or the morning after your park visit.

Hershey Family
Hershey kids 2

This place was so much fun! They have a giant store filled with candy, chocolate, souvenirs, and memorabilia. Of course, we picked up some snacks for the road and a token magnet for our refrigerator collection. Besides the store, there are various tours and activities you can purchase (trolley tour, 4D movie, and make your own candy bar), yet we opted for the only free one (chocolate tour). What can I say, we are budget travelers.

For more ideas on what to do in Hershey, click below to check TripAdvisor’s recommendations.

The Town of Hershey

The little town of Hershey is very cute and quaint. The Hershey brand name is evident everywhere you turn… the chocolate world, garden landscaping, and even the street lamps have a Hershey emblem. They have named the city “the sweetest city” due to the chocolate theming everywhere! There are so many family activities in Hershey. In addition to the theme park and chocolate factory, the town has great family friendly food options.

Where to Eat in Hershey

There is no shortage of great restaurants in Hershey. Here are two of my favorites:

  • Irv’s Pub – We went for dinner, and it was spectacular.
  • Duck Donuts – We came here for breakfast and then the following day for dessert.

Where to Stay in Hershey

I am always looking for a deal! Since we are rewards members and credit card holders for Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton and IHG, I always try to either use my points or use a free anniversary night when we travel with kids. To see out how we do this, check out my post – How to Get Free Hotel Stays. Since I had points available, our cheapest free option was 20 minutes away in Harrisburg. Although I loved the “free part”, looking back, it would have been nicer to stay in the town of Hershey. To check out rates for Hershey hotels, click on the picture below.

Get $40 off your first booking with AirBnB by clicking here

And finally, onto the highlight of this post… visiting Hershey Park with kids!!

Hershey Park Rollercoasters and Rides

Every time we visit a theme park, we strategize beforehand (this adds to the excitement). We arrive 30 minutes before the park opens to make sure we allow for enough time to park the car, and walk to the entrance. If you are looking for some Hershey Park tips… my number 1 tip when traveling to a theme park is ARRIVE EARLY!!

Hershey Family 2

We went straight to Comet (classic wooden roller coaster), and then worked our way through the map going through all the “big” rides…Great Bear, Super Duper Looper, and Trailblazer. We skipped Zoo America on our way in since its a walk through attraction. We did not want to waste valuable morning roller coaster time on that (we did it on the way out though).

My husband did the very crazy rides alone (Sky Rush, Storm Runner and Fahrenheit). Making our way through the park, we rode some carnival type rides that the kids really enjoyed, and stopped for lunch. Don’t be scared by the amount of roller coasters here, there are plenty of rides for older kids, and there are also many toddler friendly activities in Hershey.

Another one of my Hershey Park tips is to strategize your time and analyze the map. We made sure to do the popular rides in the morning, when there were smaller lines. After lunch we were going to do the water park area, yet it was so packed (July), that we decided to skip it so that we could make use of our time on other rides. We then rode some more wooden roller coasters towards the back of the park and a very enjoyable indoor roller coaster called Laff Trak.

We stopped to take pictures with characters, eat ice cream and ride some more rides with little to no wait times.

Overall, Hershey Park was a blast for the entire family! If you are planning a trip to Hershey Park in the near future, don’t wait. Not only were the rides top notch, but the food was very good, the park was clean, and the staff was very organized and helpful. We have traveled to a few theme parks before we had our children, but visiting Hershey Park with kids was theme park heaven! I highly recommend this park to any theme park loving family!

Hershey Family 3

Other Great Theme Parks

We try to visit theme parks when we vacation if we can swing it with the budget. Here are some of our theme park favorites, check out:

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12 thoughts on “Visiting Hershey Park with Kids”

  1. Our family has not yet had the opportunity to visit Hersey, although it is definitely on the list. It looks like a blast. We would love a free chocolate tour. Like you, we plan our theme park day in advance. It is surprising how many large attractions you can ride if you arrive early and plan ahead. Looks like a blast. We cannot wait to go.

    1. It really is so great! I’m a Disney lover, and Hershey Park is as close to Disney as it gets. Very clean and the employees are friendly.

  2. I am a HUGE chocolate fan, so I know our family would LOVE this! 🙂 Sounds like the prefect family trip!

  3. What a lovely park, sounds like a lot easier to visit with kids than some of the huge ones. I’ll have to check it out the next time we’re over.

  4. I’ve always wanted to take my kids here! Thanks for all the great tips and information, totally pinning this for later!

  5. Dominique Parrish

    I have a friend who goes here every year – I still havent been but really want too! Looks like you all had a blast 🙂

  6. This looks great! Love your strategies, I will definitely be putting one together for my next theme park visit.

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