Showing posts with label Hersheypark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hersheypark. Show all posts

Hersheypark in the Dark 2021

Hersheypark in the Dark is back for 2021 and it's SWEETER than ever!  If you've never experienced this seasonal favorite in Hershey, PA you have been missing out!  We've been to Hersheypark in the Dark several times and it's always a blast.  What better way to celebrate the Halloween season then with rides, decorations, festivities, and. . .oh yeah!. . .CHOCOLATE!  Find out more about the 15th Anniversary of Hersheypark in the Dark below.

When can you visit Hersheypark in the Dark in 2021?

Hersheypark in the Dark - Image from Hersheypark


Hersheypark in the Dark is open for three weekends in October 2021.  Beginning Friday, October 15, guests can visit Friday, Saturday, and Sundays.  Hersheypark in the Dark will be open through Sunday, October 31.  Guests can visit Friday evenings from 5PM - 9PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 2PM - 9PM.

What attractions are open inside the park during Hersheypark in the Dark?

Hersheypark 2021 - The BEST Reasons to Visit This Year


Image from Hersheypark

Family theme parks have been some of our favorite destinations over the years and we missed visiting them last summer.  Now, we are ready to get back to the sun, fun, and, in the case of Hersheypark, the chocolate!  Last summer, Hersheypark unleashed a new rollercoaster, Candymonium, and a new entrance to the park.  This year, they will be releasing some new dining experiences and they sound fantastic!  There's a lot to love about a visit to Hersheypark and here are some of the things I'm looking forward to most this year!

New Dining Experiences at Hersheypark



Milton's Ice Cream Parlor - Image from Hersheypark


New is always exciting and Hersheypark has done a great job adding attractions, restaurants, and more over the past few years.  This season, guests can enjoy new dining experiences as part of Hershey's Chocolatetown.  This spring, Milton's Ice Cream Parlor and The Sweeterie Confectionary Kitchen will both open on April 2nd.  Milton's Ice Cream Parlor has both sweet and savory options covered with local custom and King Size Sundaes as well as options like grilled cheese, shareable buckets of fries, and Chicken N Waffles.  The Sweeterie Confectionary Kitchen is the ultimate candy kitchen with chocolate dipped treats and grab-and-go sweets to enjoy around the park.  You can find more details about menus for these new dining options here.

Top 10 Posts of 2020



2020 was a crazy year - that goes without saying!  But, we had a lot of fun still here at Running on Pixie Dust and I'm excited to take a look back with you at my top 10 posts of the year.  From running to recipes, travel and family, there's a little something for everyone!

10.    Family Guide to Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando - Before COVID hit, we had the chance to visit Orlando in January and spent two days exploring SeaWorld with the kids.  This was the first time I had been to the park in 25 years and so much had changed.  We loved exploring Sesame Street Land with our boys!


9.    Holiday Gift Guide for Runners - I've been lucky this year to join the BibRave Pro Ambassador family and as such have had the chance to try out some amazing running gear.  I compiled a list of some of my favorites to share with you in a holiday gift guide which became a very popular post in Decemeber!

8.    Hersheypark Seasonal Events 2020 - If you've read my site over the past few years, you'll know that Hershey, PA is one of my favorite places to visit.  I was excited to share with my readers the awesome activities that took place in the fall and winter - Hersheypark in the Dark and Christmas Candylane.  These are annual favorites and we can't wait for next year to hopefully be back to normal so we can enjoy more time in the "Sweetest Place on Earth!"

Hersheypark Announces 2020 Seasonal Events

Hersheypark Seasonal Events - Image from Hersheypark


The "Sweetest Place on Earth" may have had an abbreviated summer season with COVID restrictions delaying the opening this year, but Hersheypark is making up for it with expanded seasonal events and all of sweet fun we know and love gearing up for the fall and winter seasons!  This year, Hersheypark debuted it's 15th coaster, Candymonium, and the new Chocolatetown entrance to the park which you can also see during seasonal events if you missed them this summer!

Learn more about Candymonium and Hersheypark's COVID safety measures here!


Hersheypark In The Dark


Hersheypark In The Dark Trick-Or-Treating - Image from Hersheypark


Halloween is synonymous with candy so what better place to spend this holiday than in Hershey, PA?  Hersheypark will be open weekends from October 2nd - November 1 for guests to enjoy the fall festivities.  Both kids and adults alike will delight in family-friendly rides, shows, games, and of course, the coasters!  Don't forget to dress in costume and get your kids 12 and under ready for chocolate overload when you walk through the trick-or-treat trail.  One of my favorite things to do during the fall is to also visit Zoo America where the animals get into the Halloween spirit as well - and admission is included with your Hersheypark In the Dark ticket!

Tickets for Hersheypark In The Dark are on sale for $44.95 (ages 9-61), $36.95 (3-8 and 62 and older), and free for 2 and younger.  Like in the summer, guests will need to reserve their entry date due to capacity restrictions in place with COVID protocols so don't delay in planning your day!  This is also a great time to think about purchasing season passes for 2021.  There are big savings on 2021 season passes now and you can add on unlimited visits for the 2020 seasonal events for only $65 more!  Learn more about season passes here.  

Hersheypark Christmas Candylane


Hersheypark Christmas Candylane - Image from Hersheypark


Following the fall events, Hershey, PA quickly transitions into a winter wonderland!  On select dates from November 13 - January 3, guests to Hersheypark will be able to explore several fun themed events.  Christmas Candylane is a chance for guests to visit Hersheypark and enjoy rides, shows, and attractions - all with a seasonal twist.  Trust me when I tell you to check out the wide array of hot chocolates - they won't disappoint!!! Christmas Candylane tickets are on sale for an early discounted rate of $31.95 for guests 3 and older with children 2 and under having free entry.  

Looking for more winter fun with your family in Hershey?  You can add on a ticket to the drive-thru Hershey Sweet Lights exhibit.  With nearly 600 lighted displays, it will dazzle both young and old.  Tickets will be available for this late September.  

Check out my visit to Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane last year for tips to make the most of your visit!


This is also a great time of year to make it Hershey getaway by visiting the Official Resorts of Hersheypark.  You may not have realized it, but there are several options when visiting the area which offer great benefits to Hersheypark guests including guaranteed admission reservations and free parking at the park!  Learn more about planning your Hershey, PA visit here.

Will you be visiting the Sweetest Place on Earth this holiday season?  I can't wait to see the families getting their "Hersheypark Happy" on this year.  If you're still not feeling ready to visit a theme park yet, you can also check out these Hershey at Home activities I shared during the closure including virtual coaster rides, coloring pages, and even a recipe for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies!  



Hersheypark Announces July 3 Opening!

Image Courtesy of Hersheypark

Fans around the Mid-Atlantic can start rejoicing as one of our favorites, Hersheypark, announced today their plans to reopen July 3rd!  Season Pass holders will have special days ahead of this opening on July 1st and 2nd.  We have been long time fans of Hershey, PA and there is even more SWEET fun to be excited about this year.  

Hersheypark Chocolatetown and Candymonium Opening


Hersheypark Candymonium
Image Courtesy of Hersheypark

With the opening of the park announced just in time for the 4th of July holiday, Hersheypark is excited to debut it's 15th roller coaster, Candymonium.  This ride is going to be epic at 210 feet tall, speeds of 76 MPH, and a length of 4,636 feet.  I can't wait!  Candymonium joins an already stellar cast of coasters of Hersheypark including my favorites - Storm Runner, Skyrush, and Farenheit!  

Along with Candymonium, Hersheypark will also be opening Chocolatetown which will feature a new restaruant, ice cream parlor, and shopping!  For more about these exciting additions, check out this video!


Looking for tips for visiting with your kids? Check this out!


Enhanced Safety Measures and Reopening Protocols for Hersheypark


Hersheypark Reopening
Image Courtesy of Hersheypark

Like other theme parks around the country, Hersheypark has established a new way of doing things this summer.  Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Increased cleaning and sanitation around the park 
  • Guest Reservation System - Find out more about making a reservation here!
  • Social distancing signage and reminders throughout the park
  • All guests over 2 must wear a face mask while enjoying the park 
  • Visitors can expect temperature screenings
  • Ride protocols will be determined on a ride-by-ride basis in relation to social distancing and sanitation
  • Additional training for Hershey employees on new protocols

Can't wait for Hersheypark to reopen?  Check out these ways to have some SWEET fun at home!


Around Hersheypark


Image Courtesy of Hersheypark

While Hersheypark is the premiere attraction for many visitors to Hershey, PA, there is plenty more to see and do which is also reopening at this time.  Hershey Gardens announced a reopening date of 6/20 and ZooAmerica will follow closely behind with an opening date of 6/22.  Hershey's Chocolate World already has opened it's doors as of June 5th and Hershey resorts including The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, and Hersheypark Camping Resort are open too!  Please websites for each of these locations before visiting for the latest in reservations and safety protocols.  You may even find SWEET deals to make you vacation even more affordable - like these

Want to plan ahead? Don't forget about Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane!


I know I can't wait to get back to Hershey!  Who is with me??


Have a SWEET Quarantine - Hershey Fun to Have at Home!


I don't know about you, but I've been missing a lot of my favorite places during this time while we're at home with the safety measures in place from the coronavirus pandemic.  Like many of you, I've had travel plans upended - including a birthday weekend visit to one of my favorite local destinations, Hershey, Pennsylvania.  We like to visit Hershey several times a year for trips to Hershey's Chocolate World, Hersheypark, and more.  So while we can't go experience the fun of Hershey in person, we brought the fun of Hershey to our house with these fun activities!

Hershey At Home Activities


Hersheypark Coloring Pages - Thanks to the wonderful folks at Hersheypark, here are some free printable coloring pages.  We love planning our visits to see our favorite characters and ride the exciting roller coasters.  These coloring pages keep the excitement alive until we can visit again!

Planning a visit to Hersheypark?  Check out my guide for visiting with kids!


Ride the Roller Coasters - I know what you're thinking. . .ride the roller coasters?  But the park is closed?!?  No worries, Hersheypark has released POV videos on their YouTube channel of their roller coasters so you can feel like you're a part of the SWEET excitement.  Check it out!!!

Make Some Hershey Sweets - We all know one of the best things about visiting Hershey, PA is the chocolate!  I mean, what other theme park is entirely inspired by and centered around chocolate? So when you can't visit Hersheypark and Hershey's Chocolate World right now, you can still make some yummy Hershey chocolate treats.  Some of our favorites:

  • S'mores - You know the drill.  Grab some graham crackers, marshmallows, and a Hershey's chocolate bar!  No fire, no problem! You can preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the bottom part of the s'more and the marshmallow in the oven for 3-5 minutes until just softened.  Then top with your favorite chocolate and the second half of your graham cracker.  
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies - OK, these may be a new addiction in my house.  I made these from scratch, but you can easily use a base brownie box mix instead.  I found the base brownie mix on Pinterest which linked to this site.  After making the mix, I added crunched up Reese's cups to the batter then poured in the pan.  I cut up two more Reese's cups to top the batter and then baked following the directions on the website.  They turned out delicious!
I can't wait to be back in Hershey soon!  Until then, I'll be making my own SWEET moments at home.  Enjoy!

5 Tips to Maximize Your Visit To Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark

Hersheypark has been a favorite of mine going all the way back to my childhood.  I remember visiting with my parents as a child, hanging out there as a college student at nearby Elizabethtown College, and am now making even more memories visiting regularly with my own children.  Over all of the years though that I've been going to Hersheypark, I have never been to the annual Christmas Candylane.  I was excited this year to partner with Hersheypark to attend this holiday tradition with my family.  We had a great afternoon and evening, while also learning a lot about maximizing your time at Christmas Candylane.  Here are my 5 tips (in no particular order!) to make the most of your visit.

My family and I received complimentary admission to Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane and Hershey's Sweet Lights so we can share our experiences with you!


1. Arrive Early


On weekends, the park is open beginning at noon.  Some of you may be asking why you would visit a holiday lights event that early in the day, but the answer is simple - there's so much more to see and do besides the lights!  There are 47 rides and attractions open during Christmas Candylane.  While many of these are kiddie rides, you'll also find several roller coasters including sooperdooperLooper, Sidewinder, Wildcat, and Laff Trakk.  When you arrive early, I would recommend heading straight for the most popular attractions - and right now that means Reese's Cupfusion which just opened this year.  As the afternoon goes on and night begins to fall, the park becomes more crowded and lines can grow.  Those early hours are perfect for kiddie rides, roller coasters, and some of your fan favorites.  Remember to download the Hersheypark app prior to arriving so you can have a map, park details, and current ride wait times at your fingertips!  Just save some rides for after night falls, which leads me to tip #2. . .
Bring back the Crystal Cup on
Reese's Cupfusion!

2. Rides to Ride After Dark


Hersheypark is truly beautiful with all of the lights at night.  A well laid out and picturesque park in the daytime lends itself well to be gorgeous at night.  There are a few slow moving rides that will offer you breathtaking views of the lights as you travel around the park after dark.  Make sure you save Skyview, Capital BlueCross Monorail, Kissing Tower, Ferris Wheel and Dry Gulch Railroad for nighttime to see dazzling light displays.  The Sunoco Speedway and Classic Cars are also fun as night falls with their own "Sweet Lights" display on the driving tracks for families to enjoy.  Bring your cameras with you on these rides to grab some great photos of the festive Christmas lights!

3. Enjoy the Shows Mid-Day


The Littlest Tree at
Chevrolet Music Box Theater
Each season at Hershey always brings it's own fun when it comes to special entertainment and Christmas Candylane is no different.  Over in Pioneer Frontier, you'll be able to find Santa's Reindeer and an ice skating rink (extra fee for skate rental - $3).  The Chevrolet Music Box Theater is home to a Christmas musical show, The Littlest Tree.  It is full of fun, familiar music the whole family will enjoy, and a cute story about the littlest tree at Santa's Tree Farm.  Speaking of Santa, you can meet the man himself in Kissing Tower Hill right near the arcade games building.  There's also a special Hershey's character meet and greet in Kissing Tower Hill as well.  So my advice is to ride your must-do rides when you first arrive, then hit up some shows and character greetings before dark when you'll want to be out and about enjoying all of the holiday glow!  The NOEL light show begins nightly at 5PM and can be viewed best on the bridge near sooperdooperLooper.  This show features lights set to popular holiday music and the beauty is amplified with reflections on the water that runs through this part of the park.

4.  Bring Your Sweet Tooth


Reese's Extreme
Hot Chocolate
Of course you can't visit Hersheypark without enjoying some chocolate, right??  In fact, Hershey loves chocolate so much, you can even purchase a souvenir mug and drink hot chocloate all day for $12 or all season for just $17.  There were too many sweets around the park that we didn't have a chance to sample it all.  My personal recommendation on something you don't want to miss is the Hot Chocolate Bar located in Founder's Way across from the entrance to Reese's Cupfusion.  While you can get a traditional hot chocolate here, that would be a boring option.  This location takes hot chocolate to the next level featuring punches of Hershey's goodness literally sprinkled on top in a variety of ways.  I opted for the Reese's Extreme because, those of you who know me, know my deep love of all things Reese's.  My son opted for the Caramel choice and my husband went with the Toasted Marshmallow.  These drinks will cost you a few more dollars than your typical hot chocolate (and they aren't included with the souvenir mug deal), but trust me when I tell you it's money well spent!

5. Add on a ticket to Hershey's Sweet Lights


Located across from Hersheypark and tucked in the woods behind The Hotel Hershey, you'll find one more tremendous light display - Hershey's Sweet Lights.  This drive through experience does come with an extra price tag.  If you're visiting Hersheypark, make sure you purchase your event ticket for the discounted price of $18.15 per car (plus tax) before you leave the park or you'll find higher prices at the entrance for this attraction.  It took us about 30 minutes to complete the drive through light show which features over 600 animated light displays.  You even get special viewing glasses that make bright lights look like snowflakes - my boys were fascinated by these!  Our favorite lighted displays were those which showcased some of our favorite rides from Hersheypark, but we enjoyed each different section which included an enchanted forest, the "12 Days of Christmas," a victorian village, and an area devoted to our favorite fairytales.  This was the perfect way to end our evening!

Hershey Sweet Lights
Remember that while Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane can certainly fill a whole day on it's own, there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy around Hershey while visiting.  You can access ZooAmerica for free with your admission to Hersheypark from within the park back by Kissing Tower Hill.  Hershey's Chocolate World is a must-do for us on every visit to Hershey, PA.  This is so much more than the ultimate chocolate gift shop!  It includes a FREE ride that teaches you how Hersey's chocolate is made as well as paid experiences like Make-Your-Own Candy Bars, a 4-D movie, and a chocolate tasting experience.

A visit to Hershey, PA will definitely make your holiday even sweeter!  Hope you have a wonderful holiday season at the Sweetest Place on Earth!


Hersheypark with Kids - Make the Most of Your Day

Imagine a world where rides, characters, and everyone's favorite - chocolate! - come together in an amazing park. Lucky for us, this gem is just up the road in Hershey, PA.  Hersheypark is home to a wide array of rides for both kids and adults to enjoy as well as restaurants, Zoo America, Chocolate World, and much, much more.  With so much to see and do, you want to have a game plan that's just right for your family.  We all know that traveling with young kids can sometimes be challenging, but here are all the tips you need to make the most of your day at Hersheypark!

One of the things to keep in mind when preparing for your day at Hersheypark is the presence of The Boardwalk area.  Hersheypark is home to an amazing water area featuring kiddie pools, wave pools, a lazy river, water slides, and even a water roller coaster.  I recommend heading up in the morning wearing your bathing suits underneath of shorts and a t-shirt and packing a dry clothes gallon-sized baggie for each family member.  When you are done in the water area, you can put the shorts and shirts back on and your dry undergarments from the baggie then use the baggie to place your wet bathing suits in so the rest of you contents don't get soaked.  You'll want to be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen to in order to reapply throughout the day - there's not much shade around the park.

We are lucky enough to head up to Hershey several times throughout the year, but if you are only in town for the day, you'll want to plan accordingly to see as much as possible.  I recommend starting at The Boardwalk.  While the family is heading that way and getting situated, this park opening time is a great opportunity for a grown-up or two to catch a roller coaster before the lines get long.  The Boardwalk becomes incredibly popular in the heat of the afternoon and can boast long lines for the slides so hitting it earlier in the day, may be your best bet.  Grab a locker by Tidal Force - a water ride just outside of The Boardwalk.  You can drop off your dry clothes there and walk around in your bathing suit as you enter the water area.  Afterwards, there are locker rooms out by those lockers that are often less crowded than the ones inside of the The Boardwalk area.

Once you are in your dry clothes, head to the back of the park and check out Midway America.  Family friendly attractions here include a number of kiddie rides as well as a large Ferris Wheel that give awesome views of the park.  You can also find several coasters for adults to enjoy including, my favorite wooden coaster Lightning Racer.  From here, head back to Pioneer Frontier where there is another group of kiddie rides and you won't want to miss the Dry Gulch Railroad as a fun trip around the park the whole family will certainly enjoy.  Continue further towards the back of the park and grab lunch at The Overlook where you can pick from a variety of food choices all under one roof before heading up for a ride on the Kissing Tower and taking a spin around the Twin Turnpike.

Now is a great time to take a break from the park and visit ZooAmerica - free with your ticket to Hersheypark! This can be done in as little as 45 minutes or take as long as you want to see all types of animals.  There are some indoor buildings here and the zoo offers a little more shade than the park for the mid-afternoon heat of summer.  When you re-enter the park, head down to the Hollow where two kid-friendly rollercoasters can be found - The Comet and SooperDooperLooper.  Fun fact - SooperDooperLooper was the first roller coaster I ever went upside down on when I was a kid!  Don't let the name scare you - it's really only one loop and is a perfect starter coaster!  Lastly, you'll want to head to Founder's Way where kiddie rides abound!  This is a great place to end your day with so many rides for kids to choose from.  And since most people stop here on the way into the park, lines are often shorter in the evening.



We always like to end our day by having dinner and dessert at Chocolate World.  Chocolate World is free for anyone to visit and features a food court with actual meals as well as chocolate decadence that will make your dreams come true!  There is also a free ride that shows how Hershey's chocolate is made.  If you have some extra time, there are additional experiences at Chocolate Word that carry an extra fee - make your own chocolate bar, a 4D movie, and a chocolate tasting experience.  What a sweet end to the day!

Hershey, PA is home to so much family fun that you can easily spend several days enjoying all there is to offer - and we haven't even talked about Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story Museum, and the downtown area.  What's your favorite way to spend a day in Hershey?

Family Fun in South Central PA

With summertime in full swing and everyone looking for fun things to do with the family, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite finds around the Mid-Atlantic.  Today, we'll start in Pennsylvania with a couple places that I have come to love with my kids.

Hersheypark - Hershey, PA
Home of the best chocolate around (I love me some Reese's!), the small town of Hershey is big on fun!  Hersheypark is a fun amusement park for the youngest in your travel party all the way through the most adventurous.  Featuring a lot of kid friendly activities and a number of thrilling coasters along with a fantastic waterpark, there is so much to keep your family entertained all day long.  If you live in the area, check local retailers for coupons to save money on park admission.  You can also check online for discounts direct through Hersheypark.  And your admission ticket also includes entry for everyone in your party to Zoo America - a small, but enjoyable experience.  Before you leave, don't forget to stop by Chocolate World.  The chocolate tour is a free ride and they also have several add-on experiences you can purchase like making your own chocolate.

Knoebel's Amusement Park - Elysburg, PA
Knoebel's is a family friendly amusement and water park located in Central PA that turned 90 years old this summer.  My husband introduced our family to this great location during the first summer after Brody was born.  He had grown up going here and couldn't wait to share it with his family.  One of the best things about Knoebel's is that parking and admission is free!  That's right, free!  You pay individually for rides and attractions or you can purchase a ride all day wristband.  When we've gone with Brody, the whole day we've spent less than $20 on rides - a far cry from most of the expensive amusement parks.  They also have a swimming pool there that you can purchase daily passes to use.  And if you enjoy camping, the campground is a perfect place for your family to end their day (so I've been told - camping is not my thing. . .)

Turkey Hill Experience - Columbia, PA
Located between York and Lancaster on Rt. 30, the Turkey Hill Experience is something you don't want to miss.  Turkey Hill is famous for their ice cream and iced tea and you get to enjoy both here.  Admission is inexpensive at just $9.95 to enter for adults and kids 4 and under are free.  That entrance fee lets you play and explore what it's like to milk a cow, drive an ice cream truck, and even design your own packaging for ice cream.  If you want to take your experience to the next level, you can add on a ticket to the Taste Lab for about $5.00 more.  Inside the Taste Lab, you get to make your own flavor of ice cream and take the pint with you to enjoy!

These are just a few of my favorite places to visit that are close to home.  PA has so much more to offer out towards Philly too!  Each of these make great family day trips.  Enjoy!