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Our Trip to Hershey Pennsylvania

Our Trip to Hershey PennsylvaniaWe wanted to get away, and didn’t want to travel too far from NJ, so we settled on a trip to Hershey Pennsylvania because it was only  few hours away, and we had never really visited the town before.  We decided not to visit the Hershey Amusement Park because in order for Z.E.N. to have fun at these types of parks, he needs to have other children his age to go on the rides with him, otherwise, he’s miserable.  My parents decided to also come along for the ride.

We arrived in Hershey late Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel.  We booked rooms at the Country Inn and Suites in Harrisburg, PA, which is only 17 minutes away from Hershey.  We chose this hotel because it was reasonably priced, and had really good reviews on Trip Advisor.  Smokestacks at Hershey's Chocolate WorldWe were in an Executive Guest Room which featured a king sized bed, a refrigerator, a microwave oven a flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi.  The room was clean and comfortable.  It was perfect place to spend a few nights.   They also offer free breakfast in the morning.

Hershey Pennsylvania Chocolate Factory

After checking in and dropping off our stuff, we headed out to Hershey.The first place we visited was Hershey’s Chocolate World. Chocolate World is a group of attractions adjacent to Hershey Park. When you enter the parking lot, the attendant will present you with a ticket for 3 hours of free parking.

First, we took the free Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour ride.  This was a fun and informative 10-minute tour that showed a simulation of the chocolate making process. This ride is an original attraction, which opened on June 30, 1973, and has been updated quite a few times. While on the tour, you follow along as cocoa beans are processed and transformed into yummy milk chocolate.  Along the tour, there were quite a few singing cows which made the tour quite interesting. At the end of the tour, we were offered a free sample of a Hershey’s product. The ride exits into the gift shop where you can purchase a wide variety of Hershey candies.

Photo of Philip, Z.E.N. and I after taking the Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour ride

Next we saw Hershey’s Really Big 3D Show. Before the actual show began, we were shown a short video abut Milton S. Hershey and Hershey Park.  We were told to grab a pair of 3D glasses and we were then ushered into the theatre.  The 3D show was very entertaining.  The special effects were awesome and included puffs of air, bubbles, mist, and streamers.  After the show, we were again offered a free sample of Hershey’s candy.

The 3D show is not free, but we were able to find a coupon on the Hershey Chocolate World website (click on the box that says “Sweet Savings on the left hand side of the page).  I have also heard that AAA members receive a discount.

Cost for the 3D show:

  • $5.95 – Regular Adult (13-61)
  • $4.95 – Regular Child (3-12)
  • $5.45 – Regular Senior (62+)

Hershey Trolley Works

Finally, we took the Hershey Trolley Works tour. The trolley tour is a historical overview about Milton S. Hershey, the town of Hershey and the Hershey company. The tour was led by 2 conductors dressed in period clothing who put on a number of funny skits about Mr. Hershey’s life.  Hershey Trolley Works tour bus

On the tour we learned about Milton S. Hershey. We learned about how he had a number of failures before he eventually succeeded.  We learned that he didn’t just build a company, he built a town.  We also visited and learned about the Milton Hershey School, which offers housing and schooling for underprivileged children. We were also given quite a few more samples of Hershey’s candies. The tour was approximately 45 minutes long.  My only complaint about the tour is the fact that we were not allowed to get off the bus to really see the different points of interest.  It would have been that much more interesting if we could actually get off and take proper photographs.

You may also like:  Having a Royal Time at Dutch Wonderland

Cost for Hershey Trolley Works:

  • $12.95 – Adults (13-61)
  • $11.95 – Seniors (62+)
  • $5.95 – Children (3-12)
  • FREE – Children (0-2)

At this point, we were done for the day and went back to the hotel.

The next day, we visited the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum. Z.E.N. absolutely loves cars so we knew he would enjoy visiting a car museum.   Z.E.N. and I at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum

This museum houses an awesome display of beautifully restored antique cars, buses, and motorcycles on three floors. As you begin your tour, you will see that the cars are arranged by era, beginning with horseless carriages and continuing on to more recent vehicles.  Some of the antique cars at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum

The Museum also shares space with the Museum of Bus Transportation and the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. Both of their collections can be found on the lower level, which boasts a floor full of buses and more than 30 motorcycles and  motorbikes.  On the day that we visited, they had a great exhibit called Buses and Baseball, featuring the All American Girls Professional Baseball League and the Negro Leagues Baseball Teams as well as the buses they traveled on.

Negro League Baseball Team bus

They also had a large model train display as well as a hands-on Thomas the Train display that children could play with.  There was also a car that people were allowed to actually climb into.  I do wish that we were able to actually look into more vehicles or were allowed to climb on board the buses.  IMGP1364P1000553IMGP1372P1000581

Cost of AACA Admission:

(tip: look for coupons online tor reduce the cost of admission)

  • Adults – $10.00
  • Senior Adults (Age 61 +) – $9.00
  • Children (Age 4-12) – $7.00
  • Children Age 3 & younger – FREE

Next up we visited the Whitaker Center of Science and the Arts.

Whitaker Center For Science and the Arts

This is an extremely hands-on science center with stuff that both kids and adults can enjoy.  There were 3 levels of fun.  On the main level, Z.E.N. first ventured into their Kids Place area.  This area is designed for kids ages 0-5 and features plenty of activities for pre-school aged kids. He enjoyed the mock grocery store.  It had plenty of toy foods, a scale and a real belt and scanner on which the food could be placed on to check out.  They also had a cash register.  On the middle level, they had a paper airplane launcher, an Automoblox wooden car station and racing track, a rock climbing wall, and much, much more.  On the lower level, they had an exhibit about bugs and forensics, and an exhibit about forces of nature which featured a Hurricane chamber which allowed us to experience what a hurricane actually feels like.

Although this place was pretty costly, I can honestly say that all of us had tons of fun here and actually spent quite a few hours exploring the place.  We only visited the science center, but the center also houses an Imax theatre, and a performance center.

Z.E.N. building Automoblox cars at Whitaker center of scienceP1000566P1000576

Cost of Admission (Science Center Only):

Adult – $15.00

Child (3-12) – $12.50

Student (with ID) – $12.50

Seniors (55+) – $12.50

Are you planning on taking a trip to Hershey Pennsylvania soon?  Be sure to check out the following site:

Calendar of Events – Hershey, PA > Events Calendar

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the author

Diane Nassy

Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 9-year-old little boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Check out Diane's Google+ profile "


  • great post.. i have been wanting to go to hershey,pa… i had my nieces and nephews with me this past weekend and thought of bringing them but we ended up changing plans..thanks for this.

    • Oh you should definitely go! We all had a great time, and I can’t wait to go back.

  • Looks like a fun weekend! We’ve never been to Hershey, been wanting to go for a while now. I think we’ll try the amusement park though, my daughter would have a fit on a tour of anything, even with the free sweets, lol. PS…I love how your hair looks!

    • You should definitely make the trip. I so wanted to go to the park, but my son, is a little wary of amusement parks, right now. Let’s just say that he is very cautious about everything (that’s my nice way of saying that he’s scared of everything!) Thanks for the hair compliment. I like trying out new styles, and this one is perfect for the summer!

    • Yes. It was a ton of fun. We definitely want to go back and actually visit the amusement park.

  • Great photos! I really took a wild guess when you said Hershey PA. I just thought of Hershey’s Kisses right away. You can see that’s due to the years and years of watching Hershey’s Kisses commercials on TV.

    See you soon.

    • Well your guess was a good one. The streetlights there are actually shaped like Hershey’s Kisses. I took a picture of one, but the photo didn’t come out that great.

  • Nice post. I’ve only been to Hershey once, as a child, for a family reunion. We pass by the exit every time we drive to NYC. Maybe we will actually stop one day.