Christmastime At The Sweetest Place On Earth

hershey_dLooking for a way to sweeten up your holidays? As one of the chocolate capitals of America, Hershey has earned its name as a summer destination. But the theme park has plenty to offer in the colder months as well. Whether you’re looking for a spa retreat, theme park thrills or family-friendly fun, Hershey Park has plenty of holiday attractions that will keep people of all ages merry.

The Christmas Candylane will feature roller-coaster rides such as Wildcat, SooperDooperLooper, Cocoa Cruise and Laff Trakk with holiday themes. The Wild Mouse and Howler have been added to Candylane for more thrills this season. Candylane will be lit up with four million holiday lights to add to the excitement as you walk through the park. Throughout the day, there will be a new holiday show, A Music Box Christmas, and activities such as Santa and his live reindeer, Rudolph’s Skating Pond and the Christmas light show, NOEL.

One of the park’s highlights is Hershey Sweet Lights, where guests can delight in nearly 600 illuminated light displays spanning almost two miles, from the comfort of their car. Set to the soundtrack of holiday music, the drive-through is open nightly through Jan. 1.

hershey_gMeals at Hershey are extra special as well. Hershey holiday dining options include Holiday with Dickens at The Hotel Hershey, a one-man performance of A Christmas Carol performed by Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, on Dec. 4. The Holly Jolly Hot Chocolate Station at Hershey Lodge provides families with piping hot cups of chocolatey goodness all day long. Parents and kids can eat breakfast with the big man himself, Santa Claus, and his wife on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 24. Holiday shows will also be featured at the Hershey Theatre throughout the season. The performances include Straight No Chaser on Dec. 4, Elf from Dec. 6-8 and The Piano Guys on Dec. 10.

The Hershey Story Museum has plenty of holiday workshops for kids of all ages. Among the seasonal activities are a Little Elves Workshop for kids of all ages to roll, cut and ice their own ornaments out of chocolate clay as well as design their own packaging. During Snowball Saturdays, on Dec. 3, 10 and 17, kids can join in on the friendly snowball fights, visit Coco the Bear and a snowman and listen to snowy stories in the museum. Holiday-themed 45-minute Chocolate Lab classes teach the family how chocolate is made. Throughout the Candy Cane Bark, Chocolate Reindeer, Create a Kris Kringle or Make a Very Merry Bar themed class, guests make their own chocolate treats. On Dec. 31, kids can also participate in the bubble wrap stomp to ring in the New Year.

hershey_bOther family fun available is the Christmas Trolley Adventure, with caroling, stories, and a visit from a jolly old elf. Behold the Hershey’s Holiday Chocolate House covered in confectionary products.

Immerse yourself in chocolate world with a stay at one of Hersheypark’s two resorts, which offer deluxe accommodations for families. The Woodside Cottages at The Hershey Hotel offers individual or full cottages for reservations and a spa with seasonal packages such as the Holiday Season Sampler, Peppermint Hot Chocolate Immersion and Peppermint Mocha Manicure and Pedicure. Hershey Lodge recently added an indoor pool complex, Hershey’s Water Works, with two interactive indoor pools, Twizzler Twists Slides, Reese’s Water Walk, water play structures and the Cocoa Cabana bar.

Both The Hershey Hotel and Hershey Lodge have special holiday packages for families looking to celebrate the holiday season while on vacation. Each resort offers three packages for families to choose from. The Christmas Candyland package, Breakfast with Santa package and Lunch with Santa package all include holiday festivities such as one-day admission to Hersheypark Christmas Candylane per person, admission for one vehicle to Hershey Sweet Lights, seasonal admission to Hershey Gardens and admission to The Hershey Story’s Museum Experience.

The Hersheypark holiday season runs through Jan. 1, offering chocolate-lovers the perfect place to get away for a winter wonderland vacation. Visit or call 717-534-3900 for more information.

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Christina Claus
Christina Claus is the former editor of Port Washington News.

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