Hersheypark is a family fun summer destination but what do you do when the park is closed. We have put together our favorite things to do in Hershey, PA besides Hersheypark to keep everyone in the family happy!
What do you do when Hersheypark is closed but you are visiting Hershey, PA? The short answer…lots of things!
Hershey, PA is located in central Pennsylvania. Hersheypark is the main attraction but there are many things to do around Hershey, PA that are year-round attractions to visit any season of the year.
Hersheypark is a great amusement park destination but there are a lot of things to do during the off-season in Hershey, PA too!
This list is for people looking for things to do in Hershey, PA when Hersheypark is closed during the winter months or when you want to take a break from roller coasters and rides during your visit to the sweetest place on earth.
Hersheypark is open from early April through late December but there are still things to do during the winter months for the whole family.
If you are visiting during the special events be sure to check out Springtime in the Park, Hersheypark in the Dark, and Hersheypark Christmas Candylane. These are seasonal events that run on select dates through the season.
Where to Stay When Visiting Hershey, PA
Families looking for a winter getaway will find lots to do when staying at the Hershey Lodge. Hershey Lodge has an indoor water park that has water slides and on-site family fun activities and dining options. Check Hershey Lodge prices.
The Hotel Hershey is an on-site hotel at Hershey that is open year-round. It has an indoor pool and on-site restaurants. This is a historic hotel and it’s construction was inspired by Milton Hershey. Check Hotel Hershey prices.
There are also numerous chain hotels around Hershey. They do not offer the same amenities as one of the official Hershey resorts do but if you are looking for a place to stay there are options.
We have stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Chocolate Avenue that is within walking distance of the Hershey Story Museum.
We stayed at the Springhill Suites in Hershey and it was fine for an overnight stay.
If I am staying for longer than a night I would choose a Hersey resort because of the on-site amenities for families.
Staying on-site is a great way to have a lot to do without leaving your resort. There is casual dining options, Hershey character encounters and indoor swimming pools for guests.
If you are visiting when Hersheypark is closed you don’t need to worry about finding things to do around Hershey, PA. There are family fun attractions in Hershey to keep you busy.
Best Things to Do in Hershey, PA Besides Hersheypark
Hershey Chocolate World Factory Tour
The Hershey’s Chocolate Tour is often our first stop when we visit Hershey, PA. It is located inside the Hershey’s Chocolate World store and is a fun ride when Hersheypark is closed.
This is a free attraction at Hershey Chocolate World! The parking lots can be found at the entrance to Hersheypark. There are signs to help guests navigate.
Guests board a moving dark ride that takes you through the process of creating Hershey chocolate from the beginning of the cocoa beans.
It is a slow moving ride and not scary, which makes it fun for all ages. Guests even receive a treat at the end of their ride!
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Hershey’s Chocolate World not only has the chocolate tour ride. It is the world’s largest Hershey Chocolate store!
Inside the store guests will find different experiences they can purchase for more fun at Hershey.
Guests visiting can purchase tickets to create their own candy bar. Experience the Great Candy Expedition, which is a new cinematic experience for guests.
You can also take part in a theater show that engages all your senses around the making of chocolate at Hershey’s Unwrapped. There are also dining options at Hershey Chocolate World making it a full destination for families.
On our most recent visit my daughter and I saw the musical Fiddler on the Roof at the Hershey Theatre. This theatre is beautiful and the attention to details on the mosaic ceiling is worth the visit.
It hosts Broadway musicals, comedians, and everything in between. A few of the upcoming shows are The Beach Boys, Hairspray, The Masked Singer National Tour, and Anastasia. Check here for the most updated schedule.
The Hershey Gardens is a beautifully landscaped garden that has a rose garden and butterfly atrium.
Inside the butterfly atrium you will find a small botanical gardens. It is small but a great place to observe butterflies and escape the chilly winter temperatures.
Guests can walk around the grounds outside but dress for the weather.
The Hershey Story Museum
The Hershey Story museum offers guests a more in depth look at the story of Milton Hershey and what he brought to the town.
It has some interactive exhibits and we all walked away learning something new about the story of Hershey.
At the Hershey Story museum guests can also purchase add-on tickets to the Chocolate Lab or Chocolate Tasting.
At the Chocolate Lab children 5 and up can enjoy a chocolate creation and decorating class. If you would like to try some liquid chocolate guests can purchase a chocolate flight at the chocolate tasting.
The Giant Center is home to the local hockey team, The Hershey Bears. They also host concerts like Elton John and other big name acts. If you are looking for something to do in the evenings check out their events page.
Breakfast at the Circular
One of my all time favorite breakfast buffets is at The Circular. This restaurant is located inside The Hotel Hershey and overlooks the gardens. It is a gorgeous place to start your day and is family friendly.
Once seated you will have your choice of omelet stations, pastries, muffins, and breads. A fruit spread, oatmeal, bread pudding, and more. You will not leave hungry!
The breakfast is on the pricey side with adults $26.00 and kids 12+ $15.00 but if you are looking for a big breakfast to start your day this is it!
Dinner at The Chocolatier
On our most recent visit we stopped at Hershey Chocolatetown which is their newest shopping and dining area. Open year round guests can dine at The Chocolatier enjoying some chocolate inspired dishes.
The Chocolatier is inspired by the past and present of Hersheypark and you can see these pieces throughout the restaurant.
I suggest making reservations before you arrive because it can get busy.
Dessert at Milton Ice Cream Shop at Hershey Chocolatetown
If you aren’t too stuffed from dinner head downstairs from The Chocolatier to Milton’s Ice Cream Parlor or The Sweeterie for an after dinner dessert.
With homemade ice cream and decadent desserts you may want to take some home with you.
Hershey Trolley Works
Hershey Trolley Works tour is a 75 minute tour around the town of Hershey highlighting the history of the town and Milton Hershey.
It leaves from Hershey Chocolate World and runs year round. They offer seasonal trolley rides for Halloween and Christmas.
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is another place to visit besides Hersheypark. It is unique in that it is included in your park admission but you can visit without visiting the park.
This is a small zoo and will take around 2 hours to explore. We actually like visiting mid-day during our Hersheypark day to take a break from the excitement of the rides.
Finding things to do in Hershey, PA besides Hersheypark makes a visit to Hershey a year round family fun destination!
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