Having such a big family, we get very busy and booked up fast. To make sure she gets her special time with us, my mom has annual trips that she does with me and the kids. Last year she was begging to go to Hersheypark and as a chocolate lover, I was completely in love with the idea…but I had never been to Hersheypark and thought it was for older kids so I turned her down. This year after asking friends for suggestions on where to go, I was informed that Hersheypark was quite accommodating to children of various ages. That was it, all I needed to hear, we were going and I think that we were just as excited, if not moreso, than the kids!
We spent two days at Hersheypark and I will tell you right now that I think that was not even enough! It is SO much bigger than I ever imagined! I’m honestly not even sure where to begin with this post because there are so many areas to cover. Hersheypark is obviously an amusement park, which includes a big section for water rides. Park admission includes the 11-acre zoo, ZooAmerica and a tour of Chocolate World, where you are shown how the chocolate is made! Hersheypark itself consists of 13 rollercoasters and 14 water rides, with more than 20 kiddie rides!
The first thing we did when entering Hersheypark was get all of the kids measured to determine which rides they would be able to go on. They categorize you by height and they have sweet names (pun!), like Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Hershey’s Kisses. Then they put wristbands on the kids and each ride has a list of which “candies” can ride it. The rides vary from the itty bitty kid rides that are perfect for first timers, to the big huge rollercoasters that twist and loop all around!
My kids are still new to rollercoasters so though the older two girls were big enough to get on most of them, we stuck to the smaller ones. I’m a rollercoaster addict so my husband promised to go back with me and ride all of the big ones, especially the Sidewinder, which looked so cool with its boomerang effect. My favorite one that we went on was the Wild Mouse, which as my mom described it, “Makes you feel like you’re about to go over the edge!” It was my oldest daughter’s first real coaster and it was thrilling while still mild enough not to completely terrify her, a wonderfully fun starter coaster!
There were plenty of rides for the little ones to do, the swings being their favorite. We couldn’t pry them away from The Boardwalk though, what a great section! There are so many rides that we didn’t even get a chance to go on because we were taking advantage of the East Coast Waterworks and Sand Castle Cove. That is such a small portion of what the water section even offers, so this has a lot to do with why I think we could have spent an entire week enjoying Hersheypark.
Sand Castle Cove was a favorite for our youngest children who are under five, because it was small enough to maneuver on their own. There are several slides and activities in this adorable area that resembles a sand castle, hence the name! Even the baby was able to do a little splashing in the low levels of the water! The older kids were all about East Coast Waterworks which is the biggest play center I’ve seen at any waterpark. There are two of those huge buckets that tip water over everything, and a whole bunch of really big slides, plus a lot of water toys.
There were still a whole bunch of waterslides outside of these sections, a lazy river, and a couple more spots for the younger kids to play. If it hadn’t rained on our second day, I think we might have spent an entire day in The Boardwalk!
My mom and I were eager to check out ZooAmerica so we made sure that we slipped in just before dinner time on our second day at Hersheypark. Oh, it’s awesome in there! It was dinner time for the animals too so most of them were quite active. The mountain lions were running all over and we watched a bobcat eating. As usual, my kids were totally enamored with the reptiles because behind glass, they think reptiles are the best.
I wish we had more time to spend at Chocolate World. Like I said, I’m a bit of a chocolate lover. It was one of our very last stops so I was rushed and I could have spent days candy shopping alone, plus tasting chocolate and doing all of the extra things inside. The tour at Chocolate World is free but the other activities are extra and I would do them if we were spending a longer vacation there!
We enjoyed most of the food inside of the park, there’s a smokehouse and a Moe’s Southwest Grill, which has the best burritos. Plus, a Nathan’s in The Boardwalk, and their fries rock. I think it was a lot more convenient to eat inside the park so as not to lose much time from the day, so it’s nice that there are tasty options. Another thing to make things more convenient is to bring along a wagon if you have young ones. The baby gets heavy, even babywearing, so it was nice to be able to put her down while doing so much walking.
Overall, we absolutely loved Hersheypark and I’m so not done with it. Maybe it’s because of having a family our size but I feel like we could easily spend a week there, making it to each attraction and then back around to our favorites at least a second time. I love that there were things to do for all ages and level of adventure. We’ll surely be back! I heard that it’s amazing at Christmas!
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*The Quirky Mom Next Door received tickets in exchange for the above honest review. All opinions and experiences are her own only.