Several years ago, we decided to check out what there was to do in Hershey®, PA on Halloween. Pumpkin Glow, character breakfast AND Hersheypark in the Dark SM? We were so thrilled…the kids were besides themselves. We packed up the car and headed out…only to hear once we checked in that a major blizzard was headed our way.
Long story short, ALL the activities they had were cancelled, except for the Hershey Halloween character breakfast of Blizzard 2011. Zoe loved it and danced the entire time! I completely forgot about this event for the little ones until I walked by this weekend. Glad to see its still on.
So when I got the chance to return to Hershey, PA for the Boost Your Influence Summit, I couldn’t miss the chance to revisit Hershey’s Halloween festivities, even IF my kids are much bigger. It was only a one day event and we live close enough that no one even had to take a day off.
I was thrilled to find out that there were a number of things to do. Some things had changed – and all for the better, while others were tried and true. We stayed at Hershey Lodge, my favorite hotel there. Here’s what we did:
Arrival: Friday Night
When you check in, you are greeted with bags of candy. The lady was kind enough to give us 2 each, plus I got plenty more candy at the conference.
Event: Pumpkin Glow at Hershey Gardens
We got there at almost 8:00PM and it was still going strong! Since your tickets come with your stay at the Hershey Lodge, we pretty much checked in, tossed on Zoe’s costume and jumped in the car to attend.
I thought Amelia would be too old for this, but she was totally engaged with the carved pumpkins! There were also featured creatures – tarantulas and scorpions and the like – and candy give outs and characters. All around, a great time, and I can hardly wait for spring to see the butterflies again.
Conference Day: Saturday
Kid Activities: Water Works at Hershey Lodge
It turns out Hershey Lodge had renovated the entire pool area since the last time we were here in 2014. Water Works is their new “mini waterpark” and it is PERFECT if you have a kid that you need to keep an eye on at all times. It features a water slide that spirals down outside the building (don’t worry, it’s covered) and a nice sized hot tub for Mom, Dad and the older kiddos (14 and up, please!). It has some mini kiddie slides and a kiddie pool, as well as a regular sized pool.
Outside the pool area, there is a room with a few Legos tables, an arcade and an activity room. Oh and don’t worry – while the WaterWorks area is small, there is a full menu and bar and ice cream section too!
Family Fun: Saturday Night
Hersheypark In The Dark
When we were queued up for Pumpkin Glow, Amelia looked wistfully below at the beautiful site of Hersheypark in the dark all lit up. She is a big fan of roller coasters, so although we didn’t have much time, we went for a few hours on Saturday night. We got there around 7:00PM, but no worries because Hershey Park After Dark is open through 10:00PM. Zoe rode the swings and Amelia and I or Chris braved the big coasters with the shorter lines. We also hit the arcade for a bit and got to watch the dancing Hershey characters for a little while.
This is Amelia looking at some of those crazy coasters:
I was surprised the lines were that long for the scary coasters at that time of night (an hour), so we think that Fast Pass is your best option for Hersheypark in the dark. Now, Sunday we were supposed to check out Hershey Story museum, but we were kind of tired so we just went back to Water Works before heading home. We also missed Chocolate World (no time!) and I DEFINITELY have to go back to that spa again, but that’s ok. It’s close by for us to return, and I didn’t want to overtax any of us in the middle of the school year.
I can honestly say I had a much better time than even expected – so did the kids! I didn’t stress over anything, like the food, we just stuck with the gluten free options they offer at Hershey Lodge’s many restaurants. I was so excited that we got to return and make good on our cancelled Hersheypark in the Dark trip and enjoy so many of the Halloween festivities that we missed all those years ago!
If you’re within driving distance of Hershey, PA I recommend going to check it out and staying at Hershey Lodge. We’ve been going since 14 year old looked like this:
Always the thrill seeker! (She got on that ride like 20x!!)