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August 17, 2018

Things to do near Hershey Park

We have had some record breaking flooding and road closures to central Pennsylvania these past few months. The rain sent creeks and streams spilling over their banks causing places like Hershey Park to close and evacuate! During this time I saw so many "complaints" that many had traveled to this area and no longer had things to do. Hershey Park is a wonderful park to bring your family but the area has much more to offer! I thought perhaps it was time to share some of my families suggestions since we just returned from a trip to the area ourselves!
Hershey Park: Yes, as stated above a wonderful place to bring your whole family. While I want to focus on other places to visit in area, I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few things about this Park! My first recommendation...go EARLY to beat some of the crowds. This place gets packed by mid afternoon so be vigilant on planning your trip. While this Amusement Park offers rides, shows, water slides, game you name it they also have interactive characters that walk around. My son LOVES meeting them so I had to mention them!!
Visit Zoo America! They believe it is their responsibility to protect, promote, and encourage the conservation of wildlife, natural resources, and habitats. Each habitat is well made for every animal they house. We love wandering around and viewing the different species.
They also have shows, educational animal viewing (pictured above) plus petting areas for the whole family. Another great benefit, you get FREE admission when you buy Hershey Park tickets!!
 Take a trip to the Indian Echo Caverns. After some HOT weather in the area it feels so good to get out of the 🔥 heat & enjoy the 52 degree caves! We visited on a day the humidity was around 99% and temps of 100 degrees. This is a guided tour that lasts a good chunk of time depending on how many questions and stories are told. I would recommend bringing a sweater because it does get chilly towards the end. These caverns are well lite but do have some small spaces to walk through. We wore sneakers and I think that is a good idea because the floor can get slippery due to the water dripping! 
Explore Lake Tobias!! I will be honest with you I stumbled on this wildlife park purely by accident. We had nothing planned one day, driving to another destination, when I spotted a sign to this place. It was sprinkling so I thought I should call ahead and see if they were even open. By the time we got to Lake Tobias the sun was out and they were running the Safari buses!
I could write a WHOLE post on this place because it was THAT memorable (actually I think I will). If your family enjoys animals, like mine does, this is the place for you! First off it's so affordable, I believe it was around $8 a person!! Second, the Safari rides are the BEST I have EVER been on thus far. They are done in a half school bus with educated tour guides that truly love the animals they work along side.
Third the enclosures are HUGE! This place is so large that they could easily expand and still have plenty of room for the animals to roam. My family loved that many of the animals did roam freely and seemed "happy". I know you can't ask an animal if it's happy BUT you can see if they are flourishing in their environment. it might be off the beaten path in the middle of no where BUT....WORTH A TRIP!!!
Hershey gardens. If you stay at the Hershey hotels you might have seen this place as you drive up to check in. I believe you also get FREE admission if you stay in the Hershey Hotels.
This place you could spend some time walking around and exploring. I would pick a day that is not to humid to enjoy ( you will be walking in greenhouses and to different gardens). They even have fun kid explorer scavenger hunts!!
The butterfly conservatory is also interesting to do. 
Whenever we see them we have to go through. 
Explore the area. I honestly couldn't believe this caboose (total beauty, right) was tucked away near the Fort Hunter Mansion And Park! My son has a LOVE of all things trains so this was rather exciting. We also found a mini statue of liberty on some rocks, in the middle, of the river we passed!
Fort Hunter Mansion And Park is a great educational stop. My family enjoys history so we always try to incorporate that into our trips somehow. While this might not appeal to everyone, I know some of my followers home school. If you do, this place is a great stop on your journey!
We had fun learning the history of the area while viewing some of artifacts they had. My son personally liked the kitchen area because he was not used to seeing how things were done manually many years ago. Another thing I would like to mention...the staff are VERY kid friendly. Many places similar to this don't allow you to touch anything and they kind of frown upon kids being with you. Here they really did a good job of talking history without boring him (and us) and incorporating him in the stories! I think that really shows how truly special a place is because we all enjoyed our time! 
Take a ride on the Pride of Susquehanna. This riverboat has a great selection of cruises starting in May and running to October! They have different trips you can take but we enjoyed the 45 minute sight seeing tour. I will say the location is a bit interesting because you have to walk a good distance to get to the boat from your vehicle. It is located near a ball park so keep that in mind on game days!
Much like my last suggestion you will learn some history on this trip. The Pride of Susquehanna is an authentic stern-driven paddle wheel riverboat built 30 years ago. The driver/guide will point out shoreline attractions as you cruise and they also offer drinks and snacks for purchase if you so choose.
While driving off City Island from, the Pride of Susquehanna, we spotted this awesome cow!! This Island offered so much more than I expected so I wanted to also mention them. You can take a ride on a steam train or horse-drawn carriage while visiting. They also have miniature golf, arcade games, batting cages, and visit the beach!!
Have you ever been to the Harrisburg, PA area??
What are more things to do NEAR Hershey Park??


  1. What a wonderful collection! And perfect timing - I was just looking at I-81, which I may drive up to see family in Syracuse one of these days (we recently moved so the route is new) and considered breaking the trip in Harrisburg to visit a friend... and you give me all these things to do in the area if we have time!

  2. Hersheypark is an awesome choice for a weekend with your family. You can go inside the park or you can just go to Hershey World and do some activities like “create your own chocolate bar”. Highly recommended.

  3. I've never been to that area, but it sounds like there's a lot to do! My boys would love the caves, and they are all about the trains, too! We always enjoy finding the lesser-known attractions in an area.

  4. The next time I go up to Allentown I want to go to Hersey's Park! We went to the Crayola Experience with the two boys and that was a blast! <3

  5. I’ve been to Hershey Park many times, but have never been to any of these ther places. My kids would absolutely love to Lake Tobias (and I love the price)!

  6. Such a wonderful experience! Perfect for a weekend trip with family and kids! A great way to see all these beautiful animals and of course the gardens!

  7. My family and i have been planning to go to Hershey Park for the longest time and this post just prompted me to add more places to explore while we're there to make the trip more worthwhile

  8. The riverboat cruise sounds fun, we've never been to Hershey Park. Hershey Gardens looks like a beautiful place.


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