As parents for almost 4 years now, Andrew and I have had moments where we question if we are really doing this parenting thing right. We’ve been hard on ourselves more often than not. Yet, as we see our girls growing into beautiful, thriving, older children, we know we are doing it right by them. After having our second daughter, we have definitely relaxed and tried not to stress about so much being “perfect”. With Skibbles, we both helicoptered over her making sure that she didn’t have screen time, didn’t eat anything that wasn’t healthy, and so much more. What ended up happening though is that we were both constantly stressed about messing something up. Then…. second child, and life kicks in and you realize that most things are just not that serious. The other thing we realized was that chocolate could cure almost every meltdown. And it didn’t even have to be a lot, a small Hershey’s Kiss solves most of life’s problems for a toddler.
We were recently invited to Hersheypark on behalf of Pepsi and after our weekend getaway I’m convinced that chocolate can solve all of life’s issues for everyone. A summit in Hershey, PA, with all the world leaders, would solve every world problem, I’m absolutely sure of it. Our whole family was so happy the entire time and we didn’t have one huge meltdown from Skibbles. I’m pretty sure the town of Hershey wafts chocolate in the air. The residents there have to be the happiest people in the world.
As soon as we hit the town, I got instantly happy. The light poles were shaped like Hershey Kisses, so many places named cocoa this or that, how could we not be happy!? I wanted to make the most of our weekend trip, so I had our full itinerary planned once we got there.
- Chocolate World and go on FREE Chocolate Factory Tour
- Hersheypark to do some rides and visit ZooAmerica (Free admission when purchasing Hersheypark tickets)
- Check into Hershey Lodge (resort)
- Have dinner
- Head to Hersheypark
- *Download the Hersheypark App before heading there
- Visit the Boardwalk (water park into Hersheypark)
- Check out Pepsi Oasis
- Hershey Waterworks (inside Hershey Lodge)
- Check out of Hershey Lodge
- Visit Hershey Gardens (free admission when staying at Hershey Lodge)
- Visit The Hershey Museum (free admission when staying at Hershey Lodge)
Watch our 3 videos over the course of our stay. (Scroll down to read more)
Hershey Lodge and Waterworks
Hersheypark, ZooAmerica, and Chocolate World
We arrived early in the day on Saturday and headed straight to Chocolate World. Both of the girls absolutely loved the Chocolate Factory Tour, which is completely free. We ended up doing it both Saturday and Sunday because Skibbles asked to do it again. While at Chocolate World you can also upgrade to paying activities, like making your own chocolate bars.
Once we were done, we walked the short distance to the Hersheypark entrance. I had downloaded the Hersheypark app, so we knew exactly where to go for the rides that Skibbles and the baby could go on based on their height. The app even tells you how long the wait time is for rides. It was perfect for helping our family. We made our way to ZooAmerica first. It was so hot, we stopped and grabbed a Pepsi souvenir cup that costs just $.99 to refill anytime all season long or free water refills. It was the best investment we made. I kid you not we refilled that bottle at least 30 times over two days.
ZooAmerica was so much fun, but Skibbles was begging for rides. Hersheypark has been by far our best family park experience thus far. Skibbles was able to ride a pretty big roller coaster and she was so thrilled we rode it three times in a row. I was also excited about how many things the baby could ride with us helping her. On Sunday, in addition to the rides, we fed ducks, and went to the Boardwalk, the waterpark area of Hersheypark. Since the baby’s leg is broken, we decided not to do much there, but we did let Skibbles run around for a bit in the splashpad area. We were also excited to find the new PepsiMoji statues and check out Pepsi Oasis. The PepsiMoji statues are Pepsi’s way of bringing the emoji craze to real life. You can check out more or share your own with #SayItWithPepsi
Inside the Pepsi Oasis is the new Pepsi Spire machine, an innovative digital beverage fountain that allows you to completely customize you favorite Pepsi beverages. Skibbles thought it was so fun that she could pick and choose flavors to make her drink taste better. She chose Pink Lemonade with Strawberry and Grape. I’ll admit it was actually really good. I tried Sierra Mist with Raspberry and YUM! So, so good. There’s other flavors like vanilla, lemon, cherry, and more also. It’s all about having fun and getting inspired surprises.
The accommodations at Hershey Lodge were phenomenal. There was so much to do and there’s no way we came close to doing even most of it. Kids get their own check-in and lanyard with chocolate, coloring page and crayons. We were given a list of all the kid’s activities to do at the resort like free craft time or up close with some animals brought over from ZooAmerica. It was also the opening weekend of Hershey Waterworks, the indoor water area at Hershey Lodge. When you stay at Hershey Lodge you are given complimentary passes to The Hershey Museum and Hershey Gardens, and there is also free mini golf on location. There is also a free shuttle that runs every 30 minutes back and forth to Hersheypark. Best of all, if you show your resort key, you get into Hersheypark an hour early!
The food. Oh, the food. Hershey Dining was divine. Again, it’s something just about the abundance of chocolate that makes you enjoy everything more. Hershey Lodge has an abundance of restaurants on location. While there, we chose to dine at The Bear’s Den and Hershey Grill for dinner and we went to Libbie Leibericher’s and Cocoa Beanery for breakfast. There were also a ton of locations to eat around the immediate area as well. At Hersheypark we also had the most amazing Reese’s funnel cake and rainbow Dippin’ Dots that tasted like sherbet. I had never seen before but at Dippin’ Dots you could even make a float with your choice of Pepsi beverage. I thought that was neat! At the end of every meal you get Hershey Kisses instead of mints too! Naturally, Skibbles loved that.
Overall, we had an amazing experience and we can’t wait to go back. There were so many things that we weren’t able to do just because time ran out. We highly recommend staying at a Hershey resort and experiencing the whole chocolate experience.
We even decided to start a family tradition where we will purchase a mug every time we go somewhere. It was actually hard to choose just one, but this is the one we ended up going with! Do you have a tradition of something to purchase when you go somewhere?
Leave a comment below letting me know where you would head to first once you arrive in Hershey, PA. One lucky commenter will receive 4 passes to Hersheypark. *Must be 18 years old to enter. Giveaway will run from 6/9 /16 to 6/16/16 at 11:59pm EST. No purchase necessary. Giveaway winner will be chosen by random.org based on the number of comments entered.