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Since I was a little girl, I have been vacationing in Hershey, PA. I have to say I am partial to the Hershey Lodge, but I recently stayed at the Camping Resort and LOVED it! Hershey holds a very special place in my heart as it is the place I visited with my father even as I became an adult. In honor of my dad, I carry on the Hershey vacation tradition with my family!
Since my boys were born, we have visited Hershey every year and for almost every season. In the summer, we LOVE the Boardwalk and cannot live without the cabana. In the fall, we enjoy dressing up and trick-or-treating around the park. In the winter, we sip on endless mugs of hot chocolate while taking in all the amazing lights and sounds. We have yet to visit in the spring, but it is on our list!
As you know, I am always looking for educational experiences for my kids, and vacationing is no exception! It is easy to see just from the pictures on-line or in magazines that Hershey is tons of fun and a great family destination, but did you know it is jam-packed with educational opportunities? Hershey offers so many learning experiences that kids of all ages will enjoy!
5 Educational Experiences in Hershey, PA
With your Hersheypark admission ticket, you are also able to visit Zoo America. With an entrance located right inside the park, the zoo is an easy and perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the park. This is a must-see attraction for my family as my kids LOVE animals. Zoo America offers families an opportunity to see and learn all about various animals that are from the five regions of the United States. Educational programs and tours are also available to help enhance knowledge about animals as well as increase conservation awareness.
Hershey Gardens is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and breathtaking attraction that Hershey has to offer. As families stroll through the 23-acres, they learn all about various plants, flowers and trees. It is a true multi-sensory approach to learning as visitors can see, touch, smell and hear what nature has to offer. Hershey Gardens also offers numerous special events, educational programs and camps to help expand young (and old) minds! We especially enjoyed the Butterfly Garden this past summer where my boys were able to learn about and identify a wide variety of butterfly species. The Children’s Garden offers 32 themed gardens allowing for hands-on fun and exploration!
Hershey Trolley Works
One of my favorite educational experiences available in Hershey is Hershey Trolley Works. We have had the pleasure of enjoying their Trick-or-Treat and Christmas tours. Both experiences were fun, exciting and very informative. I loved learning about how the town of Hershey started and seeing where Milton Hershey lived. There is such rich history in the town of Hershey that many people forget to focus on once they hit the park. Each tour is inspiring and entertaining. Oh, and you get chocolate too!
The Museum Experience at Hershey Story
I believe that teaching kids about history helps enhance their academic and cognitive development. It also helps them understand where things came from and to appreciate the things that they have. The Museum Experience is a first-hand look at how the Hershey empire started and progressed to be what it is today. As families walk through the 5 interactive and fascinating exhibits, they will learn all about the chocolate industry and how the Hershey company began. For a nominal fee, kids can also participate in the Apprentice Program. Kids will have a blast answering trivia questions and solving puzzles which allow them to earn a prize at the end!
Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour Ride
A trip to Hershey is never complete without riding the Chocolate Tour Ride! This is usually the first and the last thing we do on every trip. My son begs to go on it and is fascinated and intrigued throughout the entire ride. The Great American Chocolate Tour Ride is a FREE ride that brings families on a chocolate making journey. It teaches riders exactly how chocolate is made from beginning to end. It is a great lesson in science and engineering! It is a true multi-sensory learning experience as riders can smell chocolate, see the chocolate making process, hear the machines at work, feel the “heat” of the oven and taste a sample at the end (my favorite part)! It is a must-do Hershey attraction!
So as you can see, there is an educational experience for everyone! So pack up the kids and head out to Hershey, PA for your next exciting, fun AND educational family vacation!!