Tag Archives: HersheyPark

Top 25 Things To Do this Spring

It’s time to shake off cabin fever and explore all that Lancaster, PA has to offer during the spring. Whether you prefer the great outdoors, al fresco dining, or themed festivals, there’s something for everyone this season.

Check out our list of 25 things to create your spring itinerary:

1] Take a hike or go for a bike ride

2] Bid on bargains at a Mud Sale
Mud Sales are annual auctions held by communities featuring antiques quilts, locally-made crafts and more.

3] Celebrate Easter with family over brunch, dinner, Easter egg hunts, and events

4] Bounce out cabin fever at Sky Zone Lancaster

5] Discover the creative energy of the city during First Friday
Art galleries and boutiques extend their hours for browsing during this monthly event.

6] Take in the tranquil countryside from aboard the Strasburg Rail Road

7] Search for unique treasures and bargains at Lancaster’s eclectic antique shops
Spring Antiques Extravaganza is held in the Antiques Capital region, April 27-30.

8] Head to Lititz for the annual Pretzel Fest
Held on Saturday, May 6.

9] Experience the art scene in Downtown Lancaster with Spring ArtWalk
This self-guided tour takes place Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.

10] Get a head start on your spring gardening at the Herb & Garden Faire at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.
Held on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13.

Credit: Dutch Wonderland

11] Fill your day with family fun at Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park.
Open weekends beginning on April 29-30.

12] Enjoy fruity festivities at Kitchen Kettle Village’s Rhubarb Festival.
Tickle your taste buds Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20.

13] Celebrate Spring at Rock Ford Plantation’s May Fair Celebration
Takes place on Sunday, May 21.

14] Catch a Broadway-caliber musical, drama, dinner theater performance or jaw-dropping concert.

15] Explore learning with a twist at a kid-friendly museum.

16] Flock to Lancaster for great birding.

17] Relax with a picnic in the park.

18] Find fun for the thrill seekers at Hersheypark’s Springtime in the Park.
Held on April 8-9 and 14-16.

19] Ride as the Amish do with an authentic buggy ride.

20] Grab a paddle for adventures on the river.

21] Stop by Central Market for local goodies.
Open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

22] Tour the back roads and covered bridges.

23] Stop to smell the roses at Hershey Garden.

24] Refresh your wardrobe with a trip to the outlets.

25] Saddle up for a horseback ride along the trails at Ironstone Ranch.

To find even more exciting events and happenings, visit our events calendar.

Summer fun kicks off at Hersheypark

One sure sign of spring in Central Pennsylvania is the opening of Hersheypark for their annual Springtime in the Park. During this two weekend summer-preview event, my family always finds time to visit the park.

Our tram ride from the parking lot gave us a good view of the new Ticketing Services building across from the Chocolate World attraction. Guests must purchase their Hersheypark tickets before arriving at the main gate. Ticketing Services can also assist guests with reprints of online tickets if they have lost the originals or do not have a printer at home. We found that not having to wait for people to pay for tickets at the front gate made everything smoother and faster. What a wonderful improvement!

There is nothing quite like the first view of the Hersheypark carrousel to get you in the mood for fun. This classic Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel was made in 1919 and installed in the park in 1945. It features a 1926 Wurlitzer organ that plays traditional carousel music as well as special songs for patriotic holidays, Halloween, and Christmas. It is always our first and last ride of the day.

New to Hersheypark this year are three family rides: the Cocoa Cruiser roller coaster, the Sweet Swing family swing ride and a classic Teacup ride. Only the Sweet Swing was open when we visited, but by the time the park opens for the summer I’m sure we’ll be able to ride all three. My kids are really looking forward to riding the Cocoa Cruiser since the Trailblazer is still a little too scary for them.

Even though the park was busy we were able to ride the Monorail, the Dry Gulch Railroad, and many of the children’s favorite kiddie rides. We also had our favorite Turkey Hill soft serve ice cream from the Crossroads Creamery and delicious fries from Tower Fries.

After enjoying our ice cream we went to ZooAmerica to visit with the bears, otters and other North American wildlife. Admission to the zoo is free with your park ticket and it is a great place to let the kids unwind after all the excitement of the amusement park. Be sure to bring some quarters to feed the ducks. They walk right up to you as you feed them and the kids love it.

By the time we finished at ZooAmerica my little ones were tired of walking, so we left the park and stopped at Hershey’s Chocolate World to ride the free factory tour. Chocolate World is under renovation right now, but we still loved seeing the scenes from the factory and getting our free chocolate sample at the end.

What a great way to spend an early spring day. Can’t wait to go back in the summer!

A day of Hersheypark thrills

Dutch Wonderland, a premier amusement park located within the heart of Lancaster County, is geared toward families with kids up through 12 years of age.  Since my children are now teenagers and self-proclaimed thrill seekers, a visit to nearby Hersheypark – with its 11 exciting roller coasters and expansive waterpark – was in order.

Hersheypark is only a 20-30 minute drive from Lancaster County and is great fun for families of all ages.  In addition to the roller coasters and waterpark, it boasts numerous rides for younger children, live entertainment, games, gift shops and more.  Their one-price admission gets you access to everything for the entire day.

My kids love going to Hersheypark – in fact they’d probably go every day if they could.  The rides are diverse and thrilling, the games are fun, and the waterpark is refreshing.  From a parent’s perspective, there are plenty of shaded areas, lots of beautiful hanging plants, and an extremely clean environment.

Speaking of clean, when I was part of the Hersheypark management team years ago, the General Manager was passionate about maintaining the cleanliness of the park.  Whenever we managers were in the park, which under his leadership was quite often, it was our duty to make sure things were running smoothly and that any trash was picked up promptly.  There were many 90 degree days I spent wearing high heels and a suit, picking up sporadic pieces of trash in the park.

So for fun, I told my oldest daughter Maddie I was going to look for trash during our visit and count the number of pieces I saw.  There’s always SOME trash at amusement parks, right?  So any guesses as to how many pieces I saw?  ONE.  Yes, in an amusement park of over 120 acres, I only saw one piece of trash the entire day.

For for a fun and thrilling day with the kids, in a safe and clean environment, Hersheypark is the place to go.

As part of the Lancaster County tourism team, I feel we are extremely fortunate to have two world-class theme parks in such close proximity to each other, one suitable for families with children up through 12 years of age, and the other for more thrill seekers.

Hersheypark is open weekends through the end of September, then opens for seasonal hours & events around Halloween and the holidays.  At only 20-30 minutes away, it’s the perfect day trip during your stay in Lancaster.  For more information, please visit www.hersheypark.com.

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