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emom Apr 8th, 2004 07:03 AM

We are planning a weekend getaway to Hershey with another family. Combined we are four adults and two children aged 3 and 4. I remember going as a child and loving it. Although we haven't settled on a particular weekend, we are thinking about Memorial Day weekend but are wondering if crowds will be a problem. We are also looking for suggestions for where to stay and what to do other than Hershey Park. Any thoughts would be very welcome.

judyz Apr 8th, 2004 11:51 AM

I don't go to Hershey Park often but we have friends with season passes who love going Mother's day as the crowd is really small. There are some good museums in Harrisburg, Pa but I don't know that this would be good for young children. Lancaster County has the amish culture. Friends went to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA(I think) and enjoyed this with young children.

luugis Apr 8th, 2004 12:52 PM

Children that age would love the Strasburg railroad in Lancaster county. Old steam engine train ride through amish farmland...real scenic and fun!

nettebabe2000 Apr 23rd, 2005 08:22 AM

saw the response regarding the crayola factory in Easton...GREAT visit, if you do choose to go to Easton tho, you can also go to the PEZ MUSEUM! kids LOVE this place !!!

J62 Apr 23rd, 2005 10:14 AM

If you remember going as a child and taking a tour of the REAL Hershey chocolate factory, you may be disappointed.

Years ago you could actually tour the factory, watch real Hershey Kisses being made, vats of molten chocolate swirl, and smell the real smells.

Today, there's a 15min simulated chocolate factory tour at Hershey World (HW) that leads you out to a food court (Hershey) and gift shop (more Hershey). It's still fun if you're in the area, but not worth a trip by itself.

Hershey Park (HP) itself is geared more towards older kids. Yes, there are some kiddie rides, but these are nothing more than the same rides you get at your local carnival. The roller coasters, etc are fun, but all have a min. height requirement. You'll have to pay the admission fee for the entire park, not just ride by ride tickets.

IMO 3 & 4 is too young to enjoy HP, and HW is simply something to do before or after the park.

If you do go, I also recommend that you do NOT stay at the Hershey Lodge. It's nothing more than a large standard motel, and a very expensive one at that. It's a fine hotel, but unlike just about any hotel on Disney property, there really is no magic to Hershey Lodge. Not worth the premium $ they charge.

Next time I go that direction I'm planning to stay in Harrisburg - not too far away and a much broader selection of hotels and prices.

wanderluster Apr 23rd, 2005 10:25 AM

J62 is totally correct. In every way.
We've been recently and were very disappointed we spent the time, money, effort.
I would think of another place for a trip this time; have you considered Sesame Street Place?

band_nerd_08 Apr 23rd, 2005 01:09 PM

I went to Hershey as a kid, and my best memory there is when we went on this indoor ride that showed how they make candy bars. I don't know if it is still there, but if it is, it should be a neat thing for the kids to do. The ride is in this building right before you get to hershey park, as I remember. You might want to confirm it's location with the locals as I am not sure and haven't been there in years.

missk Apr 23rd, 2005 01:32 PM

where is Sesame Street Place?

wanderluster Apr 23rd, 2005 02:28 PM

Sesame Place is in Bucks County near Philadelphia.
Here's a link to their website:

artstuff Apr 24th, 2005 05:55 AM

To parents of young kids (since the OP has probably already taken their trip) -

The best undiscovered place to take your kids for a day of fun, food and fantasy has got to be Knoebel's Grove, in Elysburg, PA.

It is Pennsylvania's largest free admission, free parking amusement park. Set in the woods, Knoebel's offeres over 50 rides including a whole kiddie section. The Phoenix, one of the top ten roller coasters in America, is only one of 4 coasters in the park. The Haunted House has repeatedly been voted #1 by Dark Ride Enthusiasts. There is a giant pool and waterslides, a carousel where you can still grab for the brass ring, a mini-train ride which takes you through the woods for 1 1/2 miles, and so much more. You can purchase a book of tickets for $5 or $10 and just go on a few rides, or you can get your hand stamped which gives you access to most of the rides as often as you want.

There is a 500-site campground in the park as well as picnic benches and pavillions, so you can pack your own lunch, food, and beverages and are not forced to buy park food. Although, the french fries with vinegar are the best around. If you do want to sit down for a family dinner, the Alamo Restaurant is a great place to eat and people watch from a window table.

What makes Knoebel's great is you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy yourself and have a good time - it's a family affordable holiday set in the mountainous woods.

Peace, Robyn :)>-

Linda0515 Apr 24th, 2005 06:36 AM

You might want to look into Dutch Wonderland amusement park in Lancaster. It's owned and operated by the Hersheypark people, but it's geared more for young children. It's smaller--when my children were small, we'd do everything in about half a day--but very nice.

The strasburg area has not only the Strasburg railroad but also a couple of miniature railroad "museums"--really very elaborate miniature railroad displays. My children loved them when they were very young. If you think your children are old enough to have fun playing miniature golf, Strasburg also has an exceptionally good miniature golf course called Village Greens.

Lancaster also has a wonderful "hands-on" museum (really a big activity center) called Hands-On House. My children loved it as preschoolers. One room is set up as a grocery store, another has dress-up things, etc. etc. Your children are the perfect age for it.

We found Sesame Place, ironically, a little inappropriate for preschoolers--a lot of the attractions were geared more to primary-age children. Go figure.

One general warning--Memorial Day is a big tourism weekend in these parts, so crowds and traffic will be unavoidable wherever you go.

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