Trip ideas for Hershey and Amish country

Old Oct 16th, 2013, 01:01 AM
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Trip ideas for Hershey and Amish country

Hi guys, I'm an Aussie coming over to the USA in December with my 7yr old son. Have always wanted to go to the Hershey factory and see Amish country. I was thinking of a day trip from New York but on that forum they said it would be difficult. Are there any day tours that you know about that would cover these two areas? Or perhaps an overnight from NY or DC?

Also, I hear there is a 'Christmas Villiage'. Is that close to either of these?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 01:40 AM
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You are best off doing it as a day trip from Philly - to which these places are closest. Also I would check opening days and hours for Hershey - and realize that visiting Amish country in winter will allow very little time - due to limited daylight hours - will be dark before 5 pm.

Try googling both Hershey and tours for info,
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 04:49 AM
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The Hershey tour is NOT a factory tour...hasn't been for decades. It's now a short Disney-like ride past pictures of stuff. You probably get a piece of candy at the end. Woohoo.

"Amish country" is maybe kinda interesting, if you get on the back roads away from the traffic and outlet malls. Then you'll see pretty farmland and maybe a buggy or 2. Maybe worth it if you are near there, but I'm not sure it's worth the expense and time of a bus from hours away.

~Liz
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:11 AM
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But the OP is there in Dec. Nothing is pretty - all bare. Possibility to see a couple of buggies, shop for Amish quilts (gorgeous but expensive) and eat in one of the family style places.

You can;t tour Amish farms or whatever - I don't see the attraction in midwinter - leafless tree, all grass brown and crunchy, and quite cold perhaps with rain or sleet.

For Hersehy Park (amusement park) suggest you go to the web site to see what days and hours they are open (for Dec focuses on evening hours with lights) and figure out which things you can do in the cold - and which a 7 year old can do (not sure of age or height requirements for the coaster, etc).
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:13 AM
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And in case you haven;t looked entry to Hersey Park is %60 for adults and $40 for small children (up to age 8).
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:33 AM
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On your other thread, you mentioned that you have relatives in Baltimore. Are you staying with them for any time while you are in the USA? If so, it might make sense for you to go from there.

Of the places you've mentioned so far (Baltimore, NYC, San Diego, Albany), Baltimore is closest to Hershey.

"HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction is open almost every day of the year! Hours vary depending on the season. Look below for more information."

http://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:35 AM
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The OP hasn't said they want to visit Hershey Park amusement park, but visit the factory. As noted the factory is no longer a factory tour, but a simulation only.

That said, it's still interesting to be around the hub of Hershey chocolate, and the gift shop at the end of the tour (or walk in off the street) is like being a kid in a candy shop. Go figure.

The town of Lancaster is an ok place to visit too. I forget the name of the place but there's a pretzel factory / gift shop run by the Amish where you can see hand made pretzels, and many other hand made goods. I recall that there are several Amish homes in the area that one can tour. It's important to remember that this is their way of life and not treat it like a visit to the zoo & to be respectful of the way of life.

It's been a long time since I've been there so I can't offer any specifics. Sorry.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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Go to the M+M's or the Hershey Store in Times Square instead!!!
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:45 AM
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People come from far and wide to the Mifflinburg Christkindle Market. http://www.mifflinburgchristkindlmarket.com/
At the time of the first one I was living on Market St. It was right outside my front door.
Mifflinburg was known as "buggy town". The Mifflinburg buggy museum (on Green St.) should be open and may even be giving buggy or sleigh rides to visitors.
There is an active Amish community in Union, Snyder and Centre Counties in Pennsylvania. I think you're out of luck for getting a tour of an Amish farm in PA.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 06:54 AM
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If you want to see a real factory tour (not the fake one at Hershey), you might want to go to the Herr's Potato Chip Factory tour in Nottingham, Pennsylvania. It's about 30 miles southeast of Lancaster, PA (Amish Country) and only an hour north of Baltimore, if you are visiting relatives there. If you decide to go to Lancaster from Baltimore (as suggested by Vjpblovesitaly), then you can easily make a short detour to Nottingham.

http://www.herrs.com/snackfactorytours.html
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Hershey decorates for Xmas...

http://www.christmasinhershey.com/christmas_candylane/

http://www.christmasinhershey.com/he...weetlights.php

http://www.christmasinhershey.com/ch...olate_town.php

If you get a car, you could also visit Longwood Gardens. Your son may or may not be interested, but they do have a nice display at night.

http://longwoodgardens.org/events-an...wood-christmas

There are some nice museums in Philly too...you can check out the Franklin Institute and run up the steps of the Art Museum like Rocky.

There are some displays too... http://www.wanamakerorgan.com/xmas.php
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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The activities noted above for Hershey are the amusement park - which is open mostly in the evenings for the holidays (for the lights).

I must admit can't imagine want to see a chocolate factory - esp Herhey - when their chocolate is so awful
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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nytraveler, we all have different tastes. It is interesting to see how chocolate is made, etc. I still love some Hershey products.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:18 PM
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I can understand (sort of) wanting to see something made - although we go for wine.

But Hershey's is really dreadful chocolate - all hard and waxy I'm sure I ate it as a child - not knowing any better - but once you've tasted decent chocolate (even Godiva or Dove) the difference is very noticeable.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 07:10 PM
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Does it really matter if any of us like Hershey's chocolate? The OP didn't ask for our opinion of their chocolate. She asked if any of us can help by recommending a tour or other suggestions to visit this area. I personally would rather go to Hershey than see wine made as I just did something similar last weekend but in Switzerland.

I wish I could give some recommendations from NYC but I have only visited on my own as I do not live that far away from Hershey. I also went during the summer and did the factory ride, the 3D show and chocolate tasting experience. The ride and 3D show where fun and having lunch there was pretty good. The chocolate tasting, I would pass on. Also check their calendar http://www.hersheypa.com/things_to_d...date=2013-12-1 and see what else is going on during your visit. Some of the activities sound fun but I think you might have to rent a car to get there.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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But in Dec most of the activities seen to be winter lights programs - perhaps not the best choice for 7 year old that has limited capacity for walking.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 04:45 AM
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Your son might enjoy this:

http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/

The ride goes by an Amish farm but there is no guarantee you'll see Amish.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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Hershey is not a day trip from NYC, but, if you went for one night you could see a little bit of Hershey and Lancaster, they are only 45 minutes apart. Hershey's Chocolate world is a ride and yes you get a little piece of candy at the end but it's fun and kids seem to love it. There is a 3D movie, decorate your own candy bars, etc. and a big food court and gift shop at the end. My kids always had fun no matter what age they were.

Amish country is probably better in summer and fall when all the farms are growing crops, but there are still things to do year round. And yes, you can tour a real Amish farm, try Aaron and Jessica's buggy rides - the rides are given by Amish who bring you to a local farm and give you a tour, they are open year round. Dutch Wonderland amusement park in Lancaster is open weekends, usually 3-9 in December all lit up for Christmas. If you are interested in an amusement park this place is perfect for a 7 year old.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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If your son is interested in trains, then the Strasburg Railroad would be good. Also, there are two model train exhibits...Choo Choo Barn and The National Toy Train Museum.
I took my 5 year old grandson to all three and he loved them!
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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Must say I am loving this forum! You guys have given me so many valuable ideas! I'm disappointed to hear that about the Hershey factory... was indeed looking for a working factory tour. Also surprised to hear the cost of the park there. BUT my son is going to LOVE the train ride that you guys suggested. Just checked out the website and they have some special holiday rides that look brilliant! Thanks again for such great advice and suggestions!
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