by Janet Jonus
Hershey Pennsylvania celebrates the Holidays with lights, rides, special events, and of course a lot of chocolate.
Hershey Pennsylvania is home to Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World. This destination vacation spot comes to life with millions of sparkling lights during Christmas Candylane in Hersheypark, Hershey’s Sweet Lights drive-through tour, and Hershey’s Chocolate World decorated for Christmas all topped with Hershey’s Chocolate from the Sweetest Place on Earth.
Hersheypark’s Christmas Candylane
Hersheypark’s Christmas Candylane is a celebration of the Holidays. With over 4 million twinkling lights, light shows set to Holiday music, specialty food items, and Hersheypark rides including some coasters. Hersheypark is saturated with holiday lights. The entire Park is open (except The Boardwalk) with lights everywhere. Choreographed light shows happen every half hour set to holiday music. Visit with Santa AND his reindeer (yes, real reindeer) including everyone’s favorite Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Enjoy holiday shows while sipping on Hershey’s excellent Hot Chocolate (a Family+FunFavorite).
Christmas Candylane also features 47 of Hersheypark’s rides. From Kiddie Rides to Coasters, there is something for every member of the family. Kiddie Rides include the Dizzy Drums, Convoy, Frog Hopper, Sweet Thing, Tiny Tracks, Swing Thing, and the KIddie Coaster The Cocoa Cruiser are all open during Christmas Candylane. Family rides including the Carrousel, Twin Turnpike, The Kissing Tower, Skyview, and the Monorail. The Dry Gulch Railroad transforms into a Christmas wonderland. Ride on a steam engine through a beautiful Chirstmas light display including the popular tunnel of lights.
Adventure rides are open too. Ride on The Claw, the Howler, Reese’s Cupfusion, and Hershey’s Triple Tower. Hersheypark is home to many world-class coasters. The coasters that are open for Candylane are the SooperDooperLooper, Wild Cat, Wild Mouse, LaffTrack, and Sidewinder.
(Note: Ride availability is weather-dependent. Rides may be closed due to inclement weather, cold, and precipitation.)
Christmas Candylane is open Fridays through Sundays, November 15th through December 16th plus November 28th and 29th, daily December 16th through December 24th, and daily December 26th through January 1st. Hours vary. Tickets are on sale right now. Buy your ticket before November 24th and receive a 20% discount. One day tickets are $30.95 (discounted to $23.95 if purchased by November 24th). Two day tickets are $42.00 per person. Three day tickets are $52.00 per person. Everyone ages 3+ must have a ticket. Kids 2 and under are free.
Family+Fun Notes: We have been to Christmas Candylane many times. It is a fun event, but it can get very cold! Dress for the weather and in many layers. Walking around is cold, but riding the rides is even colder to the point of being frigid. Hats, gloves, scarves, and warm clothing are crucial for the entire family.
A Note from Hersheypark: There is a temporary entrance to Hersheypark due to construction of ChocolateTown and the new Candymonium Coaster coming next summer. Entrance is off of the parking lot, near The Claw ride. All services, including tram drop-offs, ticketing, and Guest Services have been moved to this temporary entrance.
Hershey’s Sweet Lights
Hershey’s Sweet Lights is a drive-through light display. Enjoy over 600 twinkling, animated lights displays spread out over two miles of wooded trails. Drive through the holiday light display from the comfort of your own car or take a ride on the Sweet Lights Trolley from Hershey’s Chocolate World.
Sweet Lights are open from November 15th through January 1st (including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). The display is open every night at 500PM with closing times varying depending on the night. Entry is by the car load. (Note: a car is considered a vehicle with up to 8 people.) Monday through Thursday night admission is $19.15. Friday through Sunday nights, admission is $26.15. Van admission, for vehicles with nine or more people, is $34.15. (Fees and taxes are extra.)
The Sweet Lights Trolley takes you back in time for a ride on Chocolate World Trolley through Hershey’s Sweet Lights. Learn about Milton Hershey and the town he built and Hershey’s Sweet Lights while enjoying Hershey’s Kisses. Tickets are $15.95 plus tax for adults and $12.95 plus tax for kids. Tickets are date and time specific. They can be purchased online (recommended as the Trolley sells out most days) online https://tickets.hersheys.com/mainstore?categoryId=1249&date=&#cat1249 or at Chocolate World.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Chocolate World is a one-stop destination for all things chocolate. The iconic Chocolate Tour is a free ride. Discover how chocolate is made, from the cocoa bean to the chocolate bar, and get a sweet surprise! Head over to the new Unwrapped – A Chocolate Tasting Journey, and taste your way through the creation of chocolate. Save the Chocolate Factory and solve a mystery in the interactive 4D Chocolate Movie Theater. (Give him another chance!) If you still need more chocolate you can Create a Candy Bar in Chocolate World’s state of the art chocolate bar creation station. Design your packaging, choose your ingredients, and follow your chocolate bar through the chocolate making process.
Chocolate World shines during the Holiday Season. Every year students from the Milton Hershey School, and Hershey employees come together to create a Chocolate House. This year’s Chocolate House is a chocolate-covered replica of Milton Hershey’s home, High Point Mansion.
The Holly Jolly Trolley takes you on a tour of Hershey while celebrating the holiday season. Enjoy carols, stories, sweets, and a special visit from Santa himself.
Kids can sign up to have Breakfast with Santa (limited availability as of this writing), Decorate Cookies and Ornaments with Mrs. Clause, and have a picture taken with Santa.
The Chocolate World Ride is free, but all other activities have an additional fee. For more information: https://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/en_us/seasonal-events.html
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane Packages
Hershey is a great destination mini-vacation with something for everyone. The Hershey Hotel and The Hershey Lodge have special vacation packages that include a hotel room, admission for every member of the family to Christmas Candylane, one car admission to Sweetlights, plus milk & cookie delivery to your room. You can add on Breakfast or Lunch with Santa. Prices start at $159 per night at The Hershey Lodge and $259 at The Hotel Hershey. Families will enjoy the indoor waterpark, Hershey’s Water Works, at The Hershey Lodge.
Hershey is three and a half hours from Pittsburgh. Family+FunPittsburgh has done Hershey as a day trip, but we recommend staying for at least a night. There is so much to see and do at Hershey. In addition to Christmas Candylane, Sweet Lights, and Chocolate World, there is Zoo America, the Hershey Experience, and tons of things to do around Harrisburg.