Hershey Park Pennsylvania first opened in 1907 and was actually a private park for the exclusive enjoyment of Hershey Chocolate Factory employees. A few years later, however, Hershey Park was opened to the public and has grown into one of the most popular theme and leisure parks on the east coast. Hershey Park Pennsylvania now features more than 60 rides and a number of other attractions, including 10 exciting roller coasters. One of the newest and most popular rides at Hershey Park is the Storm Runner, a roller coaster that is thought by many to be one of the best thrill rides in the world.
When Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Candy Company, first opened Hershey Park for his employees there were no roller coasters, however. A large, well kept grounds was the perfect location for baseball games, picnics and other family-oriented activities. The first ride at Hershey Park Pennsylvania was actually a merry-go-round, which was up and running for the 1908 Independence Day celebration on July 4th of that year. As the Hershey Chocolate Factory park was opened to the public and more time passed, an amphitheatre, tennis court, bowling alley and more were all added to the park, and in 1912 a carousel made the Hershey Candy Park seem like a true wonderland to children and families.
Today, guests of the Hershey Chocolate Factory will
not only find rides and carnival-style entertainment,
but also a museum, shops and more. A dance pavilion, known
as the Starlight Ballroom, was added in 1923 and still
brings to mind dancing during the early 20th century.
The official Hershey Museum is also located on these grounds
and features information about the history of the Hershey
Candy Company from its inception to the present day. Information
about Mr. Hershey himself, Milton S. Hershey, is also
found here in the Hershey Museum.
Another interesting feature of Hershey Park is ZOOAMERICA, which is a zoo adjacent to the park. Although the zoo is not nearly as large or as old as the Philadelphia Zoo, it is still worth checking out and the price of your ticket to Hershey Park includes entrance to ZOOAMERICA. Also found close to the zoo and the park is Hershey's Chocolate World, where guests will find cafes for lunch while visiting the park, shops for Hershey souvenirs and other tourist items for visitors.
Admission prices for Hershey Park are around $18 per person, which grants the guest unlimited access to park rides for an entire day. Many families find that they can spend a day here, while families with small children may only want to stay for a few hours. Food is available throughout the park as well as in the adjacent Hershey's Chocolate World shopping center. Hershey Park makes an excellent day trip from Philadelphia and is often part of suggested itineraries for out of town visitors coming to this excellent city. Other attractions in Philadelphia to add to suggested itineraries include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute and the Liberty Bell, along with Independence Hall.
The town of Lancaster is also located about an hour and a half from the city of Hershey and can be a nice day trip from Hershey. Families can see a replica of an Amish farm and interact with live farm animals. Another fun day trip from Hershey is a Pennsyvlania wine tour. A number of excellent wineries are located in the countryside surrounding Hershey.