BudgetTravel.com recently put together an article called How U.S. Theme Parks are Gearing Up for Halloween. I live not far from several theme parks, including Hersheypark and Six Flags America, and have taken my kids during the summer, but never during the fall, so I was excited to head up to Hersheypark this past weekend for Hersheypark in the Dark.
I drove up to Hershey, PA with my older girls, Clare (age 10) and Kate (age 8), on Friday afternoon for an evening of rides, games and shows at Hersheypark. The park is open from 5 to 10 pm on Friday nights, so it was just the right amount of time to spend at the amusement park. We all wore jackets, but it wasn’t especially cold, and it was nice to be able to ride the rides without waiting very long in the lines. We drank hot chocolate too, which was so delicious!
All of the rides are open, but all of them have fun Halloween-style names. For example, the Carousel is called Night Mares, while the Tilt-a-Whirl is called the Witches’ Brew. Clare was nervous about the Pirate ship ride, but by the third ride she had her hands up the entire time. It was so much fun. I would definitely go back outside of the busy summer season.
There are lots of rides for little ones, and a number of roller coasters for big kids and adults, so there really is something for everyone. There are also three different shows running at Hersheypark in the Dark, including Bunsen & The Burners (a crazy science show), Our Friends from the Sea (an educational show about sea lions and seals) and Screaming Mummies (a band playing Halloween tunes).
We loved that it was dark too and the whole park was all lit up. There was a full moon on Friday night, which made it even more special. My oldest daughter kept saying, “This is the best day ever.” Definitely nice to hear as a mom!
If you go, put costumes on the kids (ages 12 and under) to check out Hershey’s Trick-or-Treat Adventure. Start at Hershey’s Chocolate World (right next door to Hersheypark) and trick-or-treat your way through a number of stops, including Treatville inside Hersheypark, for snack-sized Hershey’s treats. There were lots and lots of kids (and adults too!) all dressed up for Halloween.
As an added bonus, head over to ZooAmerica (attached to Hersheypark, and included with your admission), to touch reptiles each evening. Or, listen to Truth or Tale to explore various animal tales, like whether owls have very good hearing or whether tarantulas are really deadly.
Hersheypark in the Dark is only open Friday through Sunday through November 3. Tickets are $33 for those ages 9 to 54 or $22 for kids ages 3 to 8 or adults over age 55. We stayed at the Hershey Lodge, which is about a five-minute drive from Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World. There were lots of Hershey fans there, so it was the perfect place to bunk for the night.
Disclaimer: We attended a media event at Hersheypark and received complimentary theme park passes, as well as one-night’s stay at the Hershey Lodge. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.