Read All About Why Hershey & Lancaster Pennsylvania Make for the Perfect Family Vacation!
Last weekend we were away on a sponsored trip to Hershey/Harrisburg/Lancaster Pennsylvania. I worked with Visit Hershey/Harrisburg, Visit Lancaster, Hershey Park, Dutch Wonderland, & Strasburg Railroad to organize this trip for the family!
I am going to describe everything we did in order so that you can get an idea of how to structure a trip to these areas. We went from a Friday-Monday, I think 2-3 nights is perfect depending how much you want to fit into the time you are there! Hershey & Lancaster are about 40 minutes apart and each town has so much to do in it!
1) Millers Smorgasboard
Lancaster has tons of Smorgasboard restaurants (buffets) with authentic Amish cooking! This was our first stop when we got to the area. Kid friendly as well, my children found plenty to eat!
2) Chocolate World
Hershey’s Chocolate World is across the street from Hershey Park. It is free to go in, you can shop, take a tour to see how Hershey’s chocolate was developed (as well as a little sample at the end). There are also add-ons to enhance your experience! Visit Hershey/Harrisburg had us try the Hershey’s Unwrapped, A Chocolate Tasting Journey as well as Create a Candy Bar! My girls had a blast during both of these activities! We come to Hershey Park annually & we always like to do Chocolate World first to get us excited to visit the park the next day!
3) Indian Echo Caverns
My husband & I had done caverns on a trip upstate NY many years ago & were excited to explore a new set of caverns, this time with our girls. It is wet so wear the proper shoes! It is beautiful to see natural formations like this that are underground, & you would have NO idea from standing above ground. Our tour guide, Caitlyn was excellent at explaining all the history & stories behind each room of the cavern!
4) Strasburg Railroad // Day Out With Thomas
I don’t know about you, but I grew up watching Shining Time Station with Thomas the Train. Now my girls grow up watching Thomas and Friends. We experienced Day Out with Thomas at Strasburg Railroad in 2015 & were so excited to come back!
This is an experience like no other. You get to ride a real Thomas & Percy Train! There are so many photo opportunities, activities, its just an all day fun event! Your little one will be so happy to see the real trains right there & then be able to take a ride on them too! Thomas will be back at Strasburg, with Percy, September 14-22!
5) Annie Bailey’s
My contact at Visit Lancaster sent us to one of his favorite restaurants in Lancaster. OMG I am so grateful! I normally would have not went to the downtown area (& stayed near the attractions). Annie Bailey’s will now be a staple on every trip. DELICIOUS food, weekend brunch, huge portions, all around great! Its such a nice restaurant & they have a gorgeous outdoor seating area too!
6) Hershey Park
This was our 3rd visit to Hershey Park. It is now our annual tradition. Hershey Park was gracious enough to host us for our visit. Hershey Park is great for MANY reasons. They have the amusement park, FILLED with rides for kids and adults of all ages/sizes, they have the Boardwalk area (bring a towel and swimsuit) and you can walk over to ZooAmerica right from the park, free with your admission to Hershey Park.
Hershey Park has a new ride this year, called Reese’s Cupfusion. It was SO fun helping Commander Cup (the cutest Reese’s character EVER) in her mission!
Hershey Park is one of my absolute favorite family amusement parks by FAR! It is a MUST if you are in the area. A 2 year old can have as much fun as a 40 year old (and every age in between)!
7) Dutch Wonderland
This was our 4th yearly trip to Dutch Wonderland. It is also an annual tradition! We always do it the last day, its like our sendoff back home!
We were hosted by Dutch Wonderland this visit & had the most perfect day there. I love Dutch Wonderland because kids very young can enjoy so many rides there! My oldest went there at 18 months and was able to do so much!
There is a water area, shows, & even live music! I love the royal theme of the park! It is so perfect for kids here, just so much fun! The park is easy to navigate & we now have our own routine of how we do the rides & activities there. This is a MUST DO in the Lancaster area!
Visit Hershey/Harrisburg setup our accommodations at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel.
Can I tell you my favorite part of the hotel? INDOOR/OUTDOOR POOL! My girls had never seen this before & they were loving it!
The restaurant at the hotel was delicious, we ate breakfast there daily & the staff was SO friendly!
I highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for accommodations in the area!
There you have it, our itinerary was busy but it didn’t feel busy! We do this trip every year & it is so fun! If you have any questions just drop them in the comments!