As a Sweetest Moms Ambassador I’ve partnered with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts to bring you all the best news from the Sweetest Place on Earth. We love Hershey, PA year-round, but Christmastime is extra special at the Sweetest Place on Earth. I recently shared a complete list of must-dos this holiday season, and shortly afterward my family was hosted for a weekend at The Hotel Hershey. We had so much fun! Here are the highlights of our visit and things you’ll want to check out when you hit Hershey this winter.
The Hotel Hershey
In a word, The Hotel Hershey is gorgeous. We absolutely loved staying here. As my daughter said, “Everything is so fancy!” While they do have some special events for the holidays (you can find those here), we just enjoyed the regular offerings and soaked in the atmosphere.
The lobby is so inviting and I love how they have it decorated for the holidays. The white poinsettias are so classy and in keeping with the decor at The Hotel. The front desk staff is SO nice, too. They actually came out from behind the desk to show us where the elevators are, explain the map, and more.
And this is key: when you check in you’ll get a list of activities at The Hotel during your stay. Hang onto that and look over it. We found chocolate bingo happening the morning after we arrived and had such a good time sitting in on that for a while. My daughter won a giant KitKat!
We even got lucky at check in and had a photo opp with one of our favorite Hershey’s treats! Between this and the chocolate bars they gave each of us at check in we were off to a pretty SWEET start!
Taking the time to explore The Hotel Hershey is a must when you’re staying there. Before we even ventured out for the night we walked around and took it all in. This is the Fountain Lobby, totally decked out for Christmas. It’s such a warm and inviting, gorgeous space.
In the morning we went back down to get a closer look at that tree and snap some family photos. It’s the perfect backdrop! Santa and Mrs. Clause were there for a special breakfast event and the little ones were so excited.
Christmas is literally everywhere in Hershey this time of year. The Harvest Restaurant is right on property at The Hotel. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is really cozy. I even felt that way before we walked in. Don’t you love the twinkling lights way up high on the balcony and on that huge evergreen? So beautiful. And speaking of food…
When we made this reservation to stay overnight at The Hotel Hershey the one thing I was most excited about was taking my family to The Circular for breakfast. You don’t need reservations for breakfast so we just walked down to the lobby when we got ready in the morning and were seated right away. After placing our drink orders with a lovely server who greeted our table by name (impressive!) we walked right up and filled our plates.
You can get a glimpse of what we enjoyed: fresh fruit, pancakes, ham, bacon, and CHOCOLATE! Chocolate for breakfast is always a good time, and you will kick yourself if you don’t get a hunk of that chocolate bread pudding. Add some warm vanilla sauce and…heaven.
The Hotel Hershey Room Tour
You could actually see Hershey Sweet Lights from the window of our room and the kids were so excited to get over there and drive through. This has been a Christmas tradition for us for years. There’s a music station you can tune into as you drive through over 2 miles of lights, and the lights in the first portion of the show are in sync with the music. It’s really very cool! A little tricky to get good pics while driving through, but you can get the idea. (See the video below for some clearer images.) The 12 days of Christmas is one of my favorite parts of the whole display.
The second section of Sweet Lights is the Enchanted Forest and this is really fun for the kids because a lot of popular nursery rhymes are depicted in the displays. “There’s Rapunzel! There’s the Princess and the Pea! There’s Hansel and Gretel!”
Christmas In Hershey: Sweet Lights
That tunnel set to the music is the best part!
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Hersheypark at Christmastime is truly something to see. Lit up with over 4 million lights (4 million!) Hersheypark Christmas Candylane is a magical place to make family memories. This pic was taken as we were leaving the park and we were pretty darn cold and tired at that point but still so happy. We had the best time together.
I mentioned the 12 days of Christmas at Sweet Lights, and you can find them in the park too. Here are my 2 calling birds with the 4 calling birds!
The employees at Hershey make all the difference too. This is Jim, our monorail conductor and the kids adored him. While we were waiting for the next train to come he chatted with everyone waiting in line. And the monorail is always a favorite but at this time of year it’s a great way to see all of the lights all over the park.
We warmed up inside one of the restaurants where they had a couple of special events: cookie decorating and story time with Santa’s elves. The kids (bless my daughter, she is never too old for this stuff) loved meeting Rudolph after the story. There are special little goodies sprinkled everywhere in Hersheypark at Christmastime, and I have to say, we were there on a weekend and it really wasn’t crowded.
The most beautiful part of Hersheypark Christmas Candylane are all the lights. Every 30 minutes, NOEL, the Christmas light show, happens along the waterfront. It’s really awesome and a great place for a photo opp.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Hersheypark is open every day now through New Year’s Eve (with the exception of Christmas) so as soon as the kids are done with school, get there and go enjoy those vacation days!
Finally, no visit to Hershey, PA is complete without a stop at Chocolate World. Admission is FREE and that includes the ‘cow ride’ as my kids call it. It’s really called the Hershey’s Chocolate Tour and you get a nice overview on how chocolate is made with a free piece of candy at the end. Score!
There are plenty of worthwhile extras, too. We LOVED the Chocolate Tasting experience and the 4D film. Both were so much fun to do with the kids and I highly recommend them.
At Christmastime you’ll find Hershey’s Chocolate Holiday House at Chocolate World, a sweet little house decorated entirely in chocolate! It’s amazing and the closer you look the more detail you find. This is the mailbox, my favorite part.
And the Big Guy himself is sitting right out front. You can purchase pictures or take your own. The kids mulled over what to ask for while enjoying milkshakes in the eatery before we got in line. And I’m totally embarrassed to say this but I bought over $40 worth of chocolate before we left that place. They have EVERYTHING! I told myself it was for Christmas baking but so far, nah.
There is SO much to do in Hershey at Christmastime, so many memories to make. I think sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and leaving home for the weekend to really dive into the season with my kids was so good for all of us. There’s something special about this town. Every time we are on our way home I hear from the back seat, “I love Hershey.” And I reply, “Me too!”
I have a complete list of where to find more info on everything we did plus more in this post.