The holidays and chocolate go hand in hand. So it’s no surprise that Hershey, Pennsylvania is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the US. From Hersheypark to Christmas lights to shopping and chocolate galore, there are so many fun things to do during Christmas in Hershey, PA.
Keep reading for our favorite things to do at Christmas in Hershey.
Disclaimer: Our visit was sponsored in part by Visit Hershey Harrisburg. As always, all opinions are our own. Toddling Traveler also participates in Amazon Associates and other associate programs. That means we could earn a commission for qualifying purchases through our links at no charge to you.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark is magical and something every child needs to experience at least once in a lifetime. It was a favorite of mine growing up, and it was even better to share with my son for the first time. The entire park is filled with Christmas lights, seasonal decor and festive treats.
There are dozens of rides open at Hershey Christmas Candylane, both indoors and outdoors. Most of the kiddie rides are open, making it a favorite of younger children. Plus, if you’re a roller coaster fan, the new Candymonium coaster is open as well as several more.
If you’re looking for Christmas shows in Hershey, PA, NOEL is an awesome light show at Hershey Park. It features a few hundred thousand lights “dancing” to the beat of Christmas songs. And of course, a Hershey Park Christmas is not complete without a visit to Santa and his reindeer at the reindeer stables.
- Website: https://www.hersheypark.com/explore-the-park/christmas.php
- Address: 100 Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033
Hershey Sweet Lights
The Hershey Christmas lights offer a fun drive-through light show experience. There are several hundred unique light displays that feature Hershey characters and other holiday classics. The path for these Hershey, PA Christmas lights is 2 miles long. It winds around a grassy area filled with a variety of unique lights displays. Hershey Sweet Lights end with a drive through the Enchanted Forest, which is a trail in the woods depicting a number of classic children’s stories.
While you’re driving, you can also switch the station to holiday music to guide your experience. We recommend bringing snacks and hot chocolate as well!
Tickets for Hershey Sweet Lights are sold by the car for up to 8 passengers. More information is available at the website below.
- Website: https://www.hersheypark.com/info/hours/sweet-lights.php
- Address: 100 Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033 (It’s a few miles from Hersheypark- follow the signs to get there!)
Hershey Gardens at Christmas
We love Hershey Gardens all year round, and its a great way to get outside this holiday season. The theme for the Hershey Gardens Christmas decorations changes each year. For Christmas 2020, Hershey Gardens is celebrating with the brand new Candy Cane Cottage, located inside the conservatory. The traditional poinsettia tree at Hershey Gardens will be there as well.
The grounds of Hershey Gardens also change with the seasons. That means the building will be decorated in Christmas lights, and you’ll find seasonal flowers like poinsettias throughout. There’s also a Winter Garden Hunt, which encourages kids to look for animal tracks throughout. It’s one of the best things to do outdoors in Hershey in the winter.
Additionally, there is live music at Hershey Gardens in the outdoor gazebo. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair and blankets to sit outside and enjoy the music during a weekends in December from 11am- 1pm. (Weather permitting.) Another family favorite is Christmas crafts and ornament making on weekends in November and December.
For more information and specific dates for seasonal events at Hershey Gardens, visit the website below.
- Website: https://www.hersheygardens.org
- Address: 170 Hotel Road Hershey, PA 17033
Christmas at Hershey’s Chocolate World
Just like the rest of Hershey, Chocolate World is super festive around the holidays. The shows, free Chocolate World tour and make-your-own candy bar are are all up and running around Christmas at Hershey. There are also several holiday themed activities and events at Chocolate World during Christmas.
Special holiday activities at Hershey’s Chocolate World include:
- Themed trolley rides including the Holly Jolly Christmas Tour and Hershey’s Sweet Lights Trolley Tour.
- Check out the Hershey’s Chocolate House made entirely of chocolate.
- Take a photo with Santa at Hershey’s Chocolate World, and drop off your letter to the north pole.
- Christmas decorations and holiday photo ops throughout Chocolate World.
- Enjoy breakfast with Santa at Chocolate World, which includes a variety of fun activities. (Cancelled for Christmas 2021 in Hershey.)
A free, timed ticket is now required in advance to enter Hershey’s Chocolate World. You can purchase tickets for specific attractions at Chocolate World in advance as well. See the website below for more information.
- Website: https://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/en_us/seasonal-events.html
- Address: 101 Chocolate World Way, Hershey, PA 17033
Christmas Shopping in Hershey, PA
While you’re in Hershey at Christmas time, be sure to get some holiday shopping in! From locally owned boutique stores to outlets in Hershey, there are several options for every interest and budget. Shopping in Hershey, PA includes:
- Visit the boutique stores on Chocolate Avenue for unique gifts and women’s clothing. Three Little Birds Boutique is one of our favorite shops in Downtown Hershey.
- Go shopping at the Hershey Outlets for great deals. Outlet stores at Hershey include the American Girl outlet, Disney, Nike, J.Crew, Bath & Body Works and more.
- Find all things chocolate in the huge gift shop at Hershey’s Chocolate World. It has everything from clothing to toys and of course candy.
More Things to do in Hershey in the Winter
Whether you’re visiting Hershey at Christmas or throughout the winter, there are several great indoor things to do in Hershey, PA. Some of our favorites (in addition to what was mentioned above) include:
- Visiting Hershey Story to learn about the history of Milton S. Hershey and his chocolate empire. You can also do a chocolate tasting and make your own chocolate at the Hershey Chocolate Lab. There are special holiday themed classes available at the Chocolate Lab in December.
- Having a relaxing day at the Spa at Hotel Hershey for a chocolate facial or massage.
- Stopping by Troeg’s Independent Brewing for a great meal, dozens of draft beers and the annual Mad Elf release.
Where to Stay in Hershey, PA
Staying overnight for your Hershey, PA Christmas trip? There are tons of great house rentals and hotels in Hershey, PA. We’ve listed a few options below.
- Our favorite family friendly hotel in Hershey is the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Chocolate Avenue. It has an indoor pool, breakfast and larger suites available.
- We also stayed at an AirBnB near Hershey Park in the past. You can find options for Hershey AirBnBs here.
- Search for more options for Hershey vacation rentals and hotels here.
The Hershey Lodge and Hotel Hershey are the official Hersheypark resorts in Hershey, PA. Both offer Hershey Park Christmas packages during the holidays. Head here for more info on a Hershey Hotel Christmas package.
Did we miss any of your favorite Hershey, PA things to do at Christmas? We’d love to hear in the comments!
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