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.
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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.
In 2023, Hersheypark Christmas Candylane dates are select nights from November 10, 2023 to January 1, 2024.
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. The Christmas lights at Hershey run most nights from November 10- December 31, 2023. The address for Hershey Sweet Lights is 183 Sandbeach Road, Hershey, PA 17033.
Hershey Gardens at Christmas
We love Hershey Gardens all year round, and it’s a great way to get outside during the holiday season. The theme for the Hershey Gardens Christmas decorations changes each year. For Christmas 2023, Hershey Gardens is celebrating with the return of the Christmas Tree Showcase, located inside the conservatory. The traditional poinsettia tree at Hershey Gardens will be up throughout, and the Butterfly Garden and Atrium will also be decorated.
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 typically a Winter Garden Hunt as well, which encourages kids to look for animal tracks throughout. It’s one of the best things to do in Hershey, PA in the winter if you’re looking for something outdoors. Kids can also do Christmas crafts at the Education Center of the Children’s Garden on select days from November through December.
Christmas at Hershey Gardens in 2023 will also include Friday Night Lights, with live music around the Christmas Tree Showcase. The live holiday music at Hershey Gardens will be from 4:30-5:30pm every Friday in December. The lights will also be twinkling in the Christmas tree showcase until 6pm on Friday nights.
Hershey Gardens will also have Story Time with Mrs. Claus on December 9 and 16 from 11am-12pm.
For more information and specific dates for seasonal events at Hershey Gardens, visit the website.
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 pictures with Santa at Hershey’s Chocolate World and drop off your letter to the north pole.
- Meet the Grinch at Hershypark on November 10, plus other character appearances throughout the holidays at Hershey.
- Decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, along with a fun, interactive show.
- Christmas decorations and holiday photo ops throughout Chocolate World.
- Enjoy breakfast with Santa at The Chocolatier for a yummy Christmas brunch in Hershey, PA.
Pro Tip: To save money, you can purchase ticket bundles in advance for specific attractions at Chocolate World in advance.
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, 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, PA 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.
- Stay at the Hershey Lodge with the cozy fire and indoor waterpark.
- Visit the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Chocolate Avenue for an affordable hotel in Hershey with an indoor pool, breakfast and larger suites available.
- Stay at an AirBnB near Hershey Park. 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 2023 Hershey Hotel Christmas package or feel free to contact me at email@example.com for help planning your next Hersheypark vacation.
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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