When the weather turns cooler and the leaves start falling, it’s time to turn away from fun outdoor activities and buckle down for the impending winter chill.
Fall is one of my absolute favorite times to get outdoors. It’s usually chilly enough that I can get away with a scarf or sweater but when the sun beats down, it still warms you up all the way down to your toes. And the colors of the trees highlight so many things we often miss – like the color or texture of the bark. And taking a road trip suddenly feels more like a sightseeing trip!
Yesterday, we did everything fall. We put on sweatshirts and jackets and took a road trip all the way up to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA (it takes no more than 90 minutes from the Baltimore area). We gawked at the colors on the way up and got ready to brave the nippy air as we headed in for Hersheypark in the Dark.
Hersheypark is actually a four season park but this is the first time we’ve tackled the park during it’s limited run in October for its Halloween themed adventures. I’m happy to say that I took notice of everything that might be different from the normal operating season to compile reasons why you might want to head up for a family adventure in Hershey (open through next weekend, October 28-30).
It’s cheaper in October!
During the summer months, you’ll typically pay over $60 per adult ticket and over $40 for juniors (ages 3-8). In October, you just scored a major discount. The adult admission is around $36 while the junior admission is around $24.
Wait a minute, you say. Why is it cheaper? Am I getting less for my money? Are all the rides closed?
Well, yes and no. But this is the best part for me.
You get everything but the water!
With your admission, you get access to everything you would during the normal season with one exception. The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, their beloved waterpark, is closed for the season. But would you really want to be getting wet in October anyway? (If so, you can still get splashed on the Coal Cracker ride).
All the rides, all the coasters, and most of the dining options are open. And can I tell you something? We’ve never gone to the waterpark anyway so this works out in our favor!
If you want to double check and make sure your favorite ride is open during the Halloween season, be sure to check their Halloween ride availability.
Trick or Treating at Hersheypark!
Kids are encouraged to dress in costume although we were perfectly happy wearing our warm, comfy clothes. But that doesn’t matter because kids 12 and under are invited to pick up a bag and go “trick or treating” in an area of the park that has been designated at Treatville.
With Halloween-themed (totally not scary) set ups, there are plenty of stations for the kids to visits and grab some of their favorite Hershey treats. Or in some cases, their parents’ favorite Hershey treats. Hey – he wasn’t going to eat that Almond Joy anyway.
Hersheypark gets Halloweened!
If you forget for a moment what month it is or what season we’re in, you just have to look around to be reminded. Hershey has hay bales and corn stalks and pumpkins everywhere.
By the way, it appears that they shellac their pumpkins. How supercool is that? A shiny pumpkin!
And when the sun starts setting, you’ll see lighted decorations come to life.
Look for Thrills Too!
With shorter lines than the summer, now is the time to try out that coaster you were maybe thinking about but not enough to wait in line for two hours.
I’m proud to say that while I chickened out of Laff Trakk (I was worried it would make me nauseous), I did hit both Fahrenheit (again) and Skyrush (for the first time). That’s enough thrills to last me for a while.
If you do decide to try Laff Trakk, they turn the lights off from open to close and you can also enjoy dark rides on three of coasters, Wildcat, Comet, and Lightning Racer during the last hour of every night.
Enjoy the Fall Food!
I will admit that there was nothing particularly fall-like about Chickie’s & Pete’s Famous Crabfries (with a cup of cheese) but the warm crispiness of the fries with the creamy cheese sauce made me practically inhale them. And bonus: there was no line to get them.
What I did consider fall-like was my stop into Hershey’s Chocolate World just outside the park gate where we decided to warm up after taking the free chocolate tour. My husband settled for coffee but my son and I found the perfect excuse for a cup of Hershey’s Hot Cocoa, complete with whipped cream topping.
I guarantee you won’t be looking for hot cocoa in the middle of August.
Convinced yet? Better decide soon because the park is only open one more weekend for Hersheypark in the Dark. And after that… well, after that, you’ll have to wait two weeks until Hersheypark gets a makeover for Christmas!
Stay tuned for my full coverage of Hersheypark Christmas Candylane coming in early December!
This post is part of my role as a Sweetest Moms ambassador for Hersheypark. All thoughts and opinions are my own.