Guess what I did this weekend? I spent hours standing in the blazing hot sun with high humidity at Hersheypark. And I lived to tell the tale. I’m here to tell you that you can do the same.
Let’s face it – theme parks can be hot. You’re surrounded by lots of metal and walking on hot pavement. Couple that with whiny kids and it’s enough to make you never want to leave your air-conditioned house.
I just spent the day at Hersheypark on one of the hottest days of the year and had a great time! We didn’t choose to go to the waterpark since it was just a day trip for us. But I think it worked to our advantage. It seemed like many people were at the Boardwalk at Hersheypark leaving the rest of the park to us!
So even without the waterpark, you can still have a cool time. Here are some tips on how you can beat the heat at Hersheypark this summer.
1. Dress the part.
I’ve been preaching the “cute but comfortable” mantra for years. You can look stylish when visiting a park but you also need to dress for the weather and for comfort.
My son wore a light colored top to reflect the heat with no logos on it (they can often make shirts hotter). He also wore a hat. Both he and my husband have vener fair skin so they usually wear wither a baseball cap or a floppy hat to protect the ears. And don’t forget sunscreen!
You’ll notice that my hair is in braids. That allowed me to keep it off of my neck but still let me put my head all the way back on rides that required it. I also wore a sleeveless top (admittedly black isn’t the best color choice), plastic sunglasses (easy to slide on top my head, and comfortable sandals.
I don’t do sock and shoes when it’s hot out because my feet only get hotter. And when my feet are hot, the rest of me is hot. I made sure these were already broken in and able to keep me cool (don’t forget to pack band-aids just in case).
2. Use the Hersheypark app
I love that more and more parks have wifi in the park and apps with all sort of information. Hersheypark is no exception. But one of the features I love is the wait times. Instead of spending hours in the sun waiting in line for a ride, you can maximize your time (and minimize your heat exposure) by hitting the rides with the shortest wait times.
Even better you can set up an alert that lets you know when the wait time for a particular ride drops below a certain threshold.
3. Stay hydrated
If you’re kids start to get really whiny and rundown (or maybe you or your spouse do), chances are you’re starting to get dehydrated. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already in a deficit. While each visitor is allowed to bring one, unopened bottle of water into the park, here’s a better way to stay hydrated.
When buying a drink, splurge on the souvenir cup. When you use it the rest of the day and the rest of the entire 2016 season you only pay 99 cents for a refill. And water is FREE! What I love about the cup is the handle makes it easy to carry and you can unhook it if you want to attach it to your purse or belt loop.
4. Sample some water rides
It is possible to go one some water rides without getting soaked. After our first ride of the day, we were ready for some relief so we headed to the Coal Cracker. We gently floated through the water canals until we reached the end of the ride and took a big plunge! We were heavily misted but certainly not soaked. In fact, we wouldn’t have minded getting even wetter on the ride!
If you really want some water, with the waterpark, you can also hit up Tidal Force, although from what I saw, you WILL get wet.
5. Find some indoor rides
At Hersheypark, there are plenty of indoor attractions like the brand new indoor roller coaster, Laff Track, which I still haven’t ridden. And there’s the Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge. What makes these indoor rides so great is that they are INDOORS. That means air conditioning and sometimes you just need to cool down.
One of our favorite ways to cool down is the Kissing Tower which affords you a panoramic view of the whole park (it’s where I got my shot of the Coal Cracker above).
7. Pay a visit to ZooAmerica
If you’re at the Kissing Tower, you’re right near the entrance to ZooAmerica, a park focused on North American animals. I didn’t even know it existed until my visit last year and I certainly didn’t know that admission is included with your ticket to Hersheypark.
While it’s both indoors and outdoors, it’s a nice break from the lines and the crowds and gives you a chance to stroll through historic grounds at your own leisurely pace. And when you’re ready, you simply re-enter the park and keep going!
8. Take a breather
Parks can be a lot of “hurry up and wait.” You’re trying to get the most out of your day and out of your money. But don’t forget to stop once in a while and soak in the moment. Find some shade and sit on a bench (there are plenty throughout Hersheypark). Refuel, rehydrate, rest your feet, and just take stock of how everyone is feeling. Sometimes a ten minute break is enough to revitalize everyone for the next round!
9. Go shopping
You don’t have to tell us twice to take a shopping break. Maybe you don’t want to spend any money or you don’t want to waste your time when you’d rather be riding rides.
Here’s a secret. When I say to go shopping, I really mean go “shopping.” Just walk around inside looking interested because IT’S AIR-CONDITIONED! And actually the shops have pretty cool stuff.
10. Save the best for last – Hershey’s Chocolate World
Here’s a pro tip for you: Hershey’s Chocolate World is not to be missed… but not until later in the day.
Everyone entering the park is so excited to be there that they all head to the Chocolate World just outside the main gate on their way in. Not only that, it’s a standalone attraction so visitors flock to it even if they aren’t going to the park.
We usually hit the Chocolate World on our way out. Not only does it give us a chance to cool down before we get in the car, we also take advantage of the free Chocolate Tour, and then purchase all the chocolate we want on the way out. No melting!
Now that I’ve shown you ways to beat the heat at Hersheypark, I expect to see your pictures soon!
I was invited to participate this year in the Sweetest Moms program for Hershey. My family was provided tickets to attend Hersheypark on Saturday, May 28th and we had a wonderful time, as always. All thoughts and opinions are my own.