Guess what happened last week? SUMMER OFFICIALLY ENDED!
I actually ended summer with a bang by attending the ESI Crab Feast. As I was filling up on hot dogs, potato salad, and yes, a few crabs (it is Maryland, after all), I realized that we were fast approaching the end of summer. Like, literally. It was September 21st and I wasn’t sure if that was the last day of summer or first day of fall.
I confirmed it was the last day of summer and treated it as such. Relaxing in the sun, eating picnic foods, and chatting with my fellow car aficionados. Although the calendar doesn’t agree, summer seemed to last another two days with Friday’s temperature in the low 90s. And then… BAM. It was gone.
I drove up to Pennsylvania for a conference and when I woke up in the morning, the gray skies and cool temperatures reminded me that we had made it through another scorching season and the world was still turning exactly as it was supposed to. I even spotted a few trees with just the faintest hint of color change. I’m ready.
What am I ready for? The cool evenings around the fire pit, the beautiful foliage, and pumpkin-flavored everything. But I’m also mourning the loss of warm days, impromptu block parties, and outdoor family fun.
We made it to Hersheypark twice this summer and while we didn’t get to enjoy everything while we were there, we planned to make a late summer visit. And then SUMMER ENDED!
In fact, if you go to the Hersheypark website to double check, they’ll remind you that their Summer Season is, indeed, over.
But there’s a reason they call it their Summer Season. Hersheypark is actually a four season park!
Hersheypark in the Fall
For select weekends in October (that includes Friday evenings and daytime hours on Saturdays and Sundays), you can experience Hersheypark in the Dark.
So what can you do while you’re there? Ride the rides, of course. All 13 roller coasters are open (weather permitting) so bring your sweater or sweatshirt or parka (weather permitting).
You’ll also be able to ride most of the family and kiddie rides. You’ll just have to miss out on the water park. If you really want a water attraction, don’t worry. The Coal Cracker is waiting for you.
In addition to the regular Hersheypark attractions, you’ll find a few special Halloween-themed treats…
Hershey’s Trick-or-Treat Adventure
Kids 12 and younger are invited to dress up and enjoy a trick-or-treat adventure starting at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction and continuing through Treatville, our hometown village of treats and sweets!
Exclusively available during Hersheypark In The Dark! Ride Laff Trakk with the lights off from open to close and enjoy dark rides on three of our favorite coasters, Wildcat, Comet, and Lightning Racer during the last hour of every night.
Creatures Of The Night
After dark, bring your flashlight for a tour of Creatures Of The Night at ZooAmerica – all included in your one-price admission to Hersheypark In The Dark.
Hersheypark in the Winter
Oh yes. You can visit Hersheypark in the winter too. Don’t laugh because I’ve done it. Last November, I attended a media event to learn about Hersheypark Christmas Candylane. Until then, I honestly had no idea that the park was open over Christmas, let alone all four seasons.
It’s safe to say that it should be quite a bit colder in December so you won’t find all of the rides open but what you will find id the entire park decked out in light and decorations. Don’t worry – rides are still available as well as a little one on one time with Santa.
Holiday Coaster Rides
Enjoy rides on five of our favorite coasters: Cocoa Cruiser, sooperdooperLooper, Wildcat, Wild Mouse, and Laff Trakk which – new this year – is decking its halls with Christmas-themed décor in the spirit of the holiday season!
Santa And His Reindeer
Get your list ready and check it twice before a sweet visit with the jolly one himself, Santa Claus. And, meet his 9, live reindeer, including the fan favorite – Rudolph! Plus, make sure to reserve a meal to mingle with Kris Kringle!
And you have plenty of time during the holiday season to make to Hershey.
What if it’s just too cold for you to think about getting out of your car? You don’t have to!
In addition to Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, you can check out the drive-thru spectacular known as Hershey Sweet Lights.
Making Spirits Bright
Treat your eyes to a festive light display wrapping on for more than 2 miles – all from the comfort of your car! It’s the brightest and warmest way to get in the holiday spirit!
You’ll also find plenty of time for this driving adventure (open until January 1st) so grab your comfy clothes and your hot chocolate and enjoy the family fun in your own climate-controlled environment.
Although I love Halloween and any excuse to dress up, I’m actually going to be taking advantage of Hersheypark during the winter holidays. We’re scheduled to spend a family weekend at the Hotel Hershey at the beginning of December and I’ll be bringing you my firsthand experience!
Until then, don’t lament the loss of summer. Just start planning your fall and winter family fun!
This post is part of my role as a Sweetest Mom for Hershey, PA. Any questions about your next trip? Ask me!