So you’ve decided to bring the kids to Hershey Park, now where should you stay? I highly recommend staying on property for all the perks you get. This way you are right in the thick of it and experiencing all things Hershey even when you aren’t at the park. The team at Hershey knows how to treat their guests right. You won’t need to worry about a thing while staying at one of the Hershey resorts or at the campground.
However, don’t worry there is plenty for the adults in your group as well. In fact, Hershey has a chocolate spa for you to indulge in while you stay here. How’s that for an adult getaway? And there is more for both kids and adults.
Table of Contents
All photos are from Hershey.com unless otherwise noted.
Where is Hershey Park?
Hershey Park is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Yes, that’s right this theme park has a whole town named just for this inventor of sweet chocolate. However, the theme park isn’t the only thing in this town.
Hershey Park is located on Rt 422. This is located between the major highways I-78, I-76 & I-283 which is to the east of Harrisburg, PA. Any GPS will easily bring you to Hershey Park or the hotels, however, below is an approximate travel time from a few locations.
Hershey, PA is just
- 25 minuntes from Harrisburg, PA
- 1 hour from Gettysburg, PA
- 1-1/2 hours from Baltimore, MD
- 2 hours from Philadelphia, PA
- 2-1/2 hours from Washington, DC
- 3 hours from New York City
- 3-1/2 hours from Pittsburg, PA
Where to Stay in Hershey, PA
This, I believe is the single most important question you need to answer. Why, you ask? Because of the perks, you get for staying on-site at one of the Hershey Park Resort Hotels or Campground. Yes, I said perks, especially the extra time in the park. Let’s explore lodging.
Hershey has accommodations for everyone’s tastes, whether you are here with your young kids, teens, or just adults, Hershey has a package for you and your group.
The Hershey Lodge has a great stay and play package for families. Their kids stay, play, splash, & eat free package has your family covered. This package is for guests 17 and younger. They will receive a FREE meal, FREE souvenir towels for Hershey’s Water Works, FREE $20 arcade card, admission to Hershey Gardens which includes the butterfly house, and admission to The Hershey Story’s Museum Experience.
Other packages include their
- 2 Day Stay and Play package – this package includes park entrance for 2 days
- 3 Night Sweet Stay package – this package not only includes park entrance but also free drinks the first day and a $1 refill on the other two days in the park
- Romance in Hershey package – has chocolate-covered strawberries as well as rose-petal turndown service
- Bed and Breakfast package – includes breakfast each morning
- Chocolate Spa Getaway – 2-night package – enjoy the amenities of the lodge along with a $300 spa credit per person
- Golf Getaway package – includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, and access to the practice facilities
- Unlimited Hershey Golf package – this is for the golf enthusiast – it includes unlimited golf at three unique courses, unlimited golf cart, access to practice facilities, daily cleaning and club storage as well as guaranteed advanced tee times.
- Hersheypark Summer Camping Package – this is a build your own package with lots of flexibility
- Camp and Play Package – perfect for family reunions or other larger groups
- Book One Night, Get 50% Off – save on a 2-night stay at the campground with the code ‘SAVE50’
- Save With An Extended Stay – this campground package is for families staying more than 28 days from November to March
Both the Hershey Lodge and the Hotel Hershey have kid’s check-in. Take advantage of this. Regular check-in starts at 4 pm but kid check-in is only between 5-6 pm. If you’ve already gone to your room come back and participate. Your kids will be happy you did. Here they sign the guest book, meet characters, play a Hershey guessing game, receive chocolate, and get a lanyard to which their name and contact info can be added.
The guest rooms at Hershey Lodge are quite spacious and comfy. They offer three styles of rooms, the two queen guest room sleeps a maximum of four people. However, the premium two queen guest room has two queen beds plus a double-size sleeper sofa to accommodate up to six guests. Lastly, they have the governor’s suite which has two queens beds, a sitting area, and a double-size sleeper sofa also accommodating up to six guests.
There are also six styles of suites to choose from if you need even more room. One suite can even sleep up to 8 guests between beds and pull-out sofa beds. The amenities range from dining tables to lounge areas and multiple bathrooms.
The lodge is where Hershey’s Water Works, their indoor waterpark is located. Of course, staying at this lodge grants you full access and the best part is that this lodge and waterpark are open year-round. This indoor water park features a zero-entry pool, basketball hoops, Reese’s Water Walk, sand castle spray zone, & lighthouse tipping bucket. However, I like the 2 Twizzler’s Twists water slides that go outside the building and are the best attraction. Water Works is open daily from 12 – 8 pm.
There is also Coco Cabana in the pool area for you and your family to have snacks and drinks at the pool area.
There is also an outdoor area that has a zero-entry pool with some spray fountains and lounge chairs. This area will open on Saturday, May 29th at 11 am.
Here are more places to explore:
- Family Fun at SeaWorld in Orlando
- Playing in the past at Old Sturbridge Village
- Boston’s Top 22 Activities You Need To Do in 2022
- The Beautiful Horses of Corolla, North Carolina
Activities at the Lodge
The lodge also has a game room with 24-hour access. Here you will find a skee ball, claw machine, and my favorite air hockey. Keep your points safe on your guest game card which can be redeemed for sweet prizes.
There are also basketball courts, tennis courts, a miniature golf course, sports equipment, and board games are available to borrow.
The lodge has you covered with their state-of-the-art fitness center as well. A great way to burn off any calories you might indulge in during your stay here at Hershey Park.
The lodge also has great family activities with character appearances, animal encounters with ZooAmerica, chocolate bingo, s’mores roasts ($5 charge to make 4 s’mores), and kid’s crafts.
The Hotel Hershey
The hotel has a real old-world charm of grand hotels on a boardwalk. There are 4 styles of guest rooms to choose from. The King Guest room has just a king-size bed along with seating. The Premium King Guest room has the addition of a double-size sleeper sofa. Then there are 2 Queens Guest rooms one that looks over the pool area.
Hotel Hershey offers six guest suites all with a separate bedroom. Some of the suites are not much larger than the guest rooms but have the added bonus of the separation between the bedroom and living space. Then you have the Milton Hershey Suite and the Catherine Hershey Suite. If you want to go grand here is your chance.
The Catherine Hershey Suite is 1,450 sq ft. (the size of a small house) with 2 bedrooms plus a double-size sleeper sofa for the possibility of 8 guests. Thankfully it has three full bathrooms and as well as a dining area. However, the true opulence comes in the Milton Hershey Suite which is 2,100 sq. ft. (a very nice size house). This suite has 2 bedrooms plus two double-size sleeper sofas with the possibility of sleeping up to 10 guests. The suite also has a sun porch and an outdoor patio.
Cottages at The Hotel Hershey
If you are visiting Hershey Park with an extended family, I highly recommend renting one of the cottages on site. You can choose between 4 & 6-bedroom suites with living space. These larger cottages are essentially made up of the King Guest Room and the Two Queen Guest Room which can be rented individually if you prefer.
The Hotel Hershey has a year-round indoor pool, hot tub, and a splash pad for kids. Lounge chairs are spaced all around the pool for all guests as well. Some guest rooms have balconies that overlook the pool area. The indoor pool is open from 7 am to 9 pm.
The hotel has an adult-only section as well as a family section in their outside pool area. There is an infinity-edge pool and whirlpool for the 18+ crowd as well as a family pool with zero-grade entry and a kiddie spray deck. However, my favorite feature is the 2 large water slides.
There are lounge chairs around the pool for everyone. And the Poolside cafe offers sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and drinks for all guests. For those wanting some more privacy, rent one of the 14 cabanas. The cabana’s come with tables and chairs, three private lounge chairs, a 32-inch flat-screen TV, ceiling fan, refrigerator, bottled water, and a snack basket for your enjoyment.
This area is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, 9 am to 9 pm.
Activities at the Hotel
The hotel has a state-of-the-art fitness center as well as a very extensive outdoor sports complex. They offer basketball courts, 2 bocce ball courts, 2 sand volleyball courts, 2 horseshoe pits, a croquet area as well as tennis courts. There is also a golf putting area behind Harvest. Plus there are hiking trails in the area. There certainly is no excuse not to get out and play while you are here.
Falconry at the Hotel
For a very unique experience, you can participate in a falconry demonstration which includes falcons, hawks, and a golden eagle. For more information on the trainer Jack Hubley, or the experience at Hershey you can explore his website.
Spa at The Hotel Hershey
If treating yourself is on your menu at Hershey then don’t pass up on the opportunity to indulge in a spa treatment. You can enjoy the Sweet Chocolate Relaxation Package. This decadent treatment includes a whipped cocoa bath, a cocoa massage, and a chocolate hydrating body wrap. Chocolate, not your thing? Then perhaps roses are. Try the Rose Garden Package. This package includes a rose garden hydrating body wrap, a rose garden renewal facial, and a rose garden hand treatment with a full manicure.
There are more packages and services to choose from in this spa. The part I love the most is that they encourage you to come early before your treatments to use their facilities. You can enjoy some or all of their facilities which include showers, a steam room, saunas, a fitness center, an indoor pool & jacuzzi, and 4 relaxation lounges.
The spa also offers services for teens ages 13-17 years old as well as services for men. If you’d like to book any of their services at The Chocolate Spa, I suggest you book online.
The campground offers tent and RV sites as well as cabins to rent. There are 5 bathhouses that have toilets, and showers and 3 have laundry facilities for you to use. Each site and cabin come with a picnic table and fire ring.
Tent sites are either primitive, which means you only get the picnic table and fire ring, or partial hook up. The partial hook-up includes water and electricity.
RV sites are either full hook up or partial hook up. Booth includes electric, water, & cable, however, the full hook-up also includes sewer hook-up.
You have 4 different cabin types to choose from, 1 bedroom deluxe, 2 bedroom deluxe, log, and extended log. As named the deluxe cabins have a full bathroom inside as well as a kitchenette. The log cabins do not have a bathroom or a full kitchenette but they do have a refrigerator and a microwave. All cabins have heating and air conditioning as well as a ceiling or wall fan and a TV with cable. However, in all cabins, you will need to bring all your own linens and towels.
The Hershey Campgrounds boast 2 swimming pools as well as a kiddie pool for their guests to enjoy. The pool area is fenced in and has lounge chairs and umbrella’s for everyone’s use. The Country Store has all your snack and drink needs covered. The pool area is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Activities at the Campground
The campground has 2 playgrounds, horseshoe pits, basketball, volleyball, and shuffleboard courts. Guests do need to provide their own equipment for the sports areas. There is also an indoor game room and don’t forget to pick up s’mores kits for your evening around the fire.
There are also activities put on by the campground and include everything from animal encounters with animals from ZooAmerica to magic shows to movie nights. The campground has a schedule of activities so be sure to check them out and plan your stay accordingly.
Perks for Staying at a Hershey Park Resort Hotel or Campground
The single most important perk is that you get an extra hour at the beginning of the day. This is a summer perk only, from the Friday before Memorial Day to the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is great. To be in the park with fewer guests is always a treat.
My next favorite perk is the preview hours (1 to 3 hours depending on the time of year) you get in the park the night before your first full day in the park. What a great way to walk around the park and get the ‘lay of the land’ so to speak. This way you know exactly which rides you want to go on first the next day.
Also, as you would expect you receive discounted tickets to all attractions and Hershey Park. For this reason alone, staying at Hershey resorts and the campground is worth it.
Shuttle Bus is another wonderful perk. You get a front-gate shuttle service that takes you directly to an exclusive resort drop-off location just steps from the park’s entrance. The buses run from early in the morning to late at night so don’t worry about making the last shuttle.
The shuttle bus from Hershey Lodge to the park is approximately 12 minutes. Hotel Hershey’s close proximity to the park makes it a quick 6 min bus ride. The campground bus will take you between 20-25 mins. All that said, it is very convenient and the buses are air-conditioned for you. Hershey also makes bringing strollers easy. They will pack them into the shuttle bus and take them out again when you arrive at Hershey Park.
Experiences at Hershey’s Chocolate World
You shouldn’t miss out on the experiences that Hershey offers at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Yes, it is a world of its own. You will need to book their activities prior to your arrival. It is best to book these when you are booking your accommodations.
Hershey’s World has a “create your own candy bar” activity plus a tour, a ride, a movie, and even a science show based on chocolate. Plus souvenirs, a food court with a bakery, milkshakes and ice cream, and for the adults, a wine and chocolate pair event. Check their schedule for what’s available during your visit.
Another thing to be aware of is that Hershey’s World the hours are 9 am – 5/6 pm during the spring, summer, and early fall. During late fall and winter, they are open 10 am – 5 pm. This is fabulous since the park doesn’t open until 11 am. You can spend your morning in Hershey’s World then head over to the park.
When is Hershey Park Open?
This year Hershey Park is open from April 2, 2022, until January 1, 2023. When you buy tickets they are good on any day during this time frame. This is a great perk since you can buy the tickets before opening day to get the best prices and still use the tickets for special feature days later in the year.
Hershey Park opens at 11 am. Closing times vary during the year from 6 pm but during the summer months, they stay open till 9 pm.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay While Visiting Hershey
If your focus to is visit Hershey Park and you don’t want to camp, stay at Hotel Hershey. You are close to the park and from the hotel, you can see down to the park which is pretty nice.
If you are on a budget, I’d stick to camping even if you want to rent the cabins. Hershey Lodge is great however if you want to also have some down days at the resort. With their indoor waterpark, the kids will be entertained all day long.
Please let me know which resort you’ve stayed in or which one you enjoy the most.