Are you looking for a fun and safe place to take the kids this Halloween? Look no further than Hersheypark Halloween! Hersheypark is a fun weekend theme park destination from the Northeast United States. Especially during Halloween season!
Hersheypark Halloween runs 7 weekends from September through October 30th. Additionally, Hersheypark is open Fridays 5 pm to 1 pm starting on October 14th! This annual event is packed with family-friendly fun, from rides and attractions to live entertainment and of course, plenty of delicious Hershey’s candy. Keep reading to learn more about what Hersheypark Halloween has in store for you and your family.
1. Trick or Treat at Hersheypark
One thing that is really great at Hersheypark is that everyone is welcome to dress up! Some theme parks only allow kids to wear costumes so it is nice to find one that allows everyone to join in on the fun! Costumes must not be revealing, obstructive, revealing, offensive or include props or weapons. Check Hersheypark’s website for more tips on what Halloween costumes are permitted.
There are two different places to go trick or treating at Hersheypark. Within the park, there is a 10-stop trick or treating trail that is open until 8 pm. Hersheypark staff will give you a bag and then you get Hershey branded candy and glow sticks along the path. See our next tip for the second location!
2. Hershey’s Chocolate World
Right outside of the theme park gates, you MUST make sure you have an hour or more to spare to visit the world’s largest Hershey’s store…Hershey’s Chocolate World! On Friday nights plus Saturday and Sunday afternoons, kids 12 and under are welcome to come to the store to collect candy! You can also enjoy the Hershey’s Chocolate World factory tour ride (always free) which gives you an informative look at how the chocolate factory operates in real life! All ages get a classic Hershey bar sample at the end of the ride! Be sure to check the Hershey’s Chocolate World event schedule before you go!
3. Hersheypark Rides
Now that we got our candy fix, it is time to RIDE! Choose from 50 rides during the Hersheypark Halloween season. This park was designed with families in mind so kids rides are mixed in with the higher octane rides making it easy for everyone to do what they want while staying close together!
- For those that love the thrills, take your pick of 13 roller coasters including the first indoor spinning glow-coaster in America that will run in the dark during the entire Halloween season, Laff TrakkSM . Plus, enjoy lights out on Candymonium®, Comet, and Lightning Racer® the last hour the park is open.
- The recently added Jolly Rancher Remix will play Halloween music. Even if you’re not a thrill rider, you have to take a look at this crazy ride!
- Check out the Halloween light show on the Ferris Wheel and sooperdooperLooper.
- If you are wondering whether Hersheypark is a good place to bring young kids, the answer is YES! There are 12 rides geared just to Hershey’s Miniatures (under 36 inches).
- Reese’s Cupfusion is one of the best rides for the whole family. It is very similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin where you shoot at targets and compete against your family for the highest score. It was our tween and pre-tween kids’ favorite ride of our visit!
- Keep in mind that certain attractions such as the Monorail, Tea Cups, Sweet Swing, Granny Bugs, Pony Parade, and Tiny Tracks close around 5 pm before Dark Nights kicks off at 6 pm.
4. ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park
Although Hersheypark is known best for its chocolate-themed attractions, Hershey is also a big proponent of nature and animals. ZooAmerica is included with Hersheypark theme park admission year-round. The zoo has over 200 animals from 75 species including bear, wild cats, wolves, exotic birds, reptiles, and more.
Additionally, they have a special Creatures of the Night experience included with admission price starting October 14th which allows you to learn about nocturnal animals. ZooAmerica hours vary, so be sure to check the schedule before you go!
The zoo was founded by Milton Hershey in 1911 and slowly grew. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums which deems it a top zoo for animal care and welfare. ZooAmerica also supports several conservation efforts. Check out our video to find out more about the zoo and what it has to offer.
5. Our Friends from the Sea Show
Our Friends from the Sea is a family favorite show takes place in the Aquatheatre and features California sea lions and Atlantic harbor seals doing fun stunts, jumps and tricks. You can also add on feeding and photo sessions after the show. This was one of our favorite experiences at the park since we love those entertaining marine mammals!
6. Hersheypark Dark Nights
Dark NightsTM comes alive at 6 pm through the Halloween season. Three scare zones are included with your Hersheypark Admission. Darkstone’s Hollow is the mildest scare zone with mystical creatures along The Hollow section of the park. Valley of Fear inches up the scare factor. Set in Pioneer Frontier, creatures are lurking along Spring Creek. Work your way up to the scariest zone, Midway of Misery. This haunting area leads guests through a sinster gateway near the iconic Ferris Wheel.
If you dare, you can buy tickets for unlimited access to all four Dark Nights haunted house attractions including:
- Haunted Coal Mine – Tour an abandoned mine filled with lost souls.
- The Descent – Find out who is hiding underneath the park in underground tunnels.
- Creature Chaos – See what creatures Professor Darkstone has been keeping in cages!
- Twisted Darkness – Have your fortune read at this crazy carnival of nightmares.
7. Grab a Selfie
Another fun thing to do at Hersheypark is to grab some selfies! Make sure you reserve some time to take pictures with the Hershey Characters in their Halloween costumes! Various candies will be out and about throughout the day so make sure you stop back at Founder’s Way to snap shots with your favorite Hershey Character!
8. Hersheypark Eats
All those scares certainly work up an appetite! Luckily, Hersheypark has lots of places to eat throughout the entire theme park. Plus, special seasonal treats and snacks like pumpkin funnel cake!
If you want to take a break from the crowds, we highly recommend the recently opened ChocolatierSM Restaurant, Bar and Patio. It is located right at the entrance to the park and features a seasonal food and drink menu including Midnight Spice Pasta, All Hallow’s Eve Punch, and the Ghostini.
9. Get Your Party On
Last, but not least on our list of things to do at Hersheypark Halloween is the epic dance party. After all that eating, it is time to move! Join the Hershey Characters every night at 8:30 pm for a Glow Dance Party! They’ll be grooving and shaking to top tunes.
Tips for Visiting Hersheypark Halloween
As soon as Hersheypark opened, we headed to ZooAmerica first. Then, we hit the Our Friends From The Sea show at 3:30 pm. It was perfect timing.
Here are some additional things to consider for making the most of your time at Hersheypark:
- Download the Hersheypark app to see ride wait times, interactive map, mobile food ordering + more.
- You can save 20% on parking by purchasing a parking pass online or stay at an Official Resort of Hersheypark (see details below for more info).
- If roller coasters are more important to you, get those done first! Reese’s Cupfusion is also a very popular ride that tends to have a long wait so do it early or close to park closing time.
- Not going to lie, some lines were very long because we went on such a warm and wonderful fall day! If rides are the most important theme park feature for you, consider investing in a Fast Track ticket add on.
- The Chocolatier restaurant is VERY popular even if you eat in non-peak times so be sure to make reservations. We were able to snag seats at the kid-friendly bar. Even at 4 pm, the restaurant was already fully booked with reservations for the entire evening! If you visit the restaurant when the park is closed and there are no events, parking is free in the Season Pass Holder lot.
- Note that Skyview and Whip are not in operation during the Hershey Halloween season.
Where to Stay for Hersheypark Halloween
Consider staying at a Hersheypark property and take the free shuttle to attractions. Staying at an official resort of Hersheypark also gives you special VIP benefits including extra hours in the park and special pricing on area attractions.
Those that stay at The Hershey Hotel or Hershey Lodge resorts get free admission to Hershey Gardens and The Hersey Story’s Museum Experience.
The Hotel Hershey is a luxury property that offers rooms, suites and cottages that have up to 6 bedrooms. Amenities include an indoor and outdoor pool, sports complex and fitness center, hiking trails, and a golf course. There are also seasonal activities for kids including character greetings, s’mores roasts, bingo, trick-or-treating, and more! Adults can indulge in the Spa at Hotel Hershey, grab a drink at the cozy Iberian Lounge or have a meal at one of the on-site restaurants.
Hershey Lodge is another beautiful place to stay. Hershey Lodge offers 665 rooms and suites that can accommodate families of up to 8 people. It features an indoor water park with water slides, spray zones, a zero-entry pool and more! There is also an arcade, fitness center, and seasonal outdoor pool. Hershey Lodge has six on-site dining options including the hockey themed The Bears’ Den!
Hersheypark Camping Resort is the perfect place for nature lovers! Stay in your own tent or RV or choose a deluxe cabin for a glamping experience with all the comforts of home. The Hersheypark campground offers lots of space to play with several playgrounds, volleyball and basketball courts, an indoor game room and seasonal pool. Kids will love participating in the activities including the on-site trick-or-treat trail and pumpkin decorating contest. Watch our video below for a tour of a two-bedroom Deluxe Cabin!
For those that prefer to rack up their hotel loyalty points, there are also several chain hotels in the Hersey Pennsylvania area. Hotels.com always has great deals on properties near the Hersheypark theme park!
Other Things To Do Near Hersheypark
The greater Hershey area offers lots of things to do if you plan to make it a full weekend or week-long stay! The Hershey resort buses provide free transportation to the following attractions:
- Hershey’s Chocolate World: This Hershey mega store offers Hershey trolley tours, a 4D chocolate movie, Hershey’s Unwrapped interactive show, and more!
- Hershey Gardens: Open year-round, this top-ranked 23-acre themed garden complex offers a magnificent view of Hersheypark. It features one of the only indoor tropical butterfly atriums in the U.S.
- The Hershey Story Museum: This hands-on museum is a family favorite! Learn the history of Hershey. Plus try the Chocolate Tastings experience and make your own chocolate creation in the Chcoolate Lab!
- Hersheypark Stadium: The top names in entertainment flock to Hersheypark Stadium for seasonal outdoor concerts.
- The Chocolate Spa: Pamper yourself with a Fall Pumpkin Package or Cocoa Massage at the Spa at Hotel Hershey!
Here are a few more Hershey area attractions off property:
- PA State Police Museum: Find out about the history and events that shaped America’s first uniformed police force in Pennsylvania!
- Hershey Antique Auto Museum: One of the top automotive museums in the world.
- Tröegs Brewing Company: Take a self-guided tour at this local family-owned brewery that offers a 5,000 square foot tasting room and beer garden. This kid and dog-friendly brewery offers scratch-made meals and a kids menu. They even bake their bread on-site!
- Crossroads Antique Mall: Perfect for a rainy day, browse nostalgic and collector items sprauled out on multiple floors.
- Cullari Vineyards and Winery: This indoor/outdoor winery offers tastings and a selection of over 35 types of wine.
- West Hanover Winery: Located just 20 minutes away in Harrisburg, this 45-year-old winery offers tastings, tours, and wine flights.
Other Seasonal Events at Hersheypark
PS – Lastly, be sure to mark your calendar for Hersheypark Christmas Candylane®! Once Halloween is over, Hersheypark turns into a whimsical holiday experience with 5 million lights, special holiday rides and entertainment, and Santa and Rudolph visits too!
My kids are obsessed with Halloween! Thanks for this great idea!