Hershey and Harrisburg PA are the perfect cities for a long weekend getaway. Before we moved to the beach, we lived in Maryland, from there Hershey Park was just a quick car ride. I have so many childhood memories from Hershey Park and it makes me sad I can’t take our kids more. I took my oldest daughter one year before we moved, when I actually drove the bus for a school field trip! We spent the whole day riding rides and exploring the park, just her and I.
Brynna (my youngest) had seen that one of our favorite country singers was going to be performing in Hershey Park, that’s when I realized she has never experienced the amusement park now that she’s older. We went a few times when she was a baby but obviously she doesn’t remember and couldn’t do much anyway.
So, with a long weekend off for Labor Day, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to make the trip!
Chocolate and Country Music
I’m convinced that chocolate and country music can solve all of life’s problems. With a rough start to the school year after losing our 10 month old Great Dane suddenly on the first day of school, this little escape couldn’t have came at a better time!
The town, smack dab in the center of the state, has been dubbed the Sweetest Place on Earth thanks to the region’s namesake chocolate factory and iconic candy bar. This small town is where Milton S. Hershey began his chocolate empire over a hundred years ago, and today his legacy lives on. Just 15 miles away, Pennsylvania’s capitol, Harrisburg provides the comforts of a small city with a historic, turn-of-the-century newsboy vibe.
Here’s the low-down on where we stayed, what we did and where we ate, with a few helpful tips along the way, all in three days! Hershey-Harrisburg made the perfect weekend getaway!
I had to work unfortunately and since school had just started the chance of me getting off was slim to none. After work I got our stuff together and packed our 2018 Toyota Camry that we were using for the trip! I had asked Mackenzie to join us multiple times but she said she wanted to stay home and relax, Jeff was off all weekend except Monday (Labor Day) so he couldn’t come either. So Brynna and I took on the 8 hour drive to Maryland. We were stopping at my friend Kelly’s house for the night and all of us were driving to PA together Saturday morning.
We arrived at her house at 3am, talk about a long night! Thankfully, we didn’t have to stop much and surprisingly I only spent $18 in gas because the Camry we were driving is also a Hybrid and it averaged about 48mpg! That in itself is amazing if you ask me! Much needed sleep was the only thing on the agenda for the night…or morning?
After we all got some rest and Dunkin’ we were ready to hit the road. Thank goodness the drive was only an hour and a half from her house! We headed to our hotel which was Hotel Indigo Harrisburg-Hershey, it is absolutely gorgeous and in a great location.
It is a brand new upscale boutique hotel, that just opened in April of 2018. The hotel has the feel of a historic property with modern luxury and the warmth of a small town. What I love the most about all Hotel Indigo properties is that they take inspiration from the neighborhood around them. This hotel is full of local touches, like images of the famous Walnut Street Bridge, which dates to 1890.
We were told we got upgraded to a King Suite which made our day! After we checked in, we headed up to our room to check it out! There were 4 of us, 2 kids and 2 adults, the room had a bedroom with a king bed, a living area with a pull out sofa, kitchen area and a huge bathroom! The perfect size for the 4 of us.
Everything was so modern and clean. The kids said it was “the best hotel ever!” They of course loved the outdoor pool and patio especially in the evenings! The cabanas and fire pits were such a perfect touch!
The River Run Restaurant and Social Lounge serves breakfast and dinner, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try it because we were so busy! But it looked amazing!
All four of us were very pleased with our stay at this hotel. From the modern decor to the amazing hospitality. The location was perfect, just a short drive to downtown Harrisburg and only a 20 minute drive to Hershey Park. And another perk is there is a Target conveniently located 3 minutes away. Who wouldn’t love that? I know we did!
Harsco Science Center
After we got settled into our room we decided to go explore Harrisburg. Our first stop was The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts where we explored the Harsco Science Center!
This museum is a beautiful science center with 3 floors of exhibits, most of which are highly interactive. The kids were really impressed with the amount of cool exhibits they had!
There are three floors of fun. We started out on the top floor. The first level had a KidsPlace which is for kids 5 and under. Our kids were too old to go in but it looked very fun for the little ones and very clean!
Heading down a flight, brought us to the “Move It” area with car races, die cut machines, and tons of play experiences.
The kids got to creating their own cars and race them. There was also an area to create a paper airplane and see how far it would go.
Followed by the circus themed “Carnival of Health”, that was filled with interactive exercise games as far as the eye could see.
Heading down another flight brought us to “Forces of Nature” where we learned about weather (including a hurricane simulation machine) electricity and gravity. The kids loved lifting thousands of pounds with pulleys and having very fast wind-blown in their faces!
The kids loved it and said it was awesome! I also loved they got to learn some things along the way!
To learn more about the Science Center, including its hours and ticket prices, visit their website, http://www.whitakercenter.org/harsco-science-center.
Looking for more? Don’t miss part two, coming up soon! See what we did with the next half of our weekend getaway to Hershey and Harrisburg!
We were the guests of the Hershey-Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. As always, all opinions are our own.