Hersheypark Christmas Candylane is incredibly festive and a very sweet way to celebrate the magic of the holiday season.
Every summer you make at least one trip to Hersheypark for a day or weekend of absolute family fun. While the summer is awesome fun (hello Comet. hello Boardwalk!), you might wonder if it’s worth the drive to visit Hersheypark for Christmas Candylane during the holiday season.
Every year we spend the day welcoming the Christmas season at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane and we love it so much! Hersheypark is absolutely a must-do item on our family holiday bucket list.
Here are 10 festive ways you can fall in love with Hersheypark at Christmas time too!
1. Arrive during the day and ride the rides!
Hersheypark opens early on the weekends! As in noon. That means, you could theoretically arrive around noon and ride a ton of rides before the sun goes down. Depending on how cold it is outside, a fair number of rides.. including a few roller-coasters, will be operational. There is no guarantee that the crowds won’t be big the closer you get to Christmas.
But they also won’t be as big as they are during the summer. If you time it right you can literally walk onto some of the big attractions without a wait at all. (we scored big time with a 10 minute wait for Reeses Cupfusion!)
ZooAmerica is also open normal hours and your admission is included in the price of the Hersheypark ticket. The cool thing (pun intended) about visiting ZooAmerica during Christmas Candylane is that cooler weather tends to mean some of the animals are more active.
We were able to get a great view of the wolves, bears, and mountain lions!
3. Sweet Treats!
Oh my goodness, don’t think for a second that Hersheypark doesn’t bring on the sweet treats just because it’s cold outside. You can purchase a souvenir hot cocoa mug and get refills all day.
Or, you can head to Simply Chocolate for some truly decadent treats.
They offer a number of decked out hot cocoa concoctions. And from Thanksgiving on, you can indulge in a holiday themed King Milkshake!
Oh my goodness.. this hot cocoa makes my mouth happy!
My daughter loved hers too!
Be on the lookout for some of your favorite Hershey characters, as well as some holiday characters!
We bumped into Reindeer, Hershey Kiss, and Mr. Kit Kat.
5. Light Show
When the sun goes down, the real festive fun starts at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane! Starting at 5pm, every 1/2 hour over Hersheypark puts on NOEL– 4 different choreographed light shows featuring over 200,000 holiday lights. It is really fun and festive.. and a can’t miss part of the event!
6. The Christmas Lights all over the park are fantastic!
The holiday lights show isn’t the only Christmas lights at Hersheypark. The entire park is adorned with thousands and thousands of twinkly lights! It’s totally magical!
And on your way out of Hersheypark, the Chocolate Kiss Fountain will light up with holiday colors too!
7. Visit Santa Claus!
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the North Pole’s most famous resident. Santa Claus actually makes appearances inside Hersheypark AND at Chocolate World!
8. Reindeer Spotting
Near the entrance to Christmas Candylane, you can actually pay a visit to Santa’s reindeer. All 9 reindeer (and Rudolph) are on hand, just munching some hay. They have to pack on the energy for their big night on the 24th!
9. More Shows and Entertainment
Make sure you carve out time to see the sea lion show. Mango and Cocoa are incredibly cute and playful.
Every year there are fun holiday themed shows. The line up changes every year but the shows are always so cute and festive!
10. Don’t forget Hershey’s Chocolate World
Hershey’s Chocolate World is an excellent idea anytime you visit Hersheypark. However, any visit during the Christmas season is an absolute must! If you do nothing else, stop here for a little holiday shopping and holiday snacking.
And– while you are hanging out make sure you check out their very impressive Hershey candy-inspired Gingerbread House. It is a masterpiece!
11. Sweet Lights
The best way to end your Hersheypark Christmas Candylane experience is with a drive through Hershey’s Christmas lights display. Sweet Lights features 600 animated lights displays over a 2 mile wooded trail.
And the drive is quite magical!
If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can actually pay to ride the Sweet Lights Trolley. This ride is pretty cute with fun sing-a-longs and free chocolate (of course).
Know Before You Go:
- Want to purchase tickets ahead of time? Here is ticket link. Ticket prices can be as low as $29.99.
- Christmas Candylane runs on select days November 10th to January 4th.
- ZooAmerica opens at 10am year round. On Christmas Candylane days, Hersheypark opens at either noon (weekends) or 5pm (weekdays).
- Hershey’s Chocolate World is open year round and typically opens at 9am. Oh, and it’s FREE. 🙂 (but you will want to shop. Trust me on this one)
- Sweet Lights runs every night through January 1st, from 5pm until between 9 and 11pm (depending on the night).
Candymonium, sooperdooperLooper, Wildcat’s Revenge, Cocoa Cruiser, Laff Trakk, Jolly Rancher Remix, and Wild Mouse are all open.
Single car cost (van’s up to 8 people) are $23.95 per car.
There are 9 reindeer present for the holiday season at Hershey.
Hersheypark boasts more than 5 million lights during the Christmas Candylane festivities!
Weekends and the week or so leading up to Christmas will be insanely busy. If you have younger kids (or don’t like crowds) visiting on a weekday is much more manageable.