Looking for some different ways to spend the day near Hershey Park?

Founded in 1906 as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, the award-winning theme park now known as Hershey Park has grown to become the most-visited theme park in Pennsylvania. It began with a single carousel and got its first roller coaster, the Wild Cat, in 1923.

Today it has some 76 rides and attractions, including a waterpark, spread over 120 acres, and is open in all four seasons. But, Hershey Park is more than just The Sweetest Place on Earth®. If you’re planning a visit, here are five family-friendly ways to spend the day near Hershey Park.


A family visiting Hershey's Chocolate World while staying at Bird-in-Hand Family Inn.

Explore the free and sweet family-fun opportunities at Hershey’s Chocolate World!

Take advantage of free admission to Hershey’s Chocolate World, with its shops, restaurants, and chocolate-themed factory tour ride. On the free 30-minute chocolate tour, which runs continuously throughout the day, you’ll learn how tropical cocoa beans become chocolate candy bars—and get a product sample at the end of the tour. Ticketed activities include a 30-minute Chocolate Tasting Journey and a 45- to 75-minute guided tour of the town that combines history, song, and laughter aboard the Hershey Trolley Works

Visitors can create their own candy bar, including the candy wrapper, in a 45-minute session.  For the ultimate souvenir, consider REESE’s Stuff Your Cup, a chance to create a 1-pound peanut butter cup with your choice of mix-ins and fresh Reese’s peanut butter. If that doesn’t appeal, you can find gifts, apparel, and sweet souvenirs in the world’s largest Hershey-themed gift shop


The sign for ZooAmerica, an educational animal facility included with admission to Hershey Park.

Take the family to ZooAmerica, an educational animal facility included with your admission to Hershey Park!

If you’re at Hersheypark and are looking for a change of scenery (or energy level), take the walkway from the park’s Kissing Tower Hill area over to ZooAmerica, which is included in the price of your Hersheypark admission. If you aren’t going to the park, you can get zoo tickets at the entrance off Route 743 (Park Avenue). 

This unique educational and conservation facility focuses mainly on the animals of North America. Its exhibits feature native species in their natural habitats. You’ll see American alligators, Florida garfish, and roseate spoonbills in the Southern Swamps’ wetlands, gray wolves, Canada lynx, bald eagles, and snowy owls in the evergreen forests and tundra of the Northlands. The deserts and grasslands of the Great Southwest exhibit are home to the nine-banded armadillo, endangered thick-billed parrots, the venomous Gila monster, the burrowing owl, the ocelot, and the coati and the ringtail, both relatives of the raccoon. Black bears and white-tailed deer, river otters, and red-tailed hawks are among the species in the Eastern Woodlands area. You’ll find mountain lions, American elk, pronghorn antelope, sandhill cranes, and other species in the diverse habitats of Big Sky Country, dedicated to the expanse from the Mississippi River to the foothills of the Rockies. In a greenhouse in that exhibit, zoo staff is raising Regal Fritillary butterflies for release—one of many projects the zoo has undertaken to ensure species survival. 


The front sign for Hershey Gardens, located in Hershey, PA near Bird-in-Hand Family Inn.

Take the family to experience the tranquil sights and smells of Hershey Gardens.

Take the family to experience the tranquil sights and smells of Hershey Gardens. In addition to a theme park for employees, candy magnate Milton Hershey built a rose garden as a gift for the community in honor of his wife, Catherine. What began in 1937 as a request to “create a nice garden of roses” has grown into the 23-acre botanical garden known as Hershey Gardens. Sitting on a hill overlooking the theme park and the town of Hershey, it has 11 themed gardens.

The rose garden now has 3,000 roses, representing 115 different varieties, on 3.5 acres. In addition to floral displays, the Conservatory houses an indoor tropical butterfly atrium, with dozens of rare butterflies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia, along with tropical plants like plumeria trees, Hawaiian Ti plants, and, of course, cacao trees. Budding horticulturists will enjoy the hands-on Children’s Garden. If you want to take it all in, allow two to three hours.


Just a short drive from Hershey Park (and Bird-in-Hand, PA), Masonic Village Farm Market and Orchard provides a tranquil contrast to the thrill of theme parks, making it an essential part of a well-rounded Pennsylvania visit. It’s a fantastic spot to grab a healthy snack for the road or find unique, locally-made souvenirs to remember your trip by.

Besides the fresh air and picturesque views, this Elizabethtown gem offers families the chance to dive into the local agriculture scene with a fun, hands-on fruit-picking experience. Wander through rows of apple, peach, and cherry trees and let the kids learn firsthand where their food comes from. The market itself is a trove of local produce, homemade jams, and freshly baked goods, perfect for a picnic or a unique souvenir to bring home. It’s a perfect addition to any family trip.


cornfield banquet

While planning your adventure to Hershey Park, take advantage of the opportunity to enhance your trip with unforgettable moments only found in Amish Country. Bird-in-Hand provides a range of activities that complement the excitement of the park, from enjoying a delicious farm-to-table meal surrounded by lush cornfields to indulging in a private wine tasting for two at our historic country inn. Opt for a weekend getaway or a family retreat at one of our lodging locations, and immerse yourself in the simplicity and beauty of life behind the scenes with an Amish Farmland Tour.

With a diverse range of packages and specials, we’re committed to providing the best value for your trip. Let Bird-in-Hand be the backdrop to your Hershey Park visit, where every moment is a step into a story worth remembering. Our location is conveniently located just of Rt. 30, and offers a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Experience unforgettable moments with your family as you combine the thrills of Hershey Park with Pennsylvania Dutch hospitality.

Directions to Bird-in-Hand from Hersheypark

Begin your journey at Hersheypark, 100 Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. Follow these directions to reach the peaceful and scenic Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania 17505, for a memorable stay.

  • Start at Hersheypark: Located at 100 Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033.
  • Head South: Begin by heading south on State Hwy 743 S.
  • Get on PA-283 E: Merge onto PA-283 E in Mount Joy Township and follow for about 9.7 miles.
  • Follow PA-283 E to US-30 E: Continue on PA-283 E. After 20 minutes or 21.5 miles, take the US-30 E route.
  • Take the PA-340 E Exit: From US-30 E, exit onto PA-340 E/Old Philadelphia Pike towards Bird-in-Hand.
  • Arrive in Bird-in-Hand: Follow PA-340 E/Old Philadelphia Pike for 3.4 miles to reach Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania 17505.


An exterior view of Bird-in-Hand's Family Inn and Hotel in Bird-in-Hand, PA

Cool off together in Bird-in-Hand Family Inn’s outdoor pool, which features a walk-in zero-grade entry, or one of our two indoor pools.

After an exciting adventure at Hershey Park, the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn provides a perfect haven for families to unwind and relax. Our inn offers a variety of amenities, such as pools, sports courts and a game room, as well as on-site dining options, making it an ideal blend of relaxation and entertainment. Our inn ensures your stay is filled with cherished memories by providing clean, cozy rooms and genuine hospitality.

The Bird-in-Hand Family Inn is more than just a place to stay— it’s a perfect gateway to create unforgettable family moments, after your Hershey Park experience.