{p,h,f,r} A Hershey Story

Linking up for the first time in way too long with the lovely ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter. I thought I’d use the {pretty, happy, funny, real} link up to share our recent trip to ‘The Hersey Story’ museum in downtown Hershey, PA.

The museum is a new attraction to the plethora of tourist stops in Hershey including Hersheypark, Chocolate World, Hershey Gardens, and Zoo America.

We arrived just after lunch and were greeted with no parking after spending two and half hours in the van with kids (including one who “REALLY NEEDED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM” yet kept drinking from their waterbottle.) The large free outdoor lot I noticed on the satellite picture actually had a barrier to prohibit trucks (and also all raised roof handicap vans) taller than seven feet from entering. We had to circle around and call to figure out where we could unload and park. Thankfully, we were cheerfully directed to block a small alley and unload at the cafe entrance; then we could drive across the street and park at a nearby church. This worked out fine as it was a Friday afternoon in February, however I can’t imagine how a summer visitor arriving at the most crowded time of year would fair.

There is a temporary exhibit space, cafe, chocolate tasting area, chocolate lab, and store on the first floor and a permanent museum on the second floor of the building. We received tickets as a Christmas present and the kids were thrilled to learn a chocolate tasting was included in the deal. After cold fish stick sandwiches in the van, you can imagine their elation.

We started at the temporary first floor exhibit which talked about what it was like to work in the original Hershey chocolate factory back at the turn of the 20th century. It was interesting enough without being too juvenile for my older kids but with a nice balance of pictures, videos and hands-on displays for the younger kids. For the record, I hate hands-on museums. They’re basically one large petri dish for stomach viruses, however The Hershey Story did have hand sanitizer stations at various locations, it wasn’t crowded (yay homeschooling perk!) and my kids are beyond the “put everything in their mouth’ phase so we managed to emerge unscathed. Though I was a bit fanatical about making everyone scrub their hands in the bathroom WITH HOT SOAPY WATER before we left.


roasting cocoa beans
Watching the cocoa beans roast. It smelled like chocolate. I was weeping silent Lenten tears.


hershey factory workers
“We’re so excited to make 7 cents an hour doing back-breaking labor for ten hours a day!”


packing kisses
I’m packing Hershey’s Kisses and sending them down the conveyor belt whilst displaying all the enthusiasm a 12-year-old can muster.


packing orders
I can’t put toys away promptly at home, but I can spend an insane amount of time stacking boxes and filling imaginary orders.


supply tub
Here’s a fun exhibit! Try pushing this super heavy metal tub without straining a muscle! Yay hands-on education!!!!


heavy tub
Aaaaaannndddd- the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Then we did a chocolate tasting. Totally not Lenten, but we couldn’t redeem these tickets after Easter so we were forced to try six different chocolates from around the world. Each was melted down with a bit of milk and you drank the samples from shot glasses. Even Teddy who can’t have dairy was given the dairy-free dark chocolate chips to try. Of course I was horrified to break my Hildegard diet, but not so much so that I sacrificed any of that sweet, sweet chocolate.

Six shots of chocolate. I haven’t enjoyed that many shots since college.

Then we hit the permanent exhibit upstairs which tells the history of Milton Hershey, the founder of the town and chocolate factory that bear his name. Again, the older kids enjoyed many of the exhibits while there were enough displays to entertain the younger two. Still, I wouldn’t recommend the museum if your whole crew is still five and under. Take them on the Chocolate World ride instead and you’ll be good to go.


I had to explain you needed to talk into the mouthpiece (after explaining that it was a telephone.)

Highlights included the kiss wrapping machine, the design your own candy bar wrapper kiosk (of which there were several) and the ‘I Spy’ booklet the museum guide gave us which contained several items the kids could try to find throughout the displays….though I think I had more fun with that then the kids. “Look everyone I found the candy mold!! Hey kids! KIDS!!! IT’S THE FREAKING CANDY MOLD FROM THE I SPY BOOK!!! GET OVER HERE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE CANDY MOLD!!!” We also spent way too much time hogging the big interactive aerial map of the town.

We rarely last more than two hours at a museum and, including everything we did upstairs and down, we were there for almost two and half hours. You could probably spend more time reading all the fine print but unless we wanted to try the lab or view a new temporary exhibit, we don’t feel the need to return. If you’re going to Hershey, or my nearby hometown of Lancaster, it would make a good day trip.

the money shot
The nice picture brought to you by six shots of chocolate. Milton Hershey is the old guy painted in the mural. We love you man!

Once you’ve finished thinking about SIX SHOTS of pure cocoa goodness, swing back to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {p,h,f,r} links.


  1. Chocolate shots sound wonderful!!!!! My older brother had something akin to that when he visited a chocolateria in Spain. I’m glad that y’all enjoyed yourselves!

  2. Parking garages with height clearances are a frustrating inconvenience when you live in and drive an RV as well. Luckily I don’t know anyone that lives in or drives one anymore.

    Sounds like it was a fun trip!

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