Last December, in the midst of the holiday season, we had the opportunity to visit Hershey, Pennsylvania. While Jersey Family Fun writers have been hosted by the Hershey Lodge before, this was my family’s first complimentary visit to the hotel just minutes away from Hersheypark. Of course we enjoyed Hersheypark, Chocolate World, and Sweet Lights, but we also explored things to do in Hershey all year long. Day two of our visit was filled with activities in Hershey such as sweet discoveries, fun games, and more at the Hershey Story Museum. Hershey Lodge guests can pick up complimentary tickets to the Hershey Story Museum at the Lodge’s front desk.
Discover the Hersey Story Museum
The Hershey Story Museum is located in Hershey, PA on Chocolate Avenue. We found it very easy to get to from the Hershey Lodge. Parking is available adjacent to the building. The museum was created to tell the story of Milton S. Hershey and the town of Hershey. This is not your typical museum. With two floors of touchable exhibits and interactive activities and another floor for classes and demonstration, the Hershey Story Museum makes learning about chocolate fun.
Happy & Helpful Hershey Story Museum staff members
When we first arrived at the Hershey Story Museum we found staff members at the front desk, at the top of the stairs, and at the entrance to the exhibits. All of them greeted us with smiles and shared with us information that made our visit to Hershey extra sweet. Without them we might not have known about the i-spy game throughout the Hershey Museum exhibits, or that men and women had different jobs in the chocolate factory, or even that we could be part of an epic indoor snowball fight.
Scavenger Hunts & I-Spy Games make for a sweet treasure hunt.
What child doesn’t like hunting for treasure? My boys love treasure hunts! With i-spy lists in hand my boys looked carefully through each exhibit. Unlike a visit to another museum, there was no rushing from exhibit to exhibit. Instead, my boys studied glass displays, looked around nooks and crannies, and read the signage all in search of items on their list. They were determined to find an old-fashioned candy box, elves playing in the snow, and other Hershey artifacts. The stuffed toy proved the most difficult to find.
How does Hershey make chocolate?
In the Hershey Story Museum Sweet Innovations exhibit we discovered how chocolate was made. Testing our chocolate knowledge with trivia questions proved to be particularly fun and challenging. My boys would read the questions from the wall. To reveal the answer we needed to push a button and a window would reveal the answer. I hadn’t know chocolate was once used to make soap, did you?
Chocolate Workers wanted! Would you apply?
In a Hershey Story Museum special exhibit, adults and children can learn what it takes to be a chocolate factory worker. To start, we were given new worker training cards. The cards explained the stations we would need to visit as part of our Hershey factory training. Each station involved an activity: roasting, refining, knock out, wrapping. When my boys completed each activity they used the embosser to mark their card as completed. At the end, the supervisor acknowledged we had successfully completed the training. We were hired on the spot. However, when my boys learned that the wages would be less than a $1 an hour, they decided to stay in school. ;-)
Make time for chocolate classes and tastings
Unfortunately we did not have enough time to experience these delicious Hershey Story Museum activities. Chocolate Lab classes and Tastings are held once or twice a day. Ask about them when you arrive and get your tickets early.
- Chocolate Lab classes are held to make chocolate. What a sweet way to make a souvenir!
- Tastings: Chocolate from Around the World sessions teach your kids about chocolates by tasting fruity ones from Africa or sweet ones with caramel from Indonesia.
A snowball fight that didn’t leave us wet and cold!
One of the best surprise Hershey Story Museum activities we learned about was the indoor snowball fights. The museum doesn’t have them every day, so always ask when you visit. I was so glad that the timing worked out for us and that the staff member told us about them. It was an amazing way for my boys to get out the wiggles before we got in the car to head back to New Jersey.
The staff member running the epic indoor snowball fight was great. She explained the rules to the kids, particularly when to stop, and when they had permission to start again. Fluffy white pom poms were used as snowballs so they didn’t hurt the skin at all. Snowballs flew through the air from kid to kid while others floated down to the lobby from the upper level. I am not sure who was laughing more, the kids or the adults.
You can learn more about the Hershey Story Museum at their website. You can also read more about our Hershey Story Museum experience on Traveling Moms. We’ll share a link as soon as the article goes live. For more help planning your Hersheypark and Hershey family vacation, please visit our series or click over to Eat, Stay, & Play in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Take a look at more of our Hershey Story Museum photos in this Facebook album. We’re giving you a preview below.
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