This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated. Hersheypark provided us with admission to Hersheypark Sweet Lights at no charge to make this article possible.
Hershey Sweet Lights (originally published in 2017, pricing and details valid for 2019).
My family’s first visit to Hersheypark for Christmas would not have been complete without a visit to Hershey Sweet Lights. While I expected to see lots of beautiful lights, I was not prepared for how incredible Hershey Sweet Lights would actually turn out to be.
Hershey Sweet Lights is not that far from Hersheypark. In fact, depending on the direction you are coming from you may pass Sweet Lights as you approach Hersheypark. We visited on opening night and there was no missing it – you could definitely see it from the major road approaching Hersheypark from the north. If we hadn’t planned to visit we couldn’t have avoided it once the kids saw all those lights! There was plenty of signage leaving the Hersheypark as well. When you head down Sand Beach Road, where Hershey Sweet Lights is located, it’s about 1/2 mile up the road. There will be signage when it’s time to turn on the path.
As we approached the front gates, we collected our tickets and our pair of complimentary Holospec special effect glasses that make the lights look like snowflakes. Pricing is per car with one rate for cars up to 8 passengers and another price for 9-15 passenger vans. Admission begins at $20 per car on weekdays and $27 on weekends. Once you pay your admission you can also buy a bag of caramel kettle corn. It’s a yummy snack to enjoy on your drive thru. If you’re local or staying longer, you can buy an access pass that allows up to 6 visits to Sweet Lights.
Check out our Facebook Live as we started our drive through Sweet Lights
There’s also a radio station with music that is synced with the lights. Then, be prepared to be amazed. Hershey Sweet Lights is over 2 miles of nearly 600 illuminated, animated displays, something you can’t quite appreciate until you are driving through it.
This lighted display greeted us as we started our Hersey Sweet Lights journey. The first part of our path was a straight stretch with holiday lights on both the left and right and even a lighted overhead archway. It really is hard not to stop in one place and just stare in amazement. Some light displays are intricate and others are animated.
This was one of our favorite animated displays at Hershey Sweet Lights.
We saw different images of holiday icons, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and even some reindeer before we curved around and drove through to one of Hershey Sweet Light’s first themed areas 12 Days of Christmas. If you remember the song, then you can imagine the lighted displays we saw to match the theme; lords a leaping, drummers drumming you get the idea. We slowed the car down long enough to sing the song and the displays helped us remember the words!
Just because you can’t see what’s next doesn’t mean you’re done! A few times we thought, “is that all?” but it’s definitely not. Follow the path because there’s a lot more to come you just can’t see it from the starting point!
After the 12 Days of Christmas, we entered the Enchanted Forest where we were on the lookout for a lighted flying squirrel. As we searched we also saw other lighted animal structures between the trees. It really is quite incredible what they’ve been able to create. There are animated displays where the animals are moving, turtles coming out of their shell, birds flying, animals climbing up trees, a squirrel that appears to be flying across the path. The combination of holiday lights and trees, it really does feel as if you are in a magical forest.
We drove through the Enchanted Forest oohing and ahhing until we reached a themed area based on nursery rhymes and fairy tales called Your Favorite Tales. We had fun trying to identify the story to match the holiday light display. We recognized the prince climbing up to rescue Rapunzel, Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall, the Princess finding a pea, and more. It was something to be brought back to those days when my boys were younger and we read those stories often.
At this point, you’re driving through the back of the Hershey Hotel and on what looks like a bike/hiking path! The two lanes have gone down to one but you won’t notice because you’ll be so mesmerized by the hundreds of lights in front of you at all times. We kept wondering if they leave these lights up all year round because it’s a LOT of work!
After the children’s stories, we entered the area of the Victorian Village. It was a look at Christmas of yesteryear in lights. It was all very beautiful.
Our ride through Hershey Sweet Lights was a delight. We saw everything from the comfort of a warm car but I easily could have walked this path for hours. We would have taken more pictures but you are not allowed to stop, so as it got slightly more crowded I kept moving. The crowd moved at a steady pace, so while I couldn’t take pictures, I did soak it all in. We all did! It was an amazing experience that certainly is going to be on our list to do again next Christmas. Make sure you keep that Christmas music on and having some Hershey’s hot chocolate definitely helps the spirit!
And of course, don’t forget about Christmas Candylane, open through the season at Hersheypark!
What you should know before you visit the Hersheypark Sweet Lights
- Visit the Hershey Sweet Lights site for hours and specific pricing. Hershey’s lighted display is open every night from 5 pm to anywhere between 9 and 11 pm.
- You can go through the 2 miles in about 20-40 minutes or longer depending on your speed.
- You receive two complimentary special effect glasses with your admission. You can buy additional sets of 2 for $5. We suggest just sharing the ones you get as our kids didn’t keep them on long.
- Sweet Lights is open through January 1, 2020.
- Click here to visit the official Hershey Sweet Lights site for Hersheypark.
We loved so many areas of Hershey Sweet Lights it is hard to pick a favorite. What would be yours?
View more of our 2017 Hersheypark Sweet Lights photos from this year in our Facebook Gallery.
View more of our Hersheypark Sweet Lights photos from 2016 in our Facebook Gallery.
Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to Hersheypark series.
To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.