There is a crisp chill in the air, the leaves are turning vibrant colors and pumpkin flavored food is everywhere. This also means that Halloween is right around the corner, and what better way to get into the Halloween spirit then visiting Hersheypark for their Hersheypark in the Dark weekends. I have to admit, it has been a really long time since I have been to this event at Hersheypark, and I was pleasantly surprised how much it has grown. When you enter Hersheypark the air is filled with sweet smells and there seems to be a sense of happiness and excitement in the air as you see children dressed in costumes, anticipating what is in store for them in the park. Also, everyone is greeted by costumed characters, such as masked Hershey Bars, Hershey Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, as they proceed through the park. There is a reason Hersheypark is called the sweetest place on earth, and one cannot help but feeling cheerful as they experience Hersheypark.
Hershey, in general, is beautiful in the fall, and Hersheypark is no exception to this. The park is decorated with seasonal light displays and there are fall decorations such as pumpkins and mums all over the park. In addition, this event is very family friendly, there was nothing that we experienced that would be too scary for young children. It is all about celebrating Halloween at Hersheypark, and there are a number of rides that have their lights off to create the “go dark” experience. The rollercoasters, Wildcat, Comet, and Lightning Racer have their lights on the tracks off during the last hour of every night, and Laff Trakk has the lights off from open to close. All the other rides operate as normal, with the exception of the water rides that are closed for the season. Another nice treat is that certain rides like the Carrousel, Kissing Tower, and Dry Gulch Railroad add a seasonal flair with decorations and/or a Halloween soundtrack accompany the ride.
In addition to the rides, there is “Hershey’s Trick or Treat Adventure,” which is for kids 12 and younger. Kids dress up and “enjoy a trick-or-treat adventure starting at Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction and continuing through Treatville, our hometown village of treats and sweets!” All the kids seemed really excited to go through Treatville and trick-or-treat. Many of the people I spoke to said it was really nice, and the kids seemed to really enjoy it. There is also “Spooktacular” Entertainment in the Park during this event, the beloved Hershey Characters are dressed for Halloween and can be seen throughout the Park, and we also saw a group, The Screaming Mummies, who perform a Halloween themed concert live in the Amphitheatre. This group had a ton of energy, and everyone in the audience appeared to get into the spirit of the performance and enjoyed the experience. Lastly, Zoo America is also open for “Creatures of the Night.” In this special exhibit, people can bring a flashlight and experience animals in their nighttime habits. This starts nightly at 6PM.
Hersheypark in the Dark is open through October 30, 2016. As much as children enjoy this event there is a lot of things for adults to enjoy as well. Most of the rides are open, and as stated previously, the Park is decorated for Halloween. It is a nice trip and it is simply fun to walk around the park and enjoy the place that has earned its title as “The Sweetest Place on Earth.” For more information about this event please visit Hersheypark’s website at www.hersheypark.com.
Kelli Curtin is founding editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she is a contributor for the online site broadwayworld.com. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the Arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.