The bags are packed, the family is in the car, you’ve done the last minute bathroom check and you’ve run back into the house for the forgotten toy that your little one couldn’t leave without. Hershey is the destination but you’ve got a few hours to kill before you get there and you’re planning to take your time. So, enjoy the journey with stops at one or more of these sometimes educational, sometimes quirky, always fun places you can visit on your way to Hershey. Bonus: we’ve thrown in a few tips for once you get to Hershey too!
Just over the Pennsylvania border and conveniently located just as the chorus of “Are we there yet?” is getting far too loud and frequent for you to ignore, is the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. Spend a few hours or most of your day here creating art, making crayons, and getting interactive with exhibits and experiences ranging over a space that’s bigger than an NFL football field. Parents will love this place as much as the kids so take the time to really enjoy. Open M-F 10am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 6pm. General admission price for kids ages 3 and up is $21.99/pp. Purchase tickets online and the cost is $18.99/pp. 30 Centre Square, Easton. 610.515.8000. Make sure to check out our exclusive offer to save $7 by entering the store name 'Bergen' at checkout.
If you’re going to make a stop at this geological mystery, don’t forget to pack a hammer. Yup, that’s right. Pack a hammer. You’ll need it when you reach this 7-acre field in the middle of a forest and covered in diabase boulders of various sizes. Hit these rocks with your hammer and they will ring like a bell. No one can explain why. Nor can they explain the fact that only some of the rocks make the sound even though all of the rocks seem to be made up of the same material. Stop for a picnic and check out Bucks County’s largest waterfall while you’re in the area. Call for hours. Ringing Rocks Road, Upper Eddy. 215.757.0571
Take the 30 to 45 minute guided walking tour of the caves (don’t forget your walking shoes and a jacket – the caverns are usually wet and remain at around 52 degrees year round). Then pan for gems at the replica mine and have a picnic and this marvel of nature. Open year 9am – 6pm in the summer, 9am – 5pm in the winter, except on major holidays. Admission is $15.50/pp for adults ages 13+ and $8.50/pp for kids ages 3-12. 726 Durham Street, Hellertown. 610.838.8767
Great for when the kids need to stretch their legs and get their wiggles out, this park on the campus of Lehigh University is a collection of “outsider art” created by Lehigh students from concrete and found materials over the course of eight school sessions. Also known as the Stolfo Sculpture Garden, your best bet is to grab a Lehigh Campus Map and find the trail on Upper Sayre Park Road. Admission is free.
This place has the distinction of being America’s oldest drive-in which means that the nostalgia you’ll experience here is probably more from our parents’ generation than from ours. But go any way because when’s the last time you watched a movie al fresco? You’ll feel just like Danny, Sandy, Rizzo and the gang. Open nightly through the summer. Get there early to get your spot. Schedule and program are subject to change without notice. Admission is $10/pp for adults, $6/pp for kids ages 3-12, free for kids 2 and under. 4540 Shankweiler Road, Orefield. 610.481.0800.
Discovered in 1871, this cave displays rock formations, natural pools and a variety of crystal formations. The hour long tour includes a movie and a 125-foot descent by walking paths and stairways into the heart of the cave. Please note that the cave is not wheelchair or stroller accessible. Other attractions include an historic inn, mini golf and gem mining. Hours are 9am – 6pm weeknights, 7pm on weekends, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Guided tour is $16/pp for ages 12 and up, $12/pp for ages 4-11. Children 3 and under are free. Additional charges apply for other attractions. 963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown. 610.683.6765
This miniature replica of a typical American small town displays over 200 years of history throughout its 7,450 square foot landscape. You’ll see buildings, 18 trains and 4,000 miniature people going about their business at this kitschy roadside attraction that started out as the hobby of a talented and respected builder of miniature models. Hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 5pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is $8/pp for ages 12 and up, $5/pp for ages 6-11. Kids 5 and under are free. Seniors and military are $7/pp. 109 Roadside Drive, Shartlesville. 610.488.6241
The gang’s getting hungry? Try one of these place along the way:
Need to feed the team after your time at the Crayola Experience? Satisfy all palates with a trip to the Easton Public Market. You can choose from tacos, noodle bowls, pizza, crepes, BBQ and more. You’ll also find coffee, sweet treats and produce to take along for the ride.
If you’ve waited until Allentown to decide to eat, stop at Union and Finch, a local American style bistro and purveyor of high quality casual fare and comfort food including salads, sandwiches and entrees. The kids menu is a offered as a fun make-your-own-adventure. Lunch and dinner are available 6 days a week, they’re closed on Mondays.
Starving by Bethlehem? Stop off at the hip Hotel Bethlehem for a meal in their Tap Room that’s sure to please the adults and the kids in the group. Or, if you just need a snack before getting back on the road, stop at the Bethlehem Dairy Store for one of their 40+ flavors of ice cream in one of their specially made novelty cones. Milkshakes, ice cream sodas and floats are also available.
You’ve finally made it to Hershey. We know there are tons of places to stay but if you can swing it, nothing’s better than the Hershey Hotel. The rooms are a comfortable blend of historic architecture and modern conveniences, the staff is friendly and accommodating and the access to Hershey park can’t be beat. Plus, the new Reese’s Cupfusion ride just opened and, even better, kids under 17 stay free during certain times this summer. Your ticket provides access to Hershey park, The Boardwalk water park, with 16 water rides to help you cool down on a hot summer day, and ZooAmerica wild animal park. For the music lovers in the group, Hershey hosts a top notch summer concert series with popular performers and bands you won’t want to miss (we’re thinking we might need to sneak over to see Hootie & the Blowfish and the Barenaked Ladies at the end of the summer. And while you’re there, check out the progress on the new entrance and coaster slated to make their debuts in 2020. Then go ahead and plan your return trip. We know you’ll still have plenty to keep you entertained!