Not gonna lie, this post is long overdue since it’s now been over a month since our trip. Regardless, I wanted to share it all with you! If you didn’t know, I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA which is about as far west as it gets in terms of larger cities in PA.
When we visited for Christmas, we had planned a weekend trip out to the eastern part of the state, more specifically Hershey and Amish Country. We had a lot of activities jam packed into the weekend, but we had a ton of fun! Just a heads up that these are all unedited iPhone photos, so don’t expect the best lighting or photography skills lol.
Friday, December 13th
Grant and I decided to drive separately from the rest of my family; we hate being the two tallest people being shoved in the very back of an SUV lol. We headed out late morning, as it takes about 4 hours to get to Hershey from Pittsburgh. Our first stop was The Hotel Hershey to check out the Lilly signature store (are y’all even surprised?).
I was shook to see that they had a Hershey Lilly print Murfee Scarf only sold at that store! The print was complete with rollercoasters and Hershey kisses. They also had white and navy popovers embroidered with the hotel’s logo on it. I couldn’t resist grabbing the navy one.
After some light shopping we were hungry for lunch, so we headed a few miles away to the Hershey Lodge. When visiting Hershey we love eating at The Bears’ Den, a hockey-themed restaurant appropriately named after the local team. If you’re ever in the Hershey area I highly recommend staying at either of the Hershey owned hotels, The Hotel Hershey or The Hershey Lodge. I’ve stayed at both numerous times and they’re both really nice!
Shortly after, we headed to where we were actually staying, which was about an hour away from Hershey in Strasburg/Lancaster, PA (Amish Country). The 2/3 of the “main attractions” we were visiting on this trip were located in Strasburg/Lancaster, so it made more sense to stay there.
We checked in to our hotel and freshened up for our activity for the evening, the Sight & Sound Theatre. If you haven’t heard of Sight & Sound, it’s a faith-based theatre company with locations in Lancaster, PA & Branson, MO. They perform a few shows each year at each location, some new and others that have been performed for years. These are top notch y’all. I’m talking Broadway quality.
We saw Miracle of Christmas, which in short was the story of Jesus’ birth. I had seen another Sight & Sound production when I was a toddler, but I really didn’t remember it. I really enjoyed it and my family has already discussed going again next year for Esther. The theatre is huge and the sets are crazy. They use live animals which is super cool. It will definitely leave you in awe. If you can’t get to one of their theaters in person they also occasionally play in movie theaters – Jesus is coming to the movies this spring.
Saturday, December 14th
Saturday we slept in and left the hotel around 11am in order to get to Hershey around noon. This day we spent at Hersheypark! The park was open for their Christmas Candylane, which essentially means they have Christmas decor, special meet and greets, and tons of lights once the sun sets.
Percy got to meet Santa and a Gingerbread Man! While none of the big coasters were open, all of the rides for little ones were open, so Percy had a lot to do. Our admission also included the zoo, but we didn’t take advantage of that this time around.
It was SUPER COLD and we stayed much longer than expected. By the end of the night, my one finger was legit WHITE and had zero feeling to it. It took a good 20 minutes to get blood circulating again lol. But my Mom, Grant, and myself got some of the loaded hot chocolates to keep warm. I have a huge sweet tooth and even I couldn’t finish it! I got a caramel one, my mom got marshmallow, and Grant got double chocolate.
After a while the sun had set and we got to see some of the lights before we headed out. Hershey also has the Sweet Lights (a drive through lights display) every year, which is a separate admission price. We had originally planned to do that but we were just too exhausted.
Up until now I hadn’t been to Hersheypark in years. But y’all, they had a Chick-fil-A and a Moe’s in the park. 10/10 would recommend lol. Not to mention the Christmas tickets were only around $24 per person and the park was open from noon until 10pm.
Sunday, December 15th
On Sunday, we had tickets for the Strasburg Railroad. My parents and my sister’s family had done this a few months prior to ride the Thomas the Tank Engine, but this time around we were doing their Christmas ride. We got there over an hour early but there was so much to do! They had a few shops and activities for kids while you waited. Percy even got to write a letter to Santa. We brought a stamped envelope with us and Percy got a letter back from Santa the next week!
We went into their toy store which was 90% Thomas. I was ~shook~. I didn’t know so much Thomas merch existed until now. Toothbrushes, floss, toys, games, books, a training toilet… They had everything. Percy made out pretty well thanks to Pappy lol. But it was eventually time to get on the train!
Since it was the Christmas train they had strolling musicians, carolers, and Santa come through. Santa even gave Percy an ornament with the Strasburg Railroad logo on it. We paid a bit extra and rode in the Presidential car, which I would highly recommend! We had our very own room and it was a more personal experience with the performers. We even had a server and could purchase drinks (yes, including alcohol). I was extremely impressed, and I’m hard to impress lol. Everyone in our family had a great time and we’d definitely do it again!
After that it was time to say good-bye and head home! We had a great weekend in Eastern, PA and hope to do it again sometime soon.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
This sounds like an amazing weekend in Hershey for the holidays. Great blog post!
Thanks Ash! We had a blast.