Summertime Is Sweet for Hershey, Pa., Visitors

By Runice, Jacky | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

Summertime Is Sweet for Hershey, Pa., Visitors


Runice, Jacky, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jacky Runice Daily Herald Correspondent

There are certain places that, by their very names, represent rapture for kids: Legoland, Disney World and Toys R Us come to mind. What if you told your children you were visiting "the sweetest place on Earth" this summer?

Unless your family lives in the northeastern part of the United States, they probably wouldn't guess you're about to experience Hershey, Pa.

Why shouldn't the rest of the country be turned onto the resorts, entertainment and attractions that have been wowing Eastern families for decades? From its establishment at the turn of the 20th century, Hershey has been subtitled the Summer Playground of Pennsylvania. Chocoholics might need a 12-step program after touring Hershey's Chocolate World (an attraction that explains the transformation of cocoa bean to candy), and stumbling upon Cocoa Avenue where the street lights are alternately shaped like wrapped and unwrapped Hershey Kisses. You might have to take a spatula to certainmembers of your clan in order to scrape them off the walls of Hershey's Chocolate Town Cafe.

Don't call the dentist. Hershey offers sensory excursions beyond chocolate. Hersheypark, a 110-acre theme park, thrills with eight roller coasters including a new one for 2000. Lightning Racer is the first wooden racing/dueling coaster in the United States. Hersheypark was built in 1907 as picnic and pleasure grounds for Milton S. Hershey's employees. Today the park offers more than 60 rides and attractions. The themed areas include Rhineland, an 18th- century German village, and Tudor Square, which takes you back to 17th-century England. One of the oldest operating carousels in thenation, featuring a Wurlitzer Band Organ and hand-carved wooden horses, oozes nostalgia.

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park takes visitors across the continent - from the wolves and porcupines of the North Woods to animals and plants of Arizona's Sonoran Desert. Don't miss Black Bear Encounter, an exhibit featuring the magnificent creatures in a natural environment. During Hersheypark's regular operating season, park visitors may enter ZooAmerica free of charge from inside the park.

Imagine the family photos you can take at Hershey Gardens, 23 acres of seasonal flowering displays, theme gardens and trees and shrubs. …

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