So you’ve planned a spectacular getaway, but it looks like rain is in the forecast! You might be asking yourself: What are the rainy day activities in the Hershey Harrisburg Region?
Thankfully we have plenty of indoor activities that’ll make you and the family see rainbows instead of cloudy skies. Try out one of these "Plan B" itineraries, packed with museums, galleries, tours, and fun!
A rainy day at Hersheypark®? If you can’t strap yourself into a coaster, don’t buckle up and head home! These attractions located along Hersheypark Drive will keep your attention through the storm.
Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction
It’s all chocolate, all the time at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction. Hershey’s Chocolate Tour shows guests how its famous chocolate is made, from the cocoa bean to candy wrapper. You’ll no doubt be ready to sample some chocolate, so indulge in the Chocolate Tasting Experience and Create Your Own Candy Bar activities! Take the family on the 4D Chocolate Mystery, where you can interact with the characters to help solve a puzzle.
Just outside, you can board the Hershey Trolley Works and take a sightseeing tour around ChocolateTown USA. Your informative guide will cover the story of Milton Hershey and steer you near the town’s popular landmarks.
Tröegs Independent Brewing
You learned about chocolate, then tasted it. At Tröegs, you can learn about how they brew their beer, then down a sample at one of the nation’s 5 coolest breweries! Visitors can get a close-up view of a working production brewery on an escorted or self-guided tour. Their tasting room also has a mouthwatering snack bar, whose seasonal menu items complement their brews with fresh, simple ingredients that reflect the flavors of the season. We're talking oversized soft pretzels, beef bone gravy poutine fries, and unique entrees that incorporate pork belly, game hen, and duck.
Tanger Outlets Hershey
Work up an appetite or walk off lunch at Tanger Outlets Hershey while you browse 60 stores, like Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, Coach, Banana Republic, and Gap Outlet. You’ll only get wet when you run your shopping bags to the car so you can go back for more!
The Hotel HersheySM and Hershey Gardens
The beautiful four-star, four-diamond Hotel Hershey has a lot to see and do, whether you’re a guest or just taking shelter from the rain! Your taste buds won’t be the same after indulging in a fresh culinary creation or a chocolate martini at one of their many dining rooms on the premises. Stroll through The Shops At The Hotel Hershey, which offers everything from Hershey-branded apparel and gifts to chocolate diamonds.
While the flowers at Hershey Gardens are enjoying the rain, you and the family can head indoors to the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory, which houses seasonally changing exhibits in Educational & Horticultural Wing, a Welcome Pavilion, and a Garden Shop. In the Butterfly Atrium, you can walk among 500-600 butterflies from around the globe!
Antique Automobile Club of America Museum
Just down the road from the Hersheypark Drive attractions, you’ll find a world-class automotive experience for the whole family. The AACA Museum is home to vintage vehicles, cars, buses, and motorcycles from the 1890s through the 1980s. It's been recognized by the Smithsonian as an Affiliate Museum which is an extremely rare honor, speaking well of its pristine collection. There’s something interesting and nostalgic everywhere you look!
If you have your heart set on being Hersheypark HappySM, they’re open rain or shine! Rides like the Carrousel, the Fender Bender, the Kissing TowerSM, and the Whip are under the cover of a roof. Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge®, where you take aim at targets, and the Laff TrakkSM, the nation’s first indoor, spinning, glow-coaster, offer enclosed thrills! There’re also several spots to catch a performance, hundreds of arcade games to test your luck, and delicious food spots with covered seating. Don’t forget about the creature exhibits at ZooAmerica®, included in your Hersheypark® admission. And if the rain doesn’t let up, Hersheypark® issues a Return Visit Voucher when major rides and attractions close for a continuous 60 minutes.
It seems no matter where you are in Hershey, you can see the towering rides at Hersheypark®. From Chocolate Avenue, lined with wrapped and unwrapped Hershey’s Kisses streetlamps, you’ll see how much fun Hershey can be on a rainy day!
The Hershey Story: Museum on Chocolate Avenue
This interactive museum brings the story of Milton S. Hershey to life, from his beginnings as a struggling entrepreneur to his legacy of philanthropy and chocolate. For the kids (and the kid in all of us) the museum has its own Chocolate Lab where visitors can embrace Mr. Hershey’s love for experimentation with unique ingredients and cook up a chocolate creation. If the rainy weather brings a chill, warm up with a sample flight of drinking chocolates from around the world!
Escape Room Hershey and Hershey Biergarten
If you know you’ll be seeing some stormy skies on your getaway, book an adventure ahead of time at Escape Room Hershey to test your family brain power. Each room accommodates 8 players (ages 10 and up) who are locked inside for 60 minutes while they work together to find clues and develop a strategy to open the door. Choose from three themed rooms: Wacky Candy Factory, Mystery In The Theater, or Wizard’s Laboratory.
After you’ve successfully escaped, visit the Hershey Biergarten next door for craft beer on tap, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, and other small bites. Wine and spirits are also available, as are 250 craft beer options in their to-go bottle shop.
Indian Echo Caverns
What better place to escape the raindrops than in the natural underground attraction of Indian Echo Caverns, located three miles west of Hershey. Rain or shine, winter or summer, the temperature inside the caverns is 52 degrees. Take a tour of our region’s own geological wonder to see the rock formations, mineral deposits, and natural lakes of this centuries-old attraction.
As Harrisburg’s hub for arts and culture, Midtown has a lot to see and do! These spots are just a block or two away from each other, an easy mad dash with an umbrella!
This bohemian farm-to-table restaurant, meets brewery, meets art studio in the heart of Harrisburg breathes new life into a former lumber mill. The Millworks has a love for local and sustainable food, sourced from farmers in Central Pennsylvania to bring countryside taste to the city. Their wood-fired oven and sidewalk smoker infuse rich flavor into their menu items. You can cheers a delicious day with a pint of their craft beer. Their beers, like their food, embrace seasonal and local ingredients for one-of-a-kind frothy finds. That’s not all! The Millworks is home to more than 25 art studios and galleries of Central Pennsylvania’s artists, painters, sculptors, potters, and woodworkers.
Broad Street Market
Founded prior to the Civil War, Broad Street Market carries the distinction of the oldest continuously operated market house in the country. This shopping and dining experience is open Thursday through Saturday and features more than 40 vendors offering locally-grown and organic fruits and vegetables, meats, and warm bakery items. When your mouth is watering, enjoy prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals and snacks like soups, sandwiches, ice cream, soft pretzels, and craft beer.
Midtown Scholar Bookstore & Café
The shelves at Midtown Scholar Bookstore hold more than 200,000 new, used, and rare texts, a treasure trove for booklovers and likers. Grab a cup of fair trade coffee or tea from the in-store café to keep you warm while you get lost in the aisles. Check their events calendar because they frequently host book signings, poetry readings, and performances by local musicians.
Zeroday Brewing Company
What’s a Zeroday? For through-hikers on multi-week or month treks, this is zero-miles day for relaxation and recovery. We say this is perfect for a traveler like yourself who’s slowed down by the rain and has a chance to sip and savor new flavors! Zeroday Brewing Company’s clean, balanced ales and lagers come with their own personalities and unique ingredients like Dolce Vita – a Chocolate Hazelnut Sweet Stout that likes Italian films and shoe shopping - or Mango Hab – a pale ale infused with mango and habañero that enjoys rollercoasters and jam bands.
You might have already associated rainy days with movies, but we guarantee your usual viewing experience will be better at Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg’s independent art house theater. Showing indie and foreign films, it’s a callback to theaters of old while celebrating the art of film!
Susquehanna Art Museum
You don’t have to be a fine art connoisseur to appreciate the imagination in the national and international artist creations. Spend a few rainy day hours and get inspired in the Susquehanna Art Museum, with its extraordinary paintings, photography, and sculptures in rotating exhibits.
Discover & Learn in Harrisburg
You’ll forget about the rain delay while you and the kids are learning new things in Harrisburg—everything from history to science!
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Whether you’re a Pennsylvania native or one of our neighbors, you’ll love exploring the history of the commonwealth at the State Museum of Pennsylvania! Learn about our area’s wildlife, like bears, elk, and eagles, or discover the dinosaurs that once roamed our region! The Museum also has a planetarium for supreme star gazing and millions of artifacts in its themed exhibits, including Pennsylvania’s Native Americans, the Civil War, and famous Pennsylvanians.
The State Capitol
You probably know the Pennsylvania State Capitol building as the center of Commonwealth politics, but it’s also renowned for its splendor, art, and history. Proclaimed as one of the beautiful in the nation, the Capitol features paintings, stained glass and furnishings commissioned by some of the best artisans of the early 20th century. Stop by the Welcome Center for interactive exhibits before you take a tour of this “palace of art.”
Harsco Science Center at the Whitaker Center
The Harsco Science Center at the Whitaker Center is hands down the best place for hands-on learning! Perform science experiments, test the laws of physics, and learn about the world around you. Discover KidsPlace, a pint-sized cityscape for kids under 5, and walk through The Carnival of Health, 2,200 square feet dedicated to the wonders of the human body, plus hours of stimulating exhibits that make learning incredibly entertaining!
National Civil War Museum
Even if you know the history, there’s always something else to learn about this turbulent time in our nation’s history, as told from both sides of the battlefield. The National Civil War Museum has two floors of exhibits including thousands of three-dimensional relics like uniforms, weapons, and personal effects of the fallen soldiers.
Carlisle Sports Emporium
If you’ve got active kids whose energy gets bottled up indoors, take a quick ride to Carlisle Sports Emporium for all-weather fun. It’s on in the two-story Lasertron Laser Tag arena, a physical and mental challenge for kids (ages 7+) and adults. Feel the need for speed on their indoor go-kart track, including Rookie Karts for smaller kids! With more than 100 arcade games, a roller skating rink, and a snack bar, time will fly when you’re having so much fun.
With rainy day activities like these, you might just find yourself crossing your fingers for inclement weather!
BONUS: All of these activities are open year-round!