Family Fun & Kid Attractions

Whitaker Center Indoor Activities

There’s a reason to visit us every season, and winter is no exception! The Hershey Harrisburg Region has year-round family fun and some of the best kid attractions in PA. From museums and underground caves to STEM labs and chocolate tastings, there’s plenty to do to fill your days! You’re just a short ride away from family fun!

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!

We love our chocolate around here, and we bet you do, too! Embrace your love of the sweet stuff by learning more about how chocolate is made and how the town of Hershey came to be.

Start your sweet journey at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction, open daily, year-round for your chocolate tasting pleasure. It’s free to take the Chocolate Tour ride where you’ll discover how chocolate’s made, from bean to bar. Innovate and create your own candy bar or help the Hershey’s Characters solve a mystery at the 4D Chocolate Movie. See, touch, hear, smell, and, of course, taste chocolate at their newest attraction: Hershey’s Unwrapped! Shop for hard-to-find confections and Hershey’s branded gifts in Hershey’s Largest Candy Store or take a trolley ride around historic Hershey. Don’t forget to swing by the Bakery featuring mammoth cupcakes, cookies, and sweets inspired by Hershey’s Chocolate!

You’ve tried his chocolate, but how much do you know about the man behind the candy bar? Milton S. Hershey wasn’t just a brilliant chocolatier. Be inspired by Mr. Hershey’s sweet history at The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue, as told through interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, films, and more. Sip on warm drinking chocolates from around the world or try your hand as an apprentice chocolate maker in the Chocolate Lab!

The Hershey Story Museum

The State Museum display in Harrisburg

Science & History in Harrisburg

You might not realize it, but Harrisburg is a museum destination! From dinosaurs and fire trucks to Native American History and Civil War stories, there’s a day’s worth of exhibits to explore.

Start at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the official museum of the Commonwealth, that has a little something for every interest. Walk among Pennsylvania-natives, bear, elk, and deer, or the creatures of centuries past like dinosaurs and a mastodon. Cruise through space in the Planetarium or dig down deep into archaeology!

There’s even more to discover at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. Drop in on a STEM Workshop, learn about weather in Forces of Nature, or uncover secrets about your own body at the Carnival of Health. Kids five and under can explore a tot-sized city, perform on the Storybook Stage, and more!

Nature & Natural Wonders

When you picture visiting a zoo, you probably aren’t thinking of it with snow on the ground. In fact, the animals at ZooAmerica® North American Wildlife Park are most active in cooler temperatures, and you’ll find fewer crowds around the exhibits! ZooAmerica is home to more than 200 friendly creatures, from the elk, bears, and wolves equipped to live outdoors in the winter to the lizards and alligators enjoying their temperature-controlled habitats. If you’ve got an animal lover and budding zoologist in the family, upgrade your visit to include a behind the scenes tour. You can get up close to a bear, give an otter a snack, hold a bird of prey, or touch a scaly reptile! ZooAmerica offers After Hours and Early Bird Tours, as well as Photography Tours.

Bundle up and take a guided tour of Wolf Sanctuary of PA, an 80-acre refuge for gray wolves and wolf-dogs! All proceeds from their tours and events go directly toward helping the wolves. Public tours are offered year-round Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on weekends and usually last about 1-1.5 hours. They also hold special fundraiser events every Full Moon with live entertainment and self-guided tours.

When the weather is frightful, head underground! Take a tour of the underground natural wonder that is Indian Echo Caverns, which maintains a consistent 52°F all year round. The impressive rock formations, cavernous rooms, and peaceful underground lake are a million years in the making! Learn how Native American Indians and European explorers used the caverns and walk the path of history.

Echo Dell Caverns

PA State Capital Tour

Free Things to Do This Winter

Who doesn’t love a few freebies? Explore the beautiful State Capitol in Harrisburg on a free guided or self-guided tour. Take a brisk walk around Wildwood Park and pop into the Olewine Nature Center to explore the exhibits on plants, animals, and conservation of natural resources. There’s no charge to view the spectacular art inside the galleries of the Art Association of Harrisburg and The Millworks’ artist studios! Cozy up with a book at Midtown Scholar Bookstore & Café. Among their collection of new, used, and rare texts, their kid’s section includes books for every age with tables and cushions to kick back and read.