So you’ve planned a spectacular getaway, but it looks like bad weather is in the forecast! Thankfully we have plenty of indoor, rainy day activities that’ll make you and the family see rainbows instead of cloudy skies. Try out one of these itineraries, packed with museums, galleries, tours, and 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!
Calling all confectionary lovers, rain can’t dampen the spirit for a totally unique and dare we say SWEET adventure! Our Sweet Treat Trail is perfect for a rainy day pick me up with stops to shop and treats to tempt throughout the Hershey and Harrisburg region! Pop in to small, family-owned bakeries, try locally churned ice cream in creative flavors, and delight in chocolate-covered EVERYTHING (Homemade marshmallows! Potato Chips! Even Bacon!)
It’s all chocolate, all the time at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hershey’s Chocolate Tour shows guests how they make their famous milk chocolate, from cocoa bean to candy wrapper. There's no shortage of chocolate samples and tastings, so indulge in Hershey's Unwrapped, a chocolate tasting journey, or Create Your Own Candy Bar activity! The whole family can enjoy the 4D Chocolate Movie, featuring stunning digital animation, special effects, and more than 100 story variations.
All aboard Hershey Trolley Works for a sightseeing tour around the historic Hershey inside a vintage trolley. Your informative tour guide will cover the story of Milton Hershey, point out notable town landmarks, and provide a couple chocolate samples! Book the Original or Historical Trolley Tour, or look into a Seasonal Tour!
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, Adidas and Gap Outlet. You’ll only get wet when you run your shopping bags to the car so you can go back for more!
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 the Educational & Horticultural Wing, a Welcome Pavilion, and a Garden Shop. In the Butterfly Atrium, walk among 500-600 tropical butterflies from around the globe! The beautiful four-star, four-diamond Hotel Hershey® is a must-see, whether you’re a guest or just taking shelter from the rain! Indulge in a delicious meal, decadent dessert, or a chocolate martini at one of their restaurants and bars. Stroll through The Shops At The Hotel Hershey®, which offer everything from Hershey-branded apparel and gifts to chocolate diamonds.
Just down the road from the Hersheypark Drive attractions, you’ll find a world-class automotive experience for the whole family. AACA Museum, Inc. 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, an extremely rare honor. There’s something interesting and nostalgic everywhere you look!
The Hershey Story: Museum on Chocolate Avenue 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 to concoct a chocolate creation. Learn the nuances of chocolate tasting with a flight of drinking chocolates from around the world.
What better place to escape the raindrops than inside the natural underground wonder, Indian Echo Caverns, located three miles west of Hershey. Rain or shine, winter or summer, the temperature inside the caverns is always 52 degrees. On a guided tour, see the rock formations, mineral deposits, and natural lakes of this centuries-old attraction, and learn about its fascinating history.
Just a few miles down the road from the Hershey attractions lies Hummelstown, a quintessential and charming small town filled. You could spend a couple of hours exploring these Mom & Pop shops. Rhoads Hallmark & Gift Shop has 15,000 square feet and two floors of products including home decor, fashion, jewelry, candles, pantry goods, gifts, books, and greeting cards. Toys on the Square features thousands of kids' products including games, stuffed animals, books, and screen-free toys that encourage creative play! Craving something sweet? Check out the selected of fresh baked goods at Little Essie Mae’s Sweet Shoppe on Main Street, or visit the mom and pop Chocolates By Tina Marie which creates and sell small batch artisan chocolates.
In Hershey, you’ll find Tröegs, one of the top ten breweries in the nation! The Tasting Room has a mouthwatering snack bar with creative and seasonal menu items that complement their brews, including a delicious Sunday Brunch. Tröegs is a family-friendly place despite its over-21 drink menu (kids can order their craft root beer), and you're sure to find plenty of families enjoying the laidback atmosphere.
You probably know the Pennsylvania State Capitol as the center of Commonwealth politics, but it’s also renowned for its splendor, art, and history. Proclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the nation, the Capitol in Harrisburg features marvelous murals and paintings, intricate stained glass and furnishings, all commissioned by some of the best artisans of the early 20th century and crafted with priceless materials.
Even if you know the history, there’s always something else to learn about this turbulent time in our nation’s history. The Smithsonian-affiliated 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. The Meet Mr. Lincoln interactive exhibit allows you to pose questions to Honest Abe, and to those who knew him, about the war, politics, slavery, and his presidency.
The Harsco Science Center at the Whitaker Center is hands down the best place for interactive learning! Perform science experiments, test the laws of physics, and learn about the world around you. From KidsPlace, a pint-sized cityscape for kids under 5, to Forces of Nature, a mind-blowing examination of how weather and geology affect planet earth, there is something for curious minds of all ages. In addition, the STEM labs at Whitaker Center include a multitude of activities like coding, robotics, circuitry, and 3D printing to inspire the next generation of engineers!
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. The Market is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.