Sunday, April 10, 2016

What is The Hershey Story Museum? A Jersey Momma Review

I am a huge fan of Hershey.  It's no secret that I love Hershey Park and the Hershey Lodge. I am a frequent guest of The Hotel Hershey, and Hershey Gardens is one of my favorite places. In fact, out of all of our trips to Hershey (and there have been many) one of the only places I hadn't visited was The Hershey Story Museum.  Until now! Come visit with me!



Oh, and just a disclaimer here - this is not a sponsored post. I was not compensated in any way by the museum or any of the other Hershey properties. I just really, really like Hershey and their chocolate.



What is The Hershey Story Museum?

The Hershey Story is a museum that details exactly that- the life and times of Milton S. Hershey, and the history of Hershey, Pennsylvania.  There are interactive exhibits, antiques and artifacts to see, as well as chocolate tastings, a chocolate lab, kid friendly activities and more!


Where is The Hershey Story Museum?

The Hershey Story Museum is located right on Chocolate Avenue (yes, there is such a place!) in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  There is free parking in the garage right behind the museum. Yay for free parking!  Chocolate Avenue is a neat place to see, as the streets really are lined with Hershey Kiss shaped lights.


How Much are Tickets for the Hershey Story Museum?

If you are staying at the Hotel Hershey or Hershey Lodge, they usually give you complimentary passes to the museum (which is how we visited).  Otherwise, the fees vary based on what you decide to do there.  Basic admission to the museum (as of the publication date of this entry) is $10.00 per adult and $7.50 for kids ages 3 and up.  There are discounts for military personnel and seniors (ages 62 and up). There are also all kinds of combo packages you can buy, and different fees for different activities in the museum, so be sure to check their admission page for exact information.


What Will I See at The Hershey Story Museum?

The Hershey Story Museum is a small museum and we were able to visit on our way home after a two day trip to Hershey. There is a little cafe on the lower level called The Pantry Cafe, and the coffee in there smelled delicious! We didn't stay to eat, but you can find details about the cafe here.


Also at the entry level was a computerized machine where we designed our own Xploroscope Passports.  It prints out a cute little ticket with your picture on it that you can keep as a souvenir.  Don't miss the beautiful painted mural of Milton Hershey on the wall.  If you pose just the right way, it looks like he's talking to you.


Your basic admission to the museum allows you to explore all of their interactive exhibits about Milton Hershey's life. They give the kids a little I-Spy card (which my son loved) to help them spot things around the museum. When they've found everything, they can bring it back to an attendant for a special sticker.  You basically wind yourself through different rooms that tell about Milton Hershey's life. His story is really fascinating, and we loved seeing all of the things from his life and business.

Inside The Hershey Story Museum
Relics from The Hershey Story Museum

There are also all kinds of neat facts about the history of the town of Hershey. I especially loved seeing all of the old outfits and uniform of Hershey team members, engineers, park workers and more. We also enjoyed playing with the headline machine, which superimposed our photos onto an old fashioned newspaper. We were able to email the images to ourselves and then save the image as a JPEG when we got home.

The Jersey Momma made the paper! Well, I pretended to, anyway!

Special Exhibits

The Hershey Story Museum has changing special exhibits. While we were there during the summer, they had a fun exhibit all about being a worker at the Hershey Factory in the early 1900's. An attendant hands you a card that you must stamp at each working location, and then return to him to 'punch out,' and see what job he will 'hire' you for. I was hired for the Wrapping Department. My pay at the time would have been 10 cents per 5 pound box of wrapped Kisses!  Don't I look like I'm ready to work on the line?


Weighing Hershey Kisses for packaging!
An old-fashioned Hershey Kiss making machine!
My New Worker Training Card and Xploroscope Ticket from The Hershey Story Museum.

Chocolate Lab and Chocolate Tastings

For a small added fee you can participate in the museum's Chocolate Lab, where kids can experiment with hands-on chocolate creations. This is a 45 minute family activity that is led by museum personnel. We chose to skip this because we only had a short time at the museum and we didn't think The Jersey Momma's Boy could sit through a 45 minute session (he is 6). If you plan on doing the lab, be sure to read all of their regulations. Children under 4 are not permitted, and children under 13 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Also for an additional fee is their Chocolate Tasting session. There are different options for purchase and different items the kids (and adults!) can taste, so check their page or call the museum for more details. We chose to skip this, too, only because we had just come from Chocolate World, where we had all consumed more than our share of chocolate for the day!

Souvenir Shop

As always, I loved the little souvenir shop. They had plenty of cute items and many chocolate treats for sale. I somehow found a Reeses product that I did not see at Chocolate World, so I was excited to purchase that. They also had scented pens, shirts, jewelry, books and more.

Jersey Momma Tips

-sometimes it's hard to get the little ones to really appreciate artifacts and antiques at museums. The I-Spy booklet really helped to keep them involved, so I encourage you to use it with your kids while you're there! There are also plenty of buttons for them to push and things for them to watch and listen to along the way.

-food and drinks are not permitted in the museum, but the cafe was clean and cute and had lunch offerings, too.

-you usually receive complimentary museum passes when staying at one of the Hershey hotels, so be sure to take advantage of it!

-the museum is not far from other areas of town, so you could potentially make a day of it and go shopping at the outlets or go to other areas of Hershey if you desired.

-you can purchase a ticket package for both the museum and Hershey Gardens to save some money!

-the  museum holds events, holiday specials, and fun activities throughout the year. Check back often with them to see what's new!

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