Tuesday, April 3, 2018

AACA Museum Review: Auto Museum Fun for Everyone in Hershey, PA

Wondering if the AACA Auto Museum in Hershey, PA is worth the trip? We've been to Hershey many times and the auto museum was the one place we hadn't visited, but I always wondered if it was worthwhile. I mean, what's there to see at an auto museum, right? Well, I can honestly tell you that we loved it! Read on to see why.



Please note, this is not a sponsored post, just one momma's honest review. 


What is AACA Museum?

AACA stands for Antique Automobile Club of America (but many people ask me, 'have you been to the Hershey Auto Museum?' This is it, folks, the AACA Museum!). They are actually an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. AACA Museum is described as a 'world class automotive experience.' A little blurb from their website states, "Children and adults of all ages can explore numerous vintage vehicle displays and interactive exhibits featuring cars, buses, motorcycles, and other automobiles from the 1890s through the 1980s. The AACA Museum is conveniently located in Hershey, PA and attracts visitors from throughout Harrisburg, Lebanon, Lancaster, and all of Pennsylvania." I would say that sums it up perfectly! But read on to see exactly what you'll find behind the museum's doors.


Where is the AACA Museum?

The AACA Museum is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, just minutes from Hershey Lodge and Hotel Hershey. It's an easy drive from either of the Hershey resorts and Hersheypark. The Hershey Kiss Mobile (pictured below) is outside the building on most days! The Jersey Momma's Boy was very excited to see it, even though it was snowing. It was Spring when we visited, but this was the year that winter did not want to go away!


What Will I See at AACA Museum?

Visiting the museum is a little bit like stepping back in time. There are interactive displays and colorful exhibits with cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles of all shapes and sizes. We loved how they were placed in 'working' settings, such as a vintage gas station or a drive-in theater.




You could actually go inside the miniature gas station and get the gas station bell to ring!


There are permanent exhibits and temporary ones, and we were fortunate to see these cool DeLoreans, waiting for us to head back to the future...


Have you seen the movie, Tucker, starring Jeff Bridges? There was an awesome display of Preston Tucker vehicles, which was really interesting because I had never seen them in person before.


There was a huge miniature train layout downstairs, with little buttons for kids to push to get some of the miniatures moving. The Jersey Momma's Boy was still fascinated by this, even though he's almost double digits in age (gasp!).


One of the coolest thing about the lower lever was the replicated 1950's diner that you could actually step up and walk inside!


As a Jersey girl, I know what diners look like inside, and this one was really authentic. right down to the mini jukeboxes on the counter (I used to love playing #32 in our local diner- can you guess what song it was?).


The museum is much bigger than I thought. The entire lower level was filled with buses and over-sized transportation vehicles (along with that diner)! My son was fascinated that these vehicles were even in the building at all. He kept saying, 'how did they get them in here??' 


 You can even see the bus that was used in the movie Speed! All I kept thinking was, Keanu stood here, Keanu stood here...Sorry, I'm a fan. ;)


Can I Eat at AACA Museum?

There is no cafe or place to dine-in at the AACA Museum, but there is a snack area with vending machines and tables if you want to take a break. There are plenty of local places in Hershey to eat, so if you time your visit right, you can always head off to lunch after your visit. There is an ice cream place diagonally across the street called King Kone Creamery! We didn't stop there, though, since it was snowing while we visited.


How Much Does AACA Museum Cost?

Always call ahead or check their website for most accurate ticket prices, but as of the publication date of this entry, adults were $12.00 and children ages 4-12 were $9.00. Kids 3 and under were free and Seniors (age 61 and up) were $11.00. They also offered a AAA discount when we visited, so have your card handy if you're a member.


AACA Museum Souvenir Shop

I loved the little souvenir shop at the AACA. There were plenty of interesting goodies to purchase at decent prices. There was also a pressed penny machine, which is always a favorite of ours. Check out the cool cardboard cars that you can 'build,' too (if you've ever visited the Chatterbox Diner in NJ, these are the same cardboard cars that they sell their kids' meals in)!


Jersey Momma Tips

-the museum is bigger than it looks (or bigger than we expected?) so I did find that my legs got tired after a while from standing and walking. Wear comfy shoes!

-the museum is stroller and wheelchair friendly

-there are even some fun cars to photograph outside the museum, as well as a little car climbing jungle gym for the kids (if you visit during nice weather, that is)

-plan to spend about an hour to an hour and a half here. There is a lot to see, especially if you're reading the displays or talking to docents

-if you liked this post, be sure to check out my Hershey Insider page, where you can find all of my Hershey review posts in one place!


Check out some of my fun car picks from Amazon! (affiliate links below - sorry, not visible on mobile devices):




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