Families who stay at Hotel Hershey or the Hershey Lodge get free admission to Hershey Gardens. (If you are not a guest of the Hotel or Lodge, prices are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages between 3 and 12.) Most guests tend to skip a visit to the gardens, which is a shame. This was one of my family’s favorite places because of its peacefulness and beauty. Also the arboretum has plenty of places for kids to run. The Children’s Garden has chimes on the floor that children can dance on, and many hidden treasures. One exhibit had a cement tub filled with herbs used to create soaps. Nearby was a clue for children to find a pair of cement slippers that they could try on. The Children’s Garden had many playful areas with objects to climb on. It is also right next to the Butterfly Garden. As I was about to leave, I was stopped by a docent who gently lifted a butterfly that clung to my backpack. The 23-acre botanical garden opened in 1937 also devotes 3.5 acres to a wide array of fragrant roses. From up on a hill in the rose garden, you can see the amusement park down below in the distance.
The shuttle bus drops guests to and from the garden. Or if you choose to stay at another hotel, the drive up the hill from the amusement park is an easy one. If you go, bring food. The gift shop only sells bottle water and ice cream.