You would think someone like me, a person prone to fantastic moments of anxiety and someone who loves to be in control, would shy away from surprises. And yet I kind of LOVE them – just as long as I am the one making them happen. (Not so much when I am the one being surprised. No thank you!)

A few times I have surprised W with picking him up from school. He expects to go to after care, but on a few magical occasions I have been waiting for him on the front steps. There is nothing quite like the slow realization smile on his face. I’ve also surprised him with detours. We’ve been out running errands and then, “surprise” we find ourselves at the movie theatre JUST in time to see a movie he has been wanting to see.

When Pepsi asked if I wanted to go to the summer opening of Hersheypark I knew immediately that it would make for a fun surprise for W. Just being asked was a HUGE surprise for me. Telling my mom was also a fun surprise. We seemingly aren’t a typical or average kind of family, and yet we are way more normal than you might realize. There are a LOT of multigenerational families out there like us. There are a lot of sharing of homes and intertwining. I grew up with very involved grandparents, and my son is having the same experience.

According to data from Pew, over 18% of Americans live in multi-generational homes. That’s 57 million of us! And when it comes to taking vacations, guess what? We all go together. Ok, not all 57 million of us together, but, well, you know what I mean!

Hersheypark is a great place for families – of all ages – to enjoy fun and sweetness at their own pace. We went over Memorial Day weekend, which was the summer season opening, and never got too overwhelmed with long lines.

candysize hersheypark

Things To Know About Hersheypark

The park is large, so wear your walking shoes and comfortable clothes.
You can rent a wheelchair at the front of the gate if necessary. There are several hills and inclines within the park that may make pushing a wheelchair difficult, but if you have someone in your family who struggles with walking this could be something to look into. My mother uses a cane to help with her mobility and she may bring a chair should we go again.
There are several shady spots throughout the park, but sometimes you may find yourself in a line without shade. Consider bringing a hat to protect your face and certainly slather on the sunscreen before you come and while you are at the park.
When you arrive at the park look for the child finder booth and fill out the wristlets for your child. It’s a great moment to remind your family what to do just in case you get separated.
Kids can get officially “candy sized” when they enter the park. This makes things so simple once you realize all of the rides have signs that correspond with the candy. W was *this close* to being Twizzler sized, but he was still thrilled to have been sized a Hershey and given a wrist band with his ride size on it.
Immediately purchase a park souvenir cup. These can be refilled all summer for only 99 cents! There is nothing quite as lovely as getting that mid-day Tropicana pink lemonade refill.
There are benches well placed in the park and we took advantage of them to rest when needed.
Every bathroom we went in was clean and easy to locate. I didn’t see a family bathroom, but I never have a problem taking W into the restroom with me.
There is free wi-fi AND if you tag your favorite photos and share them online, there is a good chance Hersheypark will share your photo.

STAY TUNED: Later this week I’ll have details about how you and your family can win passes to Hersheypark!

This post is made possible by support from #PepsiAtThePark. All opinions are my own.