This season, The Sweetest Place on Earth added something much darker than past years.
Dark Nights Haunted Houses, a four-acre enhancement of Dark Nights represents the largest
investment to date for a seasonal event, providing an integrated thrill experiences guests can only
find in Hersheypark.
I had the privilege of previewing the Halloween fun with my family and I am excited to share
that we left with bags full of candy and smiles on our faces.
Dark Nights, features three scare zones and four haunted houses along with Treatville. My husband and I arrived at 5 p.m. traveling with my two daughters ages six and four and my six month old son. Arriving prior to dark but when the sun was beginning to set allowed us to enjoy some of the children’s rides before things got spooky at 6 p.m.
The scare zones feature smoke billowing throughout the area setting the ominous ambiance.
Actors in theatrical make-up and clothing attire walked around the scare zones; these include zombies, monsters, and witches.
The actors mostly left my children alone but were more than happy to pose for a scary photo.
They were scaring some of the older guests walking through the area and put on a terrific
The haunted houses featured more characters, and seemed well thought-out in design and
decorations that accompanied each theme.
The four year old opted out of the haunted houses, but my big six year old handled all the houses and enjoyed them.
Hersheypark did an excellent job of combining the scare factor while keeping things family
friendly and catering to a wide age range of children.
The staff and personnel also all seem well trained and aware of the appropriate amount of fright
for small children versus teenagers.
There were several security guards patrolling all over the park including inside the haunted houses.
My family’s favorite part of Dark Nights is Treatville. It is a winding trick-or-treat trail
throughout the closed water park. A staff member provides trick-or-treat bags and there are 10
themed candy stops, and each child receives 2 pieces of candy at each stop.
There are plenty of fun photo opportunities along the way and the staff keep the kids moving
The hardest part of Treatville is getting my 4 year old through the walk without sitting down to
eat each piece of candy after every stop.
Continuing with the Halloween theme, Hershey has some unique food and drink offerings we
were able to sample.
An adult beverage of cranberry juice and fireball was surprisingly delicious and served in a
glowing themed souvenir cup.
A pulled pork slider on a black brioche bun was our favorite, the toxic mac-n-cheese was a miss.
I would have liked to have seen a children’s themed beverage, and children’s food item.
Lastly at 8:30 p.m., 30 minutes prior to close, there is an epic glowing dance party with spooky
actors and traditional Hershey characters near the entrance of the park under the old carousel
dome. While my 4 year old unfortunately snoozed away in the stroller, our big 6 year old danced
her heart out to Halloween classics along with Miss Hershey Kiss, her favorite character. A perfect way to end a fun, family outing for Halloween.
A few things worth mentioning, Hershey has laid out the scare zones and haunted houses to be
avoidable so you can still enjoy other aspects of the park without having to encounter smoke/
actors if you choose, I recommend downloading the app so you can properly plan your route.
The smoke was a bit much for pushing around a stroller, I felt like the smoke was getting in their
eyes. The overall theatrics and lights are phenomenal, the coasters and rides are all lit up, the
entrances to the scare zones reminded me of a Vegas strip with flashing lights, smoke and fire.
My kids walked around starry eyed. Lastly in order to enter the haunted houses you must
purchase an additional wristband, it is not included in regular admission. Cost for admission
begins at $49.45 and the Dark Nights add on costs $24.95.
Hersheypark Halloween has something for everyone, from trick-or-treating for children 12 and
under until 8 p.m. and Hershey Character Glow Dance Parties to lights-out coaster rides and new
scare zones for thrill-seekers.