If the winter chills have caused a little cabin fever, let us give you a few suggestions to coax you out of your recliner! You can still stay warm as you investigate one or more of the myriad of educational museums (this doesn’t mean boring) in South Central Pennsylvania. Here is our quick guide to the top 8 museums near Hershey, PA.
Plan a getaway, and learn about all things chocolate, automotive, fire and police-related, and so much more! Take your time and stay overnight at 1825 Inn; there are activities for both couples and the whole family.
The Hershey Story
63 West Chocolate Avenue, Hershey PA
Hours: Generally 9 am – 5 pm, check website for details
Of course, if you are coming to Hershey, the first thing that comes to mind is probably chocolate. The Hershey Story will not disappoint! Packed with interactive exhibits, you’ll gain insight into how Milton Hershey’s life began in poverty and how he rebounded after numerous failures to revolutionize the production of milk chocolate. Don’t miss the Chocolate Lab with a hands-on experience of chocolate pouring and decorating!
Hershey History Center
40 Northeast Drive, Hershey PA
Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 10 am – 3 pm
There is more to Hershey than just chocolate. The Hershey History Center chronicles life before chocolate poured into the community. You’ll also see an exhibit with the personal artifacts of one of the original “Band of Brothers” members. Plus, the real story is told of the famous Hershey hockey team, the Hershey Bears.
161 Museum Drive, Hershey PA
Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
If you love classic cars and all modes of historic transportation, then make sure to put the AACA (America’s Transportation Experience) on your list! This 71,000 square foot museum displays antique automobiles in unique settings. Take a stroll down memory lane, as the display chronicles 8 decades of motor vehicles from New York to San Francisco. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, AACA also houses both the Museum of Bus Transportation and an extensive collection of Tucker automobiles and memorabilia.
PA State Police Museum
187 Police Academy Dr, Hershey PA
Office Hours: Mondays – Fridays 9 am – 4 pm and Saturdays 10 am – 3 pm
Did you know that the State Police were originally formed in Pennsylvania in 1905 to protect the public from the Great Anthracite Coal Strike? PA’s State Police was the first of its kind in the nation and used as a model for other states. The PA State Police Museum has collected all kinds of artifacts throughout the history of the PA State Police, and they are housed here.
National Civil War Museum
One Lincoln Center at Reservoir Park, Harrisburg PA
Hours: Mondays – Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday, 12 pm – 5 pm, (hours may change seasonally)
The National Civil War Museum is a Smithsonian-affiliated museum with thousands of artifacts of well-known personalities such as Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln. However, the vast majority of the collection relates to average soldiers from both the North and South. Exhibits include the flags of the Civil War, women’s role in the war, artwork of soldiers, and conditions of prisoners of war from both sides.
Susquehanna Art Museum
1401 N. 3rd St, Harrisburg PA
Hours: Wednesdays 10 am – 7 pm, Thursdays – Saturdays 10 am – 5 pm
Sundays 12 pm – 5 pm
The Susquehanna Art Museum is Harrisburg’s only dedicated art museum. It seeks to encourage and inspire all visitors to learn and appreciate any and all art and culture that surrounds them. There are continually changing exhibits, as well as both adult and youth classes.
Doll House Museum
2004 State St, Harrisburg PA
Hours: Open May – October, Wednesdays – Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm
The Harrisburg Doll House Museum has over 5,000 dolls from 1840 until today. Step back in time and walk through not only a life-sized Victorian Doll House but also GI Joe’s, Hot Wheels, and model trains. There is a large collection of Barbie dolls, paper dolls, and Disney characters. Truly something to remind everyone of their childhood.
PA National Fire Museum
1820 N. 4th St, Harrisburg PA
Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm,
Thursdays, 10:30 am – 4 pm, Sundays 1 pm – 4 pm
The PA National Fire Museum is located in a historic 1899 Victorian Fire House. Exhibits focus on the history of the fire service in the United States from the colonial period up to the present. One of the premier exhibits is a working Gamewell alarm system headquarters from Johnstown, PA dating to the 1920s.
Isn’t the number and variety of museums incredible? There are even more listed on our website. So get off the couch, and come visit one or more of the top 8 museums near Hershey, PA! Make it a getaway, and enjoy our down-home atmosphere!