Hershey Gardens – Hershey PA

RATING: ♦♦♦♦♦

It was the last day of our week stay in Hershey. Over the past few days, we had gone to Chocolate World (not impressed) and to the third annual Choctober Fest (overly crowded and weather was not pleasant). We wanted to do something fun before we left the area. It was a beautiful fall day, crisp and cool. What better time for a visit to Hershey Gardens and Butterfly House?

Hershey Gardens is a 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum built on a hill overlooking Hershey Park. Mr. Hershey built it as a gift for the community and to honor his wife. The gardens first opened to the public in 1937 as a rose garden occupying 3.5 acres. More gardens were added over the next few years, and by 1941 the gardens had been enlarged to their current size. In 1998 the Butterfly House opened.

We started our visit in the Butterfly House which was wonderful! The butterflies were landing everywhere including an especially stunning one on on David’s hat. Butterflies live only a couple of weeks, so the supply is constantly being replenished. The butterflies come to Hershey in chrysalid form, and are ordered mostly from small family farms that raise butterflies in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. They are kept in a chrysalis cabinet until they emerge and are released into the Atrium.

We then went outside to the gardens which are beautiful and very well maintained. They were planned so there would be color and interesting plants in every season. In addition to the fall blooming perennials and brilliant mums, we enjoyed a special bonsai exhibit that was on display while we were there.

It was a nice way to finish our stay in Hershey.

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