Hershey Gardens opened in 1937, with Milton Hershey’s simple request to “create a nice garden of roses.”
That “small” rose garden has blossomed into 23 acres of themed gardens, statues, ponds, and botanical beauty.
Located on a hill directly across the road from the entrance to Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens is a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy theme park.
Visiting Hershey Gardens
Hershey Gardens is open daily, year ’round, including Saturdays and Sundays.
The hours do vary slightly by season, and there may be some outdoor closures due to icy conditions in the winter – check the Hershey Gardens OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the latest information on hours/closures before visiting.
Tours begin at the Conservatory, a beautiful structure opened in 2016, where you purchase your admission ticket.
Tickets prices as of 2022 are:
Regular (ages 13-61): $15
Senior (ages 62+): $14
Junior (ages 3-12): $11
Children ages 2 and under – FREE
What You’ll See at the Hershey Gardens
The three main areas of interest, at least from my perspective, are the theme gardens, the Children’s Garden, and the Butterfly Atrium.
The theme gardens and Children’s Garden are located along a roughly one-mile long walking path that meanders through the grounds.
The Butterfly Atrium is located inside the Conservatory.
The Theme Gardens
The historic Hershey Rose Garden features a brilliant assortment of 3,000 roses representing 115 varieties, including a mix of heights, colors and flower forms.
The Japanese Garden at Hershey Gardens is my personal favorite theme garden; it features giant sequoias, Dawn Redwood trees, and Japanese maples.
As you make your way through the various theme gardens, there are shaded spots and benches to rest at along the way.
This labyrinth near the Rock Garden was another highlight of our visit to Hershey Gardens.
Labyrinths have been used historically for private meditation, and became a popular garden feature during the Renaissance.
The Children’s Garden
The Children’s Garden at Hershey Gardens is a colorful, whimsical landscape meant to appeal to the youngest of visitors.
A butterfly-shaped butterfly garden was one of the highlights for my daughter and I.
A cow statue in the gardens represents the importance of fresh milk in the making of Hershey’s Chocolate.
In all, there are 32 themed mini-gardens within the Children’s Garden.
The Butterfly Atrium
The Butterfly Atrium features 500-600 butterflies of over 40 varieties cohabitating in a jungle-like atmosphere of trees and shrubs.
Only one of 25 indoor tropical butterfly atriums in the United States, the Butterfly Atrium is home to rare butterflies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia.
The chrysalises of butterflies from all over the world are shipped by butterfly farmers to Hershey Gardens, and you can watch them hatch in an area at the back of the Butterfly Atrium.
The Butterfly Atrium was my daughter’s favorite part of Hershey Gardens, but visitors of all ages will find it equally fascinating.
Directions to Hershey Gardens
Hershey Gardens is located at 170 Hotel Rd, Hershey, PA 17033, directly in front of the Hotel Hershey, and directly across the street from Hersheypark.
If you’re looking for a relaxing spot to visit during a trip to Hershey (especially in the morning before Hersheypark opens), Hershey Gardens is most certainly a worthwhile destination!
Indian Echo Caverns is a beautiful “show cave” located 3 miles west of Hershey in Dauphin County.
Because the temperature inside the caverns is a constant 52 degrees, this makes Indian Echo Caverns a particularly attractive place to explore on a hot summer day when visiting the Hershey area.
The Sunken Gardens at Mount Assisi are part of the beautifully manicured grounds of the Saint Francis Friary in Cambria County.
Open to the public from dawn until dusk and free of charge, the Sunken Gardens at Mount Assisi are comprised of 3.5 acres of fountains, statues, and gorgeous landscaping, some of which dates back more than 100 years!
The Arboretum at Penn State is a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Penn State’s main campus in State College.
Admission to the Arboretum at Penn State is free, parking costs $1.00 an hour.
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