Exploring the Historic Hershey Gardens Near Hersheypark

Exploring Hershey Gardens and Butterfly Atrium in Dauphin County Pennsylvania

Hershey Gardens opened in 1937, with Milton Hershey’s simple request to “create a nice garden of roses.”

The origins of Hershey Gardens in Hershey Pennsylvania.
The origins of Hershey Gardens.

That “small” rose garden has blossomed into 23 acres of themed gardens, statues, ponds, and botanical beauty.

Yellow roses in the historic Hershey Rose Garden.
Yellow roses in the historic Hershey Rose Garden.

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.

View of Hersheypark from the Hershey Gardens parking lot.
View of Hersheypark from the Hershey Gardens parking lot.

Visiting Hershey Gardens

Hershey Gardens is open daily, year ’round, including Saturdays and Sundays.

Hershey Gardens and Butterfly Atrium is located directly across the street from Hersehypark.
Hershey Gardens and Butterfly Atrium is open year ’round.

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.

The Fragrance Garden at Hershey Gardens.
The Fragrance Garden.

Tours begin at the Conservatory, a beautiful structure opened in 2016, where you purchase your admission ticket.

Swan Lake and the Conservatory at Hershey Gardens.
Swan Lake and the Conservatory.

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 

A heart-shaped fountain in the Children's Garden at Hershey Gardens.
A heart-shaped fountain in the Children’s Garden.

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.

A garden statue surrounded by colorful blooms. at Hershey Gardens
A garden statue surrounded by colorful blooms in the historic Hershey Rose Garden.

The theme gardens and Children’s Garden are located along a roughly one-mile long walking path that meanders through the grounds.

Map of Hershey Gardens.
Map of Hershey Gardens.

The Butterfly Atrium is located inside the Conservatory.

The Butterfly Atrium at Hershey Gardens is one of only 25 indoor, tropical butterfly atriums in the United States.
The Butterfly Atrium is one of only 25 indoor tropical butterfly atriums in the United States.

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 historic Hershey Rose Garden is composed of 3,000 roses representing 115 varieties.
The historic Hershey Rose Garden is composed of 3,000 roses representing 115 varieties.

The Japanese Garden at Hershey Gardens is my personal favorite theme garden; it features giant sequoias, Dawn Redwood trees, and Japanese maples.

The Japanese Garden at Hershey Gardens garden features giant sequoias, Dawn Redwood trees, and Japanese maples.
The Japanese Garden 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.

A shaded trellis at Hershey Gardens in Dauphin County Pennsylvania.
A shaded trellis and bench along the walkway through the gardens.

This labyrinth near the Rock Garden was another highlight of our visit to Hershey Gardens.

A labyrinth at Hershey Gardens.
A labyrinth near the Rock Garden.

Labyrinths have been used historically for private meditation, and became a popular garden feature during the Renaissance.

Sign next to the labyrinth at Hershey Gardens.
Sign next to the labyrinth.

The Children’s Garden

The Children’s Garden at Hershey Gardens is a colorful, whimsical landscape meant to appeal to the youngest of visitors.

Entrance to the Children's Garden at Hershey Gardens.
Entrance to the Children’s Garden.

A butterfly-shaped butterfly garden was one of the highlights for my daughter and I.

The Butterfly Garden in the Children's Garden is literally shaped like a butterfly.
The Butterfly Garden in the Children’s Garden is literally shaped like a butterfly.

A cow statue in the gardens represents the importance of fresh milk in the making of Hershey’s Chocolate.

The cow in the Children's Garden represents the importance of fresh milk in the making of Hershey's Chocolate.
The cow in the Children’s Garden 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 Children's Garden contains 32 themed mini-gardens along its meandering walkways and paths.
The Children’s Garden contains 32 themed mini-gardens along its meandering walkways and paths.

The Butterfly Atrium

The Butterfly Atrium features 500-600 butterflies of over 40 varieties cohabitating in a jungle-like atmosphere of trees and shrubs.

The Butterfly Atrium at Hershey Gardens offers visitors a year round tropical treat.
The Butterfly Atrium is maintained at 83 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 percent humidity year ’round.

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.

One of hundreds of butterflies in the Butterfly Atrium at Hershey Gardens.
One of hundreds of butterflies in the Butterfly Atrium.

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.

Butterfly chrysalises waiting to hatch at the Butterfly Atrium at Hershey Gardens.
Butterfly chrysalises waiting to hatch.

The Butterfly Atrium was my daughter’s favorite part of Hershey Gardens, but visitors of all ages will find it equally fascinating.

Hershey Gardens’ Butterfly Atrium is home to dozens of rare butterflies from South and Central America, Africa and Asia.
The Butterfly Atrium is home to dozens of rare butterflies from South and Central America, Africa and Asia.

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.

The Rose Compass near the entrance to the Children's Garden at Hershey Gardens.
The Rose Compass near the entrance to the Children’s Garden.

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!

Fountain in Swan Lake with the Hotel Hershey in the background.
Fountain in Swan Lake, with the Hotel Hershey in the background.

Nearby Attractions

Indian Echo Caverns is a beautiful “show cave” located 3 miles west of Hershey in Dauphin County.

Exploring a passageway inside Indian Echo Caverns near Hershey Pennsylvania.
Exploring a passageway inside Indian Echo Caverns.

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.

A beautiful pool of water inside Indian Echo Caverns.
A beautiful pool of water inside the caverns.

The Sunken Gardens at Mount Assisi are part of the beautifully manicured grounds of the Saint Francis Friary in Cambria County.

Exploring the Sunken Gardens at Mount Assisi in Cambria County PA.
The Sunken Gardens at Mount Assisi.

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 former summer estate of Charles M. Schwab, located on a hill above the Sunken Gardens.
The former summer estate of Charles M. Schwab, located on a hill above the Sunken Gardens.

The Arboretum at Penn State is a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Penn State’s main campus in State College.

Springtime blooms near the Greenhouse at the Penn State Arboretum.
Springtime blooms near the Greenhouse at the Penn State Arboretum.

Admission to the Arboretum at Penn State is free, parking costs $1.00 an hour.

The fountain at the Penn State Arboretum.
The fountain at the Penn State Arboretum.

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Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.