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Thursday, December 08, 2022
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After Labor Day ends, Hersheypark is closed to the general public on weekdays and is open exclusively on weekends. The one exception is a private special event for Jews over Chol Hamoed Sukkot. The event has been organized each year, for the past 26 years, by Sally Gerstein. Thousands of Jews flock to Hersheypark each Sukkot to ride the attractions and visit the beautiful park, all the while being able to enhance their Yiddishkeit in a kosher, family-friendly environment.

The funds generated from the event help build and sustain the mikvah in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and have helped put Lancaster on the map, not only as a Jewish community but as a tourist destination, too. During Sukkot, Congregation Degel Israel has multiple minyanim every day for visitors staying in the area.

At the park, there are spaces and times set aside for Mincha services. There are many Jews who carry around a lulav and etrog, offering them to every Jew to ensure that they have the opportunity to fulfill their mitzvah. Only Jewish music is played throughout the park for the day to amplify the festive atmosphere. On-site, there are two large sukkot by the Catering Area, which are inspected and approved by the Star-K.

Because the weather is such an important factor, you can now purchase fully refundable “no questions asked” tickets for an additional cost. This enables people to purchase tickets in advance and have peace of mind knowing that if something comes up, they can get their money back. Please visit www.hersheyparksukkot.com  for more details to purchase both regular and refundable tickets. The online ticket sales end after October 6, however, additional tickets will be available at the gate at a higher cost.

Kosher Food:

The sukkot in the park are located at the Fahrenheit Catering Area next to the Fahrenheit ride. The area is open from 11 a.m-5:30 p.m. The Fahrenheit Catering Area, Keep It Kosher Food Truck, Kettle Corn Popcorn, Rita’s, Dippin’ Dots and Slushie locations are all open for the day and under Star-K supervision. (Side note: Please be aware that the park is cashless and its policy is to not allow any food in the park.)

The menu at Fahrenheit Catering includes entrees of either hot dogs ($7.08), chicken nuggets ($10.45), hamburgers ($10.45), vegan burgers ($10.45), corn dogs ($10.45), chicken tender schnitzel sub ($11.56), three-meat deli sub ($11.56), and more. The Kids’ meal includes a meal, potato chips, and a soda ($10.33). There are also side dishes such as potato knishes ($4.67), fruit salad ($3.95), and soft pretzels ($3.95). All rolls/buns are pas Yisroel and there are specific yoshon products, too.

Additionally, the Keep It Kosher Food Truck by Midway America Region serves their famous Curly Fries. For ice cream lovers, there are stands such as Rita’s, Dippin’ Dots, and slushies sold at Pierside Slush and Skyrush Slush. Also, the majority of Hershey’s Candy is kosher under the OU, so you can eat sweets that you find in the gift shops!

Lodging: Link: https://store11043141.ecwid.com/Lodging-c125247041 (Note - some deals might have expired and some hotels might be full. Please call in advance to confirm to see if each deal is applicable.)

For those looking to splurge a little and make a vacation out of their trip to Hershey, there are phenomenal options to choose from. There are four hotels offering special rates and designated areas for pop-up sukkot. Please see the website for more information, www.hersheyparksukkot.com.

By Zachary Greenberg 

Hershey Lodge: 4-star hotel

Address: 325 University Dr, Hershey, PA 17033

Complimentary shuttle to the park

Google review stars: 4.4 stars

Room Rates: Two queens: $179 + 11% tax

Amenities:

Designated area for public travel sukkah outside

Refrigerator, coffee maker, flat-screen TV, free wi-fi in every room

Indoor waterworks with numerous water attractions, outdoor pool

Fitness center

Arcade

Phone: (855) 729-3108

 

Comfort Inn: 2-star hotel

Address: 1200 Mae St., Hummelstown, PA 17036

Google review stars: 3.9 stars

5 minutes from Hershey

Room Rates*: Standard two queens: $109 + tax, with additional sofa bed: $129 + tax

Amenities:

Designated area for travel sukkah

Refrigerator in every room

Phone: (717) 464-2711. *Ask for the Sukkot event rate

 

DoubleTree by Hilton: 3-star hotel

Address: 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster, PA 17602

Google review stars: 4.4 stars

Room Rates: Two queens: $179 + tax, with additional sofa bed: $189 + tax; King suite with sofa bed: $209 + tax

Amenities:

Breakfast is included for two adults and two children per room

Designated area for travel sukkah

Minyan on premises

Separate swim times for men and women

Pool with waterslide

Fitness room

Phone: (717) 464-2711

Zack’s Personal Note: I stayed at the DoubleTree with my family in 2018 and had an amazing time. There was a nourishing breakfast that we ate in the sukkah, and the workout room was great. The hotel is by a golf course, which made for a great running trail, too. Best of all, there’s a giant water slide in the pool area which my brother Gabe and I went down multiple times!

Hilton Garden Inn: 3-star hotel

Address: 550 East Main Street Hummelstown, PA 17036

Google review stars: 4.0 stars

Room Rates: Two queens: $119 + 11% tax

Amenities:

Designated area for travel sukkah

Refrigerator, Microwaves, Keurigs, 42-inch TV, Free Wi-Fi

Indoor pool and whirlpool

Fitness Center

Phone: (800) 445-8667 SRP. Code: SUKKOT

Other Activities NearbyOther Activities NearbyThis Sukkot, Hersheypark is open on Thursday, October 13 of Chol Hamoed, the last weekday it will be open for the season. For those wanting to plan a Sukkot vacation and do something fun on Wednesday or Friday, there are other activities nearby. (If you are going to be in New Jersey, NCSY New Jersey is running an awesome event at Six Flags Great Adventure on Wednesday, October 12, so be sure to go to that!) 

 

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