When we were in Hershey, Pennsylvania a highlight for me and the kids was to visit The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue. Not only is it a great learning experience but also an interactive fun museum for kids. Plus you can make your own chocolate bar in the Chocolate Lab and taste chocolate in the café.
We started out with the chocolate tasting! Why not, it had been a few hours since we had chocolate and wanted some more.
My husband and I did the Sample Flights of Warm Drinking Chocolates From Around the World. A full flight of 6 was plenty for both my husband and I to sample together. This provides you flavors from around the globe to try including African chocolate flavors and Indonesian chocolate with caramel overtones. The Indonisian chocolate was my favorite! You can see the flavors in more detail here.
The kids had their own tasting. They receive a mug of warm milk and can use a chocolate stirrer to mix in and drink.
Kids are given two chocolate stirrers that can be milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. They can either use them both like my kids did or take one home and use one in the milk. The kids approved!
From here we stayed on the 1st floor and went to the special exhibit called Chocolate Workers Wanted. In this area you learn about the process of how chocolate was made and packaged and go around with a card to be stamped as you go through each station. At the end you get to pick which job you would like most and you are given the rate you would be paid and details about the job.
Look at all those Hershey's Kisses!
Here is Lauren hard at work. Get going Lauren, those chocolate bars are not going to make themselves. She is experiencing what workers would do between 1905 and 1925.
Get weighing kids!
Packaging up the Hershey's Kisses.
Lauren that dress suits you.
Next we headed upstairs where many permanent exhibits are. The Museum Experience features 10,500 square feet of exhibits with five themes. Failures to Fortunes: Explore Mr. Hershey's rocky road to success. Sweet Innovations: Learn how Mr. Hershey encouraged creativity and revolutionized milk chocolate production. Power of Promotion: Discover how Hershey's products were advertised before television commercials. Hershey Builds Hershey: Amusement park, world-class theater, professional sports, educational opportunities . . . find out how it all began. A Living Legacy: Learn how Mr. Hershey's many philanthropies continue to enrich lives today.
Evan and Lauren now became Mr. Hershey's apprentices and went on a fact finding hunt exploring the museum exhibits.
Kids receive a discovery guide that they bring to staff as they answer questions and progress through. They get stamps to move on to the next section. My kids love getting prizes even if it is just a stamp so it motivated them to want to explore. It is a great way for kids to learn and have fun.
Kids can even sit in a bath tub like used to be used to move liquefied chocolate.
Time to make the chocolate!
So cool seeing production machines of Hershey's Kisses.
Did you know that Milton Hershey almost went on the Titanic? I learned this at the museum. Here is his cancelled check to White Star Lines.
Here is an interactive display board where kids can drag and drop different parts of the Hershey map and learn more on the video screens.
There is so much to see and learn. I was really impressed about how much Milton Hershey gave back. In fact he gave back 65 million for schools. So awesome!
When kids complete the Apprentice Program they receive a Hershey coin and a personalized newspaper printout complete with their name and photo. Adults can make a newspaper too and email it to themselves, they just can't print it.
Last but not least we went to the Chocolate Lab!
In the Chocolate Lab you get to learn more about how the chocolate is made and you get to make your own. There are different classes during the day and fill up on a first come first served basis. I suggest looking online for the course you want and then showing up a couple hours before to explore the rest of the museum.
When you are in the Chocolate Lab you need to make sure that your hair does not get in the chocolate. Here are the kids with their hair nets and aprons.
Here is Lauren making her chocolate bar.
You can add different ingredients. When we were there they had Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and white chocolate chips.
While our chocolate bars were in the chillers hardening up we learned more about the cocoa beans and the process of making chocolate. We learned that it takes 30-50 cocoa beans to make 2 Hershey Chocolate Bars!
We got to taste Nibs which are the purest form of chocolate.
The kids with their completed creations! Yum!
I was really impressed with The Hershey Story, I highly suggest taking the family!
Find them online: http://www.hersheystory.org/
Twitter: @TheHersheyStoryDisclosure: I was provided with tickets to The Hershey Story Museum, Chocolate Lab, and Chocolate Tasting for my family for review purposes. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.