In 1937, Milton Hershey, founder of the eponymous chocolate company, wanted to build a "nice garden of roses," so the 3.5-acre Hershey Gardens were born. Over time, it has grown into a 23-acre paradise filled with seasonal flowers such 5,000 rose bushes and 30,000 tulips. Themed gardens welcome visitors of every taste to wander among ornamental rocks and grasses or smell aromatic herbs. The Children's Garden features hideaways and whimsical characters to enliven imaginations, and the Butterfly House, which opens May 23, shelters hundreds of North American butterflies in a walkthrough exhibit every summer.
Blue Mountain Vineyards owners, Joe and Vickie, are pinot pioneers. Beginning with a 5-acre experiment in 1986, they discovered that the soil of the Lehigh Valley does a fine impression of French terrain, making it suitable for growing the grapes of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and other European varietals. Since then, they've expanded to a 50-acre plot, where they now produce wines that have won awards from the Fingerlake International Wine Competition and Appellation America.
Panoramic views of the Blue Mountains overlook scenic terraces at the vineyards, where grapes spring from soil that soldiers roamed during the Revolutionary War. Tastings, concerts, and other events fill the winery's glass-flanked deck, spilling onto an outdoor patio surrounded by ponds as tranquil as a silent lullaby. Visitors admire the vines during tours, and they can also adopt their favorites to preserve the vines' flavorful histories.
One of the nation's largest volunteer orchestras, the Hershey Symphony Orchestra brims with the talents of more than 80 musicians and award-winning conductor Sandra Dackow. Instead of treating their sweetheart to a romantic ride in a horse-drawn go-cart, Groupon holders can whisk them to the symphony's "Evening Serenade" program, which highlights amatory works by classical composers such as Brahms and Dvorak. The evening commences with Mozart's elegant Overture to Cosi Fan Tutti, welcoming visitors to the comforting confines of Evangelical Free Church of Hershey. After the performance, the scent of fresh coffee lures guests to a free Q & A, where Dackow answers questions about the orchestra, the music, and what size of turkey baster makes the best conducting baton.
The hit Nickelodeon children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba! bounds from the small screen to the big stage in a show filled with cartoonish critters and boundless dancing. Beloved by hip preschoolers and savvy postschoolers for its eye-popping sets, catchy songs, respect for intellect, and absence of Shrek, Yo Gabba Gabba! teaches inner and outer children valuable life lessons without stooping to condescension. For the special It’s Time to Dance! tour, favorite adorable toy monsters such as Brobee, Foofa, Plex, and Biz Markie join human surrogates DJ Lance Rock and BeDazzler queen Leslie Hall for an onstage celebration of imagination. Mixing animation, games, and new songs with classic bits from the television show, the Technicolor mise en scène and infectious energy of Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! gives children enough confidence to apply to college after elementary school.
Indian Echo Caverns' trained trekkers shepherd patrons around ancient stalactite-packed caverns, unloading an arsenal of anecdotes about early occupants of the cliff crevices. Scout nine rooms of Susquehannock Native American stomping grounds, still emblazoned with cave drawings of native inhabitants' favorite comic strips, while tour guides tell tyke-friendly tales of the Mystery Box and cave-dwelling Pennsylvania Hermit. Opened to the public in 1929, the flowstone factory houses a swarm of breathtaking structures etched over 440 million years, including stalagmites, columns, and lakes. Subterranean travelers identify a wealth of indigenous wildlife, from the flap of cave bats to the soulful gurgles of blind fish-blues musicians. Though not included in today's Groupon, pint-sized prospectors can pan for amethyst at cavern-adjacent Gem Mill Junction or poke an Indian Echo goat at the petting barnyard.
The package also includes Sweet Access passes to Hersheypark, a theme park with 12 roller coasters and 9 water rides. During two-day visits, guests get unlimited front-of-the-line ride access, premium seating at all entertainment shows, and six hours of personal-concierge services. With members of NKOTB along for the ride, you'll drop at speeds of 75 mph on the park's new Skyrush roller coaster. After an afternoon barreling through cobra loops and plunging down water slides, head back to The Hotel Hershey, an official resort of Hersheypark and a four-star award winner from Forbes Travel Guide. Guests settle into bedrooms at the Woodside Cottages complete with sweeping front porches and native-stone hearths. The deal also includes a package at The Spa, including a milk-and-honey soak and a cocoa massage.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.