07/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/12/2019 09:04
As a mother of a child with special needs, life can often be challenging.
When our son was diagnosed I immediately thought about all the ways our lives were about to change. The things we wouldn't be able to do and how it would affect our other children. Travel was one of the first things I started to cross off our list until I was selected as a Sweetest Moms Ambassador for Hersheypark. It made me change my attitude towards travel with our son because he found joy. Travel with children is complicated and when you add in a special needs child it can add different challenges. We love Hersheypark, we try to visit at least once a year, it's the one place I always recommend to parents in local Autism groups who are looking for summer trip ideas. With the summer season in full swing at Hersheypark I wanted to share some tips for planning a trip to Hersheypark for Special Needs Parents.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning is a very important step with traveling. It helps you to prepare for as much as possible prior to your trip. Even if you're just visiting Hersheypark for a day, I highly recommend planning out details about the trip so it goes as smoothly as possible. Plan the timeframes you want to visit the park, how long you want to stay, do you need to break up the day, what to eat, rides you can't miss, any and every detail you can think of to create a plan. Don't let the plan leave you feeling overwhelmed or stressed. My tips below share valuable information that will make planning your trip much easier.
If you're planning to visit overnight, which I suggest to fully enjoy your time in Hershey, I recommend staying at TheOfficial Resorts of Hersheypark. Check out the specials at the resorts for deals and opportunities to save on your visit. There are many benefits to staying at the Hershey properties. We are huge fans of theHersheypark Camping Resortbecause of the cabin sizes. Our family of six can sleep comfortably with lots of space. The only set back is having to pack our own linens, so we have to travel with more luggage when we chose the camping resort. Hershey's Water Works at Hershey Lodgeindoor pool complex is a huge family favorite. We sometimes skip TheBoardwalk AtHersheypark and head to Hershey's Water Works instead because our son manages the noise levels there better. Hershey's Water Works is free for guests of the Hershey Lodge.
There are quite a few benefits to staying at the Hersheypark resorts which can help make your visit less stressful. Benefits include:
Free Front Gate Shuttle Service
Up to 4.5 hours of extra time with Preview Plan (Summer Season)
1-hour early access in Summer Season
Indoor Pool Access
Save up to 45% on your stay during certain months
2. Take Advantage of the Freebies for Resort Guests
If you're staying at The Official Resorts of Hersheypark be sure to take advantage of the freebies for resort guests. It's a great way to add memories to your trip. Guests at TheHotel Hershey and Hershey Lodge receive free admission to Hershey Gardens, as well as the Butterfly Atrium and The Hershey Story Museum. Once you check out from the hotel extend your trip to include the two attractions in Hershey. We love visiting Hershey Gardens just to see the butterflies. If your child is a fan they could easily spend hours there seeing all it has to offer. Strollers are not permitted in the Butterfly Atrium so be sure to make a plan if your child requires a stroller for the park and other attractions.
The Hershey Story Museum has lots of great options for families with children on the spectrum. The website has a section withsocial storiesto prepare your child for a visit to the museum. The is an accessible entrance as well as manual wheelchairs on a first come, first serve basis. The museum recommends children with Autism and other developmental disabilities visit during the least crowded times from 9-10 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. for the best experience. They also have two sensory-friendly backpacks to use during the museum visit. The backpack includes noise reduction headphones, sunglasses, a small plush toy, fidget tools, and copies of the social stories. Backpacks can be signed out free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.