Dear Diary,

Just because your amusement park pass expired doesn’t mean the fun stops this season. Several amusement parks throughout Pennsylvania are welcoming guests and turning on the roller coasters for Christmas. In addition to the rides, you can take part in a long list of holiday happenings, such as light and train displays. You can plan a day trip or take a weekend adventure. Here are our top park picks.

Hershey Park Christmas Candyland, Hershey, PA

Hershey Park is celebrating the season with food, fun and roller coasters! You can enjoy riding five coasters: Cocoa Cruiser, sooperdooperLooper, Wildcat, Wild Mouse, and Laff Trakk, all decked out with Christmas-themed décor. Kids can visit Santa Claus and his nine live reindeer. Plus, you can cruise through the park in the comfort of your warm car at Hershey’s Sweet Lights a holiday-drive thru spectacular.

Kennywood Holiday Lights, Pittsburgh, PA

Kennywood Park welcomes guests with a 90-foot tall Christmas tree-the tallest tree on record in Pennsylvania. Visitors can explore the park’s light display, experience The Polar Express: A 4-D Experience and view a display of miniature gingerbread homes. Kids can write a letter to Santa in the penny arcade and listen to Celebrity Readings of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Plus, people can climb aboard nearly a dozen rides.

Click here to visit other amusement parks across the state.


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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