The Hershey Story Museum in Hershey PA

If you want to be inspired, the Hershey Story Museum in Hershey, PA, is a great place to visit. It’s all about chocolate for one thing — wait, isn’t that THE most important thing? Actually, there are so many other exciting things about the Hershey story, and it all begins with Milton Snavely Hershey (yes, that really was his middle name).

How did Milton Hershey go from bankruptcy to brilliance, transforming chocolate from a luxury to an everyday treat? How did he invent a community? Why did he give away his fortune? The answers are all found in The Hershey Story Museum. It doesn’t stop there. Experience a hands-on class in the Chocolate Lab and sample warm drinking chocolate from around the world at Tastings. Grab a delicious treat from the Pantry Café and find a unique assortment of keepsakes and chocolate at the Museum Shop. What a fantastic way to spend a day in Hershey, PA.

The Museum on Chocolate Avenue

Through intriguing exhibits at the Hershey Story Museum, you’ll discover the inspiring life story of Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine. You’ll learn what motivated Mr. Hershey to keep striving for success after multiple failures, how his innovations influenced the worlds of chocolatiering and advertising, and how his philanthropy helped build a community and better futures for generations of children.

A visit to the museum is truly an educational experience that is fully immersive and fun for people of all ages. The museum features five phases in Milton’s life. Let’s explore these for a moment.

1. Failure to Fortune

Like many other successful entrepreneurs, the key to Milton’s success wasn’t as much about talent as his perseverance — his willingness not to give up no matter how many times he failed.

Explore exhibits about his early life on the homestead and his apprenticeship at Royer’s Ice Cream Parlor. Move on to the quick adventure of his first shop in Philadelphia to the development of the Lancaster Caramel Company. Milton was driven to make a sweet chocolate treat that wasn’t exclusive to the elite, but rather one that everyone could enjoy. Learn how he finally perfected the process of making chocolate and starting his factory.

Did you know that chocolate kisses were hand-wrapped from 1907 – 1920? (Brings to mind a certain episode of I Love Lucy.)

2. Sweet Innovations

The Columbian Exposition in 1893 was a catalyst for Hershey. He was inspired to purchase a machine that could make his chocolates. Displays in this exhibit detail his newly developed process. You’ll also see how he understood the need for additional revenue streams through his innovative creations from the byproducts of making his sweet treat.

3. The Power of Promotion

Milton Hershey was not only persistent in his pursuit of success but also well aware of the need to market his product. He knew that no matter how good his product was if no one knew about it, they wouldn’t buy it. His promotional campaigns included brilliant artwork and colorful marketing pieces in his packaging and helped develop his brand. Exhibits in this area display various marketing pieces throughout his career. A final display provides a timeline of his products from the start in 1894 to the present. Which product is your favorite?

Did you know that before he bought Reese’s brand in 1963, Hershey supplied the chocolate used to make the sweet peanut butter treat?

4. The Living Legacy

The Hershey Story Museum highlights an extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart. As a young man, he penned, “One is only happy in proportion as he makes others feel happy.” Later in life, he was able to bring that statement to fruition. The M.S. Hershey Foundation has had a significant impact since it began in 1935. This exhibit shares how Hershey has given back and made “others feel happy.”

5. Hershey Builds Hershey

Milton Hershey didn’t just build a factory, he also built a community. As we mentioned earlier, he wasn’t just focused on his own success; he wanted the community to thrive as well. Milton knew what it would take to build his business with local dairy farms, property, and a distribution method in the railroad. He also wanted to invest in the area of his birthplace. As they traveled abroad, Milton and his wife brought these cultures back to Hershey as seen in the architecture as the community grew.

Most importantly, he invested in people. Milton developed the Milton Hershey School, which helps educate children with social and financial needs. It is said that children are the future. Investing in them is a way to invest in the future. Yet, there is also the fun side to building the community – an adventure for another day when you visit Hersheypark.

Did you know that Hershey Milton almost sailed on the Titanic? What a sinking feeling to think of life without a Hershey bar (or Reese’s cup).

The Chocolate Lab

The Chocolate Lab at The Hershey Story Museum allows visitors to have hands-on fun with chocolate. During a 45-minute class, you’ll become a chocolate maker, learning what makes this sweet treat so irresistible and making your own delicious creation to take home.

*Chocolate Lab tickets are available for purchase at the museum’s admissions desk only on the day of your visit. Available for guests ages 5 & up. However, a paying adult must accompany children under 13. Please note that the Chocolate Lab is NOT Kosher, gluten-free, or allergen-free.

Tastings: Chocolate from Around the World

Wing your way around the globe on an international flight of flavor. At Tastings, you’ll have the opportunity to sample drinking chocolate from various countries. Each region’s cacao beans produce chocolate with unique flavor notes. Spicy? Fruity? Nutty? Which one will be your favorite? There are seasonal drinks and special treats for the kids here as well.


A visit to The Hershey Story Museum in Hershey, PA, is a quintessential experience. No matter the season, it’s the perfect addition to your vacation or weekend getaway at the Inn at Westwynd Farm. There’s so much to see and do that you’ll need several days for your visit. We’ll provide your home base as you learn more about the life of Milton Hershey. Can’t wait to see you soon for your next adventure in chocolate!


Published December 2022