When Halloween visits Villanova, it is bound to bring with it some tricks and treats. The biggest trick already came with Offset's performance at Hoops Mania, so something sweeter was bound to come about. For the University’s Honors program, this sugary surprise materialized with its fall field trip to Hershey Park.
The trip kicked off Saturday, Oct. 30, with students departing from Connelly Circle at 1 p.m. in three buses. The $30 cost to attend the trip included transportation, admission and a meal voucher. Honors students spanning all four years were in attendance, and some students brought a non-honors guest along as well.
The journey to Hershey, Pennsylvania took about an hour and 45 minutes. Hershey Park was fully transformed for Halloween, with many spooky decorations covering the grounds. Some Halloween classics played from park speakers to help visitors get in the Halloween spirit. With the periodic waves of synthetic fog, it was truly a sight to behold.
Many students had never been to Hershey Park before, while others living more locally had visited many times. Some of the group's favorite rides included the Candymonium, Lightning Racer and Wildcat coasters. Whether they were classic wooden roller coasters, fast and smooth coasters or rides with loops and drops on end, Hershey Park had it all. Many of the rides had lines that were less than 20 minutes long, making it the ideal time for thrill-seekers. After a pandemic amusement park drought, the rides ushered students back into the thrill and rush that they had almost forgotten.
The sweet and savory treats that Hershey had to offer, however, were yet another student highlight. The King Size Shakes available at Hershey Park’s Simply Chocolate were chocolatey enough to make one question all of their life decisions but in the best way possible. After such a sugary endeavor, trying one of the many salty and savory soft pretzels is a must. With flavors like parmesan, garlic, jalapeño, cinnamon sugar and cinnamon raisin, you couldn’t go wrong.
Right outside the park at Hershey World, students discovered a whole new meaning to candy. As Hershey’s largest brick-and-mortar candy store, there was something for everyone. Some loved the sugary milkshakes available, including the Halloween-inspired Hershey’s Kisses Fang-tastic Strawberry Milkshake. Others tried their luck with the wide variety of candy that painted the isles.
The buses departed from Hershey World at 8 p.m. and arrived back on campus around 9:50 p.m.
“It was a great time,” freshman Philip Osborn said. “We were able to go on some fun rides, walk around a lot and take in Halloween Park as a whole. Mostly, we were able to hang out with some great friends and even make some new ones.”
Overall, the Villanova Honors field trip was a success and a great opportunity for many of the students to meet and bond off-campus. It will be exciting to see what adventure Honors IHC and the Villanova Honors program have planned next for its students.