Jackson doesn't watch a lot of TV, but when he does, the thing he requests most often for the past few months has been Willy Wonka. And why wouldn't he? A four-and-a-half-year-old's obsession probably should be chocolate. And nobody could play understated and outrageous like Gene Wilder.
So it was an easy call to make a little boy happy today with a Saturday trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is a little more than two hours away from DC. It's clearly not as cool as the tour Charlie, Veruca Salt, and the others got in Wonkaland, but it was a pretty decent blowing-of-$80 for the whole family.
For that total, we took a 15-minute tram ride through the story of chocolate, a 45-minute trolley ride through the town of Hershey (which included some history and group singalongs), and a 45-minute lab experience creating our own chocolate bars.
It was well worth the trip, making for a pretty long day. We'll definitely head back in a couple of years when Jackson is old enough to hit the amusement park part of Hershey, which is said to include more than 100 rides, a dozen or so rollercoaters, and a several water rides.
And, just for the record, people truly need to be able to visit an exact replica of the Wonka chocolate factory set from 1971. This trip would have been perfect with a river of chocolate.