Monday, July 24, 2017

The Falconry Experience in @HersheyPA is something you would not expect, but will love! #HersheyPA #Sweetestmoms

*** I received admission to the experience for the subject matter contained in this post, all opinions are 100% my own***

Sure Hershey PA is filled with chocolate fun. From the amazing Hershey Park filled with exciting and fun rides and experiences, to the chocolate tastings, to the Milton Hershey Museum to the amazing sweets you can find all around town.  We love it, and why not it is great family fun and you can never go wrong with chocolate for breakfast lunch and dinner!  But there is something to do at Hershey that you may not expect, something that does not have to do with chocolate or rides (but it is pretty thrilling) something that after going to Hershey PA every year since I was a young girl, I never knew about.  This something is The Falconry Experience, that is held near The Hotel Hershey. My family and I were very fortunate to be able to check out this experience this past weekend, and we had a wonderful time.
It turns out that The Falconry Experience has been in Hershey PA for 9 years, but we had never experienced this until now. We were missing out! The Falconry Experience offers a unique opportunity for guests of all ages to participate in an interactive demonstration featuring hawks, falcons, and a Golden Eagle. Don’t worry you do not have to be a guest of any of the Hershey hotels (The Hersey Lodge or The Hotel Hershey, but there is special resort guest pricing, if you are staying on site be sure to look into that) to experience this program, it is open to any guest that would like to participate. The cost is $65.00 per adult, and for kids 15 & under the cost is $25.00. Not bad at all, it is pretty affordable for such a bucket list type of experience.
To begin our day we all had to meet up at 10:30 at The Hotel Hershey to fill out paperwork (the paperwork mentioned that we would be interacting with a bird of prey a trained raptor, If that is not exciting I do not know what is!) be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early to be sure to have time to fill out and use the restroom. After we were all ready our group of 11 headed on to a Hershey van and we were off to the Falconry field to experience the program. 

When we arrived at the field we were greeted by our instructor Bob. Bob has 45 years’ worth of experience as a trained falconer and was filled with great information and life experiences with these majestic birds. When we were on the field we immediately went down to the falcons and were introduced to all of them. 
Most were named for Hershey Park roller-coasters, that was pretty cool.  We were introduced to a golden eagle names Bliss.  The eagle was huge! I was never this close to one, and they are so much bigger than they seem. I had to get up close and personal and get a picture with Bliss. Wow!
Phew it was a hot one out there! I was so happy to see that they provided ice cold water, we really needed it. It was so hot on the field, luckily most of the time we would be sitting on the grandstands under a tree shaded from the sun, it was a good 10 degrees cooler and much more tolerable.
We were treated to falcon free-flight demonstrations, a simulated hunt demonstration, the “prey” was attached to a ground zip line type of device and zipped here and there and we were able to see the grace and agility the falcon has while hunting, turning on a dime and easily swooping in and catching this with ease.  It was great to see how well taken care the birds were. The trainer treated the birds with respect and knew how to handle them well.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a falcon soar over you then head off to land on your hand? Well with this experience you are going to find out! My husband is not the biggest fan of birds, to be honest he is a little afraid of birds in general. Bobby asked the instructor if the birds could smell fear, because he would surely reek of it… 

But we learned that the falcons do not have a good sense of smell at all, so they definitely could not smell fear, so he was safe for now. We all laughed, but the instructor tried to easy Bobby’s concerns and talked him though things slowly and was very nice about taking his time with Bobby, and my husband really appreciated it.

I was up next and I was so excited! I was finally going to do it! The falcon Zeke soared over me and landed right on my arm. What is tempting them to come to you, well it is little mouse pieces, oh boy! It was not the prettiest thing, but that is what they like to eat.

When the falcon came to you it was not a onetime thing, we would have a chance to do it over and over at different angles. The instructor was there to help out and make sure to get some great pictures of you and your new bird friend.  I was amazed at how still the falcon was when it was on my arm, it was just me and him handing out face to face.

My daughter had a great time and was asked if she wanted to be a falconer (because her age is when most start getting into the sport) but she declined…. We even had the chance to do a trick of sorts with the falcon, make a circle with your arms and have the falcon fly through it. Did you know that the falcons have to be hungry to go hunting this will help them coming back to you? And that when training a falcon you have to take a bird from a nest because an older bird will never be tamed, these are some fascinating creatures.  

While we were there we were able to meet with Miss Peregrine! Ok ok maybe it was not really Miss Peregrine but if you are a fan (or have a child that is a fan) of the movie, or the books for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children they will be excited to meet a real Peregrine falcon named Comet.

We all took turns having the falcon come to us. We were asked if we would like a chance to do have the falcon land on your arm. It was not mandatory and we were not made to feel as if we had to do it. If you are a fan of birds, but not the biggest fan of a bird landing on you, you can still enjoy this experience.

Overall we loved the experience, it was fun and educational. It was a real bucket list item that is for sure. For how nervous my husband was a first, when all was done he could not wait to tell everyone he knew about his experience. My daughter was the same, as soon as we got in the car she had to text her friends all about it. The experience was unlike any other at Hershey PA. If you are planning a visit to Hershey PA this summer, fall, or winter be sure to extend your visit and check out The Falconry Experience, I am sure your family will have an amazing time, my family sure did.

Visit The Falconry Experience:
For information, reservations & pricing contact The Hotel Hershey Concierge at 717-534-8860 Transportation is provided to the Falconry Field.  *You do not need to be a guest of The Hotel Hershey or Hershey Lodge to enjoy The Falconry Experience.

Hershey PA Falconry Experience Adult: $65
Child (15 & under): $25

Spring, Summer & Fall Falconry
11 AM - 12:30 PM

Daily May 29 - September 4
No Falconry Program on Tuesdays.  September 9 - December 31, Saturday & Sunday & Friday, November 24 

Would you like to check out The Falconry Experience? 

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .


Audrey McClelland said...

What an amazing experience! I've always been fascinated by falconry. The birds are just such majestic creatures.

Kelly Stilwell said...

Wow! I just love birds, and these are beautiful shots! Looks like you enjoyed it!

Unknown said...

I need to do this! I live close to Hershey and this looks like such an awesome experience. My daughter would love it!

Tatanisha Worthey said...

What a cool experience! I love going to amusement parks that have hands-on experiences for the whole family!

Anonymous said...

I live fairly close to Hershey and I've never heard of The Falconry Experience! I think it looks like a truly unique experience. I can't believe you actually get to have the birds land on you!

Lisa Brown said...

So cool! I want to try it.

Birdie Skolfield said...

My brother is a Falconer Im telling him about this hed love to go

Mary Gardner said...

This looks like such a great place to visit and the prices are very reasonable.

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.