‘Tis the season for chocolate, so why not go all in? Arguably the biggest name in chocolate, Hershey’s just debuted its new, bigger and better chocolate experience in Times Square. “Hershey’s Chocolate World” offers more space, and a variety of experiences for lovers of chocolate in its many forms, to enjoy. We dropped by opening day; here’s the sweet scoop!

photo: Hershey’s

In the Heart of It
Yes, Hershey’s Chocolate World is in the thick of Times Square, located at 20 Times Square, or 701 7th Avenue. (Understandably: It is a tourist destination.) That said, there is an entrance on 47th Street, and you can approach from 6th Avenue, avoiding the madness of Times Square itself.

The new digs replace the former, much smaller store, which had been at 48th and Broadway for 15 years. (They’re also are right across the street from the M&M store, so been advised of potential chocolate war crossfire.)

photo: Hershey’s

What’s New
Hershey’s Chocolate World is of course stocked to the hilt with all the the company’s candy brands in all their iterations, which range from marquee treats like Hershey Bars, Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, to fruity treats like Jolly Ranchers and Twizzlers.

But with three times the space of the original location, Hershey’s Chocolate World now offers some “uniquely Hershey experiences”, for visitors and native New Yorkers alike.

photo: Hershey’s

A Carefully Constructed S’more
Of all of the experiences, the standout is the next-level s’more, individually-prepared at the rear of the store in a campground-inspired setting.

Like all of the freshly-prepared treats at Hershey’s Chocolate World, the s’more was developed with pastry consultants from the Culinary Institute of America, and it shows. A different animal from the campfire-side confection many of us prepared, this s’more was developed to shine in this setting, with special considerations for each element such as the graham crackers and marshmallow, the latter of which includes a dash of naturally-derived, “crystallized smoke” for the authentic campfire touch.

Customers also get to do the honors of “smooshing” their s’more, which while not cheap (it’s $9), is fantastic, and can easily provide four people with a delicious sweet treat.

Make it Personal
Another fun experience is the Sweet Personalization station, where visitors can upload a photo and have it printed on a customized wrapper ($9.95)

If you have a special mix of minis you enjoy, the “Amazing Candy Machine” is the place to make it happen. With the pull of a slot-machine-like lever, the likes of assorted Hershey’s Kisses, candy bars, and Jolly Ranchers are dispensed into buckets, mini lunch boxes, and more.

Fresh Treats to Go
Another brand new feature of the store is the Hershey’s Kitchens Bakery, featuring newly-conceived, freshly-prepared sweets created in partnership with the Culinary Institute. The offerings, which include “Times Square Candy Balls” (chocolate brownie filled with marshmallow and rolled in various Hershey’s treats) and the Reese’s Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie (Reese’s cooked into a peanut butter cookie, with a warm Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the middle.)

The bakery also offers slightly healthier options with its “Brookside Bars”, which are more fruit, nut, and granola-based.

But the other standout for us was the hot chocolate, which is a cut above, as it’s made with melted Hershey’s Special Dark and milk chocolates, and steamed milk.  (Seriously: it’s worth a detour.)

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Hershey’s Chocolate World
Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to midnight
701 7th Ave. (entrance on 7th Ave. or 47th St.)
Online: hersheys.com

Will you venture to Times Square to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World? Tell us in the comments! 

—Mimi O’Connor