The delicious smell of chocolate, watching the wrapping of Hershey Kisses, getting that free candy bar at the end of the factory tour. These are all childhood memories from visiting a candy factory.
5 Candy Factories You Must See with Your Kids
When I was in 5th grade we toured Hershey Chocolate Factory. Back then you actually got to walk through the factory where the chocolate was being made. From the time you entered the building till you left, you could smell chocolate. That delicious aroma turned to an almost sickening strong smell till the end of the tour.
I remember watching the stirring of large vats of chocolate and my mouth watering. Then the molding and the wrapping. I had watched too many “I Love Lucy” episodes and thought people were actually hand wrapping all those kisses. Learning they were wrapped by a machine left an imprint on my 11-year-old mind. And then at the end of the tour, we were presented with a full-size candy bar. Each student had their own candy bar to enjoy.
Since then I have visited Hershey Chocolate World numerous times and their tour is now a special theme park attraction type experience. Families ride through an authentic factory experience without interrupting workers who are making the chocolate. It is a great tour and even though I have done it a dozen or so times, I still learn something every time. Another thing that is changed is the candy bar at the end is now snack sized!
Candy factory tours can leave children with many wonderful memories as well as be a great learning experience.
Top 5 Candy Factory Tours
Here are my top 5 favorite candy factory tours.
Hershey's Chocolate World – Hershey, PA
This is in my home state of Pennsylvania and is my favorite! As mentioned above, this tour became so popular that they created a theme park ride out of it. The free, robotic-filled tour at Hershey's Chocolate World takes visitors through the process, beginning with the cocoa bean harvesting, all the way to the end product: delicious candy.
The only non-authentic thing about the ride are the singing cows. You learn a lot about Hershey and the making of chocolate in the tour.
In the same building, families can join a Chocolate Tasting Adventure, the Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D and a Create Your Own Candy Bar station. They also have a candy outlet.
Jelly Belly Factory – Fairfield, Calif.
Founded in 1869, the “original gourmet jelly bean” maker offers free tours and a chance to sample a selection of over 150 jelly bean flavors. The 40-minute walking tour at the
Jelly Belly Factory divulges the secrets of the candy. After the tour, you can visit the store where all kinds of treats are sold.
Wolfgang Candy Company – York, Pa.
Another Pennsylvania favorite. The
Wolfgang Candy Company has been producing chocolate since 1921.
The antique candy-making molds, jars, and factory items are available to view before the official tour. After the tour, stop in Das Sweeten Haus for gifts like chocolate-dipped blueberries.
PEZ Visitor Center – Orange, Conn.
The PEZ Visitor Center features the world's largest PEZ dispenser, a 40-foot-high working replica.
You can enjoy interactive video areas which feature a PEZ timeline, trivia, and a Factory Tour. The Personalize Your PEZ section gives you a chance to do just that with some sweet treats!
Located in Tyrone, PA, Gardners Candies was founded in 1897 by a sixteen-year-old boy named James “Pike” Gardner in Tyrone, Pennsylvania.
Gardners is famous for the Original Peanut Butter Meltaway, a creamy, smooth peanut butter dipped in rich chocolate. Many have tried, but none can duplicate the Gardner's family recipe.
This is a walk through tour with employee interaction. Not a simulation.
There are candy factories all over the world, but these are my top 5 choices for visiting with your family. It will be an experience every member of your family will enjoy.