Whether it’s a day trip or a special part of your vacation itinerary, treating the kids to a candy factory tour is a sweet, kid-friendly activity the whole family can enjoy. It’s an opportunity to not only see how chocolate or another favorite candy is made, but in most cases, the free samples you get let you taste test the product first hand!
Albanese Candy Factory
The Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, Indiana makes “gummies” and chocolates, and they are the only factory that offers a public tour for gummi manufacturing in the United States.
Visitors get a clear view through eight separate windows as they learn about the creation of candy at the factory. Tours are designed for all ages and are wheelchair accessible.
This factory offers two kinds of tours: Guided tours, and self-guided tours. Tours are free, but they are not year-round. No tours are given from November to December and from March to April because Santa and the Easter Bunny visit every year during that time.
Group tours are available Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Call 219-947-3070 (ext. 241) to make a reservation or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
One of the most famous candy factory tours is with Hershey’s Chocolate located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In this case, it is more like a ride and very entertaining. Tours are free and run from 9:00-5:00 each weekday. They also offer a 3D show called, “Hershey’s Really Big 3D Show.” The cost is $5.95 for adults and $4.95 for kids. You can call them at 717-534-4900 for more information.
Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours
Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours is a unique operation known as “The Inventor of Bourbon Candy.” It’s located in historic downtown Frankfort, Kentucky. Tours offer an educational video about candy production, and visitors will get to see how this unique company uses an eclectic mix of antique and modern equipment to make more than 120 varieties of candy.
Tours are $2.00 a person, and kids under 5 are free. Guided tours run Monday through Saturday, but tours are not given 4 days prior to big candy holidays including Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. It’s best to call ahead to make arrangements (502-223-7475).
Things to Ask Before a Candy Factory Tour
While kids love the idea of a candy factory tour, before you decide to make the trip, talk with the factory to find out:
- Is there a minimum age restriction?
- Do you have to make reservations for a tour?
- Are some days better to tour than others?
- What is the cost for a tour?
- If your child suffers from food allergies, talk to the factory about the specifics to be safe.
To be safe, always call ahead to make arrangements. You wouldn’t want to arrive to find out you can’t tour the candy factory for some reason. That would leave you with some really disappointed kids.