August 21, 2017

9 Sweet Treats & Tours for Chocolate Lovers

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With just one day until Valentine’s Day my mind is on chocolate. Given the average American consumes nearly 25 pounds of chocolate each year, I’d say that chocolate is on many people’s minds. While it’s nice to eat chocolate (okay, it’s really nice), how about learning more about chocolate from cocoa bean to chocolate bar. Take a look at these nine fun-filled opportunities to taste and learn all about a Valentine’s Day favorite, chocolate.

1) Boston’s Original Chocolate Tour (Boston, MA): Hop aboard the Old Town Trolley Tours and spend an afternoon taking in chocolate-related trivia and sampling chocolate creations across Boston. Enjoy desserts like Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Maple Pecan Tartlets on this three-hour tour, which runs on Saturdays through April.

2) Chicago Chocolate Tours (Chicago, IL): Enjoy a three-hour guided walking and tasting tour to select chocolate shops, bakeries and cafés. You’ll also stop in some of the city’s most popular chocolate stores, and go deep into the rich world history of chocolate. You can also check out walking tours in Boston and Philadelphia.

3) Chocolate Lover’s Festival (Fairfax, VA): Lucky me, this festival will be taking place not 30 minutes from my house early next month! Local chocolatiers will put their finest cakes, candies and brownies up for tasting, and the Kiwanis Club will be there dishing up fluffy chocolate chip pancakes. For the little ones, there will be numerous chocolate themed-crafts.

4) Chocolate Experience Museum (Burlington, WI): Your kids will enjoy hearing the story of chocolate from Farfel, the Talking Dog (the original Nestlé mascot), and then checking out Pegasus, a white chocolate horse. Test your knowledge of chocolate trivia and then have a tea party with Alice in Dairyland creatures. You’ll also see a “Willy Wonka” contraption that delivers miniature chocolate bars.

5) Chocolate Museum (Cologne, Germany): If you can make it across the pond, then head to one of Cologne’s most famous attractions, the Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum, which is more commonly known as the Chocolate Museum. You’ll be taken through the entire production process from cocoa bean to chocolate bar, and can also check out advertising and commercials over the years. Amazingly, you’ll find several other chocolate museums in Canada, South Korea, Czech Republic and Spain.

6) Hershey’s Chocolate World (Hershey, PA): Just steps away from the Hershey Park amusement park, Hershey’s Chocolate World offers a simulated factory tour ride complete with a walk through a tropical jungle where cocoa beans are harvested and boat docks where the beans are loaded onto ships headed for the United States. As a bonus, yes, you do get free chocolates at the end of this free tour.

7) New York Chocolate Show (New York, NY): The world’s largest show completely dedicated to chocolate brings together more than 65 fine chocolate companies. Look for the 2012 show to take place in the late-fall complete with book signings, cooking demonstrations and a Kids Zone with fun-filled activities for young chocolate lovers. This show also takes place in locations around the world, including Paris, Tokyo and Zurich.

8) Obidos International Chocolate Festival (Obidos, Portugal): Another amazing international opportunity to learn about and sample chocolate lies in the annual International Chocolate Festival, which will be held in March. Look out for the Chocolate Sculptures Exhibition, as well as the Children’s Chocolate House, which will have games and paintings for the younger set.

9) Secrets of the Chocolate Maker (Williamsburg, VA): Learn how raw cocoa beans are processed into chocolate and how chocolate was used in 18th-century cooking during this monthly program in Colonial Williamsburg. Your kids will love this program from costumed colonials.

Are you a chocolate lover like me? Have you taken in any other chocolate attractions? Let me know about your experiences in the comments.

Photo Credit: Nancy Chow

Comments

  1. A chocolate tour is a great idea for a date night! Who doesn’t love to sample all kinds of chocolate? Plus it’s a great family activity (provided you don’t mind dealing with a few kids on a sugar high!)

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