November 22, 2017

Crayola to Jelly Belly: 7 Fun Factory Tours for Kids


Factory tours are a great way for your kids to learn about how some of their favorite foods and products they use everyday are made. Here are a few of the best factory tours worth checking out as a family.

  • Ben & Jerry’s (Waterbury, VT): Watch a company history movie in the Cow Over the Moon theatre, then take a trip to their glassed-in mezzanine where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the production room and learn how the ice cream is made.
  • Crayola Factory (Easton, PA): Start your tour at the 15-minute crayon manufacturing exhibit, then pick up a sample four-pack and head over to the Crayola Wall of Fame. There’s also plenty for kids to do between the Chalk Walk, Crayola Meltdown and the Super Sculptures area. Before you leave, don’t forget to head upstairs to the National Canal Museum, which teaches kids about the important role canals played in early commerce. It’s included in your Crayola Factory tour admission.
  • 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.
  • Jelly Belly (Fairfield, CA): About an hour north of San Francisco, you and your kids will see a real working factory where the 50 official jelly bean flavors are made during the 40-minute walking tour. You’ll also discover why it takes up to 20 days to create  a jelly bean. Get free samples of any jelly bean you like, from bubble gum to toasted marshmallow. [Though not a working factory, you can also visit the Jelly Belly Visitor Center near Milwaukee, WI, complete with a Jelly Belly Express Train and “Candy Alley.”]
  • Vermont Teddy Bear Factory (Shelburne, VT): Located just 30 miles from the Ben & Jerry’s factory, this tour lasts about 30 minutes as Bear Ambassadors share how teddy bears are put together from start to finish, as well as the evolution of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. You’ll also get to check out the Bear Hospital. Keep in mind that there is no production on weekends or after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Two more factory tours worth checking out include the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory in Hyannis, MA and the American Whistle Corporation in Columbus, OH. Have you taken your kids on a factory tour? I’d love to hear about your experience.


  1. Lisa Delayo says:

    Born and raised in NJ and currently in MD, I have been lucky with being very close to these factories my while life. As a child myself I was able to go to Hershey Park/Tour for school trips, and visited Crayola Factory later in life. Now that I have a 3 1/2 year old myself while living in Elkton MD we are super close (like 15 min) away from the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory in Nottingham PA! She loves visiting the tour and seeing how they get those spuds turned into yummy potato chips! We plan on taking the hour trip to Hershey and Crayola factory very soon! Great ideas in this article! Thanks!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Growing up near Hershey Chocolate World has always been a favorite. It was my first job, too. The great thing about it is it’s free!!! My kids love going there!!

  3. Becca J says:

    If you’re in south-central Texas, the Bluebell Ice Cream factory is a fun place to take kids (better for ages 4+). Watch ice cream being made and then try a scoop of your favorite flavor at the end of the tour. The price is somewhere around $3 a person, so not bad for a couple of hours of fun!

  4. Kim Shrader says:

    The Mayfield Dairy is a really neat place for the whole family. We took our kids to the one located in Athens, TN; it was a really neat experience. No more than an hour for the whole tour. Plus there is a great Ice cream shop there of all their Mayfield Ice Cream Flavors. Yummy!

  5. As a resident of PA I think it is great that two Pennsylvania attractions are listed!! I used to live in Hershey PA and spent many hours at Chocolate World and love it! Hershey has so much to offer visitors, it truly is a magical place! Thanks for including it in your listing!!

    Here is a blog post that I wrote about visiting Hershey in 2009 but much of the information is still relevant today!

  6. We really enjoyed the self-guided Utz tour in Pennsylvania, where you can see potato chips made from start to finish.

    The Winnebago tour in Iowa gives you a close-up look at how RV’s are made.

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