Whether you're day-tripping near home or looking for a fun excursion during a vacation, food factory tours are a great option. Not only will you get a fascinating glimpse at modern food production, you may even get to taste some samples.
This round-up of food factory tours features kosher product lines. Keep in mind that while these companies' product lines are certified kosher, the factory tours usually don't have oversight by the kashrut certifying agency. Depending on your... personal level of kashrut observance, partaking of factory tour samples may present kashrut concerns, so check with a rabbi if you have any questions in that regard.
01 of 08
Jelly Belly Visitor Centers
Jelly Belly, purveyor of gourmet jelly beans and other confections, has visitor centers in both Fairfield, California, and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The former is a factory tour, the latter a warehouse tour; both are free. Keep in mind that while all of Jelly Belly's jelly beans are certified OU kosher, some of the other confections are not.
02 of 08
Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory Tour
Following a 10-minute video, visitors ages 5 and up will take a waling tour through Celestial Seasonings' actual factory. Highlights include a stop in the mint room and a chance to sample several teas. The Sleepytime Bear mascot has been known to make an appearance, too. The route is wheelchair accessible.
- Cost: Free; tickets are first come, first served
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Tour Schedule: Daily; Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed on most... major holidays)
- Address: 4600 Sleepytime Drive, Boulder, CO, 80301
- Website: celestialseasonings.com
03 of 08
Hammond's Candies Factory Tour
Hammond's makes eveything from chocolates to peanut brittle, but may be best known for its old-fashioned hard candies, including candy canes and hand-twirled lollipops. Most of Hammond's candies carry Scroll K kosher certification, though the OU and Kehillah Kosher supervise select products. Free 30-minutes tours of the gluten-free factory run daily (closed Sundays).
- Cost: Free
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Tour Schedule: Daily; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday (10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, closed... Sunday)
- Address: 5735 N Washington Street, Denver, CO, 80216
- Website: hammondscandies.com
04 of 08
The Turkey Hill Experience
The Turkey Hill Experience is more interactive museum than true factory tour, so while you will learn how ice cream is made, you won't get to witness the process. But history buffs can learn a lot about Turkey Hill's history, and kids will enjoy milking mechanical cows or producing ice cream commercials.
The experience is not free, but the fee includes unlimited ice cream and iced tea samples. Per visitor reviews, whether the cost of admission is worth it depends very much on whether or... not you plan to partake of the samples. (Note that while most sealed Turkey Hill products are certified OU-kosher, they are not C, and the Turkey Hill Experience does not have kosher certification.)Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Snyder's of Hanover
Pretzel lovers ages 5 and up can learn about Snyders' history and get a glimpse of Snyder's raw materials and finished goods warehouses, along with the oven and packing rooms. Guests receive a free bag of pretzels as a send-off. Note that visitors must be able to climb stairs. photography is not allowed during the tour.
- Cost: Free, but reservations are required and must be made at least 24 hours in advance by dialing 1-800-233-7125 Ext. 28592
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Schedule: Tuesday,... Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. year-round.
- Address: 1350 York Street, Hanover, PA, 17331
- Website: snydersofhanover.com
06 of 08
Hershey's Chocolate World
If you're visiting Hersheypark, make some time for a visit to Chocolate World, located just outside the main gates.
Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour Ride is more of a theme park attraction than a true factory tour, but it takes guests on an informative multi-sensory trip from rainforest to chocolate factory to watch the cacao bean's journey from pod to chocolate bar. The tour is capped off with a sample of Hershey's chocolate.
- Cost: Chocolate World admission and the tour... ride are free; additional attractions, including trolley rides and a 4D show, have fees.
- Duration: 15 minutes
- Tour Schedule: Open year round; hours vary seasonally
- Address: 251 Park Boulevard, Hershey, PA, 17033
- Website: http://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld
07 of 08
Herr's Snack Factory Tours
Herr's offers a wide range of OU-certified potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, tortilla chips and cheese curls -- along with tours of its actual production facility. Because the tour takes place in a working factory, guests are asked to wear flat, rubber-soled shoes. Reservations are required.
08 of 08
Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour
Learn about ice cream-giant Ben & Jerry's history, then watch the sweet stuff being made on the factory floor from the room-temperature comfort of a glassed-in mezzanine. An ice cream sample-of-the-day is included. The tour is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
After the official tour, make a stop at the Flavor Graveyard to pay homage to your favorite retired flavor, or laugh at the quippy poems on the headstones. There's also a picnic area and small playground on site.