Let’s get real: a lot of baby boomers already are grandparents. ohmigosh, some are even great-grandparents already. So at BoomerCafé we’ve established a relationship with a fun site called Grandparents.com. And we say “fun” because some of the pieces they run are interesting for any of us, grandparents or not. This one, by Zachary Collinger, is one of them. It’s meant to tell grandparents about some cool field trips to take with the grandkids. We’d take them with or without! They’re about Ten Cool Factory Tours.
Jelly Belly Factory – Fairfield, California
Find out how jelly beans in 50 different flavors are made at Jelly Belly — and why it takes 20 days to make just one bean. A stop here is full of jelly bean-theme activities, food, and art; Reader’s Digest once called this “The Best Factory Tour in America.”
Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory – Hyannis, Massachusetts
Take a self-guided glimpse into the construction of these kettle-cooked potato chips with a legendary crunch. Find out how the company uses natural ingredients and fresh flavors, combined with a hand-stirred kettle process to achieve that classic taste.
Celestial Seasonings Factory Tour – Boulder, Colorado
Find out what’s in that tea bag. This company is home to a cornucopia of spices and aromas. Enjoy free samples of any tea you like, then browse the extensive collection of original tea-box artwork in the gallery. Hot tip: Don’t miss the famous mint room.
The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden – Henderson, Nevada
Forrest Mars, the man who brought you the Mars Bar, named this candy factory after his mother, who’s said to have been one sweet lady. Watch andlearn what goes into the Mars family recipes, stroll around the garden (which contains more than 300 species of cacti), and pick up some treats for the road.
Gibson Guitar Factory Tour – Memphis, Tennessee
Go behind the scenes to witness the construction of one of the greatestguitars in the world. For more than 100 years, the company’s intricate process of binding, neck-fitting, painting, buffing, and tuning has been a gold standard in guitar production.
Hoffman’s Chocolate Factory – Greenacres, Florida
See what chocolate looks like from above as you and your grandchildren watch the entire chocolate-making process from large glass windows overlooking the work-floor of this chocolate-maker. Factory hours are Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm. Gardens are open seasonally.
Morley Candy Factory – Clinton Township, Michigan
Pecan Torties, Coconut Clusters, and Mint Melt Aways are all deliciously created at Morley’s Candy Makers, home of Sander’s Candy. It’s a movie-set chocolate factory come to life, replete with free samples at journey’s end.
Stuffington Bear Factory – Phoenix, Arizona
Take a behind-the-scenes look at the construction of America’s favoriteplush toys — even build your own! Learn all the history on the bear, from its humble beginnings and its association with Teddy Roosevelt to the real facts about the Black Bear and its role in nature.
Tabasco Factory – Avery Island, Louisiana
On Avery Island, in a swampy southern Louisiana bayou, the McIlhenny people create a signature American sauce. Visit and learn about the history and making of this favorite spicy condiment, and leave with a lagniappe (a parting gift) of recipes, samples, and tastings.
Republished in collaboration with Grandparents.com.