Did you know that Pennsylvania is known as the snack capital of the world? No wonder they have so many food factory tours in the state.
From pretzels and potatoes chips to ice cream and of course chocolate, Pennsylvania is home to many food factories. Some of these factories have tours open to the public to see and find out how these products are made.
Since we live only a few hours from Pennsylvania, it’s a place we travel to often. With lots to do and see we are always looking for places to visit and we have visited some fun food tours.
It’s always fun to discover what goes into a product and how it is developed. Most factory tours give free samples too! For other things to do in Pennsylvania in this area visit here.
So, when in Pennsylvania you should consider taking some of the following food tours:
Hersey’s Chocolate World, Hershey
Hershey Chocolate World offers a free 30-minute tour of how they make chocolate beginning with the cocoa beans to the final product, their famous chocolate bars and kisses.
This is Not a factory tour but a fun ride where you see where the cocoa beans come from, how they mix the milk and butter and the way the chocolate is actually made.
Tours run continuously throughout the day. Hours vary depending on the season. This ride is wheelchair accessible and for all ages.
Of course, you get to sample chocolate at the end and there is a store where you can purchase all types of Hersey’s candy and souvenirs.
Also, Chocolate World offers numerous other activities for a fee including 4D Chocolate Movie, Hershey Unwrapped A Chocolate Tasting Journey, Create your own Candy Bar and Hershey Trolly Works. These tours are at the Hersey Chocolate World location (not Hershey Park).
For more information on Hershey World visited their website.
Turkey Hill Ice Cream, Columbia
Although this is not an actual tour of the factory, it offers exhibits on how they make their ice cream and ice tea. It’s a kid-friendly experience with many interactive opportunities for your children such as “milking a cow”, creating your own ice cream flavor and making a commercial. In addition, there are several kid play areas.
The best part of visiting the Turkey Hill Experience is trying all the different ice cream and ice tea samples. Yes, that’s right, you get to taste some classic Turkey Hill flavors as well as some new flavors not yet in stores.
Turkey Hill also offers an ice cream Taste Lab (for an additional fee) where you can actually make your own ice cream. You start with a base flavor (ex. vanilla) and add different flavors and colors to create your own. The lab takes about an hour and costs an additional $5.95 per person.
They also offer a tea discovery where you learn all about tea from their “tea experts”. This experience is an additional $4.50 per person and is about 30 minutes.
Tickets can be purchased online (and is recommended during peak season) for $10.50 for adults and $10.00 for children ages 4 to 12 and seniors 62+. Children 3 and under and military personnel are free.
Herr’s Potato Chip Tour, Nottingham
Come see how Herr’s chips and pretzels are made in this real working factory tour. On this walking tour, you will see the actual products and learn what kinds of seasonings and ingredients they use in their products.
The tour begins with a movie on Herr’s history. Tours are Monday to Thursday from 9 to 3 and Friday from 9 to 11. Production cannot be guaranteed on Thursday and Friday.
Tours are $4 for adults, $3 for 4 to 17 and free for children under 3. Tours are one hour. The gift shop is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Note the following:
- You need to schedule your tours in advance. This can be done online here.
- You must wear rubber sole shoes
- Tour is handicap accessible but they need to know this in advance to make staff arrangements.
UTZ Snacks, Hanover
Utz offers a free tour of their 600,000 square feet potato chip facility. The tour begins with a movie explaining the history of this 5th generation family run business.
You get to see how the product is made from beginning to end from glass-enclosed observation areas in the plant. This is a self-guided tour with push to talk audio and closed-circuit TV monitors.
This tour takes about 30 to 45 minutes. Tours run Monday to Thursday from 10 to 3:30 however vary depending on production hours.
For questions, groups of 10 and larger or if you need handicap assistance (tour has stairs) please call Utz Tours at 800-367-7629.
And of course, you get a snack-size bag of potato chips at the end of the tour. You even get a discount coupon for a nearby outlet store.
Synder’s Pretzels, Hanover
This is the actual factory where the free tour takes place. Tour is guided and takes 30 minutes. You get to see how their pretzels are made and learn about the history of Synder’s Pretzels.
Tours are given Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30, 1, 1:30 AND 2 o’clock. You do receive a small bag of pretzels at the end of the tour.
Tours are “suited” for ages 5 and up and you need to be able to climb stairs. You MUST make reservations at least 24 hours in advance by calling 800-233-7125 ext 28592, Monday to Friday from 9 to 5.
There is a factory store at this location opened Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday noon to 5 pm.
Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery Tour, Lititz
This is Sturgis’s original bakery built in 1861 and houses the original equipment used by the company. You learn about the history of making pretzels and are able to hand twist you’re very own (out of playdough, of course). You also receive a “Pretzel Twister” certificate.
Sturgis Pretzel although beginning with soft pretzels was the first to create the “hard pretzel” and today that’s what they are famous for. At the end of the tour, you get a free sample of their hard pretzels.
There is a small store where you can purchase soft hat pretzels (they are so good) and other Sturgis products including their horse and buggy hard pretzels, which are only sold in stores in the Amish country.
Tour prices are $3.75 for adults, $2.75 for ages 4 to 12 and free for children under 3.
Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville
The oldest brewery in America, Yuengling offers free tours of the actual factory. Here you are able to see how the beer is made from beginning to bottling.
The brewery was started in 1929 as Eagle Brewery and changed its name to Yuengling in 1873. Still owned today by members of the Yuengling family, they are the largest seller of craft beer. They still make some of their original beers, Lord Chesterfield Ale and Porter.
All ages are welcome on the tour but you must be 21 to sample the beer. They also have soda available in the tasting area for these who are too young or don’t want the beer.
During winter tours are Monday to Friday at 10, 11, 12, 1 and 2 o’clock, they are closed on weekends.
From Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to Saturday of Labor Day weekend they are also open on Saturdays with tours every 45 minutes from 10:30 am to 3 pm. Also during this peak time, they add an extra tour at 3 pm during the week.
Yuengling also operates a gift store in this location Monday to Friday from 9 to 4 (closed weekends) during non-peak season and Saturdays during peak season.
Note: You must wear closed shoes to take this tour. Also, you need to be able to walk stairs.
September Farm Cheese, Honey Brook
Although not really a factory tour, you can view them making cheese from Monday to Friday from 7 am to around 3 pm. There are also videos so you can see the whole procedure. This family-owned business starts the cheese with the milk in the morning and it takes approximately 8 hours to complete.
There are many kinds of cheese to sample in their store attached to the cheese-making facility. Cheese and other items such as jam, jellies, and baked goods are available for sale.
There is also have a small restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve handmade waffles to homemade soups and of course, they are famous for their toasted cheese sandwiches. They also have daily dinner specials.
September Farm Cheese is opened Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 8 pm.
Kitchen Kettle Village
Although Kitchen Kettle is not a factory food tour, it is worth a stop when in the Lancaster area. The Jam and Bakeshop have a working kitchen in it that you can see the Amish women making different kinds of jam or food, such as chow-chow. You can see how they start and cook all the ingredients and “can” them into the jars.
In addition, there is also a fudge shop where you can see how they make fudge. Depending on when you arrive, the fudge can be in different stages and is all made by hand.
And yes, both places offer free samples. You can try every kind of jam, salsa, pickles, etc. that they make in the store. So, go hungry! Yes, fudge samples too.
Have fun at the Food Factory Tours in Pennsylvania
When in the area remember these to visit the Best Tasting Food Factory Tours in Pennsylvania. I’ve been to most of them and really have enjoyed my time there and just loved all the samples too!
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