by Julie S
Have a sweet tooth? We do too! But eating candy is only half the fun. Figuring out how they mold those delicious chocolates, stuff peanut butter inside, or make that crunchy coating is a ton of fun too.
We’ve put together a great listing of places to find candy and ice cream tours around Kalamazoo and Michigan. If you choose to go on one of these candy making tours, you will get to see just that, and almost all of the tours come with a grand finale, free samples!
If that doesn’t excite you, try checking out one of the ice cream tours instead, perfect for a summer treat!
CANDY TOURS AROUND MICHIGAN
Clinton Township, MI
**Currently Sanders is remodeling their facility, so tours are not available. Check back in the fall for more information!
Guided tours by appointment only and vary due to production hours. Guided tours include a video presentation, free chocolate samples, a visit to their chocolate and ice cream shop all while touring on an observation walkway.
Grand Haven, MI
Tours by appointment only and are $4.00 per person. Kids under 6 must be accompanied by an adult.
Learn about chocolate from pod to bean to delicious chocolate! Taste fresh samples right off of the line and visit the production area to see where the magic is done.
Tours run Monday-Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on the half hour and include a comprehensive review of how they make several different chocolates, sweets, and confections. You can view the process from start to finish, and of course, there are free samples at the end of the tour!
ICE CREAM TOURS AROUND MICHIGAN
School and group tours can be scheduled during April through October, weather permitting, by appointment only. The tours include a farm and creamery tour, including their robotic milking system, baby cows, how milk is bottled, activities, goodie bags, and a soft serve treat at the end. Public tours are also available on Saturdays at 11am from June – August only.
East Lansing, MI
Take a self-guided tour of the MSU Dairy Plant on their observation deck to see where MSU makes a variety of natural cheeses and ice cream. Also located in Anthony Hall, is the Dairy Store, where you can purchase a variety of flavors of the ice cream made on site.
A LITTLE BIT FARTHER AWAY
Pleasant Prairie, WI
About 90 minutes north of Chicago, you can visit the Jelly Belly Warehouse. Visitors can ride the free Jelly Belly Express Train, which stops at various stations to show the company’s century long candy-making traditions. You will also see Jelly Belly art, dancing Jelly Belly characters, and giant Jelly Belly jelly beans.
Albanese Candy offers two types of tours – one for groups of 12 or more, buses, or large families that must be scheduled in advance, and one self-guided with no reservation required. Both are free. Note that during March-April and November-December, no tours are offered. What makes this candy company unique is that it’s the only place that offers a public tour for gummi manufacturing in the USA.
South Bend, IN
20-minute guided tours by appointment are free, and you can see how their chocolates are made and sample some fresh off the line! Or take their Inside Scoop tour for $4 per adult, and $1 for children 11 and under. These tours run at the top of every hour and are at least 45-minutes long, going behind the scenes and promising some Willy Wonka-esque surprises! They also have a chocolate museum, one of the largest collections of chocolate memorabilia in the world, including a 1,300 year old Mayan chocolate pot.
Fort Wayne, IN
Tours last 30-45 minutes and are $5/person, and include the history of DeBrand, a look at the chocolate making, and lots of delicious samples. It also includes a coupon for chocolates purchased in their shop. Tours are held at their Auburn Road location. Check their website for tour times and dates, and their extended summer tours.
Spangler is known for Dum Dums suckers and is located in northwestern Ohio. Public tours of the factory are available on their Dum Dums Trolley Monday-Friday during the summer, and Wednesday-Friday the rest of the year. No reservations are needed and tours are on a first come first served basis. Tours are $5/adult, $3 for kids 6-18, and free for kids 5 and under. There is no fee to only visit the store and museum.
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