Wonka-Worthy Tours your Sweet Tooth Will Love

Have a sweet tooth? We do too!

But, eating candy is only half the fun. Figuring out how chocolatiers and other candy connoisseurs mold those delicious truffles, stuff peanut butter inside, or make that crunchy coating not only makes our mouth water, but is educational as well.

We’ve put together a sweet listing of places that offer candy and ice cream tours in Michigan, as well as a few worth the drive. And, we love that most of the tours end with free samples.

Thanks to our sponsor, Child Development Centers.

Child Development Centers are attentive, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 2 weeks to 12 years with six locations: Augusta CDC (Augusta), Borgess CDC (Kalamazoo), Evergreen CDC (Kalamazoo), Forest CDC (Comstock), Lakeview CDC (Battle Creek),  Oakland CDC (Portage).

  • 600 S. Lincoln St. Augusta, MI 49012
    WEBSITE
    269-731-5775

Candy Tours? Sign me Up

Get ready for a treat – your kids will ooh and ahh at the large quantities of sugary goodness found at the following chocolate and candy stores. It’s fun to go behind the scenes during a candy tour. We’ve listed tours in and outside of Michigan.

1- Albanese World’s Best | 5441 East Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville, IN 46410 | (855) 272-3227

Albanese Confections makes all of the gummies and candies at their factory located in the heart of the Midwest. What makes this candy company unique is that it’s the only place that offers a public tour for gummi manufacturing in the USA. On your tour of the candy factory, you will get to view the Gummi Factory and see videos about their gummies and their Gold Label Chocolates.

Guided and self-guided tours are available, guided tours are for larger groups and must be scheduled in advance.

2Alpine Chocolat Haus | 505 S Wisconsin Ave., Gaylord, MI | (855) 732-1077

Stop into Alpine Chocolate Haus on your way up north Michigan to see where the magic comes to life and to experience firsthand the wondrous creations of der Chocolatmeister. On the tour, you will be able to see confections being made and learn about the equipment used in the confection making process. Editor Tip – You must try their #1 seller – Chocolat Haus Chips.

Make sure to call ahead to schedule a tour.

3 – Chocolates by Grimaldi | 219 N 7th Street, Grand Haven, MI 49417 | (616) 935-7740

Chocolates by Grimaldi is West Michigan’s fine chocolate factory. It is family owned and operated and a gem to find gourmet chocolate candy not found elsewhere. On the factory tour, you can learn about chocolate from pod to bean to delicious chocolate. Taste fresh samples right off of the line as you visit the production area.

Tours are by appointment only.

4 – DeBrand Fine Chocolates | 10105 Auburn Park Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825 | (260) 969-8333

Visiting the Fort Wayne area? Make a pit stop to DeBrand Fine Chocolates for a taste of something sweet. Tours begin with a short video on the history of DeBrand and then you can see their chocolatiers in action. At the end of the tour, stay around to sample several gourmet chocolates.

Drop-in Tours – check the website for open tour dates and times.

5 – Kilwins Petoskey: Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen | 316 Howard Street, PetoskeyMI 49770 | (231) 347-2645

A tour of the Kilwins Chocolate kitchen will show you how they make their delicious Tuttles, Truffles, Chocolates, Caramel, Corns, Brittles, and other confections. The tour will highlight the process from start to finish, and of course, there are free samples at the end of the tour.

Tours run Monday – Friday every half hour.

6 – Jelly Belly Warehouse Tour |10100 Jelly Belly Lane, Pleasant Prairie, WI | (800) 522-3267

Jelly Belly makes a variety of candy, but their name is synonymous with Jelly Belly jelly beans – a fan favorite.  Jelly Belly offers a free tour that will take you on a ride aboard the Jelly Belly Express. Learn how the world-famous Jelly Belly jelly beans are brought to life and how the company grew to be what it is today. The train makes a stop at Jelly Belly Station, an interactive area with games, sampling, exhibits, and videos.

Tours offered daily and run approximately every 15 minutes.

Candy Tour

7 – Sanders Chocolate | 23770 Hall Road, Clinton Township, MI 48036 | (586) 464-5411

If you happen to be in the Detroit Area, take some time to stop at Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppe. Sanders is an iconic national brand and you can stop in anytime for a self-guided tour (during regular store hours) to see inside the chocolate kitchen.

Guided tours last approximately one hour and are offered by appointment only. This includes a video presentation, factory observation walkway, and free chocolate samples.

8 – South Bend Chocolate Company | 3300 W. Sample Street, South Bend IN 46619 | (800) 301-4961

The South Bend Chocolate Company produces over 500 different chocolates and sweets, and new confections roll out of the factory every day. Visitors are treated to a history lesson of chocolate and its origins as a guide lead tour guests through all of the factory processes, including a test sample at the conclusion of the tour.

Don’t miss visiting The Chocolate Museum, which is home to one of the largest collections of chocolate memorabilia in the world.

Tours run at the top of every hour.

9 – Spangler | 400 N. Portland St., Bryan, OH 43506 | (888) 636-4221

What child hasn’t had a Dum Dums sucker? Learn about the company behind the ubiquitous Dum Dums candy – Spangler.  Hop aboard the Dum Dums Trolley for a tour of the factory which passes through different areas of the candy-making process (you’ll get to see the lollipop wrapping room). Before you leave, be sure to make a stop at the Candy Museum where kids will enjoy hands-on activity stations.

Tours last 30 minutes and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check the website for hours of operation.

Get the SCOOP on Ice Cream Tours Around Michigan

We think it is safe to say that ice cream is a favorite dessert for almost everyone. So, why not head to a dairy farm and creamery to learn just what goes into making this fabulous sweet treat and perhaps sample a new flavor or two.

1 – Moo-Ville | 5875 S. M-66, Nashville, MI 49073 | (517) 852-9003

Visit the family-owned MOO-ville Creamery for an afternoon of fun. On the general public tour, visitors will see the robotic milking system, baby calves, how milk is bottled, and where the homemade ice cream, butter, and cheese curds are made. Head to the store at the conclusion of the tour and treat the family to an ice cream cone. Stay a while and visit the Petting Farm and kids can play on the farm toys in the play area.

General public tours are offered on Saturdays only from May through August.

2 – MSU Dairy Store | 474 South Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824 | (517) 355-8466

Take a self-guided tour of the Michigan State University Dairy Plant on their observation deck to see where MSU makes a variety of natural cheeses and ice cream. Stop in the Dairy Store for a scoop of Sesquicentennial Swirl – cake batter ice cream with green thick fudge swirl and cake pieces – yum!

3 – MOOmers | 7263 N. Long Lake Rd., Traverse City, MI 49685 |  (231) 941-4122

Moomers is a family owned business overlooking the dairy farm. With more than 160 flavors of premium ice cream right at the store – it will be hard to pick a favorite. The Ice Cream Store Tour includes a building tour, making and tasting ice cream, an activity book, and a Moomers pencil. The Dairy Farm Tour includes a wagon ride to learn about the operating dairy farm.

Both tour options are available during the summer months, on select days – the Ice Cream Store Tour or a Dairy Farm Tour. Reservations are required.

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