Do you remember that Mister Rogers Neighborhood episode where he took a tour inside a Crayola factory? This is one of the best MRN episodes ever, and is a blissful blur of color and procedure, narrated slowly and simply by Mister Rogers. It’s sublime. Way back before Google and YouTube, when we wanted to learn about something we had to either research it in a book or experience it firsthand (or, in this case, tune in to Mister Rogers Neighborhood).
Thankfully there are still places around Cincinnati where your family can go and learn how things work with a real-life experience. Many factory tours are offered in our region and cover everything from candy to garbage, so there’s bound to be one that interests your family!
Check out these Fun Factory Tours near Cincinnati:
6540 Huntley Rd., Columbus, OH 43229
We all know children love to make noise, and what better way to do it than with a whistle? Tour a working manufacturing plant and see how a whistle is made from start to finish. Tours are scheduled in advance and are customized to the interests of the patrons; so all ages are welcome and encouraged!
6926 Main Street, Cincinnati, OH 45244
If you’ve ever had the delightfulness that is a French Chew, then you can thank Doscher’s Candy Co! Candy Factory Tours are typically held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 and 10:30 am. The tours last approximately 35 minutes and all guests receive samples of our delicious candy as part of the tour. Tours are $5/person and FREE for kids 2 and under. RSVP here.
800 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
For the baseball loving family (and even non – fans!), the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory should be at the top of your list. There are many different attractions to keep your children’s interest and a mini bat is included with the price of the tour.
Rookwood – OTR Flagship Store 1920 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Rookwood is dedicated to sharing our longstanding legacy of handcrafting ceramics that are as artistically breathtaking as they are functional. In continuation of this mission, we invite you to explore Rookwood’s 88,000 square foot production facility in the heart of Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood with a guided working factory tour led by resident historian, George Hibben. Tours are Fridays at 10:30 am and 1 pm.
3800 Struble Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45251
Do you have a child is incredibly interested in trucks, dirt, the environment, or how things work? You may not think that taking a tour of a garbage dump is appealing, but in fact the landfill tours offered by Rumpke are extremely interesting and entertaining. Tours must be scheduled at least 2 months in advance and children must be kindergarten age or older. The one-hour tour is free and takes place from a bus and is perfect for groups or you can call and request to be put in with a smaller group.
400 N. Portland Street, Bryan OH 43506
Do you like Dum-Dums? Take a trolley tour of the factory where they are made, along with many other treats. This affordable destination also has a museum and store to stock up on these famous hard candies.
1001 Cherry Blossom Way, Georgetown, KY 40324
Just a little over an hour south of Cincinnati is the world’s largest Toyota Manufacturing Facility. Toyota offers free, hour-long tours that are perfect for all ages. You’ll go behind the scenes of the facility on a tram tour around the property and learn quite a bit about the history, present, and future of Toyota vehicles.
33300 West Sample Street, South Bend IN 46619
If you’re a chocolate lover – and who isn’t? – then you’ll want to plan a little trip to South Bend, Indiana. Located near The University of Notre Dame, The South Bend Chocolate Company is the fastest growing chocolate company in the nation. See up close how their chocolate and candies are made with the 45 – minute “Inside Scoop” tour, or they also have a free 20-minute basic tour option.
11324 Mount Vernon Road, Utica, OH, 43080
At the Velvet Ice Cream headquarters, your family can enjoy a free tour that includes the history of the company and a look inside their factory from the viewing gallery. During the 30-minute walking tour, you will learn how the company began in 1914 and learn the seven steps it takes to make this sweet dessert.
If you’d like more ideas, the website, factorytourusa.com is a great place to begin your planning. We recommend calling each place ahead of time to confirm tour availability, prices and details.