Fun factory tours in the Bay Area with kids - 510 Families

Fun factory tours in the Bay Area with kids

Updated: As of 7/31/19, the Mrs. Grossman Sticker Factory is stopping tours. 

I love to visit factories and peek behind the scenes to see how stuff is made. Especially fantastic are the hands-on tours where kids are so engrossed they forget to be bored. Many Bay Area production lines are surprisingly kid-friendly.

My favorite Bay Area factory tours with kids:

Fentons Creamery Arctic Tour, Oakland

Short, sweet, by appointment: Ice Cream
Peek behind the scenes at Fentons Creamery where you can book a tour of the facility, for kids 6 and up for $7 each (minimum 8 people per tour).

Tour Fentons Creamery
Tours of Fentons Creamery include learning about flavor mixing and watching it happen before eating a scoop | Photo: Fentons Creamery

Jelly Belly Factory Tour, Fairfield

Long, involved, sugary: Jellybeans
Spend all day in the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield to see how candy is made for free. Fun and informative wait in line. No reservations. Self-guided and self-paced tours daily from 9am to 4pm. Freebies offered along the way with a gift shop to take your money at the end.

Jelly Belly Factory
Walk 1/4 of a mile during the extensive Jelly Belly Factory | Photo: Sally Mason

Dandelion Chocolate Factory, San Francisco

One hour of education followed by hot chocolate
With small-batch, high end, dark chocolate, I admit that this visit is for me more than the children. For kids eight and up, book a one-hour tour of Dandelion’s facilities for $15 per person. Guests can redeem their tickets for a hot chocolate afterward. Learn more and reserve your spot > They also offer classes for parents and children.

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Dandelion Chocolate Factory and Cafe
Dandelion Chocolate Factory and Cafe | Photo: Dandelion Chocolate via Facebook

Krispy Kreme in Concord or Fremont

Quick, easy, sugary: Donuts
When is a donut shop really a miniature factory? When you can peek behind the glass and see dough turn into donuts and plain ones shower in sugar glaze. Get a sugar high at the Krispy Kreme mini factory in Concord and Fremont then run, play, and paddle in Central Park. The most challenging part is finding when the HOT light is on so you can watch all the action. No RSVP or purchase needed.

Watch the Krispy Kreme donut production line up close
Watch the Krispy Kreme donut production line up close, OMG look at the glaze | Photo: Heather Flett

Yummy factories that need to start tours:

Before compiling our list, I visited a bunch of places and I tried to visit many more. Will you join me in wishing that this sweet place will open its doors to us to?

  • IT’S-IT factory in Burlingame has NO TOUR but a company store where you can watch a video and pick up special merchandise and ice cream treats. Open Monday – Friday from 10am-5:30pm at 865 Burlway Road.
  • TCHO Chocolate in Berkeley has on-again-off-again tours and they are wonderful. I vote for ON.

Where do you like to find out how stuff is made with your kids? I’d love to know if there are some I missed! 

[Photos by Heather Flett]

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1 thought on “Fun factory tours in the Bay Area with kids”

  1. Heath Ceramics has a tour at their Sausalito factory which was great. (Unless your kid is a bull in a china shop type. Then you might want to skip it because they take you right on to the actual factory floor in very close proximity to the actual fragile merchandise.) Although not particularly aimed at kids, they are certainly welcome and the two seven year olds I went with did fine. The mamas loved it!

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