When I plan adventures, sometimes I really don’t know how it’s going to turn out. This day was one of those. I wasn’t sure how well the tours would be run or how my boys would take to them. Well, I must say that my expectations were exceeded! We had so much fun learning about how things are made in these Columbus, Ohio factories.
American Whistle Corporation
Time: tour lasts about 45 min. Tours are offered Mon – Fri and are by reservation only
Have you ever wondered how they get that little ball into a whistle? Well, you’ll find out here! Randomly, the only remaining metal whistle factory in America is located in Columbus. The factory is teeny but there is so much to it! The tour guide (and owner) did a fantastic job of showing us around and describing the ins and outs of whistle making. He was also really great at interacting with the kids. American Whistle Factory supplies metal whistles to all kinds of organizations from Super Bowl referees to police departments to the Boy Scouts of America. It is quite an interesting tour, and they give you a free whistle at the end ($3 value which brings the tour cost to $). I also bought the boys colored lanyards to attach to the whistles for $1 a piece and they were thrilled. I’m sure they will wear them everywhere for a while!
Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory Tour
Cost: $1/child; $2/adult
Time: 1 hour
From the whistle factory we headed to the candy factory tour at Anthony-Thomas. During the 45-minute tour, the guide will lead you along the glass-enclosed cat walk which is suspended above the factory floor. There you hear all about the process of making candies and chocolates, including how they get the peanut butter and caramel fillings inside some of their filled chocolates. It was fun for the kids to see where those wrapped grocery store candy bars have their beginning. At the end of the tour you are given a voucher for the amount of your tour admission which can be spent on candy in the store. With two 7 year-olds and a 2 year-old, I figured I would have been buying candy anyway, so I considered the tour part of our visit to be free. 😉
Graeter’s Ice Cream Factory
Cost: free (plus purchase of ice cream, unless you can resist Graeter’s)
Time: < 1 hour
This is not so much a factory as it is a museum. And really, the “museum” is more of a small display outlining the process of Graeter’s French Pot ice cream making. I wish they would do more and let you actually see a factory, but I suppose they have their reasons. Still, I’ll never say “no” to Graeter’s Ice Cream, and they have a really fun indoor playground. If you’re already in the area then it’s worth stopping by.
Time: 1 hour
We stopped by my brother’s place after Graeter’s, and on the way home from there, we happened upon this beautiful park on the Scioto River in Dublin. It is not a huge park, but it is right on the riverbank (gorgeous scenery) and it has a nice playground. The setting really was idyllic.