Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Visit to the PEZ Factory

Here in Connecticut we don't lay claim to much... But we are the home of PEZ! The little candy dispensers are manufactured in Orange, Conn., and the factory opened a Visitor's Center earlier this year. It's a great place to stop if you are ever in the area.

Big Girl is a big fan of PEZ, and has collected dispensers since she was just a tot. We have been dying to visit the PEZ factory ever since we found out that it was open to the public and it was on our Summer Bucket List. We finally had the chance to go last Friday and it was so much fun.

Friends had said it wasn't worth it unless you were in the area, but it was a perfect stop for us. It's small -- it's really one giant room with a loft lounge -- but there is a lot to see and do in that room! It was just right for the twins, with colorful displays and many hands-on/interactive things they could touch. And just the right size to enjoy before the little ones reached their limit.

There is an admission price, but it was worth it. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for kids ages 3 to 12 years, and each admission receives a $2 credit to merchandise purchased in the shop during your visit. A PEZ dispenser costs $1.99, so you basically get a dispenser with your visit, and you can get free mini PEZ packets when you check out. Also, each admission ticket is on a PEZ lanyard to wear around your neck, which you get to keep. And if you take the PEZ trivia quiz, a certificate prints out with your name on it, which is another nice little souvenir. So I'd say you get your money's worth, right?

The center is like a museum to PEZ, with just about every dispenser and collectible imaginable. The history of PEZ is detailed in the displays around the room.

They have the Orange County Choppers PEZ motorcycle hanging in the entry:

I loved these vintage Santa PEZ -- so cute:

The twins had a lot to see during our visit:

You can see into the factory and watch the workers. On this day they were packaging Christmas PEZ -- I wonder how many stockings will be filled with these?

The little ones were fascinated by the numerous PEZ displays in the floor -- they were definitely intriguing:

There is an area when you can get a little tin pail and fill it with loose PEZ candy in every flavor imaginable for $4.99 -- Big Girl had a field day with this and picked several hard-to-find flavors, like sour raspberry and chocolate! The kids picked out dispensers and Big Girl wanted the PEZ collectible book to check out all the hard-to-find dispensers. (As you can tell, we didn't get away without spending extra!)

Upstairs is a lounge area, with many tables where you could enjoy a snack from vending machines, or bring a packed lunch. They have a sink available too. The lounge area also has a giant TV with a PEZ Jeopardy! program playing on it. You can see down into the visitor's center, which the kids enjoyed, especially since there is a great view of the giant PEZ man:

I'm glad we made a point to get here before school started. I found it fascinating, and it was a cheery place to spend a morning.

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