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Travel & Vacations Family travel and vacation ideas, fun activities, movie night, game nights, plenty of ideas for fun and relaxation.

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Old 08-24-2003, 02:45 PM
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chuckle Best Factory Tours for Kids

CRAYOLA FACTORY TOUR

Location: Easton, Pennsylvania
What's Cool: The ChalkWalk, Color Carousel, giant glass wall and other art activities
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What child has not gone through boxes of crayons, fighting for the sharpest cornflower blue and lamenting when the wilted wrapper falls off? At Crayola, visitors walk through the manufacturing floor where they learn the process of making crayons and markers. The Hall of Fame showcases memorabilia, including those crayon colors that have been retired for good. The strongest part of the tour is the variety of arts and crafts available, giving kids and adults the opportunity to try out new products, complete craft activities to bring home, and experience exhibits like the Crayola Color Garden or the Color Carousel. At the Crayola Factory, kids are able to draw on the walls and make clay sculptures without a nervous parent hovering in the background. The tour is realistic and keeps the attention of even the youngest visitors.

Where: Two Rivers Landing, 30 Centre Square, Easton, PA 18042
Phone: (610) 515-8000
Web Site: www.crayola.com
Rates: Tour costs are $7 adults and kids; $6, seniors; free for children under 2; Reservations are necessary for groups
Hours: Tours are given on a first-come, first serve basis Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.




KELLOGS CEREAL CITY USA


Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
What's Cool: A personalized cereal box or birthday party complete with tour and birthday card from Tony the Tiger
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Although the Kellogg's Cereal City tour shows a simulated cereal-making process, it is close enough to the real thing in sense, smell and taste. Cereal City is complete with store-lined streets and a theater that lets audience members experience the morning breakfast table from the point of view (and size) of a salt shaker. There are plenty of hands-on activities and exhibits, as well as the chance to see Kellogg favorites like Tony the Tiger roaming the streets of this "city" devoted to cereal production. Before departing, visitors have the chance to sample a bowl of the famous flakes and maybe even get a box complete with their pictures on the outside.

Where: 171 West Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Phone: (616) 962-6230
Web Site: Click here
Rates: Tour costs are $6.95, adults; $4.95, kids 3 to 12; $5.95, seniors 65 plus; free for children under 3; Reservations are necessary for groups of more than 25 people
Hours: Tours are given Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Memorial Day through Labor Day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays
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Old 08-24-2003, 02:51 PM
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LOUISVILLE SLUGGER MUSEUM (at Hillerich & Bradsby)

Location: Louisville, Kentucky
What's Cool: Virtual ball park and virtual ball catch allow visitors to "catch" 90 mile-per-hour balls
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The Louisville Slugger Museum gives the phrase "Play Ball!" a new meaning with a 21-ton, stone sculpture of a glove standing in one hall of the museum. This factory tour (conducted on Main Street) comes close to epitomizing the American dream, as Louisville creates bats not only for the little leaguers itching to take the tour but for the pros as well. The tour shows the process in which bats are made (95% by a machine that takes all of 40 seconds!). It's also a museum filled with baseball memorabilia, including the Sluggers of baseball greats like Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. All visitors leave with a mini-version of the original Slugger bat made on location.

Where: 800 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 588-7228



BEN & JERRY'S ICE CREAM FACTORY

Location: Waterbury, Vermont
What's Cool: Portion of entry fee donated to local Vermont non-profit organizations
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Ben & Jerry's interesting marketing techniques and quality ice cream make this tour a hit with adults and kids alike. The tour begins in the "cow over the moon" theater with a movie that explains the history of the company. Noted for its community involvement, the company offers a solid example to kids of the many different forms concern for the community can take. On production days, the tour continues through the production room where visitors see exactly what is needed to make "Vermont's Finest." The tour would not be complete without a free sample of the flavor of the day and a trip to the Scoop Shop to get your fill of ice cream, buy socially responsible gifts, and maybe even find a favorite discontinued flavor (like Sweet Potato Pie or Rainforest Crunch).
Web Site: Louisville Slugger Museum
Rates: Tour costs are $5, adults; $4.50, seniors; $3 kids; free for children under 5; Reservations are necessary for groups of 15 or more
Hours: Tours are given Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Where: Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676
Phone: (802) 882-1260
Web Site: www.benandjerrys.com
Rates: Tour costs are $2, adults; $1.75, seniors; free for children; Reservations are suggested for groups (up to 40 people), but no reservations for July, August or holiday weekends
Hours: Tours are given daily, but call for seasonal hours
Note: No ice cream production on Sundays, holidays, or company celebration days; a video is substituted for actual production (of course, there are still free samples)
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Old 08-24-2003, 02:55 PM
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BASIC BROWN BEAR

Location: San Francisco, California
What's Cool: Stuff and bring home your very own Basic Brown Bear
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All kids might not love the idea of watching how the relatives of their favorite stuffed bear are put together from start to finish, but for those ready to handle the fact that their favorite teddy was once pieces of material and stuffing, the Brown Bear tour is a winner. Visitors get to watch as these bears are made from the drawing of the pattern to the sewing of their original clothes. Everyone gets the opportunity to inflate the bear with just the right amount of polyester and then participate in a bear shower, which removes extra fuzz from the bear. Watching how these bears "come to life" will give kids and adults a new appreciation for the classic teddy.

Where: 444 DeHaro Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 626-0781
Web Site: www.basicbrownbear.com
Rates: Tours are free, but the cost of stuffing an animal ranges from $12 to $300; reservations are necessary for groups of eight or more
Hours: Tours are given daily at 1 p.m.; there's an additional tour Saturdays at 11 a.m.



JELLY BELLY FACTORY

Location:One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA and 10100 Jelly Belly Lane, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
What's Cool: Portraits and artwork made entirely out of Jelly Belly candy
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After donning a white paper hat, follow friendly tour guides through the sweet-smelling factory as you watch how the Jelly Belly is made, flavored, branded with the logo, and packaged. Jelly Bellys differ from other jellybeans in that both the coating and the inside, or the slurry, are flavored. With the interesting flavors that range from buttered popcorn to jalapeņo, the Jelly Belly tour is a unique candy experience. Along with a free sample, be sure to pick up a menu that offers suggestions for creating a peanut-butter sandwich or strawberry daiquiri with these flavor-packed jellybeans.

Where: One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA and 10100 Jelly Belly Lane, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Phone: (707) 428-2838 (CA); (866) 868-7522 (WI)
Web Site: www.jellybelly.com
Rates: Free
Hours:Tours daily Monday through Sunday 9 am to 5 pm, closed major holidays.
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Old 08-24-2003, 02:57 PM
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HERSHEYS CHOCOLATE WORLD

Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania
What's Cool: Proximity to HersheyPark entertainment complex and theme park
-----------------------------------------
Though this is not the full tour of an operating Hershey factory (like the one in Oakdale, California), the town of Hershey is devoted to marketing the well-loved chocolate. You will not see the actual chocolates being made, but you will ride through a simulation of the process in a cocoa bean-shaped car. The ride gives you a realistic idea of the process, complete with smells, close-up video shots of production lines, and free samples at the end. The nearby Hershey Museum covers the history of the product.

Where: Visitors Center, Park Boulevard, Hershey, PA 17033
Phone: (717) 534-4900
Web Site: www.hersheys.com
Rates: Free
Hours: Tours are given Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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