If school’s not out for you already, it surely will be soon! Wondering how to keep your kids entertained this summer? We’ve put together a list of fun and educational tours children are sure to be interested in. The best part? They’re all convenient to those in the Northeast, meaning you could make these a day trip or a one- or two-night stay depending on where you’re driving from.
The Crayola Experience
Ever wonder how crayons are made? You can find out in Easton, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. The Crayola Experience in Pennsylvania includes a tour and demonstration at the crayon factory, along with a ton of other opportunities for hands-on fun like melting and molding your own special crayon to take home, a photo opp with the world’s largest crayon, painting with melted crayon wax, Doodle in the Dark, an indoor playground, an amazing water table, opportunities to create your own puzzle, a chance to make your very own drawing come to life via animation and the chance to make your own crayon wrapper…and then wrap it on a crayon!
Hershey, Pennsylvania is admittedly in the middle of nowhere, but it’s so worth the trip. In case you can’t guess how the town got its name, it is the home of Hershey chocolate. You can take a tour of the factory, including seeing how Hershey Kisses get wrapped up. The tour is free, as is the complimentary sweet at the end. But the factory tour isn’t all. This town in the middle of PA is also home to Hershey Park, a huge amusement park that hosts roller coasters, water slides and everything else you need for a fun day with the family.
Tom’s of Maine
Want to show your kids how a socially responsible company operates? Take them on a free tour of the facilities of Toms of Maine. While these tours are free, you will have to call ahead to schedule and your kids must be age five or older.
Ben & Jerry’s
What child doesn’t love ice cream? Another great company that runs on values over profit is Ben & Jerry’s. Their facilities in Waterbury, Vermont are open for tours year round. Not only will you get to see how ice cream is made, but you’ll also get to visit the Flavor Graveyard where the flavors of yesteryear reside. Kids age 12 and under get in free, with adult tickets costing a paltry $4 and seniors getting discounted tickets at $3.
If you have a kiddo that’s into trucks, you’ll want to stop in Macungie, Pennsylvania, which isn’t too far away from the Crayola attractions in Easton. It’s here that they assemble Mack trucks, and they’re showing off how to those ages 10 and over. While you’re at it, you can also visit the Mack Trucks Historical Museum in nearby Allentown, PA to view the history of their line.
Just because school’s out doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Disguise education in something fun like a factory tour for chocolate, ice cream or trucks and you won’t hear any protests from your kids about the extra education!