Got a kid who loves knowing how stuff is made? Check out Stephanie AuWerter's list of local tours and share a more enjoyable experience than searching for answers on Google.
Carb lovers rejoice! Watch bakers create adorable sourdough turtles and crabs, check out old-timey mining and baking tools, and sample some tasty wares.
TIME: 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
PLACE: 160 Jefferson St.
A behind-the-scenes look at San Francisco’s famed cable cars. View the huge engines, winding wheels, and cable line in action.
TIME: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April through October
PLACE: 1201 Mason St.
Brrrr! Bundle up and visit the ice cream production room as well as the arctic freezer, with samples provided. Ages 6 and up. Reservations required. Note that tours require an 8-person minimum, and max out at 12 people.
DATE: Daily, excluding Tuesdays and Thursdays
TIME: 11 a.m.
PLACE: 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland (additional location in Vacaville)
COST: $6.95 per person for basic tour; add-ons, including lunch, available for additional fee
Our prediction? Your little one will love this charming and tiny factory. Watch machines churn out cookies, see how the fortunes are placed inside, and taste a fresh-baked sample.
TIME: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
PLACE: 56 Ross Alley
Got a budding tech star on your hands? Dig in and discover how silicon chips are made and how they’ve changed modern lives. Best suited for those in 2nd through 12th grades.
DATE: Monday through Saturday
TIME: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday through Friday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday)
PLACE: 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara
Just how does Jelly Belly make its 150 types of sweets? It’s a question most children are profoundly interested in answering—while munching on samples, of course.
DATE: Daily (Note: to see the factory in operation, visit Monday through Friday)
TIME: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
PLACE: 1 Jelly Belly Ln., Fairfield
Watch thousands of stickers being printed, dyed, and cut. Includes free stickers and a sticker art project. NOTE: Reservations required.
DATE: Monday through Thursday
TIME: 10 & 11 a.m., 1 & 2 p.m.
PLACE: 3810 Cypress Dr., Petaluma
COST: Free for under age 3; $5 for ages 3 to 11; $7 for 12 and up
Stephanie AuWerter is a San Francisco freelancer who has written for The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Parents, Money Magazine, and many other publications. She is a married mother of one feisty preschooler, stepmom of two, and owner of two very tolerant fur-babies.
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of GGMG Magazine. Photo via Flickr.
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