If you’ve been searching for ways to entertain the kiddies and possibly out of town guests, look no further. We’ve rounded up eight super cool tours where you can learn fun facts about chocolate, baseball, doughnuts and even airplanes. Click through the gallery to see our favorite local tours where kids are more than welcome to lead the way!
Seattle Chocolates Experience Chocolate Tour -Tukwila
For 25 years, Seattle Chocolates has been making, packaging and shipping more than a million pounds of decadent truffles, chocolate bars and seasonal and special occasion products out of its 60,000-square-foot Tukwila warehouse. And now, for the first time in their 25-year history, they've opened their doors to the public with their Experience Chocolate tour. It took nine months of construction, a team of chocolate-obsessed employees and one skillful architect to carefully design and curate the tour's vision along with the construction of the magenta mezzanine walkway that guides visitors through the factory, giving each a true bird’s-eye view of the candy making process.
Each Experience Chocolate tour begins in the classroom where visitors will start their sweet journey with a cup of melted chocolate along with a video on how cocoa is grown and processed (from farm to working plant) as well as the history of chocolate and how the manufacturing process works. From there, a tour guide will lead you into the factory and along a nine-and-a-half-foot high raised walkway. At your first stop, you will learn about truffles as you sample delicious Frangos (psst... Seattle Chocolates has been making them at their Tukwila factory for 14 years) as well as watch a video on the truffle making process and get a live view on how a truffle flavor is carefully crafted, poured, molded, shaken and then run through a chocolate waterfall before it’s finally cooled and packaged. As you move along the tour, you will learn about the tempering process, how Seattle Chocolates makes their chocolate bars so delicious and the packaging process (which is all done by hand), all while immersing yourself in the busy, choclaty bustle of a working factory. At the end of the tour, everyone will get to experience the Tasting Room where you will explore different chocolate varieties and flavor combinations based on what is being made fresh that day. You will also get the opportunity to suggest new flavor ideas that may become reality for the next Seattle Chocolates collection. It's every Willy Wonka's dream come true!
Don't Miss: Creating your own gift box in the gift shop. Mix your choice of more than 20 different truffle flavors, or try a jcoco chocolate flight exploring different cacao percentages of dark chocolate and origins of chocolate. If you were a fan of purchasing chocolate "rejects" at the factory's former store, you'll be happy to know that you can still purchase them on the second Saturday of the month (while supplies last).
We Suggest: Leaving your personal belongings behind. Glass is not allowed inside the factory which means no cameras or cell phones will be permitted during the factory portion of the tour. Guests who choose to bring items along, will be given a locker to stow them.
Cost: Admission is $10/person. Each tour can accommodate up to 15 people.
Details: Tours last approximately one hour and there is a fair amount of walking involved. Stairs up to the viewing platform and walkway may pose a difficulty to persons with mobility restrictions. Because of the height of the platform and format of the tour, children under the age of 6 are not permitted. The factory typically operates Mon.-Fri. from 6 a.m.-3 p.m., however this may vary during holiday seasons. Tours take place Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Make your reservation online or call 206-637-2127. If you don't have a reservation, each tour does allow for up to six drop-ins.
1180 Andover Park W.
Seattle, Wa 98188
photo: Kristina Moy
What’s your family’s favorite Seattle-area tour? Tell us in the Comments below!
— Kristina Moy & Erin Cranston