Feed your kids’ curiosity for how things are made by taking them to learn what goes on behind-the-scenes at a San Diego food factory tour. Gather family, friends, scouts groups, or sports teams and visit one of these six food factories to see all the work and sprinklings of magic required to produce favorite foods from chocolates and caramel to baked goods and beer. Scroll down to feast your eyes on six tantalizing tours.

Chuao Chocolatier Joy Factory Tour

A sweet tour! Older kids (ages 10 and up) can take a Willy Wonka-like tour of the Chuao Chocolatier factory in Carlsbad. Learn how this Venezuelan chocolate factory started, try out the many free samples, then tour the factory floor to see how truffles and other chocolate are created. Finally, stop by the store and order up your faves to take home.

Cost: $15/person

2350 Camino Vida Roble
Carlsbad, CA 92011
760-814-6200
Online: chuaochocolatier.com

Stone Brewery Tour

Ever wonder how beer is made and bottled? Well, here’s the chance for you and your crew to check out the Stone Brewery assembly line. Set in Escondido amidst beautiful gardens, you’ll get to see the inside operations of this brew factory. The best part, kids under 12 are free, and adults get a free souvenir glass and four beer samples to boot! Book your reservation online today.

1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029
760-294-7899
Online: tours.stonebrewing.com

Bread & Cie Tour

Everyone loves bread, so learning about artisan bread baking is a delicious way to spend an afternoon. Bread & Cie invites larger groups to come see their process from dough to loaf. The tour involves a visit to the baking factory, bread samples, checking out the cold walk-in freezer and seeing a bunch of cool things that bakers 'knead' to do to make bread. Call to make a reservation. They offer only a few tours per season.

350 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
619-683-9322
Online: www.breadandcie.com

Bates Nut Farm Tour

Get a little nutty on this tour! Whether it’s their Nuts for You or Life of a Pumpkin tour, you’ll love learning the history of this nut farm and candy shop. You’ll need to round up 15 people to make this tour happen. You’ll get a little Bates Farm history, information of how nuts make it from tree to table, how pumpkin and squash grow, a visit to the roasting room, and a tour around the farm. Note: tours are not available in October.

Cost: $6.50/person (15 person minimum)

15954 Woods Valley Rd.
Valley Center, CA 92082
760-749-3333
Online: batesnutfarm.biz

photo: Le Caramel

Le Caramel Tour

Whether poured on top of dessert or eaten as a soft, chewy candy, caramel is a favorite sweet treat. Head to El Cajon for a 30 min. factory tour. Learn the history behind how caramel is made and cooked. Then, look at the machine and equipment that helps produce the candy. Finally, enjoy a piece of caramel straight off the factory line. Visit the factory boutique for caramel goodies to take home. Remember to call ahead of time and mornings are better for candy making. Groups of 10 or more are needed for the tour, and it’s free!

Cost: Free

1181 Pioneer Way
El Cajon, CA 92020
619-562-0713
Online: le-caramel.com

Panera Kids Tour

Do you have an aspiring chef? For kids, (ages 5-12), organize a group of ten or more half-pints and learn to bake. In a fun environment, your littles will don their baker’s hat and apron, watch three baking demonstrations, tour the back of the house, sample from the kid’s menu, and decorate a cookie. There are many Panera locations throughout San Diego County. Reserve online today.

Panera Bakery
Online: bitkids.panerabread.com

featured image via Unsplash

––Nikki Walsh

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