They’re the staples of filled piñatas and receptionists’ candy bowls but did you know that the Dum Dum sucker is made right here in the Midwest? Spangler’s Candy Factory is a family-owned company that makes over 12 million Dum Dums a day! And you and your kids can actually see the factory in action on your next road trip through Ohio.
In addition to making Dum Dums, Spangler’s is the maker of those crazy orange circus peanuts (take the tour to find out what flavor they really are!) and the only factory in the US still making candy canes.
Located in the tiny town of Bryan, Ohio in northwest Ohio between Toledo and Fort Wayne, the Spangler Candy Factory Tour is the perfect road trip stop or one-day outing as you let your kids experience their own Willie Wonka moment. And yes, there are free samples!
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What You Need To Know About Spangler Candy Factory Tours
You’ll find the Spangler candy factory just outside Bryan’s main town square and there are signs that will point you in the right direction. Pull up to the yellow brick building and follow the signs for the Factory Tour. You’re in the right place if you see the giant Dum Dum pictures on the walls.
Head inside to the store/museum to sign up for the factory tour. The cost if $5 per person (6+). Kids 5 and under and free. Tour hours vary by week and there is less availability during the school year so make sure to check their website before you go.
You pay at the checkout counter just inside the doors and they’ll take your name and let you know what time the next available tour is. While you wait, feel free to grab a Dum Dum out of the sample jar and browse the museum displays.
There’s also a great interactive kids area with some headphones and monitors where you can listen to old jingles, watch commercials, and learn more about the history of the company. We waited about 15 minutes for our tour but I would expect you might wait a bit longer when it’s busy during the summer.
Once your tour time is called, you’ll be given some instructions about the tour (no photography or video allowed inside the factory) and be asked to wear a lovely hairnet. Then, you’ll climb aboard a small train for your tour.
Because of health and safety regulations you won’t be able to see some of the factory up close but there are videos along the way that help explain the process and my kids were totally engaged the whole time. You’ll see much more of the packing and shipping than the candy making but it’s all really interesting.
The tour lasts about 30 minutes and you stay in the trolley the whole time so you don’t have to do any walking, but for little ones who don’t like sitting still, it might be an issue.
You’ll return back to the store with restrooms and a chance to buy some candy or souvenirs. Don’t forget to grab one more Dum Dum for the road before you leave!
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What To Do After Your Spangler Candy Factory Tour
If you want to make a day-trip out of it, plan to stop by Four Seasons Diner for some delicious lunch or breakfast. There are some Greek specialties on the menu but also a ton of traditional diner fare and a great kids menu. I love supporting a local restaurant and this is the perfect place for families.
Nearby, you can also take your kids to Imagination Station, a huge wooden playground right near the Spangler Factory. If you plan ahead you can tour the factory and then head to the park for a picnic lunch and to run off some of that sugar rush!
Have you done a factory tour with your kids before? Got another great Ohio road trip stop? Leave a comment with your best advice for other adventurous families!