After visiting the Denver Mint on our Denver day trip, we headed to another free tour: Hammond’s Candy Factory. Free tours are offered every half hour so there’s no need to get here early to claim tickets like at the Mint – yay!
The smell upon entering the welcome center is amazing! The tour started with a fun video about the history of Hammond’s Candies and then we were able to observe the factory floor.
When the say their candy is handmade, they really mean it. From cooks dumping the huge copper kettles of candy onto the cooling tables, to folding the different colors together, to rolling the candy canes, they were truly making it by hand which was really fun to see! We were able to observe them making Christmas tree lollipops, and further back in the factory they were making vanilla caramels. They had wooden benches for little kids to stand on to see better, which was really nice!
For the areas of the factory that you couldn’t see quite as well, they had video monitors and the guide rotated through the different cameras so we could see what was going on everywhere. We had a great view of the lollipop makers, but weren’t able to see some of the other parts very well as we were on a tour with a day camp group of 40 kids and there wasn’t a lot of room to look through the different windows. (If you can wait around and try to go with a smaller group, I’d recommend that but it wasn’t the end of the world for us.)
They even do all of the packaging by hand!
Everyone got a free sample at the end of the tour – in our case, it was peppermint sticks but it sounds like it may vary. These were “seconds” so they were pretty broken up, but hey, it was free.
Of course there’s a large candy store, and it has an “Oops!” section where you can get overstocked, past-dated, or broken candies for a pretty big discount. We got some all-day suckers for $1.00 each after a buy one, get one free sale that was running (and I have no idea what was wrong with them).
The candy factory tour was my kids’ favorite part of our Denver day trip and it was such an easy, fast stop that we would totally do it again and hope to see them making different kinds of candy. You can check out all the information on a Hammond’s Candy Factory tour here.