I think it’s safe to assume that the average person is a sucker (no pun intended) for an old school candy shop experience. One part nostalgia of simpler times gone by and one part freshly made confections make for an ideal treat for the kid in all of us. And while Colorado may be focused on those kinds of “candies,” Hammond’s Candies are still producing all of your favorite candy classics.
Of course, anyone can sell candy. But candy factory tours are always fun, and Hammond’s offers tours six days a week, sans holidays. No matter what you prefer to munch on, you’ll find it here being hand made like they did in the 1920’s.
What’s in a Name?
So maybe Hammond’s isn’t quite the household name that Hershey’s or Mars is, but what they do accomplish is no small feat. They produce 4,000 pounds of candy each and every day and even offer specialty choices for any occasion. Considering the variety of products that the company makes, this is an impressive display of dedication by everyone involved. While any candy creator can draw an easy Willy Wonka reference, Hammond’s just might be the next best thing.
Cheap Family Day Out
If you’re like me, you can’t turn down sweets if you know that they’re handmade. So while you may wind up dropping a significant amount of travel funds in the gift shop, the great news is that the factory tour is offered free of charge. It’s a local attraction in a major city that does not require money. That alone is worth showing up for.
You also don’t need reservations for small groups, but if you have ten or more people, definitely call ahead. Also, tours are not offered all day, so it’s a good idea to show up early. Finally, on Saturdays, they don’t craft as much product as they do on weekdays. So if you want to get the full experience, try to get there during the weekdays.
Who Can Tour the Factory?
The good news, schedule-wise, is that Hammond’s has done an excellent job of crafting a truly “for everyone” experience. The factory tours run approximately 30 minutes, and they can pack 50 people into each one. They also allow you to bring in strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices. This definitely puts them a step ahead of most attractions found elsewhere.
Being a candy purveyor, you can expect that people are going to be bringing children. However, the tour itself is a true all-ages event. Facts can be found displayed along walls while the tour process stays away from diving into kid show territory. Any aged guest will probably find the process fascinating.
What is the Tour Like?
Like many factory or production tours, the process is similar to most; guests are guided through the exhibits with a mix of live spieling, educational videos, employees behind glass, and live demonstrations. If you have been through this type of process before, either at Ben & Jerry’s factory or even a brewery, then you probably already know the drill. But I can never stray away from a behind the scenes tour, and my fellow food nerds will probably dig it as well.
Kids with short attention spans, small bladders, or crowd-induced anxiety may not have an excellent time. But what child doesn’t love to watch candy being made? And considering all of the bribes treats available in the gift shop, 30 minutes shouldn’t be an arduous process. It also helps that Hammond’s utilizes a variety of methods, which should also help divert their attention throughout the tour.
Treat Yo Self
The gift shop is the real star of the show. With a mix of everyone’s favorite classic candies, as well as snack options you’ll love it. Guests can find rows of lollipops, as well as cases of special candies to pour into a bag. In addition, cases of chocolates, wrapped chocolate bars, old fashioned popcorn and brittles, and more. Hammond’s does not create sugar-free candies, but they do sell a small variety of sugar-free products.
For a chance at being the world’s coolest parent, at least for a day, you can plan a birthday party for your kid (and definitely not vicariously for yourself). Specialty products can be found as well for winter holidays, Mother’s Day, weddings, Halloween, and other special occasions, making it a memorable gift for any occasion.
If you are planning a trip to the Denver area and are looking for a family friendly place to get a sugar rush, check out Hammond’s Candies.