Last month we found ourselves on the shoreline in Bridgeport for another excursion. Since we were not that far from Orange, I told my husband, “I want to go to the PEZ Factory!” And like everyone else around here, he looked at me and said, “There’s a PEZ Factory in Connecticut?”
Yes, yes there is.
I understand if you are completely shocked at this fact. While PEZ have been around since the 1920s, the PEZ Factory was built in Orange in the 1970s. And the PEZ Visitor’s Center in Orange did not open until 2011. So being able to visit the PEZ Factory is a fairly new thing.
The PEZ Factory is located in an Industrial Park just off of I-95 – which makes sense, it’s a working factory. Apparently some say you can smell the PEZ when you drive into the area. It was raining on the day we visited so we had our windows closed. Otherwise, I would have totally sniffed the air to see if that was true.
(From Google Maps)
The doors to the PEZ Visitor’s Center are located right by the giant PEZ on the building. Look for the double doors.
The PEZ Visitor’s Center is open daily. However, if you hope to catch a glimpse of the factory in operation, you’ll want to visit on a weekday (and NOT a holiday). We visited on a holiday so we missed out on seeing things in operation. You’ll want to plan your visit wisely if seeing production is important to you.
When you walk in through the double doors, you’ll see the admission counter. Admission to the PEZ Visitor’s Center is $5; children ages 3-12 are $4 and children under 3 are free. They offer group rates as well; and you can add on a candy demonstration.
The neat thing about PEZ is they really give you a lot with your paid admission. Besides entrance, you get to keep your PEZ visitor lanyard. You also receive a $2 credit towards any purchase and you have the chance to win a PEZ dispenser.
The lanyard was definitely a keeper!
Once you have paid your admission and have your lanyard on, you can head into the visitor’s center.
The first thing you’ll spot is this guy – the world’s largest PEZ dispenser! He’s pretty tall and he’s interactive. With the push of a button you can watch the top of his head lift up like an actual dispenser!
Behind the big PEZ dispenser, we found a fun scavenger hunt to do during our visit. The rule were simple – find the special dispensers and break the code. Each person in your group can play the game.
Towards the left, you can take a walk through the history of PEZ starting with the 1920s when they were invented all the way to the present day.
The main gallery featured hundreds of PEZ dispensers in glass cases! There were so many! I don’t know what it is but there’s something about PEZ that just takes me back to my childhood. I think growing up most of us had at least one of those plastic dispensers in our possession. It was neat to see some of the ones I had as a kid!
There were so many dispensers- everywhere. Even under your feet! Of course, we spotted Thomas the Train in that floor box!
Towards the back left is where you will find the factory viewing windows. As I mentioned, they were not producing the candies when we visited but we did see them hard at work packaging candies!
Behind the factory viewing area, you’ll find a set of stairs that lead you to even more!
On the upper level you’ll find even more fun facts and historical information, PEZ dispensers, some cute interactive games and of course, a really cool PEZ motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers.
Upstairs you’ll find a party area. You can have birthdays and celebrations at the PEZ Visitor Center!
While upstairs, you can really get a sense of how many dispensers and memorabilia is on the main floor. That’s a lot of PEZ!
Back on the main level, there’s even more to check out.
They have some great interactive activities at the PEZ Visitor’s Center including this chance to become a real life PEZ dispenser. He was a little short…
There was also a fun chance to play a trivia game and win a personalized certificate. And of course, we loved the coloring station!
After we had our fun exploring the PEZ Visitor’s Center, it was time to get to business. We needed to buy some candy! Oh, and in case you are wondering, they have a lot of that for sale. A LOT.
You could, of course, pick out any dispenser you can imagine. They also had a chance for you to make your own personalized dispenser! How cool! You pick out a dispenser and then decorate it with stickers and pens. We ended up skipping this option and taking home a Chase (Paw Patrol) dispenser.
Of course, the best part of the whole visit was filling a bucket with every flavor possible of PEZ candies! I’ll admit I may have enjoyed this more than my four year old! I wanted my own bucket but my pancreas appreciated that I didn’t do that… The bucket is a great deal at $5.99! You can fit a lot of PEZ in there.
We finally checked out and paid a whopping $2 for our bucket of PEZ and Chase dispenser. With $6 in credits, we got a good deal! Basically our bucket of PEZ were free. On top of that, we finished the scavenger hunt and won a second FREE dispenser! And since my son did so well on his trivia game, he took home a personalized certificate as well. All in all, for $16 we had a pretty great time!
Of course, before leaving we made a souvenir penny to commemorate our day at the PEZ Visitor’s Center in Orange! I feel bad, he thought he was putting money in for more candy… instead we gave him a smooshed penny. Sorry bud!
We had a great time visiting the PEZ Visitor’s Center in Orange! While I think it’s well-known that PEZ is produced right here in Connecticut; most of us have no idea you can actually visit the factory! It’s a great stop when you’re down near Orange. You probably only need an hour but you are guaranteed a really SWEET time!
This about sums it up…
35 Prindle Hill Road – Orange, Connecticut
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The PEZ production floor is typically operational Monday – Friday with exception of holidays.
Regular Admission: $5
Children 3-12: $4
Children under 3 Free
Each paid admission includes:
- $2.00 credit on your receipt toward any merchandise purchase (valid on the same day of your visit).
- A souvenir PEZ lanyard & an opportunity to win a free PEZ dispenser in one of our interactive activities.
- Stroller accessible!
- Free Parking!
- Fun opportunities to win a prize
- Interactive games & activities
- Viewing area of the PEZ Factory floor
- Candy and souvenirs for sale
- Fun Photo Ops
- Birthday Party Packages available