Sugar Rush

News flash, readers: I have a sweet tooth.  I adore candy.  The super sugary, rot-your-teeth kind of candy.  Jelly Belly’s, Swedish Fish, Mike and Ike’s, Sour Patch Kids (even though I think I’m slightly allergic – I get all hot in the face when I eat them), and marshmallows…OH, GOSH…marshmallows!  And that’s only scratching the surface, people.  I won’t even bother getting into things like fresh fudge and buttercream frosting.  One look at candy and my Healthy Living Attitude gets on a plane with my Willpower and flies off to Timbuktu.

Real place.

Ya gotta live a little, right?  Everything in moderation, hmm?

Given this weakness of mine, you can all imagine how wicked excited I was when I discovered that The PEZ Factory is located in Orange, CT – a mere 45 minute drive away!  A visit was definitely in order.

PEZ was invented  in the 1920s in Vienna, Austria.  How the factory moved to Orange is beyond me, but who am I to question a good thing?  My niece, K, who is similarly enamored with candy (though she has a decidedly more refined palate than yours truly, preferring 70% dark chocolate to penny candy) happened to be in town this past weekend so we, along with my mom (who shall heretofore be referred to as Grandma) and dad (Grandpa, who also loves candy – it runs in the family) hopped in the car and headed towards this scion of almighty sugar.

The Visitor Center just opened in 2011 and is pretty impressive in terms of construction. 

Motorcycle courtesy of Orange County Choppers.

After paying admission (a reasonable $5 for adults, $4 for children) and getting a nifty PEZ badge…

I dressed appropriately – the badge matched my outfit.

…you’re admitted into a land of sugar and sunshine.

Love the colors of the rainbow. However, we did not taste the rainbow, because PEZ are not Skittles.

The Visitor’s Center is basically just one big room but it does contain enough “stuff” to keep ya busy for a while.  There’s a whole wall of “PEZ Through the Ages” and loads of PEZ memorabilia.  I particularly enjoyed the vintage PEZ posters…

Hmmm…

…even though some of them were a little, shall we say, suggestive…

Don’t quite know how I feel about this…

The Center also has a viewing window where you can see the production floor.  A little more sterile than Willy Wonka…

These are not Oompa Loompas.

…but exciting nonetheless.  Especially when you catch a glimpse of the huge vats of candy.

Can I just shove my face in one of those?

K had a great time designing her own PEZ dispenser…

Michelangelo at work.

…while I got physical with some larger-than-life PEZ…

Grandma chopped off my head.

…and Grandpa took advantage of the bulk PEZ section.

A 70-year-old candy freak’s heaven.

With each admission you get a $2 credit towards anything you buy in the store that day so we didn’t have to pay a dime (or $8) for K’s personalized PEZ dispenser or Grandpa’s bucket-o-PEZ.  Free stuff is always fun :).

We all headed upstairs to the lounge area after we had our fill of PEZ fun.  We watched some PEZ related clips (Seinfeld, The Today Show, E.T. – PEZ has had its fair share of exposure) and dug into Grandpa’s bucket…

Chocolate, Cola, Lemon, Strawberry Vanilla, Orange…

…except for Grandma who opted for coffee and peanut butter crackers instead.

Walking to the beat of a different drummer.

A good time was had by all and I recommend the PEZ Visitor’s Center to anyone lookin’ to indulge their sweet tooth or just kill some time on a rainy afternoon.

We’re walking on sunshine…in the form of PEZ.

 

Do you have a sweet tooth?  If so, what’s your favorite candy?

Have you ever been to any treat production facilities?

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Categories: Candy, Sweet Tooth | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Sugar Rush

  1. marie5k

    this is the coolest ever! i must get in on the pez action! little known fact- i colleced pez dispensers and still have my collection of almost 100 dispensers… shocking, i know. Jake would L-O-V-E this! and you can’t beat a $5.00 admission price!!

  2. tara

    Pshhh…yeah! You know I have one heck of a sweet tooth! I don’t think I’ve been to any facility, but I dream about skiing down a mountain of peppermint patties like they do in the commercials… (wait, they do that, right?)

  3. Pez is seriously underrated, but such a big part of Americana!

  4. Jennifer

    I never knew that the Pez factory was in CT, so very cool! You can’t beat the $5 admission price! It will be an awesome place to take Matthew when he gets older! I think my favorite factory I have visited has to be Ben and Jerrys! I don’t have as much a candy addiction as I have an ice cream OBSESSION!

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