April 10, 2012

Herr's Snack Factory Tour (Nottingham, PA)

Another trip we took over Spring Break was to the Herr's potato chip factory in Nottingham, Pennsylvania.  It's a real, working factory making all sorts of chips and snacks and the tours are FREE!  It's about an hour north of Baltimore and an hour south of Philadelphia, so it would be a fun side trip if you're near either of those cities.

Nope, my son didn't suddenly turn into a girl.  
We had a friend with us and my son wasn't feeling photogenic
at picture taking time.

The tours are free (woo hoo!) but they recommend calling ahead or registering online since they can only accommodate a certain number of people at a time.   Our tour started with a short movie about the history of the company and then we had a tour guide lead our group of about 25 people through the factory.

Cameras aren't allowed inside the factory itself (you can see a few pictures here) but on the day we went we were able to see them making pretzels, corn chips, popcorn and potato chips.  You're usually just feet away from the big machines and conveyor belts (usually behind glass).  The kids and I loved watching everything being sliced, mixed and packaged up.  Our tour guide also told us some interesting tidbits ~ like the fact that the snacks that fall onto the floor during the packaging process are fed to cows on a nearby farm!

After we watched and learned about them making the potato chips, our tour guide went out onto the production line and scooped up a tray of still-warm chips that we got to sample (HUGE hit with the kids!).  At the end of the tour, we all also got a free snack size bag of chips (and lots of regular sized snack foods in all sizes available for purchase).  

The whole tour lasted about an hour.  On the day we went, we stopped first at Annie's Playground to play and have a picnic lunch, but there's a cafe/snack bar there at the factory if you wanted to eat before or after your tour. 

I've known about this Herr's factory for years (maybe from a Girl Scout trip ages ago), but when I was in the gift shop I saw this book  with all sorts of factory and company tours from all over the country.  It looked to be really informative, telling the cost, about the tours (like whether it was the actual factory or just a demonstration), etc.  Even if you're not here on the East Coast and able to check out this potato chip factory, I'd definitely recommend seeing if there is a similar tour near you ~ the kids and I loved it and it was a great way to take a look at all that's involved behind the scenes.


  1. Wow, what a great day! A free tour? Excellent! I love being able to watch how food is "processed." There is a Jelly belly/bean factory here in CA that I want to take my children to... just haven't found the time yet! I think it's great that the children can watch all the steps - makes them appreciate all those packaging more, right? I have a friend who lives in PA and VA, perhaps I can make that trip to visit one day. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We went there last year with out homeschool coop group the kids loved it, its about 1 hour 15 minutes from me Eastern Shore, MD. We had a good time on this trip, so glad you had a great time.

  3. That sounds amazing. I just went on my first manufacturing plant tour last week. It was at Lyons Mangus, they supply to Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King and tons of other places, it was an exceptional tour. I would love to take my son on a tour like this when he gets a little older.

  4. what a fun idea - love the idea of checking out Annie's Playground on the back. That book about tours sounds neat, too!

  5. Not sure what area you're from but since you went to the Herr's factory I'm assuming you're in my area. FYI there is a similar playground that just opened last year called Freedom Playground at the Haverford Reserve in Havertown, my daughter loves it.

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