Take a fun day trip about an hour northeast of San Francisco and visit the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California. This is a nice day outing for a family or a larger group, especially since there is no admission fee. It is easy to find located right near Highway 12. You will get to see the inner workings of The Jelly Belly Factory with a free guided tour. They don’t just make Jelly Belly jelly beans there either; they make picture taffy, gummi creatures and even chocolates.
Things You'll Need
- Comfortable shoes for walking
- Bag lunch
- Spending money for a souvenir
Bring comfortable shoes as this is a walking tour. Although the Jelly Belly Factory Tour is only about an hour long, you may have to wait a bit for the group in front of you to finish the tour. Then the group you are in can go through. Waits during school break times can be over an hour long although they are often much shorter. You don’t need to make reservations for the tour. Bring wheelchairs and strollers if you need them; they are welcome on the tour. The factory tour and Jelly Belly Visitor Center are easily accessible to them.
Stand in line at the base of the stairs just past the cafeteria. They present each person with a paper Jelly Belly chef's hat to wear on the tour. Join in and wear the hat for fun; it is good for a chuckle or two. See a working factory in action as walk along a raised hallway overlooking all parts of the live factory. You never know what you may see being produced when you show up. Each step of production is explained with a video on an overhead television screen and by a live guide.
Look down into the Jelly Belly Factory through walls of glass as you walk along, so you can see every delectable treat being made very clearly. Try not to drool. Everything looks tempting and smells sweet and delicious. See the process of how Jelly Bellies and other candies are made there. Find out how long it takes to make a Jelly Belly. Enjoy the Jelly Belly art creations too. There are some amazing pictures made completely out of Jelly Bellies.
Get a free small sample bag at the end of the tour so you can taste what you have been looking at all along the tour. Go to the gift shop if you want to get souvenirs. If you have a favorite flavor you want to buy, they have bins full of each separate flavor available for purchase and sold by the pound. You can mix and match or only buy one flavor so buy as much as you like. They also have other candies they make there available for purchase along with various toys and knickknacks.
Go on weekdays and non-holidays to get the full tour. If you go on weekends, the candy making machines will not be going and you won’t see the workers in the candy factory. You will still get the guided tour but it is better to go when you can see the Jelly Belly Factory in full action.