Your kids love toys. And, chances are, they love places full of big, loud machines and cool equipment. See where this is going? These 6 factory tours offer great behind-the-scenes peeks and enable curious kids to use their busy hands. Plus, they present the rare opportunity to see how things are made the old-fashioned way. Just … make sure the kids are old enough before you show them how teddy bears get stuffed.
Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY
The Slugger Museum has been cranking out bats since 1884. On this tour, your kids can see every step of the bat-making process, from the shaping to the sealing. They’ll also be psyched to see the museum’s collection of famous sluggers wielded by the likes of Mickey Mantle and other Hall of Famers, as well as the world’s largest bat. An exact replica of the one Babe Ruth used, it weighs 68,000 pounds and stands 120 feet tall. There are also batting cages and a simulated pitching system to test your kids’ arms against MLB’s best. After the tour, each kid gets a free miniature bat. And yes, they will use it to terrorize their siblings.
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Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne, VT
Before you sign up for this tour, ask yourself: are your kids old enough to see toy bear carcasses stuffed with filling? Because that sight could really mess a kid up. This tour features Bear Ambassador guides who walk kids through the bear-making process and drop educational nuggets on them about things like the ins and outs of modular manufacturing. After the tour (free for kids 12 and under and only $4 for adults), kids can pick up a bear in…