Pez Visitor's Center
One way to bring the nostalgia of my own childhood into the lives of my kids is to bring them to a place that embodies everything young and that most can boast a memory of at some point or another. It is the Pez Vistorís Center, located in Orange Connecticut, that is nothing short of a trip back in time. Itís an interesting phenomenon that these dispensers are as relevant today as they were when they first went on the market almost 80 years ago.. They are coveted and collected by many all over the world and have become one of the most popular candies worldwide. The heads were first put onto the dispensers over half a century ago and have continued to be an ever changing and dynamic part of youth ever since.
We made the trip from Long Island and met our friend, Marie, and her three children. They live nearby to the factory and make the trip about once a month, usually on rainy days, to run around and discover the new dispensers that are on display. Their family is now proud owner to more Pez dispensers than they can count, but are happy to spend their time here in this happy place and add to their collection.
The facility is not large, but packs an adventure with its bright and colorful displays of Pez memorabilia. General admission is $5, of which $2 can be applied towards merchandise in the factory store. Pez dispensers line display cases, wall mounted picture frames, lie in high piles underneath plated glass to walk on, tower over all and act as interactive displays. If ever you had the urge to step into Willy Wonkaís workshop, this would probably be the closest you could ever get. A scavenger hunt is given with admission and half the fun is finding the missing dispensers amongst the explosions of color, while the other is turning the wheel of Pez at the end to claim a free dispenser as a prize.
There are timelines of the Pez story for history buffs as well as instructions for the assembly of the Pez bodies. There are two levels of displays to view and are interspersed with a wide selection of Pez dispensers to purchase as well. We loved most the massive window to the factory where onlookers can watch the production of the candy holding treasures as they are bagged, boxed and sent to their final destination.
Take a trip down memory lane and bring your kids along for the ride. Go for the candy, stay for the nostalgia and always think outside the box in your adventures in life with your children.