I only learned recently that PEZ Candies are made less than an hour from my house! Not only that, but there’s a PEZ Visitor Center with fun goings on less than an hour from my house! The good news for me is that I don’t eat candies that aren’t made of chocolate. The bad news for me is that the same does not apply to my kids. They love PEZ and so, off we went recently to check out the PEZ Visitor Center in Orange, CT.
A Sweet Little Stop Over
It will not take you all day to get through the PEZ Visitor Center, nor will it blow your mind. But if you find yourself driving on I-95 in New Haven County with time on your hands, you could do worse than get off at Exit 41 and spend an hour learning about PEZ Candies.
The best thing, by far, about PEZ Candies is the dispensers they come in, and the PEZ Visitor Center goes hard on honoring its vintage dispenser collections. You will see decades worth of PEZ dispensers, including groupings by holidays, TV shows, eras, geography etc., displayed throughout the two floors of the Visitor Center.
And to keep the Visitor Center current with modern times, there are a few cute interactive trivia stations and games and “peek-a-boo” windows that highlight the history and designs of PEZ dispensers.
As our visit was just a few weeks after Christmas, we were given the opportunity to spot 8 Elf PEZ dispensers hidden throughout the Visitor Center in exchange for a prize. This was a fun little game that kept my older one very entertained. From what I can gather on the PEZ website, it appears that some version of an interactive game similar to this is offered all the time, and always with a chance to win a prize.
Beyond the dispenser showcases and the interactive games, there was also a section in the back where you could become your own PEZ Dispenser, complete with props.
Note that since we visited on a weekend, we were unable to see the PEZ actually being made, but should you visit on a weekday, the working PEZ production floor is right in view through large windows at the Visitor Center.
It Is mostly a Retail Store
The PEZ Visitor Center mostly amounts to a retail store. But the really great news is that it is a very inexpensive retail store. Your admission to the Visitor Center, which is already quite a low price, includes a $2.00 credit per person toward merchandise at the retail section. And, for the most part, each PEZ dispenser on offer there is $1.99.
Since, per the above, I do not eat PEZ, my girls snagged TWO free dispensers each. And then, because we found all the elf dispensers in our interactive game, the girls got to spin a wheel for a chance to receive yet another dispenser as pictured on wherever the wheel spinner landed. So we ultimately walked out of the Visitor Center with 6 free PEZ dispensers and a fun hour well spent!!
The PEZ Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and from noon to 5pm on Sundays. The production floor is closed on weekends. Admission costs $5 per adult and $4 for children aged 3-12. As mentioned above, each ticket gives you a $2 retail credit. In addition, your ticket is a cute little souvenir PEZ lanyard that you get to keep.