Texas Factory Tours with Kids

Less than a century ago, when you wanted to buy something you went to the producer. No superstores, no super convenience. You placed your order directly at the source, then waited, and sometimes even watched, while your order was filled.

Today families can still experience the joy of watching goods being created at factories around central Texas. These tours are inexpensive ways to see how items are produced.

Blue Bell Creamery

In Brenham, Blue Bell Creamery has been making ice cream since 1911, when they packaged their product in wooden tubs and delivered it by horse-drawn wagon. The "tasting room" here is a turn-of-the-century-style soda shop, where visitors can choose from among 25 flavors.

After a dish of your personal favorite, you can have a look around the Country Store, which sells everything from strawberry-ice-cream-scented pencils that smell like strawberry ice cream to piggy banks in the shape of the company's early delivery trucks.

Dr Pepper Museum

Waco's Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute highlights the most famous product to come out of this central Texas city. The famous Dr Pepper soft drink was invented in 1885 by pharmacist Dr. Charles Alderton at Waco's Old Corner Drug Store.

Today the drug store is gone, but the original bottling plant remains open as a museum. Exhibits and films offer a look at some early promotional materials as well as the manufacturing process. On the third floor, the Free Enterprise Institute shows a film on the economic system, an excellent learning tool. Downstairs, a re-creation of the Old Corner Drug Store fountain serves Dr Pepper.

Back to Texas for Families


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