For a lot of adults, when they think back to their childhood they think about their favorite candies and treats. There’s a whole industry built around the nostalgia of bringing old or extinct favorite treats back to the adults who want to capture their youth just one more time, but you don’t need to shell out big bucks to bring a piece of your childhood back. Just head to the PEZ factory and museum in Orange to get your fill of this iconic sweet.
PEZ, first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy in Vienna, Austria, derived its name from the German word for peppermint…PfeffErminZ. Fast forward 83 years, and over 3 billion of the chalky little candies are consumed annually in the US alone. A pioneer of “interactive candy”, PEZ has become a collectible for not just kids, but adults as well.
Step into the PEZ visitor center in Orange, CT and experience the brand in depth. The 4,000-square-foot space has all things PEZ—we’re talking the largest, most comprehensive collection of PEZ memorabilia on public display in the world. If that doesn’t get you nostalgic, what about the thought of seeing the world’s largest PEZ dispenser—a whopping 40-foot-high working replica!
As you walk through the museum, you will learn about the history and evolution of this iconic candy dispenser. There are plenty of interesting and quirky facts to learn, and even some trivia along the way. Get into the spirit with interactive displays—a huge hit with the kids. Take a glimpse into the showcases filled with dispensers made after superheroes, cars, Disney, sports, and everything in between. There are several eye-popping collectibles and antique dispensers.
Though there is no factory tour, there are viewing windows into the production floor in addition to video monitors which detail the process. On weekdays, you can see just how a dispenser is created and how the candy is made. On the weekends the production floor is not operational, but visitors can look through the windows to see what the manufacturing facility entails.
At the end of your self guided tour, make sure to spend some time picking out candy at the gift shop and take a photo with your head on a PEZ dispenser. The prices at the gift shop are reasonable and offer a variety of things for sale, even a chance to decorate your own PEZ. There is also a huge station to fill a bucket with your chosen PEZ candy flavors to mix and match (and only for $5!). You really can’t go wrong!
A regular admission ticket for $5 includes a $2 credit for the gift shop, a souvenir PEZ lanyard, and an opportunity to win a free dispenser. We suggest you plan to spend about an hour at the museum.
Where: The PEZ Visitor Center is located at 35 Prindle Hill Rd, Orange
When: The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10am–5pm, and Sundays from noon–5pm.
Cost: Tickets for children under 3 are free, $4 for children 3–12, $4 for Seniors (60+), and $5 for everyone else.
For more information call 203-298-0201 or visit https://www.pez.com/visit_us/.