Indiana, often celebrated for its sprawling cornfields and tranquil farmland, holds a special place in my heart as my home state. However, this Midwestern gem is so much more than its pastoral beauty. As a lifelong Indiana resident and an avid explorer, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to explore its unique attractions. And checking out the best factory tours in Indiana is one of those fun things my family loves to do.
These tours are not just about observing machines and production lines; they’re about understanding the heart and soul of manufacturing – the innovation, the craftsmanship, and the dedication that go into creating products we often take for granted. From the meticulous process of crafting fine chocolates to the art of brewing craft beer, each tour is unique and interesting.
Through these Indiana factory tours, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the hardworking individuals behind these products, their commitment to quality, and the reasons the products are worth every penny they cost. Join me as I share some of the most intriguing and educational factory tours I’ve found across Indiana, and plan your own visits with your family!
The Best Factory Tours in Northern Indiana
No matter where you are in the state of Indiana, you’ll find interesting and unique factory tours. The northern part of the state is home to delicious chocolates, a perfumery and so much more. In fact, if you include all the hand-crafted goods produced in Elkhart and LaGrange County you could actually spend quite a few weekends exploring a variety of Indiana-made items.
1. DeBrand Fine Chocolates
Love chocolate? I’ve been on a lot of chocolate factory tours through the years, and the DeBrand tour in Fort Wayne, Indiana is one of my all-time favorites! I’ve done this tour several times and if we are going to be in Fort Wayne for more than a day I always try to squeeze it in.
Not only do you get a front-row viewing of how the chocolates are created, packaged, and shipped, but you also get a generous number of delicious samples. Yummy, right?
This tour does cost $$, but you get a coupon for that amount back off a purchase. And the chocolate cafe has some delicious options. My personal favorite is the hot chocolate. It’s a creamy, dark chocolate, incredibly decadent treat.
Be sure to check the website to see when tours are offered – they tend to be on a few days each week. No reservations are required, but I’d arrive early to make sure you can join.
2. Annie Oakley Perfumery
Have you ever toured a perfumery? At the Annie Oakley Perfumery, you can do just that! Tours are during the week (currently Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:00 and 2:00), but it’s a small business, so it’s always smart to call ahead to make sure they are happening.
The tour shares information on how the perfumes are created, as well as the story of Annie Oakely Perfumes. After the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to shop for fragrences, or even create a unique blend – which sounds very fun to me!
There is a small fee for the tour, but you will get credit for that amount to be used on purchases. Don’t be put off by the out of the way, unassuming location, Annie Oakley Perfumery is a lovely little place to visit.
3. South Bend Chocolate Factory & Museum Tours
More chocolate? Yep, South Bend Chocolate is located in South Bend, Indiana, and makes a fun stop if you are heading north to Michigan on US31. I’ve visited several South Bend Chocolate stores throughout the state, so it was quite fun to check out the “mothership.” in South Bend.
Tours last 45 minutes and are conducted Monday – Friday as well as Saturday morning. In addition to the factory tour, you can also visit the chocolate museum. They also share a bit about the history of chocolate, and if you are lucky you’ll get to hand dip your own chocolate. There is a small charge, but you do get to enjoy a sample during the tour.
Whether you are a motorcycle enthusiast or not, if you are in Elkhart County Indiana, please take some time to check out Janus Motorcycles. These bikes are made by hand (to order) in Goshen, Indiana.
You can visit the factory and watch how they are created. The craftmanship and meticulous detail of each bike is incredible. And much of the painting is done by hand. The process is fascinating, and once you realize how much time an effort is put into the motorcyles your appreciation for them will substantially increase – I know mine did!
If you already ride, you can even sign up (online) for a test drive and tour. I don’t ride myself, but if I did, this would for sure be on my bucket list. The showroom is only open Monday – Friday afternoons, and as they are a small company, be sure to call ahead or book a ride/tour online before you visit.
5. Teaberry Wood Products
Teaberry Wood Products is a small Amish family-run business, but if you are in Middlebury, Indiana make an effort to go check it out. If they are open you can visit the workroom and the owners will show you how their beautiful baskets (and other goods) are created. Currently, the tours are at 10:00 and 2:00 Monday – Friday. If you have a large group, call ahead and they will arrange a visit for you.
After the tour, shop the connected store – you’ll be hard-pressed not to purchase something special for your own home. I picked up a gorgeous basket on my visit that I use for napkins. It’s useful and beautiful. There are plenty of items perfect for gifts too.
The Best Factory Tours in Central Indiana
Heading a bit further south in the state are several other interesting factory tours to add to your list of places to visit. A few of my favorites include beer and art glass.
6. Sun King Factory Tour
If you are a fan of craft beer, a tour of Sun King Brewery is a must-do. As one of the original craft beers created, Sun King has grown to include multiple restaurants, breweries, and beverages shipped throughout the country.
The factory tour must be booked ahead of time, and there are two options. Both charge a fee, but you’ll get to enjoy samplings of some of the delicious beers. You have to be 21+ and you must wear closed-toed shoes.
After the tour, go check out one of the Sun King taprooms in the city. We’ve visited the Carmel location, the airport restaurant, and the location in Fishers, and all of them are excellent!
👉 Even if you can’t get to Sun King, you can pick up most of their beers at Total Wines– my favorite spot to get a fun variety of beer, and wine.
7. Kokomo Opalescent Glass (KOG)
The Kokomo Opalescent Glass factory tour was one of the most interesting tours I’ve ever participated in! Kokomo Opalescent makes beautiful art glass, and the tour takes you through the entire process.
You’ll also get to see some of the amazing finished products and sheets of glass.
The tour is quite a bit of walking, sometimes on uneven floors, and it can be very hot near where the ovens are, so keep that in mind.
We visited during our day trip a few years ago to Kokomo – enjoy this tour and then all the other fun things we discovered!
8. Traders Point Creamery
If you have city kids that aren’t familiar with farm life, bring them over to Traders Point Creamery for a farm tour. Located just outside of Indianapolis, in Zionsville, you’ll feel your stress melt away when you visit.
There are several tour choices. There is a self-guided tour which is about a 1.5 mile hike, or a guided tour (which I’d recommend) with ice cream at the end! The self-guided tour doesn’t require reservations, but the guided one does. You can also watch the evening cow milking at 6:30 Tuesday through Saturday which is quite unique for city kids.
In addition to farm tours, Traders Point Creamery has an amazing farm-to-table restaurant (we enjoyed an outdoor meal one summer that was simply magical), a farm store, an ice cream stand and just an overall lovely atmosphere. Plus, there are often special dinners, classes (even wine classes) and more. Visit their website to see what is happening when you plan on visiting.
The Best Factory Tours in Southern Indiana
Head south of Indianapolis to discover more fun and educational factory tours. The rolling hills and valleys of Southern Indiana feels like an entirely different state versus the flatlands and cornfields of the north or the skyscrapers in Indianapolis, and the factory tours you’ll discover here are quite unique too!
9. Hunter’s Honey Farm
Maybe this isn’t quite a factory tour, but visiting Hunter’s Honey Farm is such an interesting behind-the-scenes tour of how honey is made that I had to include it!
We visited this farm back on our day trip to Morgan County and it was the highlight of the day. Not only did we learn fascinating facts about honey, but we toured the facility to see how the honey is harvested AND got to make our own honey bottle and candle to take home as a souvenier.
Be sure to call ahead to book your tour so can be assured there will be room! We hadn’t done this but were lucky that the tour guide was kind enough to let us join in with another group.
10. Oliver Winery
Oliver Winery offers amazing tours that walk you through the wine-making process, let you have a peek at how their wines are produced, and introduce you to a variety of delicious wines. I’ve done many winery tours in the past and never get tired of them.
The tours run Friday – Sunday only and must be reserved in advance. No more than 12 people are on each tour so you’ll get a very personalized experience. Even though I’ve visited plenty of wineries through the years, somehow I always have new questions so I do appreciate the smaller group size.
The Oliver Winery grounds are gorgeous and just visiting the winery itself makes for a lovely experience. Add in the tour, enjoy a glass of wine afterwards in the courtyard and you’ve got a perfect afternoon!
Map of Indiana Factory Tours
Other Indiana Factory Tour Ideas
In addition to the tours mentioned above, Elkhart has several RV factory tours which could be a lot of fun – check out the differences between the companies and learn how RVs are made.
Another great idea isto look into the many breweries, wineries, and distilleries around the state to see if any of them offer behind-the-scenes tours. We’ve found that sometimes just sitting at the bar and talking to the bartender has helped us find interesting and unique experiences!
FAQs: Factory Tours in Indiana
What is the factory tour capital of the world?
Not Indiana, it’s actually York County, PA (and we did some marvelous tours there a few years ago!).
What products does Indiana manufacture?
Tons of things including pharmaceuticals, furniture, caskets , and RVs to name a few.
What is the purpose of a factory tour?
To learn about how a product is made. Factory tours are educational and fun.
Can you tour the Nestle factory in Indiana?
No, there is no factory tour of the Indiana Nestle factory.
Conclusion: The BEST Indiana Factory Tours
As I continue exploring Indiana, uncovering the hidden gems of our state’s industrial landscape, I promise to keep updating this post with every new find. Each factory tour offers a unique window into the heart of Hoosier ingenuity and craftsmanship, and I’m excited to keep exploring and updating this list with new and fascinating tours.
I highly encourage you to incorporate these factory tours into your Indiana weekend getaways and road trips. Whether you’re a family seeking a fun and educational experience, a couple looking for a unique date idea, or a solo traveler eager to delve into the state’s rich industrial heritage, these tours are a must-add to your itinerary. They’re not just about seeing how things are made; they’re about connecting with the history, people, and stories behind these processes (and the stories are my favorite part!).
Indiana is full of surprises, and its factory tours are just one of them. So, pack your curiosity along with your cooler, bring along your sense of adventure, and join me in exploring the fascinating world of manufacturing right here in our own backyard.