Find a factory to tour for fun and learning!

Massachusetts factories to visit and tour

Massachusetts has factories to visit and tour. Below, first are the active, working factories. The next section has historical operations which often have demonstrations or renactments. These incluse both large and small operations, from several person chocolate factories and cheesemakers to large manufacturers making paper towels, wood products, beverage cans and bottles, are open to the public with real tours, exhibitions and fun education.

In some cases, such as a manufacturing process that is no longer in use, the only way to see it and learn about it is a museum or living history center. So, we also provide information about engineering facilities and museums, dinosaur digs, even government facilities, like NASA, astronomy oberservatories and more that are open to the public on certain days and times. And if there is some place that is just plain fun to visit, we add that, too!

These are perfect for homeschooling, for STEM and for fun! Kids love visiting these places! They're learning and getting an education without even realizing it. And most of these are either free or under $10! What's better then fun, entertaining, good for children and families, educational and free?

Here are some of the top factory tours in Massachusetts and contact information and tips about visiting them.

Factories, Engineering, Museums and other fun demonstrations and exhibits to visit in Massachusetts

  1. Boston - there is so much to see and do here, it has its own page. See this page!
  2. Barstow’s Longview Farm - Educational farm tours
    Hadley, MA. They offer school field trips, large and small groups, and for individuals and families by appointment. Walking tours, wagon ride tours, robotic tours, and more are available. There are occasional public free farm tours.
  3. Cabot Cheese Factory - video tour only, no physical tour
    2878 Main St. Cabot, VT. Please Note: The Cabot Visitor's Center in Cabot, VT is no longer open to the public. You can still purchase cheeses in the store. .
  4. Cape Cod Chip Factory - Potato Chip Factory
    100 Breed’s Hill Road. Hyannis, MA. Phone: 800-438-1880. Apparently , they have stopped (temporarily or permanently) doing tours: "THE CAPE COD HYANNIS PLANT TOUR AND STORE ARE CLOSED AT THIS TIME. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE AND WILL POST MORE INFORMATION AS WE HAVE IT."
  5. Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation - Museum of technology and industry
    154 Moody Street, Waltham, MA 02453. Phone: 781-893-5410. Email: Open: Wednesday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM * Saturday: 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
    Final admission is 30 minutes before closing. Hours subject to change due to special and private events. For inquiries on private event rentals, use the contact form on their website. The Museum offers pre-scheduled tours appropriate for a variety of differing groups and interests. We have several tour plans to choose from. School groups, Homeschoolers, Colleges, Adults, Scouts and Youth Groups. Contact us to discuss the possibility of structuring a custom visit that suits your needs and group. NOTE: Please schedule your tour at least 2 weeks in advance so the Museum has proper time to prepare for your visit. If you schedule less than two weeks in advance, we may not be able to accommodate you. There is a surcharge of $25 (2023 cost) for scheduling less than 2 weeks in advance..
  6. Fletcher Farm - Farm field trips
    Southampton, MA. They offer s trips for pre-school through grade 3. Tours are typically about 2 hours
  7. Fritz Glass - Glass blower
    36 Upper County Road, Dennis Port, MA. Phone: (508) 394-0441. Email: Open: no set hours - Please keep in mind that Fritz Glass is a production shop, and we don't have set hours. While anyone is welcome to come watch Fritz blow glass when he is working, we don't have a schedule for demonstrations. Fritz Glass is home to an outstanding glass artist.
  8. Harbor Sweets - chocolate factory, candy factory, chocolatier
    85 Leavitt Street, Salem, MA 01970. Phone: 800-243-2115. Email: Open: see their website, call or email; they publish nothing about the tours online. They make Buttercrunch, Assorted Chocolates, Caramel & Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Exquisite Truffles, Salted Chocolates, Sauces & Toppings, Gluten Free. Their brand names are: Harbor Sweets, Dark Horse Chocolates, Salt & Ayre, Gather, Cocoa Santé, Golf Collection. Their website says, 50 years ago... "Harbor Sweets' founder, Ben Strohecker, challenged himself to create "the best chocolates in the world, regardless of cost". The result from his kitchen in Marblehead, MA was Sweet Sloops, a sailboat shaped piece of almond butter crunch, covered in white chocolate dipped in dark chocolate and crushed pecans. Shortly after Ben moved the company out of his basement, and into the brick factory on the Salem, Massachusetts waterfront where we continue to produce delicious handmade chocolates today."
  9. Hornstra Dairy Farm - dairy farm
    Norwell, MA. Hornstra Dairy Farm has a store and dairy bar. Tours are by request.
  10. Plymouth - 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth Rock is here, of course as well as the Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum that shows how the Pilgrims lived in the 1600's. Also is The Mayflower II at Plymouth Plantation (aka, Plimoth Plantation) - The Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation should require no introduction. This stop has a living history museum ( Plimoth Plantation). demonstrating daily life, including gardening, building, cooking, and military training. There is also a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower, docked nearby.
  11. Salem - famous author's home
    Known for the Salem witch trials, there is a witch museum, this quaint town is also home to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables.
  12. Starrett - Industrial Equipment supplier and Museum
    121 Crescent St., Athol, MA. Phone: 978-249-3551. Email: They make Saw Blades, Precision Measurement Tools, Metrology Equipment, Jobsite & Workshop Tools, Granite, etc. The L. S. Starrett Museum is open by appointment by calling the Starrett Office 978-249-3551. Visitations are scheduled during normal business hours and a factory tour can also be arranged. Their site says "We are happy to provide tours any time. To arrange for an individual or group tour independent of this event, please contact us!" Visit to learn about opportunities to explore manufacturing plants nationwide! Visit our careers page for job opportunities at Starrett!
  13. Taza Chocolate Factory Tour - chocolate
    561 Windsor Street, Somerville, MA 02143. Phone: 617-284-2232. Email: Open: Tuesday - Friday: 11am-6pm, Saturday - Sunday: 10am-6pm, Monday: Closed. At Taza, we make stone ground chocolate. Why stone ground? Because bolder is better! We grind cacao beans using hand-carved granite millstones. The result? Chocolate with bold flavor and satisfyingly gritty texture unlike anything you've ever tasted! Join us at the factory for an Intro to Stone Ground Chocolate, a brief talk and chocolate tasting tour offered at our factory Wednesday - Sunday. The cost (2023) is $12 per person. Online reservations are required, and may be made for a maximum of 10 people.
    Families with children under 10 years old are encouraged to visit us for our Cacao Scouts Scavenger Hunt hosted at 10am on Saturdays and Sundays. Space is limited so we recommend reserving your spot in advance.
    Visitors will be able to view our chocolate grinding and depositing rooms from our factory store. While we cannot guarantee you'll see chocolate being made during your visit, our awesome team of Chocolate Guides will be on hand to answer your questions and sample lots of stone ground chocolate with you! Please note in accordance with new food safety regulations, we are unable to enter chocolate-making spaces with our guests. The production facility does not operate on weekends.
  14. The Sandwich Glass Museum - glass blowing
    129 Main Street, corner of Rte. 130 (Main Street) and Tupper Road, Sandwich, MA 02563, Phone: 508-888-0251. Located across the street from the town pond and the Old Town Hall. Parking and the entrance to the Museum are just around the corner on Tupper Road. Open: open daily with glass blowing demonstrations hourly, on the hour; Summer hours: The Museum is open daily April 1 to December 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In order to see everything the Museum has to offer, we recommend that you plan to arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. Winter hours: The Museum will be closed the month of January. In February and March the Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Located in the heart of historic Sandwich, Massachusetts, the Sandwich Glass Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the art and science of glassmaking. With exhibits spanning over three centuries of glassmaking history, you’ll discover the beauty and versatility of this incredible material like never before.The Sandwich Glass Museum also features a variety of special events and programs, from workshops and lectures to family-friendly activities and seasonal exhibits.
    Admission in 2023: Tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. No appointments necessary.
    Adults: $12.00
    Ages 6-14: $2.00
    Age 5 and under: Free
    Seniors 65+: $11.00
  15. Whittier Farms - walking and wagon ride farm tours
    Sutton, MA. Tours are offered for families, schools, scouts, and other groups. Contact the farm to schedule a tour.

Massachusetts Historical Forts and Sites, Famous buildings, Active Federal facilities to tour, Geology: like fossils and volcanic areas

Massachusetts State historic sites and parks

These are state-run parks, museums and historic sites that present the history of some manufacturing process, industry, or living settlement

Many DCR facilities have a parking fee. Massachusetts residents pay lower fees than non-residents. Resident and non resident status is determined by the vehicle license plate. Some parks only charge fees during certain times of the year. Click the link below to view the most recent parking fees schedule for every state park.

Parking fee locations and schedule

Annual Parking Pass

You can save money on park visits by getting an annual ParksPass. A ParksPass waives the daily parking fee for most DCR parks. The parking pass costs $60 for Massachusetts residents.

Senior ParksPass

Massachusetts residents aged 62 and older can buy a lifetime parking pass. The lifetime Senior Parks Pass costs $10. Senior Parks passes may only be bought in person or by mail.

Learn how to get a lifetime Senior ParksPass

Massachusetts Seasons, bugs, topography and climate

Massachusetts is mainly a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters and plenty of precipitation. The state does have extreme temperatures from time to time with 100 °F or 37.8 °C in the summer and temperatures below 0 °F or −17.8 °C in the winter not being unusual. Bugs... near stagnant lakes and marshes black flies, no-see-ums and mosquitos.

Camping in Massachusetts

If you're looking to save money on your trip, camping may be a fun alternative to hotels and motels, especially, if you already have the gear, or are looking to get some. BTW, this websites ( ) explains everything you need to know about camping gear and where to the best gear at the lowest prices.

Massachusetts has accessible tent sites, too, with hard-packed level ground, pedestal grills, and accessible picnic tables. All our accessible sites are marked on Reserve America with a figure in a wheelchair.

You'll always find accessible restrooms in the same loop as accessible sites, though there usually isn't an accessible pedestrian route between the sites and the restrooms. Before you make a reservation, you should contact the park to see if their cabins, yurts, or tent sites fit your specific needs. Also, be sure to learn about DCR campground regulations before you reserve your campsite.

If you have questions about accessible camping in general, please contact the Universal Access Program.

There are both state parks and private campgrounds in Massachusetts.