Fascia's Chocolates Factory Tours Show Kids the Sweet Life in New Haven County

Wish you could visit a chocolate factory, make your own candy bar, and then burn off those calories at a nearby amusement park? You don’t need to drive to Hershey, PA for this kind of adventure. Just head on over to Fascia's Chocolates in Waterbury. This New Haven County family-owned business has been making life sweet in Connecticut for the past 50 years.

Not only are sugary delights sold at Fascia's Chocolates (caramel squares, please!), but for $10 a person, the Chocolate Experience & Tour will educate and entertain your whole family. (If you wish to forgo crafting your own chocolate bar, the tour is just $5 per person, regardless of age, but you're not going to pass up the chance to do that are you? It was definitely my kids' favorite part.)

The one-hour event takes place in a room that offers a full view of the adjacent production area (you can't help picturing that iconic I Love Lucy scene!). The multimedia interactive session traces the origin of chocolate, and chronicles its journey from cocoa bean to your belly.

You also get a geography lesson and learn about the four continents where cacao grows, and gain some scientific knowledge (did you know that the cacao tree takes more than five years to produce its first fruit?) and historical tidbits (you've probably heard of Henri Nestle, but what about his neighbor, Daniel Peter?).

A remote-controlled camera offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the factory where, on the day we visited, dipping strawberries in chocolate was in full swing.

Of course, the best part of the experience is making personal chocolate bars with up to three toppings such as sprinkles, almonds, and crisped rice. And you’ll find other goodies in the store, like the cotton candy gelato.

The Fascia family story is sweet as well, reminding kids to dream big and work hard. In 1964, John and Helen began making candy in their kitchen to supplement their income. After welcoming three daughters, chocolate became a full-time passion and a business that outgrew four locations. It moved to its current site in 2013.

You can find the tour schedule on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended. Whether you choose to spend an hour here (perhaps on a rainy day), or book a private event, the experience is a treat.

And about that amusement park: Quassy is just a ten-minute drive away. Chocolate and more than two-dozen rides? Sounds like a perfect day in New Haven County; and about 250 miles closer than Hershey.

Fascia’s Chocolates is located at 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury.

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