Wordful Wednesday. Fun for Kids in Pennsylvania: Utz Factory Tour.

We launched our All American Family Summer Challenge-Adventure-Way-to-Teach-My-Kids-to-Love-Their-Land-While-Also-Staying-Sane-and-Having-Kid-Type-Grown-Up-Sized-Fun with a trip to the Utz Factory in Hanover, PA.

What is an Utz you wonder?

Well, if you live on the East Coast then you probably already know that it’s not really a what, but a who.


Utz is the maker of salty, tasty, crunchy snacks sold and distributed all over the Eastern United States.  They make potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, rice chips, pork rinds, cheese curls and more.  They have low fat snacks, natural snacks, organic snacks, and gluten free snacks too.

We buy them in humongo-saur plastic tubs from Costco and serve them at parties, pack them in lunches, and wrestle them away from Dumb Dog when she breaks into the pantry to get at them.

Since moving East they have become a major part of our in-home snacking routine.  And I’ve only just last week realized that I spent the last 11 years of my life pronouncing their name wrong (they are uhtz not oootz, duh!).

Because we like free food any way we can get it we’ve decided to get to know the great US of A better this summer, we took a little road trip to Hanover, Pennsylvania where the Utz brand  resides today (it’s been here since 1921!) for a factory tour.


We went inside, and saw how the machines peel and cut and fry and bag thousands of chips a minute.


It was very Charlie and the Chocolate factory-ish minus the delicious chocolate waterfall and the high tour guide.

I wish I had more photos to share with you only I don’t because they didn’t allow cameras of any kind inside of the factory.  From what I gather, chip factory espionage is sort of a big deal.  I briefly toyed with the idea of sneaking up to kids on the tour and whispering in their ear all old-man-stalker like that creepy Slugworth dude from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I got the impression this would result in my arrest or, at the very least, forcible removal from the factory premises before I got my free bag of chips.

I didn’t want to miss out on the free chips.

Luckily they made up for my inability to take photos to capture the experience with free chip samples for everyone in my party (these weren’t special for me, they are part of the tour).


They even let #3 get two bags (he looks especially hungry everywhere we go) and they also gifted us with this huge bag of tasty goodness to give to one of you (this was special for me)as a treat…


Only, guess what?

It’s huge.  And heavy.  And, um, really, freaking heavy.

So, I’m going to go ahead and eat this.

But, after I’m done, I’m also going to send one of you lucky readers a big box of similar treats without the gorgeous basket and completely unnecessary packing brick.

I kid; there’s no brick in the basket (at least I don’t think so; I haven’t busted it open yet to be sure), but it feels like it, and I’m 100% sure that the post office is gonna charge me an arm and a kid to ship this to someone.

But, because I really, really, REALLY want one of you to have some Utz to snack on this summer, I’m gonna make sure you get a hand-selected-by-Dumb-Mom sampling box and all you have to do to enter is link up to Wordful Wednesday!

One luck linky-er will be chosen and you will be happy.  And salted.  And good.  And I will keep this and any associated bricks.

Have you taken your kids on a factory tour yet?  100% recommend it as a way to pass a summer day.  It was awesome (we also popped over to the Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Factory in the same town to make a day of it), free, full of learning, fun, and American made chips!

What are you Wordful about this week?!  Link up here (get entered to win chips and stuff), then head over to check out Angie’s Seven Clown Circus and all of the super cool posts we’re featuring from last week!

  • Rare Moments at Alli N Sons
  • Quite possibly some of the best “Little Puddles” pictures I’ve ever seen from Rambles from Utopia
  • It’s all about love from Pride in Photos
  • Homemade water slides are the best and heres proof from Moments That Define Life.


  1. says

    We haven’t done this, but now that I think about it there is an ice cream factory fairly road tripish close to us. And I’m pretty sure they give out free ice cream at the end of the tour.

  2. says

    I grew up on the East Coast (NY) so I’m familiar with Utz. Although, I have far more memories of snacking on Hanover pretzles! I love those. Especially the jumbo big ones.

    Drat. Now I really want some.

  3. Betsy says

    I need to take that tour. We all love Utz crab chips. The only factory tour we’ve done is Mayfield milk, which has ice cream at the end. Not too shabby!

  4. says

    Nope never heard of Utz much less take my kids there. If I took all of mine there they’d go broke or I would. hehehe Great photos – thanks for sharing. Have a great day! Cute give-away. Guess I stopped by on the right day. Gonna have to come back more often. Now that I’ve found you again.

  5. says

    Mmmm, salt…. But, um, you would tell us if there was a reason other than chip factory espionage for them not allowing cameras, right? I mean, their treats aren’t made with used toothpaste and old rubber tires or anything? Because that’s gonna take some of the enjoyment out of eating their chips.

    • Dumb mom says

      Nope just espionage. Everyone was gloved and masked and sanitized and wrapped in plastic as expected.

  6. says

    Fun! My boys would love to tour a snack factory! We’re probably only a couple hours away from that area of PA. UTZ snack tubs rule. But for pretzels, Snyders is our go-to brand :)

    • Dumb mom says

      That’s what was so cool. We easily did both in one day. Then we got wieners and ice cream. The dudes were my bestows for like 45 mimnutes. And then someone licked someone’s face and it was back to crazy. But dang it if those 45 minutes weren’t straight awesome.

  7. says

    LOVE the idea of exploring the things around them for vacations – looks like you guys had a blast and got some really great goodies!

    • Dumb mom says

      We have so many more things planned for our all American family summer. I really hope the boys get to appreciate our nation even more so they know why we are cheering so hard when the olympics starts!

    • Dumb mom says

      I totally see this stuff out. Because otherwise I would lose my mind. The heat of summer combined with the noise level from the Dudes trying to rip each others arms off would drive me mad.

  8. says

    how super fun I’ve been wanting to go there forever!!! Matter fact right before I made my way to California I was on route to the airport and they had this huge lit UTZ billboard and I told the hubs I am totally craving some chocolate covered UTZ pretzels!!!!!

    • Dumb mom says

      It’s not worth a trip to the east, but if you ever find yourself in Hanover, Pa (which would be random, but still) go, totally. The dudes loved it.

    • Dumb mom says

      It really was fun. Like that segment they used to do on sesame street with the bottle factory? It was just like that.

  9. says

    So glad I was pronouncing my favorite pretzel company’s name right all along(thanks). Now why does PA get all the yummy food factories? All we have is stinky shrimp boats here.

    • Dumb mom says

      But shrimp is yummy cooked with sauce. Or shoved into a sushi roll after being dipped in tempura. I can get down with shrimp!

  10. says

    We visited the ice cream factory for Blue Bell in Brenham, TX last year. Now THAT is the tour to take. Free ice cream at the end. OH YEAH, BABY!!!! :D

  11. says

    Yummm that looks like a fun tour. Hooray for all american made products. We love Utz! Their Salt and Vinegar is the best!

    • Dumb mom says

      The dudes get all up in their salt and vinegar chips. I’m a fan of the plain ones myself, but honestly I’m not super picky when it comes to salty snacks:).


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