There is a really neat factory tour near Columbus, Ohio at a company called the American Whistle Corporation. I have had this on my list of things to do with the kids for years, but never got around to it. We finally found a day where everyone was off of school and made our appointment.
I would pay attention to your GPS, because although there is a small sign, it is easy to miss. There is parking around the back of the building. There is a small entryway with a display case and framed articles about the company. The next room is the main manufacturing area (which also includes the bathroom).
The manufacturing area was smaller than I thought it would be, but it looks like they had it well laid out and made good use of the space. There was enough room for our group, plus 2 other small families, to walk around and listen to the tour.
Our tour guide was great. He kept it interesting, as well as informative, and was enthusiastic about his place of work. The tour was a mix of walking and seeing the equipment, a demonstration of the equipment, watching people work, and watching a video. The tour ended at the plastic whistle area near the gift shop. The gift shop had several different items available for sale. At the end of the tour, each person also gets a metal whistle.
For an extra fee ($2.15) you can make/buy a plastic whistle. We made one whistle that I now have on my keys. To make your own whistle, you get to pick a color for either side, as well as the ball. We went with a glow in the dark, a blue, and then a green ball. You put together your whistle pieces (placing the ball in the interior circle area and line up the sides). Once you place your whistle in the machine, you pressed a button on either side and the machine sonic welds the pieces together.
I would definitely recommend taking this tour if you are close to Columbus!
- WHERE: 6540 Huntley Rd, Columbus, OH 43229
- HOURS: Tours are available Monday to Friday. (Currently, tours should be pre-scheduled. M/W/F tours are at 10:00am, T/R tours are at 1:00pm). Gift Shop is open M-F 9:00am-4:00pm.
- COSTS: $6/person for the tour (includes a whistle)
- PARKING: Yes (Parking available behind building.)
- BATHROOM: Yes
- TIME RECOMMENDED: 1 hour
- COVID RESTRICTIONS: n/a
- *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.