2013 was a hectic year for the Gunn clan.. a new addition to the clan (Liam), a new job and home improvement projects absorbed a lot of our free time. We had an amazing year filled with great fun and memories but had to cut back on our pace of activities and posts. 2014 is a new year and one that brings more time and opportunity for the kind of family activities and experiences that we love to share with our GunningIt followers. Our first activity in 2014 was a tour of the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory in Nottingham, PA. Tours are free and are offered every hour from 9 to 3pm each Monday through Thursday. Reservations are required so please call ahead to book!
The tour starts with a short video in a theatre setting that gives a history of the Herr’s family and the business that they built. From there, the tour goes through the factory and describes where Herr’s buys their potatoes from, how they are prepared, sliced, fried (or baked), salted, seasoned and packaged. The tour lasts about 45 minutes in total, moves quickly and provides a lot of information that is interesting and educational. We’ve been on a number of tours in the past and some can be overly detailed and uninteresting to children. This was definitely not the case with the Herr’s tour! Nick and Anna were focused and engaged the entire tour. They especially enjoyed watching the potatoes drop in for initial prep and the fresh chip samples that they received during the tour. These were hands down the best chips that I’ve ever had.. warm, crunchy, perfectly salted. It’s a good thing they only gave us a handful otherwise I would have eaten a hundred!!
The tour ends with a free bag of regular Herr’s chips and a stroll through the “Oops” section of the gift shop. The “Oops” section offers a wide selection of different products that are discounted for a variety of reasons including misprint on packaging, incorrect weight and trial products. Some of the trial products included steak flavored chips, hot dog flavored chips and hot cheese popcorn! They are offered at a fraction of the price so we took the opportunity to stock up. $15 netted us so many bags of chips that I think we are set on chips for months.. Since we went during the Christmas season, we also had the benefit of also seeing the wide array of Christmas lights that adorned the Herr’s campus. The kids especially enjoyed the lighted bushes in the shape of potatoes. We had talked about doing this tour for some time and are so happy we finally got to experience it. It’s an inexpensive family activity that is fun, entertaining and educational!
Some Gunning It Tips:
· 1. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before your tour starts. It’s a short drive from the main road to the parking lot and a short walk from the parking lot to where the tour starts. You also have to pick up tour tickets when you arrive and we found ourselves in a line.
· 2. Bring $20 to stock up on some chips from the “Oops” section of the gift store. There is a nice little snack bar that has a kid-friendly menu (the kids will probably be thirsty after the chip samples)!
· 3. It’s worth a repeat visit at Christmas time for the lights alone!