I remember my first PEZ dispenser; do you? It was Snoopy, my all-time favorite cartoon character. The Boy started a collection several years ago, and R2D2 was the star of that show. It’s since been passed down to The Girl, and she’s glammed up the group with Hello Kitty and a princess or two.
Where we went, and who was coerced into going:
The kids and I drove over to Orange, CT to visit the PEZ Visitor Center, home to the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, as well as the world’s largest public collection of PEZ memorabilia.
It was one of those late summer days, when camps have ended and the first day of school is still weeks away. We were bored.
Okay, what was so cool about it?
If you’ve nibbled on a pack of PEZ at any time over the past 30 years, it was made here at this manufacturing facility. The visitor center is a new addition, acting as part museum, part attraction.
As soon as we got out of the car, I smelled the sweet scent of cherry candy in the air. Once we entered, our eyes went straight to a wall covered by rows of PEZ dispensers, and a PEZ motorcycle hanging from the ceiling.Beyond the ticket window, you’re greeted by a giant, 12-foot tall PEZ dispenser, topped by a boy’s head with a blue baseball cap. Adorable.
You’re free to explore this place on your own, and you’ll have to give and take. There are the decidedly kid-focused activities, like a create-your-own dispenser table, alongside the display cases of vintage memorabilia. There’s a fascinating historical time line across two walls which appeals those of us old enough to remember some of these earlier decades. Included here are bits of fun trivia.