Looking for a day trip in Ohio? See how it’s all made with any one of these Ohio Factory Tours!
From whistles to washboards to motor homes, there are so many things made right here in Ohio! These behind the scenes factory tours will give you a unique perspective into the workings of many Ohio brands.
The only manufacturer of metal whistles in the USA is right here in Ohio and you can take a guided tour of the factory. See how whistles are made, learn all about whistles, and leave with your very own “American Classic” whistle when you’re done.
They welcome groups of 15 or more. Indivuduals will be added to an existing tour.
Tours are by appointment only, Monday through Thursday, 9am – 4pm. The tours last approximately 45 minutes and cost $8 per person (as of 8-2022).
American Whistle Corp. is located at 6540 Huntley Rd., Columbus, OH 43229
Columbus Washboard Company Factory Tours:
This Grandview, Ohio company has been manufacturing wooden washboards since 1895. They assemble each one by hand, one at a time, on equipment dating back to the 1900’s. And you can tour the only washboard manufacturer still operating in the United States!
Tours are offered at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. General admission is $8 (as of 8-2022).
They do ask that you call ahead to book your tour: 740-380-3828
Columbus Washboard Company is located in Grandview, Ohio, close to Columbus.
Ohio State Reformatory Tours:
Explore the 250,000 square foot former prison and learn the history and tales of this reformatory. You can take a self-guided tour or a guided tour.
Multiple guided tours are offered:
Hollywood Meets History Tour: Explore the reformatory’s historical prison timeline alongside the equally iconic, fictional story of Andy Dufresne from the 1994 film, The Shawshank Redemption. Tour also includes information on the warden’s living quarters and other films and music videos filmed onsite.
Beyond the Bars Tour: Go into the areas not open to the public with this tour. The tour includes the West Attic, stories of inmate punishment, the “yard” where Andy and Red would sit and talk, the sub-basement, and the inner workings of The Ohio State Reformatory.
Inmate Confessions Tour: Learn about life behind bars from tour guide Michael Humphrey, who spent 14 months here in the late 1960s. Michael leads you through a normal day for an inmate and shares stories that have stuck with him all these years.
Old Sparky: Electric Chair History and Ohio Executions (ages 13+ due to sensitive subject matter): Learn more about the electric chair’s development, history, and use, along with personal stories of some of the folks sentenced to death. This is not a political discussion focused on capital punishment’s morality, but simply an educational, fact-based presentation.
Shawshank Bus Tour (ages 13+): Tour the Shawshank Trail in style! Visit 10 filming locations in 3 hours while being led by a professional guide. Finish with a full, 90 minute guided walking tour of the Ohio State Reformatory. Total tour time – approximately 4.5 hours.
They also offer a self-guided tour option.
Book your Ohio State Reformatory Tour here
Paranormal Tours and Ghost Walks are offered as well
Ohio State Reformatory is located in Mansfield, Ohio.
A Christmas Story House Tours:
Take a tour of another movie set in Ohio – the house from “A Christmas Story”! You can tour the actual house or even stay the night in one of the rooms (learn more about that here).
Tours begin at 10:15am and run every half hour until 4:30pm. Note: tour times are subject to change and depending on the amount of guests on site. You are able to take a self-guided tour instead.
Tour tickets can be purchased online and are typically shipped via USPS First Class (allow extra time for delivery). You can also buy your tickets at the Gift Shop in person. Tickets are not stamped for a specific time or date so getting them in person or online makes no difference for your visit.
General admission is $15 for adults with discounts for seniors, children, and military (as of 8-2022)
A Christmas House and Museum is in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Wescott House Tours:
Tour this Frank Lloyd Wright creation – The Wescott House. Located in Sprinfield, Ohio is open to visitors year round. Designed in 1906 and built in 1908, the house is a fine example of Wright’s Prairie School architectural design and has been renovated to its original state.
Docent-Guided Tours are offered Tues.-Fri. at 11am and 1pm; Saturday on the hour from 11am, 1pm, and 3pm; and Sunday at 1pm and 3pm. They also have a musuem.
Admission is $18 for adults, $15 seniors 65+, students, military, Clark County residents, and groups of 8 (as of 8-2022)
Reservations for tours must be booked in advance.
The Wescott House is located in Springfield, Ohio.
Heini’s Cheese Chalet:
See the cheese being made at this Ohio factory tour in the heart of Ohio Amish Country. Twelve tons of cheese can be made here in a day! They make over 25 varieties of cheese and offer free samples of cheese, meat, jams, and fudge.
They are currently offering self-guided tours. They state that the best time to see cheese being made is 8am – noon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
For full details call (330) 893-2131.
Heini’s Cheese Chalet is located in Millersburg, Ohio.
Airstream Factory Tours:
Did you know that Airstreams are built right here in Ohio? I had no idea! The beloved trailers and coaches are assembled in Jackson Center, Ohio.
They offer two Ohio factory tours:
- The Travel Trailer Factory Tour: Get an up close look at how Airstream Travel Trailers are made – all the way from raw materials to finished travel trailers rolling off the line! This tour is free!
- The Touring Coach Factory Tour (currently “on hold”)
You might also enjoy their new Heritage Center. Located at the front of the travel trailer production facility, they have over a dozen vintage Airstreams on display. You can also learn all about the 90 years of Airstream history. Admission charged for this portion.
Fanny May and Harry London Tours:
Located in North Canton, Ohio, you can take a Chocolate Tour at the factory. You’ll go behind the scenes to learn how they make their gourmet chocolates. Channel your inner Lucy and Ethel as you watch the chocolates move down the conveyer.
Chocolate Tours are free and occur at the top of each hour, Monday – Thursday, 11-4pm. As of August, 2022, all tour guests must wear a mask.
Group Information and Reservations: call (800) 321-0444, Ext. 119
Fannie May / Harry London is located in North Canton, Ohio
A “surprise to us” Ohio factory tour is Historic Clifton Mill.
Probably best known for their fabulous Christmas Light Show, they also produce pancake mixes using the historic mill. That’s right, the mixer blends all the ingredients that the miller puts into those mixes. It takes about 15 minutes to do 500 lbs. of mix!
You can take a tour of the Historic Clifton Mill and see how it functions! And be sure to enjoy a meal in the restaurant where they use their own mixes.
Call 937-767-5501 to make arrangements for a tour.