Ask AOA: local factory tours

Thumbnail image for bilinskis_sausage_packing.jpgEmails Terry:

Thanks to the Science Channel's "How It's Made" TV show, my 4 year old son is completely obsessed with manufacturing assembly lines, conveyors belts, robotic tools, etc.
When I was a kid, the bottle processing lines and fermentation tanks (and free draft root beer) at the F.X. Matt Brewery tours in Utica always filled the bill, but I'm at a loss of similar places to watch manufacturinig lines in action in the Capital District. My wife took him to the Town of Colonie landfill to watch the large pickers grab and crush household and construction debris, but my boy is particular in his tastes and wasn't impressed.

Anyone have ideas about where Terry and his son might be able to check out some cool manufacturing or construction action?

Off the top of our heads, we can think of the tours at Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. and Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown.

This stuff is fun even if you're not a four year old. AOA got a tour of the Bilinski's sausage factory in Cohoes (which, alas, is not open to the public) last year and it was really interesting.

Comments

Don't know if they still offer tours, but Ben & Jerry's tour used to be pretty good if you were willing to go to Burlington.

Same goes for the Vermont Teddy Bear factory.

I'm pretty sure Indian Ladder Farms does tours of their cider press. It's not quite the same as a factory, but it's sort of cool.

Freihoffer's used to do tours when I was a kid too...

You might be able to get a tour of the Stewart's plant in Saratoga Springs... they have a neat operation. A lot of local farms will give you a tour also if you call ahead. http://www.saratogafarms.com/

What about the Serotta bicycle plant in Milton/Saratoga?

Hands down the most spectacular by far plant tour I've taken is Quad Graphics in Saratoga. This will fascinate your tyke AND you! If you're not familiar with Quad, they print, package and mail, among other things, major magazines like People and Sports Illustrated for the northeast. The system is fascinating for an adult because of its computerization, but it still has all the bang, clatter and whirrrr of which your little man is dreaming, not to mention all that colorful print whizzing by!

Olde Saratoga and Ommegang tours are both great fun for adults, but they're small brewers and probably not the sort of "manufacturing" that this little guy is looking for.

The Times Union probably gives tours of its production line.

Contact Tough Traveler in Schenectady. They gave a manufacturing class I took a tour a few years back.

what a great idea! how about cappiello dairy products in schenectady? not sure if they do tours. if so, i want in!

Thank you for posting my husbands question, and thanks to everyone who made suggestions. I think he would love the Serotta bicycle plant, Quad graphics, Times union and Tough traveler. I will definitely look into these.

I will send you photographs if we visit and the tour is good.

Me and my son also want to thank AOA and all the excellent suggestions (I see my wife already beat me back to the comments :-)

Many of them I never would have thought of on my own. As my wife said, we'll be sure to report back any discoveries.

Freihofers. Find out if they are still doing tours. I went as a kid and not only was it fun seeing the baking, they were quite generous with the free cookies. And they seemed to taste so much better right off the baking line.

Come see a manufacturer right in downtown Albany. The Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany manufactures reflective safety vests for customers such as the NYC MTA, Long Island Railroad, Metro North, NYSDOT and many others. We employ over 90 people and make 70-80,000 vest a year.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A "self-sustaining, power-generating island unto itself" in Albany

The Empire State Plaza is set to become "a self-sustaining, power-generating island unto itself" as part of a plan formally announced by the Cuomo admin... (more)

GE Realty Plot tour 2017

The GE Realty Plot House & Garden Tour returns this June 3 and 4. Tickets are $25 -- they're available online (and a few retail... (more)

Albany talking trash over the next month

The Albany landfill is running out of space. And by the time it does -- sometime in 2022, there will be no extensions this time... (more)

Troy, demographics, policing, and perceptions of crime

Albert Samaha of Buzzfeed News looks at police/community relations in Troy -- including the disproportionate arrest rates for people of color -- and frames the... (more)

Experiences to share about Albany schools?

Eric emails: I live in Pine Hills and it offers just about everything I'm looking for: a (relatively) safe, walkable neighborhood, lots of parks, some... (more)

Recent Comments

I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

Experiences to share about Albany schools?

...has 18 comments, most recently from Anon

Albany talking trash over the next month

...has 3 comments, most recently from Greg

Checking on the progress of the Albany skate park

...has 1 comment, most recently from J'mo

Kismet Mediterranean Grill

...has 13 comments, most recently from Roger O Green

Where to get an Apple laptop fixed?

...has 7 comments, most recently from dairy princess