Enjoy the Sweetest Tours at Illinois Nut & Candy in Skokie

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Indoor Places to Go

Located in Skokie, Illinois Nut & Candy is opening their kitchens to teach guests about how chocolate is made, and to give it a try themselves. This hands-on experience will have everyone leaving with a sweet tooth, and a bag full of hand-crafted treats. Read below for more details about this one-of-a-kind experience in the northern suburbs.

This article is sponsored by Illinois Nut & Candy, but all opinions are my own.

Features of Illinois Nut & Candy Tour

A tour at Illinois Nut & Candy is compromised of two main components: education and creating. For the first 10-15 minutes of our tour, we were taught how chocolate is made, starting with cacao pods, all the way to the sweet treats we know and love. We sampled beans, which had a white, mucus-like coating, and nibs, which were bitter tasting.

While the adults in our group could appreciate these unique flavors, keep this is mind for any sensory-sensitive guests. Through the learning portion of our tour, our children were able to take turns measuring and mixing ingredients to make a dark chocolate bar for us all to share later in the session.

Once we finished learning about how chocolate is made, we were able to tour the kitchen. Illinois Nut & Candy is kosher certified by the CRC of Chicago, so there were two separate kitchens for chocolate making.

We were surrounded by bowls of caramel sauce, chocolate mixers, and the most sprinkles we’ve ever seen. Through a window, we could watch a chocolatier hard at work creating items to be sold in the store.

The kitchen where we worked was clean and organized, making the process very seamless. All participants wore gloves, hair nets, and aprons provided by Illinois Nut & Candy (which we were able to keep!) Throughout our tour, the guide talked us through the equipment and ingredients.

We made caramel apples, chocolate covered Oreos, and chocolate dipped pretzels. Each participant made their own items, which we let cool in the freezers before bagging to bring home. As our items were setting, we were able to see the storage facility where all of their supplies are kept, as well as the packing room for treats to be shipped around the country.

To wrap up our session, we sampled a small spoon of milk chocolate from one of the mixers. With all this talk about chocolate, it was a sweet way to end our time at Illinois Nut & Candy.

Our kids were very excited to bring home sweet desserts to enjoy after dinner, and especially proud to eat the items they had designed and created. I loved this, and that the mess stayed in their kitchen, not mine. Everything was rich and delicious, very high-quality compared to mass-produced chocolate.

Besides the tours, the shop sells sweet and sour candies, chocolate truffles, toffees, clusters, nuts and fruits dipped in chocolate, and so much more. It was a true test of will power to not walk out with one of everything.

Tips for Visiting

Discuss food allergies in advance: If you or your guests have any food allergies, reach out before booking. We were working in a space that contained nuts and dairy products. Make sure this is a safe space for your family before you confirm your reservations.

Keep your attire simple: Chocolate and caramel are everywhere in the kitchen, so don’t be surprised if things are a bit messy. Guests are required to wear hair nets in the kitchen, and encouraged to make sure their jewelry is covered.

Allow plenty of time to arrive: If you are coming from the western suburbs, there is construction on 294-North, as well as general rush-hour, which could impact your travel time. Tours run on the hour, and we’d hate to have your time cut short because you’re arriving late.

Make it a combo trip: There’s so much to see and do in Skokie. Visit the Skokie Water Playground, Old Orchard Mall, or Exploritorium for a day filled with family-friendly fun.

Hours

Tours run on Sundays from 12:00pm – 5:00pm, and Mondays through Thursdays from 1:00pm – 7:00pm. Each session is booked in 1-hour blocks. Reservations must be made in advance on their website. Tours are limited to 8 people per group.

Pricing

All participants must have a ticket, which will cost $19.50 per person. Included in the price are your sweet treats to-go, as well as your apron.

Recommended Ages

More so than age, itโ€™s important to consider your childrenโ€™s maturity level when deciding to visit. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes, for which you are standing the whole time. The kitchen is narrow, so how well your child follows directions, and is careful with supplies, will determine the success of your outing more than anything. We went with a 5, 8 and 10-year old, who all enjoyed their time on the tour.

Illinois Nut & Candy
3745 Dempster Street
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 677-5777

Looking for more cooking opportunities with your kids? Check out our 15 Hands-On Kids Cooking Classes Where Little Chefs Learn Kitchen Skills.

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