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Hilmar Cheese Factory

  • 4

(1 reviews)
Hilmar Cheese Factory
9001 N. Lander Avenue
HilmarCA 95324
(209) 667-6076

Ages: 0 and up

Cost: Free - factory tours are free

Parking: Yes - lot

Features: Picnic Area, Shop, Restaurant, Restrooms, Handicap Accessible, Family Friendly, Changing Table

Daisy, the Jersey Cow mascot of the world-acclaimed Hilmar Cheese Factory, will show how cheese is made, and what role cows and factories play in the process, during her "mooovie" and interactive exhibit. Learn about the mechanics of cow milking, the process that raw milk goes through, and what products are made with dairy (besides milk and cheese)!

The Factory's visitor center is also a lovely little shop and café.  Find gourmet food gifts, locally produced wines and cheeses, and even farm-themed toys and home décor in the store.  The café serves gourmet sandwiches soups, salads, and features a kid's menu.  Enjoy eating inside or outside on the patio, or in even nicer weather, take your lunch out to the waterfall and picnic areas on the east side of the center.

The self-guided tour of the Hilmar Visitor Center is available anytime, though the center is closed on major holidays, and occasionally the upstairs exhibits are closed due to reserved, private events.  The center is opened from 7am-7pm daily.

Free guided visitor center tours are available on the weekends, January through October, at 10am and 11am.  From mid-June to late-August, free guided tours are offered daily, Monday through Friday at 11am and 1pm.


1 Reviews

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  • 4

Reviewed on 03/03/2011

The Hilmar Cheese Factory has a great Visitor Center with self-guided, interactive exhibits for children of all ages. The lower level of the center is a café and a store, but also features a "mooovie": a short but informative film that is geared to children 5-10 years old and summarizes how the cheese at Hilmar is made. After watching the movie, be sure to go upstairs and explore the exhibits and stations that further the learning. Our family's favorites: the model of a dairy farm, the cow milking demonstration, and the dress up clothes.

After the upstairs fun, head downstairs and over towards the cheese case, where a sampling tray is always out and full of tasty bits, including the amazing "squeakers," or cheese curds.

Those staying for lunch will enjoy a full kids menu with prices ranging from $3.50 to $4.50 for a main, a fruit and a drink. Adults will be delighted with gourmet sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, panini and flatbread pizza options. What visitors should not pass up are the famous cheesecake brownies, though there are other delicious treats like cheesecake, ice cream and smoothies.

On fair days, bring lunch outside. There are many picnic tables and picnicking areas all around the outdoor garden and waterfall feature.

Why the four stars and not five? Well, although the tour and exhibits are free to participate in, the alluring food is anything but. Prices are a little steep in the café, as our family of five spent $40 for lunch.

Hilmar Cheese Factory