With a motto like, “Live the sweet life,” it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bryan, Ohio, is home to a world-famous candy manufacturer. For more than 100 years, Spangler Candy Company has been entwined in the fabric of our city. If you don’t recognize the name, chances are you’ll definitely recognize the brands.

Spangler manufactures numerous iconic candies including Dum-Dums®, Bit-O-Honey®, Necco® Wafers, Sweethearts® Candies, and more candy canes than anyone else in North America. For many years, fans could purchase those candies and see a bit of the company’s history at the Spangler Store & Museum. But like so many other things, that all changed in 2020.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the manufacturer to stop its plant tours, Spangler Candy Company began to reimagine the experience it could offer visitors. The result? Spangler Candy World, an interactive museum, store and STEM experience located in the heart of downtown Bryan, Ohio.

Spangler Candy Company really wanted to provide an experience that brings people into a different world – the world of candy,” said Diana Moore Eschhofen, director of corporate communications for Spangler Candy Company. “Spangler Candy World offers bright colors, artifacts and memories, games and activities that reflect the excitement of candy-making, and creative opportunities to explore and learn what goes into candy manufacturing.”

Spangler Candy World is situated in an historic building on the east side of Bryan’s courthouse square. This location is three times larger than what Spangler was able to offer visitors at its store/museum in the production facility, allowing the company to create an entire experience. So, what can people do when they visit?

“Explore and remember Spangler’s rich history, more than a century of candy-making; play our touchless technology video games; learn about additive color with our color-changing Dum-Dums; operate our six-axis robots; take a virtual trolley drive through a make-believe candy land; watch our large-screen factory tour and Drum Man adventure; take selfies and family photos in our Sweethearts Chapel and with the look-through Drum Man; and shop our wide variety of merchandise and candy to find the perfect gift for yourself or someone else,” said Eschhofen.

There is no admission fee to Spangler Candy World, and all of the interactive activities are free of charge. Tickets for the big screen factory tour are free for three and under, $2 for ages 4-12, and $3 for ages 13+ and can be purchased online or in store.

Visitors can cap off the experience by driving a few blocks to the city’s award-winning water tower that features eight, 65-foot-tall Dum-Dums. There’s a perfect selfie spot where you can snap a photo and learn more about this colorful creation. Of course, that’s not all there is to do in Bryan.

“Spangler Candy Company has been part of this community for four generations – more than a century, so we know that Bryan is a great place to visit, work, live and raise a family. We are excited to provide an experience that brings people to our community so they can discover that more fully,” said Eschhofen. “Visitors can spend as much time as they want with us, and then step outside the front door to see our beautiful historic courthouse, visit one of our great restaurants or coffee shops, see a movie, shop at our stores and specialty boutiques, or walk just a few blocks to enjoy some of the area’s most beautiful parks and playgrounds.”