There are lots of great places to take free tours in Columbus. (I'm sure in your city too!)
I don't have picture from our actual tours, and we didn't get to all of these, but here are some ideas for those of you looking for something fun to do. You don't have to have kids to check these places out! :)
(It's an ice cream place for those of you who don't know!)
The Graeter's on Bethel Rd gives tours. They have a minimum of 10 people (play date?) for guided tours, or you can take a self guided tour if you don't have a group. The tours last 20 minutes. They also have an inside play place for the kiddos.
VELVET ICE CREAM FACTORY
If you want to drive to Utica, Ohio, you can take a tour of the Velvet Ice Cream factory. Tours run May to October from 11 to 3. Tours last 30 minutes and start on the hour every hour.
ANTHONY THOMAS CHOCOLATE FACTORY
The factory is located in west Columbus. Free tours are given on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 2:30. If you have a large group, call for reservations. You get to walk up on a "cat walk" and look down at the factory. You get a free piece of candy too! :) Then you can shop the store.
AL'S POPCORN FACTORY
We never made it to this one, but it was on our list. It is also located on Bethel Rd. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 to 7. It doesn't list specific times for tours, so it seems they are available all the time!? It says you will watch a video and then get to taste some of the fun flavors such as cookies and cream, pizza, bubble gum, and jelly bean.
THE WHISTLE FACTORY
The American Whistle Factory, located in Worthington, is the ONLY manufacturer of metal whistles in the United States. If I remember correctly, this tour cost a little--maybe $5? Also, you have to be part of a group. If you are not part of a group, they will schedule you with another group. (You can't just show up for a tour.) My friend Laurie and I took our boys and joined a Kindergarten field trip. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and you get a whistle at the end of it. You get to pick your color lanyard and can buy a plastic cover if you want. I got red! :)
THE OHIO RAILWAY MUSEUM
Back when Little Man was really into trains, I found out that there was a train museum in Worthington. They are only open on Sundays from 1 to 6, so I didn't get to take him. However, I passed the information on to K and they took him. Since I didn't go, I can't tell you too much about it, but I do know that he enjoyed it.