When you’re a Mom, it’s not very often that a day trip or outing is going to be somewhere you’ve been wanting to go. Being a mom to 3 boys now – I am ok with the fact that for a long while my life is going to include lots of sports, trucks, mud, wrestling, video games, etc. etc. With all that being said – I am about to let you all in on a little secret – I actually convinced my kids that an outing for me, a trip to Yankee Candle Village, was really a treat for them! It didn’t even take very much convincing.
Nestled up in South Deerfield, Massachusetts – right off Interstate 91 – is Yankee Candle Village. Basically it’s own little magical world – and although centered around candles, it really is a lot a fun for the whole family. It’s about an hour drive for us from Bloomfield, but we can spend hours there, so it is worth the trip. We have been a couple of times before, but it’s been years since our last trip – I’m pretty sure Rex was only a baby – and he just turned 4!
Every time we have gone, this trip included, we have parked along the front of the building near the road. There are two main entrances – one around the right side of the building (#1 on the map) and the one we have always used which is through the front porch (#2 on the map). If you’re going with the kids, I actually recommend entering through the door on the front porch. The way Yankee Candle Village is set up, you can go to whichever area you’d like fairly easily (you can get an idea of what I mean on the map) but if you follow the sort of natural flow from room to room – I think it makes for a great experience and you’ll know you didn’t miss anything! (By the way – any time I have a number next to something – it’s referring to the map directory)
Unlike some of my other posts, I am going to try to give more of a broad overview of the different areas to visit within the store – I feel like a lot of the fun in visiting Yankee Candle Village is the excitement of finding out what’s coming next. The village (or store – I may use them interchangeably) is comprised of many differently themed smaller rooms. Now, when I say smaller rooms, I don’t actually mean they’re small – just small in comparison to the size of the building as a whole.
Walking in by way of the front porch, you’ll notice a bunch of shopping carts lined up outside. We didn’t grab one because I had baby boy (blog name – TBD) in the stroller, but it is nice to know you could leave your stroller behind if you have a little one who would be happy sitting in the top of the cart. You may also need one just to hold all your candles.
Inside the main entrance you’ll feel like you just stepped into an old general store – lots of cute stuff, unique gift items – those sort of things. The first thing Ace & Rex noticed was the train on the track along the top of the room.
Keep your eyes up – you’ll find trains throughout many of the other rooms. It’s a little bit hard to tell in my pictures, but many of the rooms have dim lighting. I wouldn’t say they are dark – just not great lighting for pictures and that kind of thing. Something to keep in mind because you’ll probably want to take some pics. Don’t worry if they seem dark – all of mine were brightened up on my phone.
First up is the candle shop featuring all of Yankee Candle’s most popular selling candles (#13). Walk a little further and you’ll find yourself in a room featuring tons of Christmas village ceramic houses. You know, like the kind your mom or grandma used to set up with the fake snow around the holidays?
The next few rooms are the Black Forest (#14)- where it really snows every 4 minutes, The Bavarian Village (#15) – a snowy christmas village featuring mini shoppes with all different themes. After that you’ll find the Nutcracker Castle (#16) Don’t forget to stop for a picture with the Bavarian Village thrones!
What would a day out be without at least a few trips to the bathroom? Right between the Candle Shop and the “Christmas Village Room” there is a nice little bench in front of a Men’s and Women’s restrooms. The bathroom was large, clean and also had a nice pull-down changing table near the sink area. There are also two other bathrooms throughout the store. In all of my visits we have only ever used this same bathroom, but judging by the map, they also seem like they would be family friendly.
Now – the part you can really use to get your kids’ attention – The Toy Shop (#17) – featuring the real Santa and Mrs. Claus – all year long.
Santa was back at the North Pole the day we visited, but Mrs. Claus was there keeping an eye on things.
The boys were checking out all the toys and really loved playing with the Kinetic Sand.
What’s the best way to get kids out of the toy shop? Point them in the direction of Yankee Candy! (#18) As you can probably guess by the name, there is also A LOT of candy in this room.
They offer all sorts of candy – pretty much everything you can imagine.
If you’re traveling with a little one – this is a good spot to get little walkers out of the stroller to stretch their legs for a little bit of climbing on the S.S. Yankee Candy Tug Boat. My boys have always loved playing on the boat.
Much to my surprise, the boys didn’t even ask to get any candy! And I would have let them pick out a little something. (I have to make sure they don’t catch on to the fact that this is really a Mommy outing-haha!)
After Yankee Candy, knowing we were really only halfway through the store, we needed to take a break for lunch. There are some lunch options in the New England Market (#19) area in the center of the store, but I was excited to check out Au Bon Pain (ABP)(#23) in the next building over.
This ABP was really big, and had lots of great seating options – including a lounge area around a fireplace. They offered most of the options I’ve seen at other ABP locations – but I would call it more of an express version. Salads are premade, but you can still order a variety of made to order sandwiches, soups, as well as kids’ meals with fresh fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses.
After a quick lunch and a bottle for the baby boy, we headed back into the main store.
It was super cold, but on a nice warm day it would be beautiful to sit outside – there is tons of outside seating for eating, and some rocking chairs along the side porches too.
After lunch we headed right over to the Candle Emporium(#9), the big room with the full selection of all Yankee Candles as well as lots of sale candles.
The Candle Emporium is also the home of Wax Works (#7), which is the hands-on candle making area where kids (or adults) get the opportunity to make their own wax creations.
They offer 3 activities – Make your own jar candle, make your own wax hand, and dip your own taper candles or candle critters.
The first thing the boys wanted to do was the make your own jar candles. They cost $12 each and you get to fill it however you would like. There are 8 color and scents of wax to choose from. The kids thought it was great.
To determine which type of wax you’d like to use there are scent sniffers and of course if you’re my kids and prefer to shop by color, you can disregard the scents all together. My boys tend to make all important life decisions based on color – so the candles were no different.
They enjoyed the freedom to be creative and see the masterpiece they created. Once the jar is filled, it needs to be melted. The candle gets put under a heat lamp to melt the top layer to prevent all the sand-like wax from spilling out.
This process takes about 20-25 minutes depending how busy they are, so I wouldn’t leave this to the very end.
Wasting no time, Ace wanted to move right along and make a wax hand. Rex was a little bummed he couldn’t make one too, but you have to be 48″ tall – and as you can tell, Ace just barely made the cut himself! The cost is $8 for a single hand and takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
It not super complicated – just dipping your hand into wax, then into cold water, back into wax, and back into cold water, maybe 3 or 4 times. Ace also got to pick what color he wanted his wax hand to be – he picked red.
We were reminded to be super careful with the wax hand, and I’m glad she also told them they can’t attempt to “try it on” once we got home. It makes sense to be careful with it – but that isn’t a given to little boys (you don’t get a nickname like Rex for nothing – we used to call him “Wreck it,” like Wreck it Ralph).
And what kind of research would we really be doing for the blog if we didn’t also do the critter dipping? There were tons of wax critters to pick from – and for $3.99 I figured, eh why not. I wasn’t really sure, so I had to ask what you do with these when you get them home. I loved the answer I got – most people use them as ornaments. That made it totally worth it for me. I’m a sucker for ornaments made by the kids 🙂
The kids got to actually dip them in the wax themselves – which they loved doing. Deciding which critter to dip might have been the hardest part. Rex was turning 4 that week and Ace loves the Patriots, so a “4” dipped in blue wax, a football helmet dipped in red and blue and an “R” (baby boy’s first initial) dipped by yours truly were what we settled on. I love them.
If you’re thinking you want to pick just one of the candle activities to do, I think you get the most bang for your buck, in terms of the experience for the kids and the end result, if you do the critter (ornament) dipping.
You can probably tell by now, just from reading this, we had been at Yankee Candle Village for a while now and everyone was starting to get a little tired (especially now that all their “fun stuff” was over). So I took that cue and decided to grab the candles I had been eyeing and head over to the checkout line (#21).
We got a little distracted on our way – we had to walk through the “Man Cave” (#10) and the boys spotted all the patriots and redsox stuff – and all of a sudden they had a second wind to check out a couple more things. Just show Dad the pictures of this room and he might be singing a different tune about spending the day at a candle store. Yankee Candle Village really does have something for everyone!
There are a few other areas of the store that we didn’t really get to spend too much time in this visit, but I would recommend checking out if you have the time.
The Yankee Candle Home Store (#5/6) has lots of great shopping – clothes, jewelry, and accessories.
The “Sale Scenter” (#20) features a variety of marked down items from throughout the store.
The New England Market (#19) – We did walk through this area – admiring the Ben & Jerry’s, Popcornopolis, and the homemade fudge shop. We also noticed they have someone there doing caricatures on the weekends!
There is also a little animated stage show featuring the “Candle Mountain Boys” that we also missed out on this trip. This general area is a great spot to sit down and take a little break or grab a quick snack.
The last area I still have never visited in all my trips is the Candle Making Museum(#11) – live demonstrations are done throughout the day about the history of candles and how they were originally made using beeswax.
See what I mean – as much as we did see in the 3 1/2 hours we were there, there was also almost just as much we didn’t get to see. That’s ok though – we missed out on some “adult” stuff and I was just thankful that a day out with my boys could also be a secret day out for fun Mom stuff too!
There is no price for admission. The pricing for the candle activities are listed below:
Make Your Own Jar Candle – $12
Make Your Own Wax Hand – $8 – single hand, $12 – single hand multi-color, $20 – double hand
Dip Your Own Wax Critters – $3.99
Stroller Friendly: YES
Coffee Mug Friendly: YES – they also sell coffee and other food and drinks.
Restroom: YES – there are at least 3 seperate bathrooms that we spotted
Baby Changing Station: YES
Parking: YES – And it’s free
Food for Sale: YES – Au Bon Pain, Ben & Jerry’s, Popcornopolis and The Fudge Shop
Outside Food Allowed: I don’t see why not
Cash Required: NO. All major credit cards accepted.
Age Recommendations: All ages.
Dress Code: NO
Evening/Weekend Hours: YES
Discounts: They accept all Yankee Candle coupons!
Birthday Party Venue: I didn’t get to ask – but I am pretty sure I saw a party room next to Wax Works!
Out and About Mom is 100% funded by the generous support of our sponsors. Interested in advertising opportunities with Out and About Mom? Get more info here. Right now, check out our annual Spread the Love Sale to save 50% on ads! Hurry, offer ends 2/28/18.
Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
Check back every week as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter and follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.