Come create (and eat) your own ice cream. Take the tour followed by the ice cream activity. Join the fun as you “shake, rattle and roll” to create your own homemade individual ice cream. Fun for all ages, especially those “young at heart.”
Spring break – Monday through Friday, call to confirm dates
Summer tours – June 1- August 31 , Monday – Friday as part of the 11 am tour
Holiday tours – the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day and Easter (Spring Break).
Groups of 10 paid participants or more may also schedule a special tour and ice cream time. Fun family reunion activity!
The best stop along Highway 99 from San Francisco to Yosemite. Free cheese tasting and gourmet food samples, front door drop-off/pick up with ample bus and group parking and motor coach operator and tour director thank you gifts. A great comfort stop with a Café, Peet’s Coffee & Espresso Bar and an ice cream counter. Drop-by buses are welcome. Call ahead and we’ll set out extra samples.
Tour Group Meals by Hilmar Cheese Company Catering
Culinary Agri-tourism! Learn how cheese is made and taste complimentary fresh cheese curds made just prior to your arrival. Enjoy a catered meal featuring our homemade Cheese Chowder Soup and famous Cream Cheese Brownie or Cheese Pie (better than any cheesecake!). We offer buffet or plated served breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dessert sampler! Motor coach operator and tour director meals are complimentary with a catered meal for 25 guests or more. Pricing is inclusive of tax, service charge, and gratuity. If you don’t see what you would like, let us customize a meal for you. See the 2017 tour group menu to the right.
Behind The Scenes Motorcoach Tour
Only available to our motorcoach guests by reservation. Please call 209.656.1196. Our tour guide boards your coach to take a 15-minute drive through the world’s largest cheese and whey manufacturing facility. Only available if you come aboard a bus.
Plan Your Visit
For groups planning a tour, lunch and shopping time, allow about 1.5 hours or so.
Welcome to Cheese University! Experience STEM in Agriculture!
Free Public and Private School Tours
Join us for the most fun and educational field trip in the Central Valley! Free for all public schools, private schools and home schools associated with a school district. Organized and led by trained tour guides, safe and fully accessible. All students receive free cheese samples, a hairnet, Daisy’s Dairy “ABCs” and a souvenir pencil. Learn about dairy with this Fact Sheet.
Pre-K to Adult Free Educational Tour, 30-45 minutes
Students see the Cheese Theatre show and watch employees package “the Big Cheese,” 640-pound crates of cheese. Interactive exhibits use multiple senses, activities and skills to learn about the technology on today’s dairy farms, how farmers care for cows, careers in agriculture, recycling and the health benefits of dairy.
K to 8th Tour and FREE Ice Cream Making Activity, 90 minutes
Educational tour plus actual hands-on ice cream making. Each student makes his/her own ice cream during a lesson that integrates science, math and reading while developing listening and direction following skills. A food safety theme is emphasized. Each student will enjoy his/her own personally created ice cream sample.
4th Grade to Adult Tour And FREE Cheesemaking Experience, 90 minutes
Educational tour plus actual hands-on cheesemaking. Student teams follow the scientific method to make cheese; measuring volume, weight, time and temperature. The lesson integrates reading, writing, critical thinking, teamwork and decision making to achieve results. Food safety is emphasized along with nutrition concepts.
Free for all public and private schools and homeschools (minimum student group of 10) associated with a school district, reservations required.
Six hands-on exhibit areas, educating movie and more
Organized and led by trained tour guides, safe and fully accessible.
All students receive free cheese samples, a hairnet, Daisy’s Dairy “ABCs” & souvenir pencil
School Tour Start Times – 9:30am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm and afternoon times available, Monday through Friday.
School Tour Months – January through October (November and December is our Holiday Extravaganza and we do not offer schools tours then).
Group Size – Minimum 10 and Maximum of 180 students + chaperones rotating through the program. Groups fewer than 60 students may be combined with other small groups.
Scout Tours Earn a Patch $4 per scout 45-60 minutes
Tours available after school and on weekends by reservation. Choose between the tour and ice cream activity for all ages or tour and cheesemaking activity for scouts 9 years or older.
Monday - Friday:
Afternoon or weekends available upon request