I’ve been wanting to explore the Tillamook cheese factory since I was a kid. My great-grandma used to live in Salem, Oregon and we always talked about stopping there when we visited her. But, we never got around to it.

So, when I heard about the new Tillamook Creamery that opened a few months ago, I figured we needed to plan a weekend trip to the Oregon Coast with our kids!

Where’s the Tillamook Creamery?

The Tillamook Creamery is located in Tillamook, OR (about 90 minutes west of Portland.) It’s on the Oregon Coast, which has a ton of fun things for families.

Scroll down to watch a video of all the highlights!

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour

The Tillamook Creamery features a FREE self-guided tour where families can see how cheese is made.

When you enter the building, head up the stairs to start your Tillamook cheese factory tour.

KID-FRIENDLY HANDS ON EXHIBITS

At the top of the stairs, head to your left. This is where kids can get some hands on learning about where milk comes from.

Photo of an interactive display at the Tillamook Creamery in Oregon #tillamook #oregon #pnw #oregoncoast #dairy
This display was at the perfect height for my (almost) 5 year old. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Up against the wall, there’s a cool area where kids can learn the names of different cows.

Photo of a toddler feeding a display calf water at the Tillamook Creamery in Oregon #tillamook #tillamookcreamery #oregon #oregoncoast #pacificnorthwest
My toddler loved pretending to feed this calf water. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Then, kids can grab some bottles and “feed” a display cow. This was a huge hit with my 2 year old!

Photo of an interactive exhibit at the Tillamook Creamery in Tillamook, Oregon #tillamook #dairy #oregoncoast
Such a large, prickly cow brush! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Moving on, there’s a display that features a prickly brush and kids can see how cows scratch themselves when they are itchy! It’s kind of like a huge bottle brush!

Photo of a boy "milking" a cow at the Tillamook Creamery visitors area on the Oregon Coast #pnw #familytravel #oregoncoast
My son needed a bit of help connecting everything, but still had a great time! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

And one of the coolest sections is where visitors can see if they can “beat the clock” as they milk another display cow. My 4 year old could have spent 10 minutes here trying to shave off his time!

Keep an eye out for little peeps holes throughout the entire building! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Finally, we noticed a little peep hole at the end of this kids area. When we looked inside, we saw a little toy cow in a diorama.

This is just the first of several we spotted throughout the day!

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TILLAMOOK CHEESE FACTORY

Turn left out of the kids area and you’ll see a wide hallway with huge windows. This is where the magic happens!

Photo of the Tillamook cheese factory tour on the Oregon Coast #pnw #tillamookcreamery #tillamook #pacificnorthwest
The self-guided Tillamook cheese factory tour is totally manageable with kids. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Each step is numbered (on a super cute milk can!) and labeled so it’s easy to see where to start.

There are display boards that explain what’s involved with each step and what each machine does. Plus, there are signs hanging over most of the machines with their names.

Halfway through (at the end of the hallway) is a large screen that shows how Tillamook ice cream is made! There are a few rows of benches to sit and watch the documentary.

Our favorite Tillamook ice cream is Udderly Chocolate, so the kids were glued to the screen!

Then, you’ll continue on to see how the cheese is cut and packaged. Hint: it involves a blue octopus!

TILLAMOOK CHEESE SAMPLES

So, this may be worth the drive in itself.

Get in line and you can sample an assortment of cheeses. The area is a big square and the line divides so half the visitors go to each side to try the samples.

Photo of the Tillamook cheese tasting at the Tillamook Creamery in Oregon #tillamook #cheese #dairytour #cheesetasting
These are just a few of the many cheeses you can try at the Tillamook cheese factory! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

They have toothpicks and you are supposed to throw them away after every sample.

After you finish your samples, you are encouraged to go down the stairs that lead directly into the Tillamook Gift Shop!

Tillamook Gift Shop

As far as gift shops go, this one is pretty comprehensive. It’s like the dairy section of your local grocery store meets an indie toy shop.

Photo of the Tillamook Creamery gift shop, which sells, cheese, ice cream, toys, clothing, and so much more! #tillamook #tillamookcreamery #cheese #dairy #oregoncoast
The Tillamook Creamery Gift Shop is quite expansive! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Here are the highlights:

ICE CREAM

Yes, they have a large freezer section featuring tubs of Tillamook ice cream and ice cream bars. Perfect for sharing with family and friends!

The Pacific Northwest Apple Cider ice cream looked awesome and I’m adding that to my grocery shopping list this week!

SO MUCH CHEESE

If you like cheese curds (they are soooooo good!) this is a great place to grab some.

Photo of the Tillamook Maker's Reserve specialty cheese in Tillamook, Oregon #tillamook #cheese #oregoncoast
If you are a cheese connoisseur, you’ll want to pick up some specialty items here. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

They also sell huge blocks of cheese, individually wrapped cheese, and all the kinds of cheese you could want.

Plus, they have a small section called Maker’s Reserve where they feature cheese you can’t find anywhere else.

KIDS TOYS + PLAY AREA

While we were waiting for lunch, I took the boys to the gift shop and found a corner that was a kids play area!

Photo of the play area at the Tillamook cheese factory on the Oregon Coast. #tillamook #oregon #oregoncoast
I appreciated this play area while we waited for lunch! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There’s a play rug and some farm toys. And there are benches for parents. Plus lots of stuffed animals waiting to be snuggled!

And the kids section was massive! Lots of Melissa and Doug, Green Toys, board books, and all kinds of farm-related products.

READ  Family Travel Guide to Portland, Oregon with Toddlers

What You Should Eat

The Tillamook Creamery has a large Food Hall featuring all kinds of dairy yumminess!

The Food Hall serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These items are made to order and most of them have Tillamook cheese!

We tried the Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese and Fries, Tillacubano, and the Tillamook Madame and they were all outstanding! See the full menu here.

Photo of barnyard cookies featuring a rooster, pig, and barn at the Tillamook Creamery #tillamook #cookies #farm
Aren’t these cookies adorable? Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There’s a little bakery area with fun treats and coffee drinks, too. Oh, and did I mention they have beer, cider and wine?

Photo of the milk cups at Tillamook Creamery, a great place to eat with kids on the Oregon Coast #tillamook #tillamookcreamery #oregon #oregoncoast
These are the cutest kids milk cups I’ve ever seen! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

I suggest ordering a kids meal to save a little money. Plus, the meals come with this reusable to go cup for milk that is just the right size for little hands!

But, the number one thing you need to eat at the Tillamook Food Hall is TILLAMOOK ICE CREAM!

We’ve been eating it for years and it’s really the creamiest, smoothest, most flavorful ice cream here in the Pacific Northwest!

The line for ice cream can get long, but it’s totally worth the wait!

What You Need to Know About The Tillamook Creamery with Kids

IT’S FREE

When you are looking for free things to do on the Oregon Coast, this may be the coolest option!

Photo of a sign at the Tillamook Creamery that reads: Herd You Like Samples! #TillamookCreamery #Tillamook #oregon #oregoncoast #pnw
This sign cracked me up more than it probably should have! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

I mean, they give you a LOT of free cheese samples and it’s a great kid-friendly activity.

GET THERE EARLY (OR GO LATE)

Take advantage of the fact the Tillamook Creamery is open 8am-6pm (Labor Day to mid-June) and 8am-8pm (mid-June-Labor Day.)

We went right at Noon on a rainy Saturday and it was PACKED. In hindsight, we should have tried to get here early in the morning so we could grab an early lunch.

THERE’S A PARKING SHUTTLE

The parking lot is pretty large, but there’s a need for an overflow parking lot across the street. We ended up there on a Saturday in September.

They offer a parking shuttle that runs frequently. We might have taken it had we not just put our toddler in a stroller. Although we ended up beating the shuttle walking ourselves.

FOOD OPTIONS

You might consider coming here just to eat if you are in the area.

I thought the food prices were on par with food you find at museums. A kids cup of Tillamook ice cream was $2.50. My sandwich was $10 and super tasty!

Photo of a boy eating Tillamook macaroni and cheese at the Tillamook Creamery on the Oregon Coast #tillamookcreamery #tillamook #oregon #oregoncoast #macandcheese
This is definitely the BEST kids mac & cheese we’ve ever had! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Plus, you can always grab meat, cheese, drinks, ice cream, etc from the gift shop.

Insider tip: Avoid the long ice cream line by buying a box of ice cream bars to share with your family!

STROLLER VS. BABY CARRIER

Since we parked in the overflow lot, we put our toddler in the stroller to head over. There are elevators, so we had no problem wheeling him around.

However, it was a bit cumbersome pushing a stroller through the cheese sample line and in the cafeteria area.

If you have a baby or young toddler, I’d suggest wearing them in a carrier if you are going during a busy time.

PHOTO OPS

There’s a really cool photo op set up right behind the staircase. You can take a turn “driving” the yellow bus.

Photo of the Tillamook Creamery yellow van photo op in Tillamook, Oregon #oregon #pnw #tillamook #tillamookcreamery
After seeing this photo op all over Instagram, we HAD to do it! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Be warned, if you want to get a photo with the big Tillamook Creamery sign, you aren’t supposed to walk across the grass. There are also no sidewalks.

FREE STICKERS AND BOOKLETS

Before you leave, stop by the little information desk. They have free Tillamook Creamery stickers and little activity booklets.

My preschooler is obsessed with the booklet because it teaches how milk gets from the cow to our house!

See for Yourself!

Other Fun PNW Adventures

Inn at Cape Kiwanda is a Kid-Friendly Oregon Coast Hotel
Family Weekend Getaway to Winthrop, WA: A Wild West Town
Family Travel Guide to Portland, Oregon with Toddlers
How to Explore the Oregon Zoo in Portland with Preschoolers
Pacific Northwest Girls Weekend in Astoria, Oregon
Seattle Ice Cream Cruise for Kids

Heading to the Oregon Coast with kids? Stop by the Tillamook Creamery for a FREE tour of their cheese factory plus lots of tasty samples! Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #oregoncoast #pacificnorthwest #tillamookcreamery #tillamook Looking for free things to do on the Oregon Coast? Stop by the Tillamook Creamery for kid-friendly dining, hands-on exhibits, and the coolest gift shop! Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #tillamookcreamery #oregon #oregoncoast #familytravel #pnw If you're traveling through Oregon with kids, plan a stop at the Tillamook Creamery in Tillamook, OR for kid-friendly activities and food. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #oregon #oregoncoast #tillamookcreamery #dairy #dairytour #travelwithkids No trip to the Oregon Coast is complete without a stop at the new Tillamook Creamery! It's a perfect family stop with kid-friendly activities, food options, free cheese samples, photos ops and more! Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #tillamook #oregon #oregoncoast #thingstodoinoregon #familytravel

Author

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.

30 Comments

  1. URMILA DEVEN Reply

    THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO HAVE A TOUR OF CHEESES FACTORY THROUGH YOUR POST, I ENJOYED ALL PHOTOS, GREAT DEAR …

  2. This would definitely be a great place to visit with small kids, they would gain a lot of knowledge here,thanks for sharing. Loved all the pics.

  3. Reminded me of Charlie’s chocolate factory….. And I love cheese…. Thanks for taking me there virtually… Wish I could visit it someday…… ❤️

  4. Anything that involves yummy food and an educational opportunity for the kids is a great trip for me. Your pics are gorgeous!

  5. Omg this place looks like the MOST fun! Such a great interactive experience!

  6. I absolutely love Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. It is always my go-to when I splurge on a cheese other than basic grocery store brand. It’s so neat that you can actually tour the factory. If I am ever in Oregon, I will make it a point to do a tour.

  7. Wow! There’s so much to do and eat! This would be a fun date trip. I’ll recommend this to my friend who lives near there

  8. The Tillamook Creamery is a really fun family visit! We’ve been there with our kids and the tour was very fun, the samples were delicious and my kids loved getting ice cream at the end. Great memories!

  9. This look so much fun! You get to learn and experience at the same time you can have some food trips. Such a fan family trip.

  10. Such a fun and informative place to visit. I love all the educational options they have for kiddos. And all the cheese!!! Yum!

  11. Stuart Brazell Reply

    I want to go here so bad! Cheese is my favorite food in the entire world!!

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