When I told my friends that I was taking my kids to Penn & Beech, the hip DIY candle shop on Mass Ave, they laughed at me. “A shop full of glass, pretty things and adults? You’re taking your children there?”

Penn & Beech Candle Company

To make a long story short, we had a blast! As a family, we sniffed our way into oblivion, taking in deep breaths of every fragrance known to man; Dad’s Den, Earth, Freshly Cut Grass, Autumn Leaves, Bacon, Kelp, Coconut, Cucumber. The list goes on and on. The first step is to smell all of the things, there are over 100 fragrances. From there, you identify a handful that you really like.

It’s true, the candle wax is stored in a glass jar and those glass jars are stacked upon shelves in a very organized manner. It’s conceivable that my children could topple some glass jars, shattering them across the floor, or that they could accidentally put the Bubble Gum candle wax back where the Bourbon fragrance should be. But we didn’t have any of those sorts of disasters. I had my two and a half year old sit in a stool at the table with my four year old son. They were pleased with the jar of Sharpie markers and paper to draw on. Meanwhile, my six and eight year old were so thrilled to get to smell so many things! They were careful and eager to get started.

Pour Your Own Candle

Once we selected a handful of fragrances that we liked, we got to work grouping them together into delightful (or disastrous) combinations. We narrowed our selections down to three fragrances that complimented one another. A Penn & Beech staff member brought us small bottles of the fragrances and we began to mix them together in various measurements until the custom fragrance was built exactly as we wanted.

The Penn & Beech staff member assigned to our group returned with hot wax and my kids poured their oil fragrance into the wax and took turns stirring it.

Pour Your Own Custom Candles

After our fragrance had been sufficiently stirred into the hot wax, my kiddos (with my help) poured the wax into the jar we selected. Then our candles were left behind to cool. We went on our way, had lunch and dessert and returned to pick the candles up at the end of the day.

Tips on Doing Penn & Beech with Kids

In my experience, my six and eight year old were nearly the perfect age for this activity. The little ones (age two and four) had a great time and participated, but weren’t really able to navigate the activity to its fullest. There are snacks and beverages available for sale, but we didn’t want to add that variable in to the mix and we were heading to lunch afterwards. Bringing the fragrances to the table for your kids to smell, works really well. Each of the fragrance signs has a photograph on it, this was fantastic for my non-readers.

Plan on spending an hour or two to complete this activity, however it can certainly be condensed into a quicker time frame or stretched out to take longer. Make sure you make your reservations in advance to hold a spot for your family. The cost for this activity is $20 and up per candle. Not everyone has to make a candle. There are six of us, we made two “family candles.” Our kids had input on one candle and my husband and I created the second candle. We let the kids do most of the stirring and pouring for both of the candles and everyone was happy.

We don’t let the kids burn the candle in their room. The family candle sits on our dinning room table and we burn it during dinner time.

Penn & Beech candles are made from soy wax and natural oils. They have a cotton wick and an estimated burn time of 60 hours.

Penn & Beech would be an excellent location to have a girly birthday party for kids or adults. Jacob and I have stopped in here during our Mass Ave date night. I’ve seen a lot of women have their bridal showers or bachelorette parties at Penn & Beech too!