You just found your golden ticket. Please do not contain your excitement. I get it! Among every other childhood dream, twenty minutes in the room built entirely of sugar was on the top of my list. I eventually realized that was never going to happen (a pretty low day for me) but hope has returned. With the recent passing of Gene Wilder, the Original Willy Wonka himself, I decided to go for it and make my dream a reality.

Here in Manhattan, Kansas, in the middle of the country and far away from the land of the Oompa Loompas, there is no shortage of cupcakes, cookies, chocolates, and other sugary treats. Just remember, you're never too old to frolic through a field of grass-shaped sugar. Anyway, "We've got so much time and so little to see..." 

Mrs. Powell's Bakery

cake, tea
Hanna Cornelius

Get a giant cinnamon roll to start the tour off right. Choose from classic, cherry, cream cheese, pecan rolls, and so much more. Not feeling something sweet? Try the biscuits and gravy. This little bakery is right by downtown, tucked away in the Manhattan City Center Mall. This is the kind of place you'll be coming back to years from now.  These cinnamon rolls have been around twenty-some years now and after your first bite you'll understand why. 

4 Cakes

chocolate, peanut butter, buttercream, peanut, cupcake, butter, caramel, mocha
Hanna Cornelius

Also located downtown, this little cupcakery was opened three years ago. They offer wedding cake, chocolate, and red velvet cupcakes everyday along with other various treats that they switch up. That includes amazing lemon bars. I'm talking buttery layers of deliciously dense crust topped with thick lemon curd. Want to get your K-State pride on? Indulge in a K-State cookie before you head off to the game. 

Hazel Hill Chocolates

Hanna Cornelius

Walking through the front door, I was greeted by the strong smell of chocolate and rows of little chocolate truffles. The options did not stop there. The case of candies circled around the counter, filled with chocolate-covered fortune cookies, chocolate-covered bacon, and caramel apples. It was hard to pick just one thing (so I picked three). My box even came with its own golden ticket! 

chocolate, sweet, candy, cake, cream, goody, pastry, sweetmeat
Hanna Cornelius

Looking for an easy, thoughtful gift? Who doesn't want a little something sweet? They've got a wall full of pre-packaged gifts, or you could just ask for them to box up a little (or big) case of various sweets. Guys, this is a great place to get a Valentine's Day gift.

Go for the classic chocolate-covered strawberries or a heart-shaped dish full of chocolate. One of the most exciting things I learned on my little adventure to this adorable chocolate shop? They have a student discount! Bring your I.D. in and they'll give you $2 off a purchase of $10 or more (including the gifts). 

Insomnia Cookies

peanut butter, peanut, butter, chocolate
Hanna Cornelius

Chocolate chunk, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle, sugar, s'more, butterscotch pecan, and white chocolate macadamia. They have it all. The best? Try the seasonal butterscotch pecan. They've got ice cream too! Sandwich it between two cookies of your choice. Have Pocket Points to redeem? They do that. This is going to be a finals week go-to. They are open until 3am and they deliver. This chain cookie shop is located right by campus and Aggieville. 

Call Hall Dairy 

ice, cream, blueberry
Jocilyn Sarsozo

Located right on campus, is there any reason not to stop by for a cone or a dish? Try the blueberry-flavored Purple Pride. They also have Apple Dapple, Caramel Cash, Espresso Ecstasy, and other classic ice cream flavors. 

You won! Your prize? Lifetime access to Manhattan's own Chocolate Factory. Go home and revel in the sweet sweet victory as you slip into a minor sugar coma. Don't be like Augustus Gloop... Share with your friends.