We all scream for (Ben & Jerry's) ice cream

Today we headed off to Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory in Waterbury, Vermont. The ice cream factory offers an extensive ice cream shop, fun factory tour and cool gift shop. It's one of those local touristy things you simply have to do. And it was worth it! Free for kids, cheap for adults, playground on site, ample parking and cute decorations everywhere. Totally worth the trip!

I visited the factory when I was a kid. I can't remember much about it except getting to sample a flavor that wasn't available in the stores yet and that the fields around it were like a cow heaven. But, upon visiting 20  years later as an adult, I wonder if their property was reduced over the course of time. There were a few hotels we passed that looked like new construction and a row of condos that looked quite new as well.

My daughter grabbing a sample at the end of the tour.
Anyway, it's winter. Maybe it's different in the summer without the snow. Who knows. Anyway, the property was still nice and there was a playground for kids (a total perk for families!!). Now, the one thing about the facility I noticed is that there's seating but not ample seating. On busy days I can see how seating becomes a problem and annoyance. For me, a nursing momma, I like being able to sit because my daughter is often in my arms. She weighs enough that my arms get tired. So, sitting helps so I can hold her more comfortably. There was seating today but it was also unusually slow. The tour after ours wasn't even filled, in fact.

Entering the Flavor Graveyard
The tour was free for kids (yay!) and $4 for adults or something cheap. It's worth it. It's a cute tour with a nice video. Most of the 30 minute tour is video based. The video is designed in a way that appeals to adults and kids. (nicely done!) But ewww.... they were bought out by Unilever? Corporate greed. I realize that Ben & Jerry's perhaps couldn't meet demand without the help of corporate crap but still ... I think staying small is a good thing. That's just me though.

Anyway, we did the tour video and looked at a bunch of machines that weren't working because they were updating their facility or something. Still worth it though. And at the end of the tour I asked Sofia (my nearly 4 year old) what she learned and she said she liked ice cream and spouted off a few flavors. LOL

So it wasn't a learning day necessarily but still fun.

Afterward, we ate at Arvad's in downtown Waterbury. Yum!!We ended up getting a local brew based on the raving review from the couple at the table nearest ours. It was a yummy IPA and I'm not even an IPA fan. Apparently, the beer is sold within a 20 mile radius of where it's made so you can't get it elsewhere. Interesting. Locavore Beer. Nice!

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