Tagged with "vacation"
9 Aug
2017
Posted in: travel
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Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory

Ben & Jerry's photo op

During the initial planning stages for our epic road trip this summer, I made a list of all of the states we’d travel through and researched top destinations. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory continually popped up in my research as a fun family destination in Vermont, but it was more north than we planned to be in Vermont and seemed out of the way. We were making the trek to the Northeast to see first-hand where important beginnings of our country occurred. We can now confirm that a short tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory and the promise of ice cream is a great family-friendly excursion among the history lessons.

Ben & Jerry's factory tour ticket

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a a treat we indulge in occasionally while our children sleep. They’re on to us, so visiting the factory was like joining a club their parents had been keeping secret from them. You can’t purchase tickets ahead of time for the 30-minute tour. During summer the tours run 9 a.m.-8 p.m. We arrived at 5 p.m. to a full parking lot and a crowd of people. If you visit and find the parking lot packed, don’t panic yet. We learned there is a second parking lot up the hill toward the milk tanks that had plenty of parking. While the gift shop was crowded, it was easy to get all six of us on the next tour. We paid $4 per person over the age of 12, and those 12 and under were free.

ice cream milk and sugar tanks at Ben & Jerry's Factory

The tour starts near the gift shop. The color choices throughout the area are reminiscent of Ben & Jerry’s packaging. There are tables to sit and wait at with various historical ice cream related items like scoops around the vicinity. The tour takes visitors up a flight of stairs to a small theatre where a short video is shown giving an overview of the history of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It was engaging and informational.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream line

The best part of the tour is one you can’t take photos or videos of: the factory floor. Visitors are taken to an enclosed area looking over the factory floor. They were producing pistachio ice cream during our visit. Each step in the process is explained while visitors watch it happen. We’ve been on a couple factory tours and seeing how things are made never gets old. Ben & Jerry’s did not disappoint.

ice cream sample testing at Ben & Jerry's Factory

The end of the tour concludes with a sample of ice cream and some funny jokes from the tour guide. It’s a generous serving of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. You don’t have a choice in flavors, but I don’t know that you can go wrong with Ben & Jerry’s. Visitors can also purchase more ice cream outside, including a maple walnut variety only available at the Vermont factory. We enjoyed waffle cones of ice cream before walking around the grounds surrounding the factory.parents eating ice cream at Ben & Jerry's Factory

Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor graveyard

A Flavor Graveyard sits at the top of a hill overlooking the factory. Tombstones are engraved with puny, witty epitaphs dedicated to flavors that are no longer manufactured. The tombstones fit perfectly with my own sense of humor. We walked around the small graveyard reading each tombstone before taking a short walk to visit a couple of dairy cows that live on the property.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream headstone

The Ben & Jerry’s Factory was a manageable tourist destination. I’m more of a museum and memorial person, but enjoyed our visit. Vermont is a gem in the U.S. It’s called the green mountain state for a very good reason. The rolling hills covered in green are a treat to drive through. I loved the quaintness of the small towns we were in, and the people were sociable. It’s in the top five of states I’d moved to if I was forced to leave Wyoming, and a state I’d love to explore more.


 
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