Why Kimball Farm Ice Cream in Westford, Massachusetts is One of the
Best Family Travel Attractions in
Kimball Farm ice cream stand and country store in Westford,
by Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on 1/23/17. All photos by Eric unless
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Enough of the "good old days," already. While Kimball Farm in
Westford, Massachusetts, started as a dairy barn in 1908, then an ice
cream parlor in 1939, and in 1975 the ice cream stand that we love to
this very day, this fun family seasonal destination is better now than
There's simply more to do than just eating ice cream. The seasonal
Kimball Farm now
features an outdoor seafood and grill dining area (featuring lobster
rolls, burgers and fried seafood), two state-of-the-art mini golf
courses, a country store with cafe (with baked goods and tea), batting
cages, arcades, a zip line, bumper boats and cars, a driving range,
pitch and putt, and an animal display area including pony rides.
Let's start with the ice cream. After all, this is what made Kimball
Farm special in the first place! There's nothing like standing in line
-- no matter how long it is -- on a New England spring, summer
or fall day or night -- and anticipating the creamy, homemade ice cream
served in huge portions. So many places, nowadays, charge a hefty price
for a small portion of ice cream, and think they can absolve themselves
from the price gouging by call it gourmet, artisnal, premium, super
premium, organic... you get the picture. I don't know about you, but I
just want a lot of ice cream that tastes great -- no fancy names, just
Kimball Farm does just that, serving more than 50 made-on-the-premises
flavors of marvelous homemade ice cream including terrific versions of
vanilla, chocolate and strawberry and my favorites: black raspberry,
cherry vanilla chip, chocolate raspberry swirl, orange pineapple,
orange chocolate chip, peanut butter, Butterfinger and Vanilla Peanut
Butter Cup. The "featured flavors" that change week-to-week are quite
tasty, too. I recommend the gingersnap molasses, pumpkin, German
chocolate fudge, coconut caramel chip, pralines and cream, white
chocolate almond and banana (yes, it is actually good!). The "specials'
like the banana split and sundaes might afford the best value, and,
clearly, best shared (but then again, maybe not)...
Kimball Farm banana split. Photo source:
Kimball Farm Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thekimballfarm.
To me, ice cream doesn't get more creamier and, ultimately, more
delicious than than Kimball Farm. I have tried most of the popular ice
cream stands in Massachusetts (if they are good, they are automatically
popular), and Kimball Farm consistently comes out on top. Additionally,
the regular-sized ice cream is often enough for two people. I
think my all-time favorite is the aforementioned black raspberry,
although that is subject to change depending upon my flavor craving of
the day. Again, remember, this is a regular size...
Black raspberry ice cream.
Kimball Farm also serves frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbert and sugar free
flavors, but I feel the best option is to go what Kimball Farm is known
for -- so ice cream here always gets the nod.
Growing up, our parents always told us, however, to not spoil our
appetites by eating sweets before dinner, so Kimball Farm solved that
problem in a few different ways by opening up a food area in the Kimball Farm Country Store and the
outdoor Grille and Seafood Shack
-- the latter
of which gets the most traffic. Before explaining why the Grille and
Seafood Shack is so popular, I'd like to give a big heads-up to the
food section cozily tucked away nicely at the Country Store: it is
simply fantastic! I wasn't
expecting that, as so many of these type of country store food places
get too "cutsey" and charge an exorbitant amount of money for little
more than what you could find at the grocery deli counter. Not
this one, though. I recently enjoyed a turkey sandwich that tasted like
more like the Thanksgiving version than the limp, chemically-altered
deli kind. This is real turkey, carved thick and absolutely
delicious. Friends and family have sampled other items at the
country store food area, including homemade muffins and scones,
pastries and bagels, coffees, espresso, cappuccino, and lattes.
Everyone I know has raved about their food and drink selections here.
Nice, too, that they have free WiFi, thus proving than a traditional
country store doesn't have to be always traditional!
Truth be told, the food area -- while popular -- is kind of a pleasing
side meal to the Country Store, which rivals some of the better smaller
country stores in New England. Although it's a newer structure made to
look old, the Kimball Farm Country Store has charm and character -- not
the phony kind that I am sure you have seen at other tourist
attractions and towns. The Country Store jam packs a lot into its
modest space with Vera Bradley, Stephanie Dawn, Kimball Farm original
clothing, jewelry from local artists, kitchen and home decor, as well
as gourmet foods from Stonewall Kitchen and an original line of
Kimball Farm gourmet sauces, jams and jellies, according to its web
site. There's also a cozy, quaint second floor with books for
adults and kids, greeting cards, journals and stationery, as well as an
impressive section with toys and games.
Kimball Farm Country Store.
The Kimball Farm Grille and Seafood
Shack evokes the vibe of a classic summer picnic with a New
England personality. Picnic tables under the big, semi-rural sky or
under the pavillion provide a wonderful setting for fresh, local fish,
fried clams and scallops, lobster rolls, homemade onion rings, grilled
chicken, burgers, pulled pork and corn on the cob. After ordering at
the counter, the experience begins to feel like a big family outing.
Waiting in line for delicious food at the Grille and Seafood
Grill and Seafood Shack outdoor dining at night.
Kimball Farm lobster roll. Photo source: Kimball Farm Facebook
page at https://www.facebook.com/thekimballfarm.
Kimball Farm obviously has high standards as evidenced by its
tremendous ice cream offerings, and they have kept up the quality at
the Grille and Seafood Shack, too. Case-in-point: a quality lobster
hard to pull off and usually reserved for well-known places in New
England like Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine, and Abbott's Lobster in
the Rough in Noank, Conn., but Kimball Farm comes very close to that
esteemed level. They actually serve a better lobster roll than some
places in Maine that think they are really good (but will not be
mentioned here, so as not to publicly downgrade them; that's not what
we are about at VisitingNewEngland).
As mentioned earlier in the article, Kimball Farm has so many
attractions beyond ice cream, but the two that seem to get the most
traffic: the mini golf courses and the bumper boats.
Two 18-hole mini golf courses
feature waterfalls splashing onto drawbridges as high as 28 feet. The
courses are beautifully maintained and provide a moderate challenge.
Mini golf at Kimball Farm. Photo source: Kimball Farm Facebook
page at https://www.facebook.com/thekimballfarm.
Water scenes and mini golf go hand-in-hand at Kimball Farm.
The 6000 sq. ft. bumper boats area
provides room for everyone (even better on a quiet, late season
afternoon, as pictured below), and a fun way to cool off on a hot
Bumper boats at Kimball Farm.
All this, plus the other attractions results in a destination where you
could spend a whole morning, afternoon or even full day. As a kid from
Arlington, Massachusetts., I never saw this coming, but sure
glad it did for current and future generations to enjoy! Back in the
day, the ice cream was all we needed but the 21st century version of
Kimball Farm is something to behold.
range features 30 grass tees and 56 mats with each station
having a driving range of 300 yards and a tee area with a sand trap
(you can rent clubs here, too).
While on the subject of golf, the par-three, nine-hole pitch and putt golf course offers
full-sized greens with distances ranging from 40 to 100
yards. The Animal Adventures
attraction features an Eurasian eagle owl, American alligators,
Canadian lynx, boa
constrictors, Python, and other friends along the way...
Huge turtle at Kimball Farm.
A bird of many colors at Kimball Farm.
The Grand Slam Batting Cages
should please those at all baseball levels with its fast and slow pitch
baseball and softball. The fun Olde
Sawmill Arcade is relatively new and features just about any
arcade game imagineable in an attractive, welcoming building that looks
clean and feels safe. The Soaring
Eagle Zip Line accelerates 100 feet into the air on a suspended
cable and offers side-by-side seats. The Spin Zone bumper cars updates
traditional bumper cars as they are, according to the Kimball Farm web
site, "equipped with two Spin Zones that, when bumped, send your car
into a spin! Controlled using a joystick set of controls driving a
bumper car has never been easier!" Not to be mised for the younger
kids: the Pony Rides, weather
permitting, that take place around the Kimball Farm stable.
In someone else's hands, the overall expansion might have turned out to
simply obnoxious and tacky, but Kimball Farm has seamlessly combined
all of these fun elements into a wonderful, appealing family
destination. Perhaps what makes the overall experience nice is that the
Kimball Farm staff is pleasant and professional, making the visit seem
like a supersized family get together. The layout is quite welcoming,
too, with tree shaded path ways, the pavillion and ambiant white lights
at the dining area, a covered bridge, a rustic lodge-like
building and those beautiful waterfalls at the mini golf course and
bumper boats area.
Kimball Farm has also expanded beyond its original location, opening
modified yet wonderful versions of the Westford destination in
Lancaster, Massachusetts, and Jaffrey, New Hampshire, as well as, more
or less, a straightforward ice cream stand with pleasing rural elements
in Carlisle, Massachusetts. All are worth a visit and provide different
experiences -- and no matter which location you go, the amazing ice
cream will always be there. The Westford location, however, offers the
most things to do so I personally recommend trying this flagship
destination out first.
I have never met anyone that didn't like Kimball Farm, and with good
reason: delicious homemade ice cream, shopping, dining and myriad fun
and games under one attractive roof will bring a smile to anyone's
face. I wish we had all this at Kimball Farm when I was a kid, but, as
they say, better late than never!
Kimball Farm is seasonal (usuallly April to October) and is located at
400 Littleton Road (Rt. 110) Westford, MA.
Tel. (978) 486-3891. Web site: http://kimballfarm.com/westford/.
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