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Why Kimball Farm Ice Cream in Westford, Massachusetts is One of the Best Family Travel Attractions in New England

Kimball Farm, Westford, Massachusetts
Kimball Farm ice cream stand and country store in Westford, Massachusetts.

by Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on 1/23/17. All photos by Eric unless otherwise noted.

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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 ever before.

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 the results.

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, Westford MA
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 from Kimball Farm, westford MA
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, Westford, Massachusetts
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.

Kimball Farm seafood and grill, Westford, Massachusetts
Waiting in line for delicious food at the Grille and Seafood Shack.

Kimball Farm seafood and grill at night in Westford, Massachusetts
Grill and Seafood Shack outdoor dining at night.

Kimball Farm lobster roll, Westford, Massachusetts
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 roll is 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 two courses are beautifully maintained and provide a moderate challenge.

Kimball Farm mini golf, Westford, Massachusetts
Mini golf at Kimball Farm. Photo source: Kimball Farm Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thekimballfarm.

Kimball Farm miniature golf course, Westford, Massachusetts
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 summer day...

Bumper boats at Kimball Farm, Westford, Massachusetts
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. 

The driving 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...

Turtle at Kimball Farm, Westford, Massachusetts
Huge turtle at Kimball Farm.

Bird at Kimball Farm, Westford, Massachusetts
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 be 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/.

Kimball Farm at night, Westford Massachusetts

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