Fun Philly ice cream shops for the family

The flavors of summer. (Photo Courtesy/BigStockPhoto)

The flavors of summer. (Photo Courtesy/BigStockPhoto)

The dog days of summer are in full swing and there’s one sure thing that can make cranky kids and parents feel refreshed and happy: ice cream.

Sure there’s Rita’s Water Ice — which my family loves — but over the last few years, there has been an explosion of fun, gourmet, organic, local and inventive ice cream shops that have appeared in Philly and across the surrounding area.

Here’s a list of 10 really special ice cream shops to refresh and entertain your family during the dog days of summer 2018. I know I’ve missed lots of great spots—please share your favorite local ice cream shop in the comments below:

  1. OwowCow: My daughter and I discovered this local-sourced Bucks County ice cream shop last summer, and made a special trip back this year. It’s got three locations and has been listed on Zagat’s 10 Reasons To Drive To Bucks County. Homemade ice cream, inventive flavors. At the Newtown location, kids can take a train and ride a carousel, too.
  2. Cookie Dope: Make sure you’ve planned time for your kids to run off their sugar high when you visit Cookie Dope, located in downtown West Chester. Delicious ice cream — or just get a cone of edible cookie dough!
  3. Little Baby’s Ice Cream: This small-batch hand-made ice cream company started in Philly and is now sold through the mid-Atlantic region. Little Baby’s World Headquarters features fun flavors and lots of visual stimulation for kids and their parents.
  4. Franklin Ice Cream Bar: My kids have enjoyed the treats at the turn-of-the-century style soda shop The Franklin Fountain many times — and I was excited to discover the delicious bars dipped in chocolate at the newest business of the Franklin Fountain family.
  5. Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe: If you’re in Northwest Philly, be sure to stop by this magnificent, fully restored 1948 PCC trolley car, where you can order ice cream, water ice, pretzels and more treats.
  6. Tubby Robot Ice Cream Factory: Another amazing Philly-based ice cream company! The Tubby Robot in Manayunk is passionate about both ice cream—and video games. The shop features a “Wall-O-Vision” in which video games are projected onto an outside alley wall.
  7. Merrymead Farm: There’s something for everyone here with 32 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream. While you’re at the farm, you can also shop for locally-grown fruits and vegetables…and you may want to take home a freshly baked fruit pie while you’re there.
  8. The Weldon Soda Fountain: Located in the heart of Glenside in Eastern Montgomery County, this old-fashioned soda fountain serves ice cream, milkshakes and sodas.
  9. Freddy Hill Farms: This family fun center is worth the drive. The homemade ice cream is one of the featured creameries on The Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail and kids can also enjoy mini golf, farm animals and batting cages.
  10. Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe: This sweet ice cream shop has a big front porch and features old-fashioned flavors. Very pet-friendly, so pack the kids and the pooch in the car and enjoy a waffle cone with your favorite toppings!

Have a sweet month and share your favorite ice cream spots below!

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