UPDATE 5/24/16: Kloter’s Ice Cream Barn is now open for the 2016 season. Hours for summer 2016 are Monday to Saturday. 12:00pm-9:30pm.
Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? Yup. Since 1984 this mid-summer month has been a celebration of all treats cold and creamy (and the 3rd Sunday of July is National Ice Cream Day–this year it’s July 19th). Seems appropriate, right? So there’s no time like the present for indulging in your favorite flavors!
Last month I put together a list of some of our favorite ice cream spots around the state, and it wasn’t long before readers let me know that my list was missing quite a few beloved destinations. So what’s a girl to do with a challenge like that? Well, eat more ice cream of course! (Yeah, I have a tough job, right?!)
So, because I couldn’t possibly let our readers down 🙂 , I have been working my way through their list of must-try ice cream hot spots. I started with Salem Valley Farms in Salem, CT, which got A LOT of reader votes (you can see a few pics and read a small snipit about this one in last month’s “What We’re Loving Now” post). But another one that kept coming up was the Kloter Farms Ice Cream Barn in Ellington, CT. And trust me, you’re gonna love this place too. Scoops? Check! Slides? Check! Shopping? Check! This is multi-tasking at its (delicious) best. And it makes for a great summer outing!
Living in the greater Hartford area, I was already somewhat familiar with this retail outlet selling a wide selection of furniture, sheds, gazebos, swing sets and more. I had even been advised of their totally free outdoor play area for kids. But when readers told me that this destination also had ice cream for sale, well, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer to pay them a visit!
It was a nice, easy drive from my town of Glastonbury. I always enjoy rolling through the back roads of Connecticut, getting to see different parts of our state. It’s even nicer if I have a destination 🙂
When you get to Kloter Farms, just pull straight into the parking area and head towards the back a little. That’s where you’ll find Kloter’s Ice Cream Barn. Even if you turn and park in the lot right in front of the store, you’ll still be able to follow your nose to the Ice Cream Barn because, wait for it, they make their own waffle cones daily. And, wow, if that isn’t one of the top 10 smells in the world then I don’t know what is!
The Ice Cream Barn opened on April 28th for the 2015 season, and the hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00pm-9:30pm (for the remainder of the season). It is closed on the 4th of July though. Just a little heads up in case you read this and want to run right over there this weekend 🙂
The menu is posted on the outside of the building. But here’s a sneak peek:
Once we figured out what we wanted to order (which may have taken longer than the drive there– so many choices!), we took our cones and found a seat at one of the picnic tables in the vicinity. There are lots of places to sit. As you can see there are a bunch of spots right in front of the Ice Cream Barn, but once we go over to the play area you’ll see there are even more chairs there.
Just in case you are scratching your head at our wardrobe choices, our visit was in late May so it wasn’t too warm yet (jackets and hoods definitely doesn’t mesh with this week’s 80+ temps!).
That giant scoop above is their “Cookie Monster” flavor, which is cookie dough ice cream with Oreo cookie chunks. It is their most popular flavor, and I can see (and taste) why!
A nice surprise is that Kloter’s Ice Cream Barn offers a punch card for frequent visitors. I definitely picked up one of those. With four cones (and four punches) per visit, we’ll be filling that card up quickly.
We enjoyed the ice cream, but the kids were itching to explore the fabled play area we had promised them. So hubby and I took our cones across the parking lot to the play area so the boys could explore while we finished up in (relative) peace.
Kind of like another one of our favorite play places, TimberGyms in Newington, CT, Kloter Farms sells all of these swing sets. So here is where, theoretically, you can see them fully assembled and test them all out before you buy one. But all visitors are welcome to just enjoy them whether you are in the market for one or not. So playtime here is FREE. (TimberGyms charges a small fee to play on their equipment, which is indoors.)
Yes! This entire area is open for the kids to play in. There were nearly a dozen different models with all kinds of neat features like spiral slides, tire swings, climbing walls– even a boat!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the kids had more fun here than they’ve had at many actual playgrounds 🙂
As I mentioned before, there is plenty of seating over here too, from adirondak chairs to picnic tables to a covered gazebo. And you are welcome to hang out while the kiddos play. One thing to note though, is that the ground is all stones. So there’s not the same kind of cushioning here that you’d get at a *real* playground with mulch or rubber or something with a little more “give.” So you’ll probably want to keep a pretty close eye on the action if you’ve got little ones who are not such accomplished climbers.
There’s even a restroom conveniently accessible from outside the store (just back across the parking lot under that “Kloter Farms” sign).
But the best part, was that while hubby watched the kids on the play sets, I was able to sneak away for a little browsing in the Kloter Farms Country Store 🙂
They have a lot of unique merchandise including furniture, home decor items and gifts. I definitely have my eye on a few things I’ll need to go back for later!
The kids had a blast. We all enjoyed our ice cream treat. And I even got a few moments to sneak away for some stress-free shopping.
I’m so glad our wonderful readers insisted that I check out Kloter’s Ice Cream Barn. It’s an easy, fun, delicious summer outing. And I’ll definitely be adding it to my list of favorites too!
Now, where should I go next? 🙂
Phone: (860) 375-7240 or (860) 803-9966 after hours
- Monday- Saturday (Closed Sunday) 12:00pm-9:30pm (SEASONAL; April to October–check their Facebook Page for the latest updates.)
- See menu for ice cream details.
- Kids’ play area is FREE.
- Stroller Friendly: YES.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES.
- Restroom: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: I don’t think I saw one in the restroom off the parking area, but I could be wrong (sorry!). Anyone know the answer?
- Parking: YES.
- Food for Sale: YES. Ice cream and assorted beverages for sale (and dog treats for your kids-with-fur, as we like to call them in my family). You may also notice the “Snack Shack” nearby. That only operates during special sales, etc., but when it’s open the food is complimentary (nice!). On Saturdays you will always find complimentary cookies and lemonade at the Snack Shack window.
- Outside Food Allowed: I don’t see why not.
- Cash Required: NO. Credit and debit cards are accepted at the Ice Cream Barn.
- Dress Code: NO. But of course you’ll want to make sure your kiddos are wearing clothes and shoes they are comfortable climbing in.
- Age Recommendations: All ages, though obviously your little, little ones may not be able to handle all of the play area elements. I saw at least one baby swing, and my almost-two-year-old was able to handle most things with just a little assistance.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
- Discounts: YES. Follow them on Facebook to find out the lucky “name” of the day for a FREE cone during regular business hours on that day. You can also get one of their punch cards for a FREE 12th ice cream after you purchase 11 cones.
- NEW: Musculoskeletal Health Centers – Located in Simsbury, CT, MSH Centers specializes in general chiropractic medicine with a focus on pediatric and prenatal chiropractic care. This fall, they will also offer the first all inclusive fitness center in Connecticut with personal training memberships starting at just $55/month for one session/week.
- The Little Green Tambourine – Located in Canton, CT, this healthy living creative arts studio offers a variety of opportunities for kids to learn and play.
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – The state’s only free-standing hospital that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Based in Hartford, Connecticut Children’s also provides services at several locations throughout the state.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
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