Kimball’s Ice Cream-Westford, Massachusetts

This blog began just over a year ago as a means to share our new life in Singapore with our friends back in the States.  However, as the year has passed, to my shock and excitement, I’ve also gained readers from Singapore and other parts of the world.  With that in mind, I thought it might be nice, every once and a while, to write a post about something back home.  To share a slice of life different from what some of my readers might experience.

In that spirit, my first post will be about a place that has been special to Ravi and I since we were little kids.  None of my photos will be of us there as kids, as we left almost all of our “hard copy” photos back in the US.

Kimball’s is an institution in our part of Massachusetts.  A dairy farm that makes and sells its own ice cream is never a place that should be missed.  Much less a dairy farm that makes/sells its own ice cream AND has mini-golf, bumper boats (think bumper cars but on water) and gives out portions of ice cream that far surpass the definition of “generous.”  A “large” ice cream is basically a pint of ice cream balanced on your cone.

Kimball’s is seasonal, open from approximately around Easter to Halloween (Spring, Summer, and Fall).  Much like the Easter Egg hunt on the first day of Whalom Park’s season (a sadly now defunct amusement park near where I grew up), the seasonal opening of Kimball’s meant that days were warming, getting longer and the end of school and start of summer was in sight.  Conversely, when they closed for the season, it meant that days were getting colder, shorter and it was now too cold to really enjoy sitting on the trunk of your parents car eating ice cream (without shivering or sitting inside the car with the heat on…which is cheating).

Few things are more fun than bumper boats.

I grew up a good 30-40 minute drive on back roads from Kimballs, so it was an extra special treat.  The sort of treat reserved for good end of year report cards, special days, and extra good behavior.  My mom could extort a LOT of good behavior in exchange for a trip to Kimballs.  Ravi grew up somewhat closer so I don’t think it was as special a treat for him.  Ravi says some summers they went a lot and others not so much, depending on the year, but it’s no less fond a memory for him.

Kimball’s is the kind of place you go on a hot summer night.  You stand in what seems like an endless line.  When you get to the window, a teenager takes your order and produces a prodigious amount of ice cream balanced on a cone.  You sit on a bench or your parent’s car licking quickly, trying to fight nature in a battle of speed, seeing if the heat will claim your ice cream before you can ingest it.  It’s a rare trip to Kimball’s (or at least it seems that way in my memory) where you don’t run into people you know from school or work or just around your town.

Ellie’s first trip to Kimball’s was unfairly (perhaps) before she was old enough to have ice cream.  She was five or six months old, but due to food allergies, was not allowed anything with dairy.  That didn’t stop us from taking the following picture.

E’s baby nickname was “Turtle” for those who missed that phase

One of the first things we plan to do upon our return home in two weeks (TWO WEEKS!!!!) is to hit Kimball’s.  We’re thinking Sunday evening, and are (hopefully) dragging our friend M, who, although she lived in Boston for a few years, may never have been to Kimball’s.  We’ll fix that travesty for her.  Who’s in?

This will be the first time that E can go and eat ice cream, so we’re extra excited.  Not sure if she’s old enough to join me in a bumper boat, but one can hope.

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10 Responses to Kimball’s Ice Cream-Westford, Massachusetts

  1. Jeff says:

    WOW! You know Kimballs?!? I LOVE that place!

    I know I am still sort of a new follower, so I guess I just didn’t realize you were from the area. We live in Halifax, Nova Scotia now, but I used to live in NH and worked in Littleton, MA. Kimballs was a summertime favourite for lunch.

    Great to hear it!
    -jeff

    • Crystal says:

      What a small world! I grew up primarily in Ayer, next door to Littleton and Ravi is from Acton.

  2. Zach Woods says:

    Hi Crystal –

    Please keep Zane and Co. up to date on the Kimballs trip.

    I don’t think Zane has ever been and if that is the case then Deb and I haven’t been in at least 3 years!

    Zach

    • Crystal says:

      That would be great to see you guys there! With luck the animals will be out…the kids should love to see them!

  3. Jim says:

    Keep me posted as well! I’ve only been to Kimball’s a couple of times, but it’s a wonderful, wonderful place.

    When I was growing up in Albany, NY, the big ice cream place was Kurver Kreme. It doesn’t have as much stuff as Kimball’s, but it has wonderful soft-serve ice cream.

    • Crystal says:

      The ice cream is so good that Ravi’s cousin occasionally drove up from NJ to get it 🙂

  4. bookjunkie says:

    This is the first time I am learning about Kimballs….hope it comes to Singapore one day.

    Baby E is sooo cute and chubby and happy in that photo!! 🙂

  5. This place is a great alternative to Dairy Queen, especially if you live in or around Westford.

    Also, this place is right near Bobby’s Ranch, so after my trip horseback riding, I can sometimes stop by on my way home and have some ice cream…and sometimes either do a bumper boat or even order a hamburger or a lobster for take-out dinner.

    Besides, Kimball farms is not only a full-day vacation-type thing (or even a staycation activity), it’s also a great place just to stop by for a short time.

    The onlything hopeful that would NOT happen to Kimball Farms is if they become too big for themselves and be like Dairy Queen, or they go out of business.

    • Crystal says:

      I think they’re much better than Dairy Queen!

      I really like the expansions they’ve made in the last 5 years (adding the grill and such in the summer), but I agree that they need to be smart and not try to be something that they’re not. What they are is home made delicious ice cream catering to their home community.

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