The school year is winding down, which means two things coming: summer days and ice cream to beat the heat! Head out to one of these favorites with the kids to not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but to support local businesses.
Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe
Located on Shades Crest Road in Bluff Park, Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe is a great place to get a cold sweet treat. Rotating through over 100 flavors of ice cream, the shop is sure to have something you will love. Rich and creamy, their ice cream is sure to satisfy any ice cream lover. Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe also offers a variety of sherbet and non-dairy soy options. The ice cream is not made in-house, but the shop orders their delicious ice cream and sherbet directly from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream in Wisconsin, “America’s Dairyland”.
The inside of Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe is decorated in a cute retro theme. The ice cream dipping cabinets are low, offering the perfect view for children. Your little one can look inside the cabinets, select a flavor, and watch it being dipped. There is seating inside, along with a couple of benches outside.
Big Spoon Creamery
Big Spoon Creamery began in 2014 when the two-chef husband and wife team started it all with a little ice cream trike. Since then, they have expanded to a food truck and two storefronts: one in Avondale and the other in the Edgewood area of Homewood. Track their food truck online to see when it’s headed to your neighborhood.
Be sure to try their ice cream cookie sandwiches, also known as sammies. The sammies feature the shop’s artisan ice-cream between two thin crunchy cookies. The sammies are frozen solid so they can take the heat without melting too fast. Hint: the peach buttermilk with honey graham cookies sammie is a must-try!
Their store also offers sundaes, banana splits, malts, floats, shakes, and fizzies. The banana split, as described on the menu, includes “bruleed banana, vanilla bean, pineapple passionfruit compote, cream cheese whipped cream, and honey graham crumbs.” Take me now!
The husband and wife team, Ben and Wendy (“Bendy“) perfected their business plan and recipes for a couple of years before officially opening their food truck. You can choose your ideal homemade cookie and ice cream combination made into a giganic ice cream sandwich sure to please even the pickiest palates!
Is the truck not heading to your neighborhood anytime soon? Stop by their Cahaba Heights storefront set to open very soon! Stay tuned!
Crestwood Pharmacy & Soda Fountain
Take a step back in time and enjoy an old-fashioned ice cream float at Crestwood Pharmacy & Soda Fountain. They use ice cream made at Cammie’s Old Dutch Creamery in Mobile, Alabama, and their menu mimics “the traditional style of soda fountains that originated in the early 1800s.” How great is that?
My good friend and fellow Birmingham Moms Blog contributor Erica J. swears by their strawberry ice cream: “They have the best strawberry ice cream EVER, and I don’t even like strawberry ice cream!”
Doodles Italian Ice & Sorbets
I have been a fan and customer of Doodles since it opened 28 years ago down the street from where I grew up. Yes, I’m that old! It was always a good day when the parents would tell the neighborhood kids we could go get Doodles! My first love was lemon ice, then I branched out to the strawberry and raspberry combined sorbet, which is my favorite to this day.
Conveniently located in Cahaba Heights just down the hill from the Summit, there’s a large meadow beside their storefront perfect for kids to play, run around, and pick wildflowers after they finish their frozen treat!
K & J’s Elegant Pastries & Creamery
You’ve probably seen photos of K & J’s Elegant Pastries & Creamery’s legendary, fanciful, and gigantic milkshakes come across your social media newsfeed in recent years. The Alabaster bakery is a destination in and of itself. With an extensive milkshake flavor combination menu, you’re sure to find your perfect sweet treat! Bring your appetite and ask for two spoons!
Lucky Cat Rolled Ice Cream
For an out-of-the-box ice cream concept, look no further than Homewood’s Lucky Cat Rolled Creams. Right before your eyes, you can watch your work of ice cream art be flattened and rolled into the most delectable idea imaginable! Play it safe with vanilla or chocolate, or branch out with something like “Better Than” which features chocolate ice cream rolled with chopped brownie and Oreo cookies, then drizzled with your choice of sauce and topped with gold sprinkles. Yum!
Magic City Sweet Ice
If you’ve never been to Magic City Sweet Ice in West Homewood, you are missing out. Their assortment of Italian ices are not only delicious, but they’re also dairy-free and made without high fructose corn syrup. Grab a cup for everyone in the family, and head across the street to play in Patriot Park!
Mountain Brook Creamery & Edgewood Creamery
Hands down, my husband’s and my favorite local ice cream shop is Mountain Brook Creamery. No matter where we go for a dinner date (fancy or casual), we always end up at Mountain Brook Creamery for dessert! Occasionally we branch out and try something new, but we tend to always come back to their chocolate chip ice cream. You’ve GOT to try it! The chocolate is finely shaved and mixed so well into the vanilla that it’s hard to tell where the chocolate chips end and the ice cream begins! And be sure to check out their sister shop, Edgewood Creamery in Homewood! This shop is a must when strolling through the family-friendly Edgewood neighborhood.
Steel City Pops
With three convenient locations, Steel City Pops is not to be missed. They have storefronts in Homewood, the Summit, and a cute little retro airstream trailer on HWY 280. They also have a push cart at The Market at Pepper Place.
Steel City Pops are not the watered down popsicles of our childhood. Their pops are made with fresh all-natural or organic ingredients and sweetened with raw, organic cane sugar — no artificial flavors or preservatives. Their pops are gluten-free and vegetarian, and they have vegan fruity pops, too. The pops come in fruity and creamy flavors that have various add-ons such as chocolate dips and dustings.
New to the menu this year: child-sized popsicles — how genius is that? It’s the perfect size for little mouths who can’t eat a large pop in the summer heat before it melts.
Three Earred Rabbit
With two area locations (Trussville and Leeds), Three Earred Rabbit is a fun old-fashioned soda fountain with massive, colorful milkshakes (think something right out of Candy Land!) as well as delicious cakes and sandwiches. Trust me, your kids’ eyes will light up when they see their magical-looking milkshake made just for them!
Hoover’s Whole Scoop ice cream shop not only serves up 32 (so much better than just 31!) hand-dipped ice cream flavors, but they also sell ice cream cake by the slice. Yes, you read that right! If you’re like my family, what can be better than the combination of cake and ice cream without having to purchase the entire cake?!
Indulge with your kiddos as we head into summer — and the rest of the year. One perk of living in the South: ice cream year-round!
Which frozen sweet treat shop is your favorite? And did we miss one we should know about? Tell me about it in the comments!