day trip · slice of life

Have car. Will drive (for homemade ice cream).

I was spoiled, when it came to eating ice cream, since I grew up eating Thomas Sweet‘s ice cream. If you’ve never eaten at Thomas Sweet, then you’re missing out on the best homemade ice cream out there. (Imagine having the ability to blend-in cookies, candy, and fruit to homemade ice cream create the perfect flavor. That’s what Thomas Sweet is about!)
There is nothing like Thomas Sweet here in Central Pennsylvania. There are a handful of ice cream places, but they all sell commercially-made ice cream. (The only good “homemade” ice cream I’ve found is at the Berkey Creamery, which is 90 minutes away in State College.) That’s fine if you didn’t grow up on Thomas Sweet, but honestly, mass-produced ice cream isn’t worth the extra calories to me. 

A few months ago I decided to search for better ice cream so I pinned an article about “Eastern Pennsylvania’s Ice Cream Trail.” When we had nothing to do this afternoon (since it was too cold to go swimming, which is what we thought we’d be doing today), I suggested we take a drive for ice cream. Marc and Isabelle were game. (Ari didn’t express an opinion.) 

Before we left our home, I called nearly all of the places listed in the article. Nearly all of them served commercially-made ice cream. But finally, at the bottom of my list, I came across Leo’s Homemade Ice Cream, an ice cream parlor 30 minutes south of our home in Carlisle, PA. A quick phone call revealed they made their own ice cream! I was giddy with excitement so I picked up the pace and got the kids ready to go. 

Leo’s ice cream was the real deal! Isabelle ordered Chocolate Marshmellow, Marc got Peanut Butter Cup, and I ate Snickers ice cream. All three flavors were delicious! Definitely worth the calories and the long drive! 

Next time I get the hankering for ice cream, I will hope in the car and drive to Carlisle! (Seriously.)


9 thoughts on “Have car. Will drive (for homemade ice cream).

  1. I have a friend in Carlisle! I just sent her your post. They are new to the area. Have you ever made your own ice cream? I just finished making a flavor a month for a year- a bday gift for my dad. It’s fun and delicious… no long drive but it can be a labor of love.

  2. Hooray for ice cream!!!! Chocolate marshmallow was my favorite as a child too! Mmmmm!! Oooh, I just looked it up and it may be a place for me to stop on my trip home from Massachusetts. Mmmmm!!!

    1. That was my favorite flavor as a kid, too!

      You should definitely stop there. It’s not too far off of 81. Also, they have an outdoor patio area so you could definitely give Bella a good stretch of the legs.

  3. Oh, I love this piece! I am thinking about Merrymeade Farms in Center Square – about 30 minutes from my home. I think Ralph and I will have to visit it next weekend. Penn State Creamery ice cream is wonderful, too. Snickers or Peanut Butter Cup would be my choice, too. Yummy post!

  4. When Ingrid & I go for ice cream, it’s to a local place that does create their own. Sometimes we can even watch them pour it into the smaller containers! You’re right, nothing better! My favorite is salted caramel, yum. Thirty minutes isn’t a tough drive. Summer awaits!

  5. what fun — got me thinking about and remembering best ice cream places (including homemade on holiday outings to state parks — back when the ice cream at family and even company picnics was homemade) in my lifetime

  6. For my friend’s 50th birthday, a group of us went to a Japanese restaurant. We ate so much food! And we stayed for probably 4 hours. Near the end, the chef sent us a special black sesame ice cream that he’d made moments before. It was so yummy! I think homemade ice cream beats store bought any time.

  7. Yum! There is a new ice cream place in our home town that people have been talking about and posting about and I can’t wait to try it. Hopefully I am as excited as you are (and it is only a short walk from our house – on the way to the library!)

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