Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
Waterbury VT 05676
- Mon: 10am-6pm
- Tue: 9am-7pm
- Wed: 9am-7pm
- Thu: 9am-7pm
- Fri: 9am-7pm
- Sat: 9am-7pm
- Sun: 10am-6pm
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Ben & Jerry's ice cream has long been a staple of New England cuisine and culture, brightening the day of kids, pregnant women, and anyone else with taste buds. If you're driving through Vermont, the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury is a fantastic place to stop and use the bathroom, let the kids play, and have an excuse to eat twelve scoops of ice cream. Take a tour of the factory, visit the gift shop, and try exclusive flavors.
Parking and public transportation at Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
There is plenty of parking here, as space isn't much of a problem in rural Vermont. You'll find a lower lot as well as an upper lot near the Flavor Graveyard and playground. If you prefer to avoid any stairs or climbing the hill, park in the upper lot. It's about a half hour drive down I-89 from Burlington, and it's possible you'll find a bus going there, but a car is definitely your best option.
Best and worst time to go to Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
Obviously it's most fun to eat ice cream in the summer, but that's also when the factory is the most crowded and lines are longest. The factory is open and runs tours year round. The worse the weather, the shorter the lines, except in October, when peak foliage season brings all sorts of visitors. If you're not bringing children, visit in June while kids are still in school. Otherwise, weekdays are best, and note that factory tours do not run on weekends.
Admission to Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
It's free to go to the destination itself, but the factory tour costs a few bucks for anyone over the age of twelve.
Must see/do at Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
Take a factory tour: it's only about a half hour, it's funny, and it comes with a free scoop of the freshest ice cream you'll ever taste. Take a short hike at the far side of the hill to visit the Flavor Graveyard with witty tombstones memorializing retired flavors (and mourn the loss of Dublin Mudslide, Rainforest Crunch, and Bovinity Divinity). Also, visit the gift shop to peruse some very cute and unique items; where else can you find a coozie for your ice cream pint?
Other places to visit near Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
Not too far from Ben & Jerry's is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Definitely try their cider doughnuts and hot apple cider, or play tourist and check out all of the Vermont maple sugar items as well as fun souvenirs.
In the winter, try dogsledding at Little River State Park. You can embark on a two hour guided adventure as you stare at twelve fluffy husky butts and take in the winter wonderland of the forest around you.
Stowe is only about fifteen minutes north, and it's a charming town with quaint shops, fantastic dining, and real charm in any season. A favorite tourist spot here is the Trapp Family Lodge.
Insider tip for visitors to Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory
Factory tours don't happen on weekends and are less fun on Fridays when staff generally clean the facilities. Ask your tour guide or other staff members if there are any special flavors, as you'll often find test batches here or be privy to special editions only available in limited locations and/or quantities. And if you're trying to get up to the Flavor Graveyard with a stroller or wheelchair, skip the stairs and opt for the path further ahead.
Author's bio: Deborah Jarvis is a freelance writer who grew up and currently lives in the Greater Boston Area. She never pahks her cah in Hahvahd Yahd and tries not to drive like she's from Boston if she can help it. She used to stop at the Ben & Jerry's factory every winter with her family on an annual trip to Stowe and remembers eating ice cream in six feet of snow while wearing fleece mittens. She has no regrets.