If you are in the Burlington, Vermont area you should not miss a stop at Ben & Jerry’s Factory. This company was founded in 1978 with a “$5.00 correspondence course in ice cream making from Penn State University and a $12,000.00 investment. They opened their first ice cream shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont.” (website)
This is a fun place to visit that is easily accessible. There is dedicated handicapped parking at the top of the hill as well as some handicapped spaces on the main level. If you have to park on the lower level note that there are 28 steps to get to the double door entrance. It might be better to drop passengers off at the top and then park.
Tour tickets are available on the main floor. The 30 minute tour takes one upstairs to the “Cow Over the Moon Theater,” with a short historical look at Ben & Jerry’s, on to the mezzanine area to watch production, and finally back downstairs to the Flavor Room for a taste of the day’s production. If steps are a problem the “vanillavator” gets one easily up and down. Our tour guide, Blair, was terrific, as I’m sure all of the guides are. Even before we got to the tasting room, we were drooling just looking at the number of containers that didn’t make the grade and were being taken off the production line for other uses. We remembered a time when they weren't taken off the production line and we could purchase ""seconds"" at a Ben & Jerry's shop in Rutland, Vermont. A shop with all things Ben & Jerry’s and the Scoop Shop, if you need more than the taste you just had, are located just outside the tour’s end.
Multi-stall, handicapped accessible restrooms, with baby-changing stations are located on the main level.
At the top of the hill you will find the flavor graveyard, where some flavors have gone to their final resting place. This is also a kids’ play area (a nice touch for good weather). These places were not happening for us due to the amount of snow still covering everything up here.
We can only imagine how crowded this destination must get in the summer as we noticed outdoor restrooms along the ramp from the upper parking lot. You can’t help but enjoy such a happy place.
As always we at Destination:Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, www.benjerry.com, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”