WESTFORD - Back in 1939, Kimball Farm was a mom and pop ice cream shop situated on a small dairy farm in Westford. Parents would load up the kids, park by the barn and order a scoop of homemade bliss from the counter at the main house.
That was over 75 years ago, and while the Kimball Farm is still family owned and operated, it's anything but quaint. The little ice cream spot has grown into an oversized, all-day experience complete with batting cages, driving range, arcade, mini golf, and even a 6,000 square foot bumper boat pond.
Yes, lots of things have changed at Kimball, but they're still serving their signature ice cream, and they're making it all on-site under the watchful eye of Ice Cream Operations Manager Jill Curran.
"We make ice cream 7 days a week, usually about 12 hours a day. We have over 50 flavors in stock, and about 15 of them we make every day," she explained.
It takes hundreds of gallons of fresh ice cream to meet the demand. Wait times can be as long as an hour, but it's all worth it in the end because the portions will make you full just looking at them.
"A small is a softball-sized scoop plus a racquetball-sized scoop on top. So that could be somebody else's large, if not extra-large at another ice cream stand," Jill said.
Ridiculously-sized portions aren't all their ice cream is famous for; it's also ridiculously good. With so many options, it might be hard to choose. Kimball's still offers their original flavors, like Orange Pineapple and Peppermint Stick, made exactly as they were back in 1939.
But if your tastes are more modern, the menu offers the super popular Moo Tracks, made with chocolate and peanut butter swirls and studded with peanut butter cups; there's Caramel Cashew Chip, fruity Black Raspberry, Coconut Almond Chip, and bright red Raspberry Chip.
If that isn't enough, Kimball Farm offers rotating feature flavors, like Chocolate Mint Oreo.
"I got a lot of regulars that will call me and just be like, 'When are you going to be making that Chocolate Mint Oreo?' And I'm like, 'Okay, I'll have it this weekend,'" said Jill.
Perhaps you want something that can feed the whole family, or an entire neighborhood. If that's the case, order up a Banana Split, with traditional scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry ice cream. Hot fudge, strawberries and pineapple are poured over the top; then a drizzle of marshmallow, and a pile of whipped cream and nuts.
For those who save their dessert until after dinner, don't worry. Only steps away from the ice cream counter, is one of the latest additions to the property: the Seafood and Grill Shack, which serves up some surprisingly fresh fish. Food Manager Richard Gatto wouldn't have it any other way.
"I get the best possible product I can get, and we pass it on to our customers. People say, 'Geez, I don't have to go to the beach. I can come here.' So that's a compliment for us," he said.
Some of the beach-worthy seafood includes the Captain's platter, stacked with fried shrimp, scallops, clams and haddock; creamy clam chowder; steamed lobster with a side of corn on the cob; and the huge lobster roll served on a buttery toasted bun.
If you're not a fan of seafood, Richard and his team put as much care into the grill side of the menu, where even the onion rings are sliced fresh every morning and fried to order.
"We end them, peel them, cut them, slice them every day. Probably four to eight bags a day," Richard explained. "You can tell they're fresh. You can tell they aren't frozen. You can tell that's a fresh product. When you bite in, you get that good crunch."
While some of the staff serves homemade ice cream, some cook fresh seafood, and others operate the attractions, everyone is focused on one thing: helping customers have fun, from bumper boats to banana boats.
Kimball Farm in Westford is at 400 Littleton Road. You can find the exact addresses of all the Kimball Farm locations online at kimballfarm.com.
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