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By Ivette Cruz and Melissa Goduti, CertifiKID Subscribers
Posted Jan 05, 2019
Posted Jan 05, 2019
Located in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the Turkey Hill Experience is a delicious, hands-on family attraction all about ICE CREAM! Guests are guided through a series of interactive exhibits where you get to learn how ice cream is made, packaged and marketed. Oh, and there are unlimited ice cream samples!
We sent two of our MOM Squad ambassadors and their families to the Turkey Hill Experience. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Melissa: You are guided through the ice cream making process through interactive exhibits and stations --from milking mechanical cows (there were large cows with rubber udders to "milk" (water) into a bucket) . . .
to climbing on a dairy truck . . .
to learning about pasteurization, bottling, ice cream ingredients, mixing, packaging and freezing . . .
and creating your own (virtual) ice cream.
Each ticket had a code that you entered into different stations. First, we made up a flavor, then we designed a package for that flavor, and then we filmed our own TV commercial for our flavor.
Ivette: We experienced a series of simulations - milking a cow, driving an ice cream truck, preparing and packaging our own ice cream. You can also make your own ice cream advertisement.
There are also free samples of tea and ice cream available.
For an extra fee of $5.45, you can go to the lab and prepare your own flavor of ice cream and add toppings. They also have a tea discovery activity for an extra fee but we didn't try that.
Melissa: There were computer games for older kids (elementary through teen), short videos to watch, and a ball pit for ages 6 and under. The kids kept circling back to the ball pit for several play sessions.
The filming of the commercial was really cute. Our toddlers and preschoolers didn't totally understand the point, but they were happy to sing Disney tunes into the microphone and see and hear themselves on the video playback.
During the Turkey Hill Experience tour, there is a tasting of Turkey Hill teas and lemonades, and an ice cream tasting. The ice cream tasting had about 15 flavors to sample, and you could have unlimited samples - and the samples were full scoops, not tiny little tastes! We were very impressed.
Getting There and Getting In
Ivette: It was easy to find, the GPS took us to the main entrance. As for parking, we went on a Saturday and it was a little bit crowded but there were still plenty of spots available (parking is free). The entrance was staffed well, so even though it was noon on a Saturday, we didn't have to wait in a line to get inside.
Melissa: It was very easy to find - my GPS did not have any issues, plus, there was signage along the way. There is a large lot filled with free parking and many handicap spaces. It was extremely quick and easy to get in. We arrived around 11 a.m. on a Thursday, and there were no lines and very few other guests at the facility. The woman at the front desk was friendly, helpful and engaging with our kids.
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
Ivette: We arrived at noon and left when they were about to close. There is a lot to do, so take your time and enjoy it! The ice cream samples are unlimited and delicious, why hurry?
Melissa: We spent about two hours at Turkey Hill, and that was about right for us - the kids were starting to get antsy. If we had paid extra for the Taste Lab or Tea Discovery experiences, we would have needed more time (approximately 30 minutes more for Taste Lab, 30 minutes more for Tea Discovery).
Recommended Age Range
Ivette: My kids are 5, 9, and 10-years old, plus I brought along some friends with me and we all enjoyed it. My kids enjoyed everything, but mostly the lab because they were able to put whatever they wanted on their ice cream. As long as you like ice cream, this is recommended for you.
Melissa: We had four adults and five children with us - a 1.5-year-old, three 2.5-year-olds, and a 3.5-year-old. We also saw many older couples without kids, and a few families with teenagers and everyone appeared to get something out of the experience. As long as a child is old enough to eat ice cream, I think they will enjoy this.
Tips for Families
Ivette: No snacks on site, but who need snacks when ice cream and tea samples are unlimited!!
Melissa: This site is stroller friendly but also easy for young toddlers to explore on their own. There is a Pizza Hut in the same building if you need to stop for lunch.
Melissa: Turkey Hill overlooks the Susquehanna River, and there is gorgeous hiking across the street at Chickies Rock County Park and the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. Turkey Hill is in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, approximately 20 minutes from downtown Lancaster. There are Tanger Outlets in Lancaster.
Would Your Family Visit Again?
Ivette: It was fun. If we get the opportunity, we'll be back.
Melissa: We will definitely return. I was pleasantly surprised that there was enough to do to entertain even the 1.5-year-old. It was a fun, clean, safe outing, that was very manageable.
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