We had our third baby boy in February, but I was determined NOT to be home bound this June, July, and August. In late May, we kicked off our Gosser Family Ice Cream Adventure. Here are six ways that ice cream saved our summer:
- We left the house. If you are a parent, this sentence explains itself. Was it always easy? No. Was it always fun? (Almost) always! As a well-intentioned mom once said, "There is no fun without hassle." And yes: that mom was me.
2. We got fresh air and exercise. Our adventure would center around the ice cream shop, obviously. Then we'd just Google parks with the same zip code or asked friends who lived nearby for recommendations.
3. We explored new places. We hit up beer gardens and custard in Milwaukee, brunch and ice cream in Chicago, and doughnuts and custard in Crystal Lake. In each place, we found some water fun: throwing rocks in the Menominee River, running through Lake Michigan, and splashing at Veteran Acres.
4. We saved calories. With the exception of the doughnut/custard adventure, we truly did save calories. Buying ice cream to keep at home may be cheaper, but that means I'm eating ice cream almost every day. This summer, we ate it once a week.
5. We learned new vocabulary and practiced our math. The photo above contains our scoring sheet. I realized that we'd never discussed the texture or originality of our food. Our oldest tallied up all the points and later recorded them on a bar graph. #funsummerschool
6. We had fun AND an excuse to eat ice cream! :)
Below are the places we visited in chronological order:
Place: Leon's Frozen Custard Location: Milwaukee, WI Points: 13/20 *At first, we were stingy with points. This custard was the best.
Place: Purple Door Ice Cream Location: Milwaukee, WI Points: 13/20
Place: La Michoacana Location: Highland Park Points: 14/20
Place: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Location: Chicago Points: 18/20 *This was the parents' favorite.
Place: Steak 'n Shake Location: Glenview Points: 12/20
Place: Ben & Jerry's Location: Glenview Points: 17/20
Place: Julie Ann's Frozen Custard Location: Crystal Lake Points: 15/20
Place: Capannari Ice Cream Location: Mt. Prospect Points: 14/20
Place: Scooter's Frozen Custard Location: Chicago Points: 16/20
Place: Graeter's Ice Cream Location: Northbrook Points: 16/20
Place: George's Ice Cream Location: Chicago Points: 19/20 *Meh...debatable whether this deserved 19/20.
Place: Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery Location: Chicago Points: 18/20 *This place was over the top!
Place: Bubbles Location: Michigan City, IN Points: 16/20
Place: Dairy Queen Location: Northbrook Points: 14/20
Place: Suzy's Swirl Location: Lake Bluff Points: 16/20 *The toppings, alone, made this one the immediate kids' favorite.
Place: Kopp's Frozen Custard Location: Milwaukee, WI Points: 15/20