This post was originally shared on The Nashville Mom last summer and with National Ice Cream Day coming up this Sunday, July 16 – I thought it appropriate (and URGENTLY necessary) that we share here too…
A couple years ago, my girls and I planned our first annual Nashville ice cream crawl. If you’ve never heard of an ice cream crawl it consists of visiting a new local ice cream spot each day for a week in the summer and then voting on our favorite. We wanted to share so you can add it to your summer fun list! And please share your favorite ice cream spots where you live!
How to host an epic ice cream crawl:
1. Decide on timing
We like to spread our ice cream crawl out over a week but maybe you have family in town and you’d like to have your crawl in one day. Or, maybe you want to extend it to the whole summer and go to a new spot each week. I’m always tempted to go all out and try the crawl in one afternoon with friends or family (and only hit 2 or 3 shops), but a week long crawl has hit our “sweet” spot for now, especially with young kids.
Also, we usually head out after dinner (or on a weekend afternoon) and ice cream shop lines may be longer, but since we’re doing one stop a night no one seems to mind. If you’re doing your crawl in one day, you may want to let someone get in line early and order. Also, just get one or two flavors for everyone to share. Keep in mind, this Sunday, July 16 is National Ice Cream day, so you could/should also factor this into your planning.
2. Map out your spots
Here’s some of our favorite spots:
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip (5301 Charlotte Ave.) – A family favorite in our neighborhood (Bobbie’s has been in Sylvan Park for over half a century). Bobbie’s is a “blast from the past” with great burgers and fries, but the soft-served dip cone is a must.
P.S. I ate inordinate amounts of Bobbie’s while pregnant with my girls which may explain why they’re all addicted.
Las Paletas (2911 12th Avenue S) – These local Mexican popsicles are amazing. Las Paletas offers “cream” or “fruit” paletas and each magically tastes like their flavors – try Rose or Hibiscus and you’ll see what I mean (though I recommend you stick with the simpler flavors for the kids).
Jeni’s Ice cream (1819 21st Ave. S) – Jeni’s has popped up all over our fair city, so check out their website for the location nearest you. Jeni’s ice cream is decadent and unique – flavors like salted caramel, cayenne chocolate and goat cheese with roasted cherries. And, in the shop, you always get (at least) two flavors together – often they seem really odd and peculiar, but then you put them together and they are heaven.
Pied Piper Creamery (114 South 11th St.) – This charming family-friendly shop has a great selection of ice cream flavors – all with “punny” names. It’s located in the same house as Fairytales children’s bookstore, so you can enjoy ice cream and a great book, too.
Legato Gelato (1200 Villa Place #113) – Located in Edgehill Village (next to Taco Mamacita) Legato Gelato is the closest to gelato in Italy that I’ve found in the states. All gelatos are made fresh daily with no added sweeteners or dyes – which is a bonus for the kids.
Mike’s Ice Cream (208 Broadway) – Located in downtown Nashville on Broadway. They have fun flavors and, in my opinion, perfect to grab a cone and stroll the honkey tonks (yes, with kids in tow) on a sunny afternoon.
In past years, we’ve also hit Maggie Moos, Sweet Cece’s, Elliston Place Soda Shop, Hot & Cold and even made homemade ice cream as part of the crawl. Clearly, the ice cream possibilities are endless.
3. Vote on your favorite!
We like to score each spot during and after each visit. We found these awesome score cards online. Then, on the last day, tally the winner and celebrate, by eating ice cream, of course!
Next up…a Nashville Donut crawl, perhaps! Who’s in?