I received complimentary tickets as well as payment for writing about our day at Turkey Hill Experience. All opinions are my own.
Living in the Poconos, Turkey Hill products have always been a part of our life. To me, it’s a local company, as the farms and factory are less than two hours away. I didn’t realize that Turkey Hill products were sold in 49 states until our visit to the Turkey Hill Experience. I was always afraid that if I moved out of PA, I’d miss out on my favorite ice-cream and iced-tea!
This past Saturday, Sal and I had the opportunity to take the kids down near Lancaster to explore the Turkey Hill Experience. We had such a great time learning about how the delicious ice-cream is made, exploring the interactive exhibits and, best of all, making our own ice-cream!
Turkey Hill Experience: A fun experience for the whole family
We started our day bright and early, as the attraction was a little over 2 hours away and we had to be there at 11. We made it just in time! Seriously, we got there at like 10:57. Talk about cutting it close. Once we got there, all the bloggers met in a room and listened to our “tour director” talk about the place a bit. Then we were sent off to explore on our own. I loved this, because we got to spend time seeing exactly what we most wanted to see.
The tour covers a large floor of what looks like a converted factory building in downtown Columbia, PA. The first thing we did was grab free beverage samples. You can get unlimited samples of the beverages and ice-cream (the kids and Sal sampled several different ice-creams, but I was saving room for the Taste Lab!). Did you know that Turkey Hill now makes a delicious iced-coffee beverage? I can’t wait until I start seeing it in stores!
Throughout the Turkey Hill Experience, you’ll find games, fun photo opps and other exciting exhibits that explain the process of creating the delicious Turkey Hill ice-cream. I, of course, made the kids take their picture in the giant ice-cream tub! From left to right is Sal’s daughter Raina and son Logan, then my son Jacob. Aren’t they a gorgeous bunch of kids?
Sal wasn’t into the giant ice-cream tub, but he did let me snap a picture of himself with a big beard. He is always joking that’s he’s going to grow on. At least I hope he’s joking!
Raina discovered this cool little game where you put a flavor lid on the panel and it changes colors in a psychedelic sort of ways. She showed the boys how to work it.
Jacob and Logan loved the ball pit. I didn’t let them in there too long though because it’s technically for smaller children and I really don’t want to become known as the blogger with the kids who broke another blogger’s kid.
Create your own Virtual Ice-Cream Flavor
Making our own virtual ice-cream flavors was a big hit. When you go into the Experience, you get a ticket with a special code. Enter that code on the screen before you create your custom flavor, then again when you go to the station to design your own package. Jacob made some sort of cotton candy flavor, Logan used lots of caramel, and Raina opted to wait until the real thing to make her own flavor. I made a Mocha Madness flavor with chocolate-covered espresso beans and lots of chocolate! Check out my virtual ice-cream!
The Turkey Hill Experience Taste Lab
The highlight of the trip for everyone was the Turkey Hill Experience Taste Lab. Here, you get to actually create your very own ice-cream flavor and eat it. They give you a pint of ice-cream to work with. It starts with a white base. Then you add different flavor extracts. The guide explained to us that in the factory, they use purees, which also give the ice-cream its flavors. In the lab, we used extracts, so the flavor changed but the color stayed the same.
Raina and I both started with chocolate and coffee flavor extracts. Like in their virtual creations, Jacob went with cotton candy and Logan with caramel. Once we stirred in our extracts, we added our goodies! Now, we were told to only add up to 3 stir-ins for the best experience, but I love a lot of stuff in my ice-cream so I think I ended up with four. I had LOTS of espresso pillows (chocolate covered espresso beans) in mine, along with chocolate chips, hazelnuts and something else that I can’t recall.
Jacob added a ton of gummy bears to his mixture, making it quite colorful!
Once you mix everything in and add your syrups, the guide puts your creations in the freezer for five minutes to harden it. It’s like a super duper freezer, not like your average house freezer. Then we all got to enjoy our ice-cream!
We all had such a great time at the Turkey Hill Experience. If you’re in the Lancaster area, it’s a fun day for the whole family. Between Sal and I, our kids range from 8-14, and everyone enjoyed the day. While this last picture has nothing to do with the Turkey Hill Experience, Jacob specifically asked that I include it because he was doing goofy faces.
So there you go, my boy! Want to see even more pictures? Check out my Google+ album!