A trip to an ice cream parlor never gets old, not even for adults. For your next family outing, make a beeline for Ample Hills Creamery’s new flagship in Gowanus. When you step inside the cheerful, mural-covered space, the kids might literally jump for joy as their eyes focus on the long case full of colorful frozen temptations. The upbeat staff will bring as many samples as you like, so let them pick and choose from irresistibles like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake or local hero It Came From Gowanus, with super-dark chocolate ice cream concealing brownies, white chocolate, and hazelnut Crack Cookie bits. Adults are not neglected, as mom and dad can indulge in Mexican Hot Chocolate, with cinnamon and a hot chili finish, or The Dude, a Lebowski-friendly White Russian made with steeped coffee beans and vodka. The famous Salted Crack Caramel is off the hook, able to hit sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, and creamy all in a single bite. There are new flavors pretty much every day, so return visits are amply rewarded.
Now it’s time to head up to the roof. Take a moment to point out the kitchen window in back, so your kids can see where all the magic happens. Ample Hills makes everything from scratch and little ones will be agog at the pounds of fresh butter and homemade add-ins like peppermint patties being worked into frozen mix. Upstairs you’ll pass through a party space, where little voices may suggest a sundae extravaganza for their next birthday. Show off the bike in the corner, ready for a green take on ice cream churning.
On the big deck, settle into colorful Adirondack chair and let the kids follow their ice cream bliss, while you take in a classic Brooklyn vista of steeples and vintage factories. Strands of exposed bulbs stretch overhead, providing some mellow illumination in case parents want to come back for night hours (the shop stays open until 11pm weeknights and midnights on the weekends).
Photo by Stu Spivack