“Going out for ice cream” can mean more than one thing. If all you really want is ice cream, you can step into any supermarket or convenience store and find something that’s icy, creamy and churned.But “going out for ice cream” implies something more. It’s that special stop with the team when the Little Leaguers chalk up a win (or when they don’t). It’s a summer-evening drive while you wait for the house to cool off after supper.It’s a break in a too-rushed day. It’s a special moment with your grandpa or a stolen moment with your grandchild.Before the full heat of summer gets here, we looked around the Lake Norman area to find special places where you can get a cold treat. The reason to go is up to you.
Mooresville Ice Cream Co., 172 N. Broad St., Mooresville, 704-664-5456, http://deluxe1924. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, and 3-7 p.m. during Cruise-Ins (the first Saturday of each month). Prices: $2 for single cup or cone up to $4.40 for a triple, plus kiddie-size for $1.20.
Talk about eating local -- the little ice cream shop in downtown Mooresville is at the front of the DeLuxe Ice Cream plant, where they’ve been making ice cream since 1924. They’ve got plans to add an ice cream parlor with tables on the corner, but for now, it’s a simple place: A front room, a counter and a chalkboard for the flavors.Make that a very big chalkboard. They usually carry around 34 flavors, from the new Red Velvet Cake (with a cream cheese swirl and chunks of cake) to Chocolate Overboard (chocolate ice cream with chocolate fudge ripple and chocolate truffle chunks). Don’t miss the cooler full of frozen treats. DeLuxe is known for its ice cream sandwiches, including double-chocolate, and the hand-dipped Nutty Cone.
Carolina Cones, 20801 N. Main St. (N.C. 115) in downtown Cornelius, 704-892-8190. Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily through Nov. 15. Prices: $2.88 to $4.53 for cones and cups; half-gallons are $8.70.
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This is the crowd-pleaser, and a beloved institution in Cornelius since 1981. It’s a combination ice cream parlor and garden center, so you can stop in for plants and cool off before you do the yardwork.Owner Gary Winge (wing-GEE) opened the ice cream shop as a business for his mother to run and ended up adding a garden center to have a second business. While they were closed for the winter, he gave the place a facelift, taking out the video rentals and adding a new seating area. But he wouldn’t dare make major changes -- the toy train with the Hershey’s Syrup tank car still runs around the track just below the ceiling, and the toy and candy vending machines still draw kids.“Our customer base is just so loyal,” he says. “We’re very particular (about) how our place looks and who works for us.”The ice creams come from a half-dozen makers and there are enough flavors to make double rows in three long coolers. Superhero is popular with kids -- vanilla ice cream in vivid colors. Chocolate Doughnut Crunch has chunks of frozen chocolate doughnut holes, like Cookie Dough Ice Cream with more oomph. And they hold a staff tasting to pick new flavors every year. This year, the winners were Banana Crunch and Coconut Almond Joy.
FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafe, Martin Crossing Center, 109-D Williamson Road, Mooresville, 704-664-7962. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. Prices: $3.99 to $5.99, including up to three toppings. Also has fruit and yogurt pops ($2.29 each) and smoothies ($4.49 for 20 ounces).
It feels cooler just hanging out in this new franchise with the very kicky vibe: It’s all white and orange and bamboo, with colorful art on the walls. The regular flavors are tart (white and creamy, with a taste like a cross between Greek yogurt and cheesecake), strawberry, dark chocolate and vanilla. Plus there are a couple of special flavors every day, such as clementine (like a Dreamsicle) and acai.The fun is in the toppings, though. They cover the counter, from fruit and coconut to candies and even Fruity Pebbles and Cap’n Crunch. There’s a suggestion box where you can add your own ideas.
Kerrigan’s Ice Cream, 862 Brawley School Road, Mooresville, www.kerrigansicecream.com, 704-799-1335. Hours: 2-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-9:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Prices: $2.39 for single scoop to $4.59 for triples, $2.19 for kid-size scoop.
There’s nothing quaint about the location, tucked back in a strip mall on busy Brawley School Road. But they’ve done their best to make it family-friendly inside, with an old-time ice cream parlor feel.The 18 or so flavors come from Hersheys, in a great lineup, from oatmeal cookie to a really chunky butter pecan. A kid-pleaser is definitely Play Doh -- bright yellow ice cream with pink and blue cookie chunks.The store also features a lineup of five sundaes, from your basic hot fudge to the Peanut Butter Cup Sundae -- two scoops of chocolate Moose Tracks with marshmallows, hot fudge, whipped cream, crushed peanut butter cups and a cherry.
The Buttery & Beanery and The Conery, 1653 Mecklenburg Highway (N.C. 115), Mooresville, 704-892-0263. 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays-Saturdays, closed Sundays and Tuesdays. Penguin Palace Shave-Ice: Noon-7 p.m. daily except Tuesdays.
It isn’t hard to spot the Buttery & Beanery - it’s the bright yellow and black building on N.C. 115 a couple of miles north of downtown Davidson. The little store and lunch counter opens early for breakfast. The Conery is a small counter in the dining room, where you can get sundaes, milkshakes and floats for $3.50 each. Right next door you’ll also find the Penguin Palace (don’t you wish it was called the Shave-Icery, just to stick with the theme?), a shave-ice stand in a fenced area so it’s safe for kids to run around while adults sit at the tables under the trees.