1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury, Vermont 05676
Ben & Jerrys Factory Tour
DescriptionBen & Jerry's is located at 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road in Waterbury, Vermont. Handicapped parking spaces are located in both the main and upper parking lots. The upper parking lot has a ramp to the brick entryway with double doors. Parking on the main level means climbing 28 steps to the entrance.
The tour is easily accessible. It begins on the main floor, goes to the second floor and back down again. If steps are a problem, an elevator is readily available. There is no place to sit during the 30 minute tour.
The main floor houses the Scoop Shop and a selling area with all things Ben & Jerry's. Tables and chairs are located near the Scoop Shop.
Multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms with baby-changing stations are located on the main level.
- Surface of lot: paved
Distance to venue: *
Places to rest: some benches in warmer weather
Paths and walkways: steps and/or ramps to entrance level
Doors: double doors
Number of floors: 2
Ramps: only outside of building
Steps and staircases: to second floor
Width of aisles: spacious
Places to sit: chairs and tables
Location of restrooms: inside, on main level, near the shop; outside on ramp to main entrance
Type of restroom: multi-stall, handicapped-accessible, with baby-changing station
Ease of entry and exit: good
Baby changing station: yes
Available food services: This is Ben & Jerry's
Friendliness of staff: extremely friendly
Notes: * handicapped parking spaces are available in both the lower and upper level parking areas. The lower level requires 42 steps up to the main level. In good weather there is a ramp as well as some of the stairs.More handicapped spaces are available in the upper lot at the top of the hill - follow the signs. Up here you will also find a kids' playground and the Flavor Graveyard for flavors that have met their demise.
If you are in the Burlington, Vermont area you should not miss a stop at Ben & Jerry’s Factory. This company was founded in 1978 with a “$5.00 correspondence course in ice cream making from Penn State University and a $12,000.00 investment. They opened their first ice cream shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont.” (website)
This is a fun place to visit that is easily accessible. There is dedicated handicapped parking at the top of the hill as well as some handicapped spaces on the main level. If you have to park on the lower level note that there are 28 steps to get to the double door entrance. It might be better to drop passengers off at the top and then park.
Tour tickets are available on the main floor. The 30 minute tour takes one upstairs to the “Cow Over the Moon Theater,” with a short historical look at Ben & Jerry’s, on to the mezzanine area to watch production, and finally back downstairs to the Flavor Room for a taste of the day’s production. If steps are a problem the “vanillavator” gets one easily up and down. Our tour guide, Blair, was terrific, as I’m sure all of the guides are. Even before we got to the tasting room, we were drooling just looking at the number of containers that didn’t make the grade and were being taken off the production line for other uses. We remembered a time when they weren’t taken off the production line and we could purchase “”seconds”” at a Ben & Jerry’s shop in Rutland, Vermont. A shop with all things Ben & Jerry’s and the Scoop Shop, if you need more than the taste you just had, are located just outside the tour’s end.
Multi-stall, handicapped accessible restrooms, with baby-changing stations are located on the main level.
At the top of the hill you will find the flavor graveyard, where some flavors have gone to their final resting place. This is also a kids’ play area (a nice touch for good weather). These places were not happening for us due to the amount of snow still covering everything up here.
We can only imagine how crowded this destination must get in the summer as we noticed outdoor restrooms along the ramp from the upper parking lot. You can’t help but enjoy such a happy place.
As always we at Destination Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, http://www.benjerry.com, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”