UTICA — Velvet Ice Cream will open the doors to its Ye Olde Mill and factory to travelers May 1 for its 2019 season. The Utica, Ohio-based ice cream maker is celebrating its 105th anniversary and four generations of leadership.
To celebrate its loyal customers and anniversary, Velvet will be hosting Free Cone Day on Saturday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where each guest will receive one free kid’s cone of their choice at Ye Olde Mill’s ice cream parlor and full-service restaurant. Ye Olde Mill is open in May, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; June-Aug., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; September, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.; and in Oct., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Velvet will also host a special giveaway to honor its most enthusiastic opening day visitors. The first guest to arrive at Ye Olde Mill on Wednesday, May 1, will receive complimentary lunch for two and Velvet’s signature ice cream sundae, the Messy Mess Sundae, a massive goblet, dripping with hot fudge, rolled in peanuts and filled with Original Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.
All throughout the season, Velvet visitors can enjoy family-friendly events, such as: live music and entertainment on weekends and holidays; Mother’s and Father’s Day specials; and special deals during July, which is National Ice Cream Month. Named by Frommer’s as one of America’s 10 Best Ice Cream Factory Tours, Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill welcomes 150,000 visitors each year for tours, tastings, events and live entertainment on weekends.
The annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival (Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27 this year), group tour experiences and school learning field trips are among the many draws to Ye Olde Mill.
Visitors to Velvet’s Ye Olde Mill enjoy a host of special experiences, including:
- Free Velvet Ice Cream factory tours
- Watching ice cream being made in the viewing gallery (Monday-Friday)
- Free play on the Ye Olde Mill playground
- Three shelter houses for picnics and family gatherings
- A Historic 1817 grist mill with water wheel
- An updated, modern ice cream parlor
- Interactive Ice Cream Museum
- Fishing and feeding the family of ducks at two catch-and-release ponds
- Nature trail