What to Know Before You Visit Ben and Jerry’s Factory

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View of Ben and Jerry's Ice cream factory
Source: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

You might imagine a trip through the Ben and Jerry’s factory would be like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

While it might not be as magical, it’s potentially equally sweet and delicious. However, there are some things you should know before you visit this famous ice cream maker’s factory.

Today, we’ll dive into what you should know and expect before you visit the Ben and Jerry’s Factory. Grab a spoon, and let’s get started!

Where Is the Ben and Jerry’s Factory?

There are four Ben and Jerry’s factories worldwide, two of which are in the United States. While the two American factories are in Vermont, the others are in the Netherlands and Israel.

However, only the Waterbury Factory is open to the public and provides tours.

How Many Flavors of Ben and Jerry’s Are There?

There are 100 different flavors of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Approximately 36 are variations of chocolate and vanilla, and only 22 of the flavors are what many would define as “unique.”

However, having such a variety of flavors is no easy accomplishment. If you can’t find a Ben and Jerry’s flavor that you enjoy, you may want to consider another treat other than ice cream.

What to Know Before You Visit Ben and Jerry’s Factory

Before you get too excited and head off to the Ben and Jerry’s factory, there are some important things to know. Let’s take a look!

Get Your Tickets Ahead of Time

You need a ticket to enter the factory and the gift shop. However, these tickets typically go extremely quickly. The factory releases tickets for the next week’s tours on Tuesdays.

In some cases, when they have sufficient staffing, they may increase the availability of tours. If that’s the case, they’ll make tickets available for that day around 11:00 a.m.

If you can’t score tickets ahead of time, check back the day you plan to visit and hope it’s your lucky day.

A close up of Ben and Jerry's ice cream from the factory

It’s Not Located Where You’d Think

Many people errantly imagine the factory will be in a bustling city. However, Waterbury in Vermont had 1,857 people during the last census (2020).

While we’re not knocking small-town living, you will be sorely disappointed if you come expecting a lively nightlife scene. Burlington, Vt., is a much larger city (over 40,000 in population) and is only a 30-minute drive northwest on Interstate 89.

You’ll Hear and See Their Political Views

Depending on which side of the political spectrum you fall, you’ll either love or hate that Ben and Jerry’s is forthcoming with where they stand politically.

The company states they “have a progressive, nonpartisan social mission that seeks to meet human needs and eliminate injustices in our local, national, and international communities by integrating these concerns in our day-to-day business activities.”

They’re very vocal regarding voting rights, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, climate justice, and campaign finance reform. Whether you agree, disagree, or couldn’t care less, it’s important to know that you’ll likely see their political opinions a time or two during the tour.

A close up of Ben and Jerry's ice cream from the factory

Don’t Bring a Camera

Cameras are not allowed inside the Ben and Jerry’s factory, so don’t even bother. However, there are plenty of opportunities to snap pictures outside the factory and in the gift shop.

If you bring your cell phone, keep it in your pocket so there are no questions about whether or not you’re trying to take pictures and divulge the company’s next secret flavor.

Bring Your Spending Money

If you’re a big fan of their ice cream and want to find some Ben and Jerry’s merch, make sure you bring some cash.

Guests will have the opportunity to walk through the gift shop at the end of the tour. One important thing to note is that you’ll need a tour ticket to access the factory’s gift shop.

Keep in Mind: Looking for more unique stops on your next road trip? Then you need to download the Roadside America App!

Pay Your Respects at the Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard

Ben and Jerry’s isn’t afraid to go out with the old and in with the new. They’ll often send one of their flavors out to pasture at the Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard.

Here you’ll find tombstones honoring the legacy of flavors no longer in production. You can pay your respects to flavors like Turtle Soup, Fossil Fuel, Vermonty Python, and many more. 

If you have a favorite flavor that’s no longer offered, look for it here. You may even try to plead your case to the folks at Ben and Jerry’s factory to resurrect your lost flavor from the grave.

Guests walking around Ben and Jerry's Flavor Graveyard at the factory
Source: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

You Can’t Handle the Vermonster

While Vermont may not be the largest in the country, it offers the Vermonster, which is huge. It’s a 20-scoop mountain of deliciousness that will take an army of your friends to help you conquer.

Not only does it have a tremendous amount of its delicious ice cream, but it also includes bananas, cookies, brownies, hot fudge, caramel, nuts, and just about any topping you can think of.

If you’re not up for the full Vermonster, you can get a mini-Vermonster. However, you better come hungry if you plan to devour either one!

The Original Location is in Burlington

While the Waterbury Factory is a fun destination, it’s not the original Ben and Jerry’s factory location. The original location sits on the corner of St. Paul and College Street in Burlington, Vermont.

However, like the Counting Crows sang, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” the original Ben and Jerry’s location is now nothing more than a parking lot. However, there’s a plaque embedded into the sidewalk.

Much like the Flavor Graveyard, you can stop and pay your respects to the location that got everything started.

Keep in Mind: Visit the original Ben & Jerry’s location and try these Fun and Unique Things to Do while in Burlington!

Get a Sugar Rush at the Ben and Jerry’s Factory

Now you know all you need to know about the Ben and Jerry’s Factory, it’s time to get excited.

Grab your tickets and start planning your adventure. If you need to fill your time until your trip to the factory, find a local scoop shop or a grocery store near you to find some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to enjoy. Your taste buds will appreciate every bite!

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