Velvet Ice Cream’s Nostalgic Ye Olde Mill Opens to Visitors for 2012 Season

In A Mama’s Corner of the World, warm weather brings thoughts of summer, family vacations, and hours in the pool and, of course, ice cream.  With three daughters--any weather brings thoughts of ice cream.  Nonetheless, there is something about the opening of local ice cream shops and old fashioned dairy corners that remind us that summer is near.  May 1 marked the opening of Ye Olde Mill on the campus of Velvet Ice Cream’s factory and corporate headquarters in Utica, Ohio.  We love family outings that provide opportunities for exceptional food, educational experiences, outdoor recreation, and down time, all in one spot.  The Velvet Ice Cream Ye Olde Mill does just that.

Velvet Ice Cream's Ye Olde Mill in Utica, Ohio
The history of Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream.  Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream offer fantastic glimpses into preservation and local history.  Visiting the historic grist mill with its operational water wheel offers a welcomed step back in time.  The mill site dates back to 1917, although fire destroyed the original mill structures twice during the 1800s.  The current mill was built in the latter part of the 19th century.  It became a popular social gathering spot with various owners and business pursuits over nearly one hundred years.  During that same time, another local legacy was growing:  Velvet Ice Cream.    The Dagar family began making ice cream in the United States in 1914—growing to produce over 6 million gallons of ice cream each year.  The union of Velvet Ice Cream and Ye Olde Mill emerged in 1960 when the Dagar family purchased the mill and grounds. Today, the site boasts over 150,000 visitors annually.

Activities at Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream’s factory and headquarters.   Ye Olde Mill is an all-inclusive trip.  With 25 acres of space, visitors have lots of room to roam—and kids have lots of opportunities for play and outdoor exploration.

Duck Feeding and Catch & Release
Fishing Pond at Ye Olde Mill

The Gift Shop and Interactive Ice Cream
Exhibit at Ye Olde Mill

Children's Playground at
Ye Olde Mill

The nature trail and nearby bike path are easily accessible for both adults and children.

There is a gift shop, an interactive ice cream exhibit, and the site offers free Velvet Ice Cream factory tours—but visitors hoping to tour should phone ahead to verify tour schedule and availability.

When the factory’s production lines are running, visitors can watch container manufacturing from a viewing gallery.
Viewing Gallery at the Velvet Ice Cream
Factory in Utica, Ohio
Dining at Ye Olde Mill.  The mill offers the Wheel Room Restaurant on site—with fairly average pricing for kid’s meals and adult entrees.  Visitors may also pack a picnic lunch and eat at one of three shelter houses or on the grounds.  Of course, a visit to an ice cream factory’s corporate headquarters would not be complete without a visit to Ye Olde Mill’s 19th Century style ice cream parlor.
The Wheel Room Restaurant at
Velvet Ice Cream's Ye Olde Mill

Getting there—and exploring the area near Ye Olde Mill.  The mill is an easy drive from the Columbus metro area—passing through a few smaller communities along the way.  Unlike guides toward many rural attractions, the signs leading to the mill are well maintained and visible.  Nearby Johnstown provides many golfing opportunities and is home to Woodhaven Farm, a unique facility offering cooking classes and special events.  Utica offers the Hufford House Museum as well as additional opportunities for outdoor activities and fishing.

Lodging and Accommodations.  For non-day trip adventurers, lodging is available at the Indian BearLodge or a number of area hotels in Newark or Mt. Vernon.  Ye Olde Mill is also an easy drive to the Cherry Valley Lodge and CoCo Key Water Resort near Newark.

Price, Hours of Operation and Additional Details.  Admission to Ye Olde Mill is free—as is parking, and access to the fishing pond, playground, picnic areas, and the other activities mentioned.  Check the Velvet Ice Cream website for the restaurant menu and prices, special events or activities which may require admission or vendor charges.  The website is also the best place to check for the most current hours of operation.

For more information and resources:

Disclaimer:  We were not compensated for this post by the facility featured.  We just thought our readers may be interested.  While the information and details are accurate at the moment—things change—so please check the website for the latest information relative to fees, available activities, and other details prior to your own visit.

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