The end is nigh and ice cream makes us happy so why the hell not make a list of the ten best ice cream themed gifts you can give. Cone-shaped lip glosses will not do for the ice cream lover you love. Whether your budget is $4 or $400, there’s something on this list that will delight almost everyone.
Give us ice cream (duh). You don’t have to worry about the gift melting before you can give to them. Because of course there are ice cream delivery services. For a monthly fee, you send insulated packages of the good stuff straight to the ice cream lover’s doorstep.
In Seattle, check out Sweet Lo’s Ice Cream Club. Sweet Lo’s is a marvelous small batch creamery and one of the best Seattle has to offer. The club deal is 3 flavors a month for 2 months. $50.
If you’re sending to someone outside of Seattle, check out Ice Cream Source’s Pint Club. They offer several tiers from a variety of brands. Options start at $136.
What I wouldn’t have given for this Ice Cream Tasting Journalover the summer! 33Books’ slim little booklet has preprinted pages to help track the same information for all the flavors tasted. I bought a copy last week; it’s very nicely made, portable, and ready to log my next 91 flavors. $5.
Because bowls are for liars. The Ice Cream Keeper is a kit for assembling your personal, pint-size holder. It’s made to look like a vintage hand-crank ice cream maker and even comes with a padlock. I’m certain the padlock is just for show, right? I mean, who leaves any ice cream in the pint? $10.
Thanks to clever tweeter Donald Li, we now know these Yeti thermoses are just the right size for a pint. There are plenty of pint holders and pint koozies out there, but I like that the Yeti cup pulls double duty with my other ride-or-die food, coffee. $35
Ice Cream sweatshirt. Molly Moon’s taps into the Bluto fashion sense of stating the obvious with this plain sweatshirt. If it’s anything like the matching ball cap I have, it’s soft and sturdy and smells like vanilla. I’m normally pretty salty about $50 sweatshirts, but it’s a gift, so go for it. $50.
This Mint Chocolate Chip Scented Ice Cream Cone Necklace! I have no idea how she does it, but you really can’t go wrong with anything from the unbearably cute Tiny Hands shop. Most items are available as keychains, too, if your ice cream person doesn’t do jewelry. $28.
These luggage tags are perfect for the jet-setting ice cream aficionado. Or just to decorate a backpack. Whatever, these are funky. $10 for the set of 2.
When I saw this at my local co-op, I LOL’d out loud. I mean, LOOK AT THEM. The cone and popsicle and truck are dancing. It’s a great place to stash your ice cream money. $4.
Bonus idea! Holidays are rough for families that have a hard time putting enough food on the table. A charitable contribution to a food bank goes a long way—10 times further, in fact—than canned goods. A gift in someone’s name to Feeding America or another food bank helps spread the love now and throughout the year.
One Sunday morning last month, I was in a local ice cream shop. A family of four walked in. The youngest, a boy about 3 or 4 years old, walked confidently to the counter then turned to the adults.
He made it three syllables and hopped on each one. His brows arched his eyes to their max diameter as he took a deep breath. “I’m gonna get CHOCOWIT!”
That right there — that feeling that you’re about to get something so delightful it makes you talk with your whole body — that is how I feel about ice cream. I’m not a gourmand or a connoisseur. I just like ice cream.
National Ice Cream Month
My friend Angelique is the most dedicated, year-round ice cream enthusiast I’ll ever know. She posted about getting ready for National Ice Cream Month, and I thought, “A whole month? Why not!”
I aimed for a new ice cream thing every day. Flavor, shop, treat, whatever. I wasn’t picky about it. I kept a daily log of my visits, all archived here.
It’s not necessary to dress the part for National Ice Cream, but it helps. When you walk into a shop with your hair in an ice-cream-cone-shaped bun, they know you’re not messing around. You might get to spend a couple hours sampling every flavor in the case. Hypothetically.
I made the shirt at my friend Anne’s house. When we met up for an ice cream outing on the last day, I asked her to use my file and make a matching shirt. We CHOCOWIT!-ed hard that day.
The necklace is my homage to Wonder Woman:
We All Scream for Ice Cream
As soon as I shared about Day 1, I got recommendations for shops I never heard of. Day 2, more recommendations. On Day 3, my dad sent this text:
By month’s end, I was regularly getting photos with messages like “thinking of you” and “have you tried this?”
Sandy ran into my husband, Tom, at work one day. She gave him an ice cream cup and sent me the photo. “Better step up your ice cream game!” While dining at Persepolis Grill, Christine stopped to show me her dessert, an exquisite-looking bastani akbar mashti.
My mom started rating ice creams based on my photos: “I want that” v. “I don’t want that.” My stepmom reported going out for ice cream after seeing my posts. My aunts sent me articles about the history of ice cream.
With this kind of pressure (I kid, I kid), I found and bookmarked the Eater Seattle list of ice cream shops (kudos and thanks to writers Julia Wayne and Adam Callaghan for compiling and updating it). Friends started inviting me on ice cream dates. I started a list. By Week Three, I realized there’s more than enough local ice cream: I could try a new. shop. every. day. In the end, I only tasted one ice cream produced outside Washington state.
I’ve never had such a good pistachio anything, and I’m including actual pistachios in that.
So many friends and family joined in the fun online and in person. When we broke out the pints at a party, Mary Kaye explained, “We have to, Allison’s doing National Ice Cream Month.” At Parfait in Ballard, Jenna said, “Well, she has to sample. She’s doing Ice Cream Month.” I’m especially proud of this comment from “I’m-not-really-an-ice-cream-person” Megan:
“You keep posting things that make me rethink how I feel about ice cream.”
Dear Ice Cream Illuminati: You’re welcome.
Most Beautiful Scoops
Ice cream is gorgeous any way you serve it, amiright? These scoopers presented the prettiest, scoopiest scoops. Shout out to the sugar cone pedestals for these edible sculptures.
A scoop of Vanilla at Glass Bottle Creamery. I didn’t get a close-up until halfway into the scoop. Oops!
Top 3 Shop Visits
The common thread in these places is the staff people. These shops have friendly folks behind their counters, all ready to give you the most CHOCOWIT! experience possible. They’re knowledgeable about the flavors and ingredients. They recommend flavors. They make you feel like the line behind you isn’t there. And they are excited to share their ice cream with you. Many of the places I visited had some of these elements, but these few went above and beyond, listed here in order of visit:
I noticed a fun vibe as soon as we entered the store. They decor and retail items are all centered on ice cream or Tacoma, there’s ample seating to enjoy inside. Plus great ice cream and friendly staff.
Kaden made my day by letting me sample to heart’s content. I went with my friend Anne and we told him about this being the last day of my ice cream month adventure. So even though they didn’t have a sample board, he let me taste flavors in between other customers. He shared his favorite flavors, told us why, and explained the different formulations (custard, gelato, ice cream, etc). No question stumped him: “What’s ice cream base?” “What three flavors would be the ultimate combo?” “Where’s the bathroom?”
I only had three sundaes all month (Shug’s, Dick’s, and Molly Moon’s). This section is really an excuse to talk about Molly Moon’s whipped cream. It looks and tastes hand whipped. Well done, ice cream chef and your android-level whisk skills.
The Never-Ending Ice Cream Story
I had a lot of fun sharing. Next year, I’ll plan the month to include road trips to more locations in Western Washington. A small endeavor compared to the magical ice cream unicorns behind the account Ice Cream Trek. They’re touring local ice cream shops the U.S. and Canada this summer. CHOCOWIT!