Ice Cream Tasting at Cream o’Galloway Dumfries – As far as kids are concerned there’s never a bad time for ice-cream. Cream O Galloway offers excellent outdoor play areas, indoor soft play, farm tours and – drum roll – ice cream tasting sessions! Unsurprisingly our tots were happy to head off to this Dumfries and Galloway children’s favourite when they heard what was in store. So consider this for 2020 when the Cream o’Galloway visitor centre and café reopens in April.
Play in the Great Outdoors
I loved Boing! An expansive aerial netting adventure area, full of bounce and on a scale suitable for the whole family. Dads were bouncing high, and mums were bouncing as high as their pelvic floor would allow. It was such a laugh, just be careful not to catapult your wee one into oblivion.
The play zones are split into different levels. Level 1 was ideal for younger children, aimed at aged 5 and under. Bouncy cows, toddler tractors (vital to transport the bouncy cows around), scramble/clamber nets and a bright assault-course, kept my pair entertained.
Level 2 includes balancing beams, monkey-bars and more scramble nets. Over the wooden bridge, Level 3 features the Cra’s Nest, a 50-foot viewing tower. Finally, Level 4 is a v cool 3D maze, reached via a chute from the viewing tower (but, of course).
Nature trails, cycling and crazy golf also available.
The hand-built indoor play areas are unique and quite rustic.
The Smugglers’ Warren is aptly described as ‘a multi-level adventure area full of chutes, tunnels, ladders and hidey-holes; perfect for children aged 5+ and adventurous adults.’
For younger tots, the under 6’s Pirate Ship offers a miniature play zone, including a chute and a soft corner for toddlers.
Situated in the Burger Barn, it’s easy for adults to grab a coffee and bite to eat as the children go nuts in the warren. For more food and drink options click here.
Ice Cream Tasting at Cream o’Galloway
Cream o’Galloway offers a mix of daily events, including a farm tour and food tour. Obviously my kids’ ears pricked up at the sound of ice cream tasting. About twenty people attend each tasting, and it’s a great mix of all ages. As we sampled ten flavours (such as Pure & Simple an unflavoured traditional dairy ice cream, Lemon Curd, Chocolate & Ginger and Mango & Banana) the guide explained the simple method used to create traditional ice cream.
More importantly, the milk comes from Finlay’s Farm and its Ethical Dairy. Its method of dairy farming keeps the calves with their mothers to suckle. In traditional dairy farms calves are removed from the cows within a few hours of birth, and the males are deemed surplus to requirements. The organic farmer here, found this too stressful to witness and be part of, so he built a new dairy, specially designed to house calves with their mothers, and the calves are weaned off their mothers over time.
In terms of dairy farming, vegans may still understandably abhor the whole practise, but many support the Ethical Diary as a clear step in the right direction. On a personal level, having carried and fed two children and suffered several bouts of mastitis etc., I find the concept of intensive dairy farming and the repetitive removal of calves troubling, and we’ve made changes in our household/shopping list. My kids still drink milk, but whatever your personal views, it’s food for thought.
For the children, the ice cream tasting session was a delicious way to learn, and a very gentle introduction to food production, organic food and animal welfare.
It’s possible to buy Ethical Dairy Cheese and Cream o’Galloway ice cream on site.
The Ice Cream Tasting event takes place on weekends and UK school holidays, starting at 1.30pm. The event lasts around 40 minutes and is suitable for all ages. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Cost is £5.50 per adult, £4.50 for children aged 3-15 and booking is strongly recommended. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult.
For opening times and ticket prices for the Visitor Centre and play areas click here.