One of the things about living in New England that stinks is that all the really good ice cream places close up for the winter. You can still get ice cream, just at none of the family run places that make the good stuff. Our local favorite just reopened for the season and, winter be darned, we made the trek in the freezing cold.
It wasn’t just cold the day we went to Hayward’s Ice Cream in Nashua, New Hampshire. It was cold and snowing with more due on the way that night. They opened on Valentine’s Day this year and, despite piles of snow taller than the roof, we were there for our first ice cream of the season.
Hayward’s Ice Cream has been around since 1940 and has been owned by members of the Hayward family since the day it opened. They’ve been serving up homemade ice cream to New Hampshire families for over 70 years.
A Family Tradition
They also have steamed hot dogs and the tastiest grilled cheese sandwiches around so you can have lunch and then dig into a giant ice cream for dessert. We are here almost weekly in the summer and, just when the last of the pints in the freezer were gone, they reopened.
You’d think we’d be the lone crazy people eating ice cream with gloves on and winter coats, but we were not alone. A steady stream of people was at the counter to enjoy flavors you know like Oreo and Mint Chocolate Chip, along with some that sound ridiculous unless you’re local.
There’s Kangamangus which is a nod to the oft mispronounced Kancamagus Highway that runs through the New Hampshire White Mountains. You can also try Fluffernutter with its peanut butter and Fluff flavors, just like the sandwich all New England kids eat.
The Promise of Warm Summer Days
The lines are long and worth the wait in the summer when you can grab your ice cream and sit at a picnic table. This time of year the lines are short and there are only piles of snow to sit in, but the ice cream tastes just as good and offers some reassurance that summer will be here eventually.
Hayward’s Ice Cream is right off of Route 3 in Nashua, so it’s a great stop if you’re on a road trip up North and need to take a break for something sweet.