Summer and exquisite sweets are synonymous in our family. In fact, sweet candy and summer went hand in hand in my family well before we even added the kids to the mix.
David and I once traveled an hour and a half to get a scoop of ice cream because we had heard that this particular store was the #1 rated ice cream shop in the nation. Fast forward two decades later and this will be a totally unnecessary trip as Hillard residents. In fact, Hilliard would be a very nice destination for a family hoping to sample a variety of ice cream and frozen desserts.
What would this sample look like? It will start with what should be every morning – coffee. We have three local coffee shops within our city limits: REV Coffee House on Cemetery Road, Coffee Connections on Main Street and New Grounds Coffee House on Scioto Darby. All three serve amazing frozen coffee drinks, as well as some frozen and cold drinks with no coffee at all. Each shop has its own character and offers indoor seating. But on a nice day, I recommend enjoying your frozen coffee with some time to contemplate First Responders Park in Old Hilliard.
When it comes to ice cream, there is a nice variety of options. As a citizen of Hilliard, Dairy Queen is such a landmark in our community and would be my recommendation as our first ice cream stop. It’s a rite of passage for the young Hilliards to take an ice cream cone and sit on the patio after a sports game, asking passing cars to sound their horns.
Destination Hilliard:Everyone’s Hometown offers a variety of day trip activities
Dairy Queen faces the grounds that have set up many different schools, including the original Hilliard Elementary School, Hilliard High School, the Hilliard Sixth Grade Building, Hilliard’s Grade Six Station, Hilliard Middle School, Hilliard Memorial Middle School, and HUB. While the city has changed and developed, the dairy queen has been consistent.
Next up: homemade ice cream from The Little Ice Cream Shoppe at Rome Hilliard Road. This locally owned shop offers an ever-changing list of ice cream options. It is fun to visit discovering new flavors of ice cream.
After you finish picking the Little Ice Cream Shoppe, Graeter’s on Scioto Darby will be next on the list. While Hilliard has only been home to Hilliard Graeter’s for four years, ice cream has originated in Ohio and has been sold in that state for over 150 years! Every Ohio visitor must experience the French brand’s ice cream with unique chocolate chips.
Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard is the perfect spot for a big family who can’t agree on the best cold therapy! Italian ice and frozen custard are both exceptional. Some even choose to combine the two to avoid having to choose!
Rime Time Pops after splashing in Hilliard’s Station Park or Whit’s Frozen Custard after a bike ride on the Heritage Rail Trail are two excellent ways to seal in all of these great specimens. It will be a fun challenge to sample all of these foods and accompany each one with your new Hilliard Garden.
With 25 parks to choose from, a park and amusement park per day will occupy nearly a month of exploration. If you want to add some other food along the way, Lil Donut Factory, Destination Donuts, Bakes by Lo, Cheesecake Girl and Hilliard Station Bakery are all worth a visit!
Find more information about restaurants like the above stores and details about our parks at destinationhilliard.org.
Samantha Brill is the Tourism Marketing Coordinator at Destination Hilliard.