Turkey Hill Experience – Columbia, PA

I’ll admit this was kind of a strange weekend adventure we decided to take.  Yes it was February and quite cold in New Jersey but when I saw that there was a new penny machine available at the Turkey Hill Experience over in Pennsylvania I figured why not. Plus when you tell your kids they are going to an Ice Cream factory they are immediately putting their jackets on and jumping into the car.  For those of you not familiar with Turkey Hill they are a pretty big supplier of Ice Cream and Iced Tea / Fruit Juice providers around Pennsylvania, New Jersey and many other states in the North east.  They probably extend further out but am not sure exactly how far their distribution goes across the country.  The Turkey Hill Experience technically isn’t the factory where the ice cream is made, but instead a gift shop / interactive museum.  It was about 2 hours away from our house in Jersey and is in the general area of Lancaster and Hershey Pennsylvania.

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As you make your way through the parking lot up to the front of the building you are greeted by Callie the Cow (mascot?!?).  Inside you are immediately located in the gift shop with everything you can image just ice cream themed, and they also sell their iced teas and juices for the ride home.  At the ticket counter you can pay the pretty reasonable entrance fee to access the experience upstairs.  Once upstairs the museum and self-guides tour begins.

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The tour takes you through the process of creating ice cream.  Your ticket also has a code on it that allows you to virtually design your own ice cream flavor, packaging, and towards the end your own commercial advertising the latest flavor creation.  You get an email once you are back home with a link to everything you did and allows you to download a copy of your commercial which was a really cool and at no additional cost.

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At the end of the self guided tour there is a free sample bar with about a dozen or so flavors of ice cream and sorbet.  These samples are unlimited, oh and did I mentioned free.  We hadn’t had lunch by this time and I think ended up having about 9 or 10 samples to share among ourself.  Some are already available flavors and some are soon to be released.  With the tour completed and our stomachs full of dairy we headed back towards the elevators to head downstairs, but first made a quick stop at the penny machine.

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As you can see in the picture above there is a chance machine available, but if you have followed me before you know I always come prepared.  This machine cabinet was themed nicely for the location and blended in nicely with the nearby cow statutes.

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The penny designs included an Ice Cream Cone, a Farm with Silos, Callie the Cow, and an Ice Cream Carton with Iced Tea bottles.  All designs include “Turkey Hill Experience” on them.  After finishing up using the machine we headed downstairs to the gift shop and I found another nice surprise.

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They have their own Penny booklet for less than $5.  Another nice colorful booklet and includes a special penny.

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I always think it’s a little weird to have a penny booklet at an attraction with only one machine, and makes me second guess myself sometimes on whether I missed additional machines.  But I still collect the booklets regardless and these are always a fun surprise when you find them.

The Turkey Hill Experience was a fun little outing for our family and everyone enjoyed all the free ice cream.  The sugar rush didn’t last long thankfully and the ride home was pretty quiet after their crash and lengthy nap.  The tour was less than $10 and well worth it, plus you can get a nice set of pressed pennies.

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