Ice Cream Shop


JP Licks

With an ever-changing menu of unique fresh ice cream and frozen yogurt flavors, a visit to JP Licks is an adventure every time. Order a single scoop or indulge in the Sundae of the Month, frappe, smoothie or moolatta. Check out JP Licks’ new line of soy-based flavors. 10 Greater Boston locations;


Mad Maggie’s

Grab a scoop of your favorite homemade standard, or try one of the “micro-brews”: Maple Bacon, Pumpkin Gingersnap and Candy Store Floor, just to name a few. If you voice your own flavor suggestion,  you might just see it on a future menu. 1025 Osgood St., North Andover, 978-685-2814;


The Richardson family began a dairy farm in 1695 and has been making ridiculously good ice cream since 1952. Today, a visit here is an experience. Choose from 85 flavors and energize yourself for a day of fun, which must include a visit with the cows and a round of mini golf. 156 South Main St. (Route 114), Middleton, 978-774-5450;


Peaceful Meadows

Fans of this family-owned farm hail the rich and creamy ice cream, available in 24 flavors, and the super-indulgent sundaes. Special featured flavors –

and a selection of other fresh dairy products – make a monthly trip mandatory. 60 Bedford St., Whitman, 781-447-3889; 109 West Grove St., Middleboro, 508-947-1322; 170 Water St., Plymouth, 508-746-2362.


Kimball Farm

Since 1939, Kimball Farm in Westford has been tempting the palates of ice cream lovers with more than 40 flavors of homemade ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt. Order your favorite cone – a small size could satisfy a king – and visit the Country Store, play a round of mini golf, ride the bumper boats, hit a homer in the batting cages and more. 400 Littleton Road (Route 110), Westford, 978-486-3891; 343 Bedford Road, Carlisle, 978-369-1910.

Family Restaurant


In Springfield, at the height of the Great Depression, two brothers opened a neighborhood ice cream shop with double-dip cones for five cents. Some 77 years later, Friendly’s is still a popular and affordable draw for families. Be sure to check out their updated menu of seasonal salads, SuperMelts and new ice cream flavors, including cotton candy. Multiple Massachusetts locations;



Modern Pastry

The line snaking out the door at this popular spot speaks for itself. If you’re in the mood for a sweet Italian treat, you can’t go wrong at Modern Pastry in Boston’s North End. This family-owned bakery uses original recipes brought over from Italy and is famous for its cannoli, biscotti and tiramisu. 257 Hanover St., Boston, 617-523-3783; 20 Salem St., Medford, 781-396-3618.


D’Amici’s Bakery

This popular North Shore bakery is the go-to place for beautiful (and tasty!) cakes. Each week, on average, D’Amici bakers make 1,000 pounds of cake and decorate with 750 pounds of frosting. But don’t miss their other scrumptious confections, such as freshly made cookies, pastry and pies. 462 Main St., Melrose, 781-665-3030;


White’s Bakery and Café

A trip to White’s Bakery and Café is a feast for the senses. Everything looks and smells so good, it’s hard to choose. This summer, try one of their new seasonal cupcakes, like Key Lime or Lemon Blueberry. Or save some cooking time and pick up one of their mouth-watering prepared dinners. 100 Derby St., Hingham, 781-740-0300; 1041 Pearl St., Brockton, 508-584-5260.


Quebrada Baking Co.

Families lucky enough to live close to Quebrada’s two bakeries get to enjoy the fruits of the bakers’ early morning labors; they start making their signature hand-rolled European-style croissants at 3 a.m. Kids also love the freshly made muffins and pastries for a breakfast treat. 272 Washington St., Wellesley, 781-237-2111; 208 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-648-0700.

Candy Shop


Sugar Heaven

There’s something to satisfy every sweet tooth at Sugar Heaven. Get your fix with your standard favorite, choose a nostalgic or hard-to-find confection, or fill a bag with a wide variety of candies sold by the pound. Then head downstairs for a scoop of some decadent ice cream. Can’t stop in? Order all your favorite candies online. 669 Boylston St., Boston, 617-266-6464; 544 Legacy Place, Dedham, 781-461-5959.


Prides Crossing Confections

Housed in an old train station, Prides Crossing Confections is known for its terrific turtles: chocolate-coated, gooey caramel wrapped around clusters of fresh nuts. But the fudge, homemade caramel sauce, chocolates and other sweets are equally popular with loyal patrons. 590 Hale St., Beverly, 978-927-2185;


Skinners Sugar House

In business for more than 85 years, Skinners offers sugar-seekers homemade chocolates, nonpareils, fruit slices, nuts and more. For special occasions, browse their assortment of holiday specialties or stop in for a pound of decadent fudge, refreshing chocolate mints or a peanut butter smoothie truffle. Leave with a smile. 24 Union St., East Bridgewater, 508-378-3693;


The Candy Castle

This shop has been satisfying the sweet teeth of Lexington since 1981. Stop in for a huge selection of candies and confections, including irresistible homemade fudge and ice cream, plus sugar- and allergen-free treats. 1853 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 781-862-4499.


Market Basket

Most of all, readers praise the prices offered at this family-friendly supermarket. There’s also a good deli and meat department and impressive selection of ethnic and prepared food. While the crowds can be tricky on the weekends, the final total at the cash register usually makes the carriage traffic jams worth the trip. Multiple Massachusetts locations;

Whole Foods

This is one of the best places to shop for high-quality organic foods. Shopping at Whole Foods can take awhile, with all the free samples available at every turn. Readers appreciate the vast cheese selection, the prepared foods, salad bar and even the free cooking classes. Multiple Massachusetts locations;