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Go Ask Mom

Take the Kids: Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery offers curbside pickup of its famous ice cream

Posted August 20, 2020 9:04 p.m. EDT

Ordering ice cream at Howling Cow Creamery

The Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery opened in early February, not long before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down in the spring.

For six weeks or so, the spot on Lake Wheeler Road offered up a peaceful place to dig deep into a bowl of delicious Howling Cow ice cream. The open and airy building included a place to sit. Outside, a wrap around porch and small field offered views of the cows. Then came the pandemic.

The creamery closed in mid-March, reopening in May only for curbside pickup of pre-packaged items like cups and pints of ice cream. Then, in mid-July, it began offering curbside scoops too. And, let's just say, my family has been more than a few times.

The creamy treat has a long history at NC State, dating from the 1940s. It's made at the Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab, which is part of the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science. The milk and cream, according to NC State's website, comes from more than 300 cows on NC State's Raleigh farm. It's a favorite at the N.C. State Fair and library cafes on campus. Last year, the ice cream also made its way into the frozen foods section at Harris Teeter.

The new creamery isn't fully open. You can't go inside to order and eat. Instead, they're offering a curbside service. You pull into the parking lot and order from your car at the entrance to the building. Then you pull forward a little bit and pick up your ice cream.

You're asked to stay in your car to order, but you can park, get out and enjoy your scoops on the porch or lawn as long as you keep your distance from other customers, according to Howling Cow's Facebook page. You are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets. (Just note that the bathrooms are not available for customers.)

Along with the pre-packaged items, they are just serving up scoops and a few toppings — no sundaes, splits or milkshakes for now.

Usually about 18 flavors are available — from chocolate and strawberry to Howling Cow favorites like Wolf Tracks and Cherry Brick Road. One scoop is $3.75, two scoops are $5.50 and toppings like rainbow sprinkles or Oreo dirt are 75 cents each.

The creamery is open for carry-out from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. If you go, know that Historic Yates Mill Pond Park and Lake Wheeler Park are nearby for visits.

The Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery is at 100 Dairy Lane, off Lake Wheeler Road, in Raleigh.