The 10 Best Family-Friendly Ice Cream Shops Around Detroit
Beating the summer heat is easy with these sweet spots in the Detroit area.
Ice cream is a delicious way to bring everyone together, whether it’s to celebrate a family event or a fun, spur-of-the-moment outing. Grabbing a waffle cone full of cold, creamy dessert is a great way to cool off, encourage conversation, or just satisfy the need for a sugary snack. Everyone in the family -- from tots and grandparents to babysitters and nannies -- enjoys a trip to the local ice cream shop.
With Michigan’s sizzling summers, knowing where to find the best cones, frozen desserts, and mountainous sundaes is key to surviving high temperatures. Metro Detroit is home to a variety of family-owned-and-operated ice cream and custard shops that will have something for everyone. Here are 10 family-friendly ice-cream shops in the Detroit area you should swing by this summer!
Address: 15129 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
Hours: Monday, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Tuesday - Thursday, 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Friday, 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sunday, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.
If your family thrives on organic foods, or if you have a vegan in the family, then Sweeties Ice Cream is for you! Kids will love this old-fashioned shop, where the ice cream display case and dozens of glass jars of candy treats are all right at their height. There is plenty of seating available for enjoying your cones or candies on site, and there are books all around to share after ordering. Flavors range from lemon to Superman to Black Cherry, so everyone in the family will find something they like.
Address: 20737 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Sunday, noon - 10 p.m.
Owner Lisa Corbin doesn’t do anything small here. From the giant cupcakes to the massive chocolate-and-nut turtles to the ice cream treats, the Chocolate Bar Cafe isn’t for those who are committed to a sugar-free diet. Their selection of Alinosi’s Ice Cream draws people looking for rich flavor and great toppings. Every cone is substantial, and there’s a variety of ways to enjoy treats from this cafe, such as their classic Banana Splits, Turtle Sundaes, and wonderful creations like the Peppermint Twist with Peppermint Ice Cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and shredded chocolate topping. Kids will love the Clown Sundae, all the bright colors and the ice cream parlor tables and chairs for enjoying their treats. Everything is packaged quickly and makes great gifts for moms on the go!
Address: 1014 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
Hours: Monday - Thursday, noon - 9 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, noon - 11 p.m. | Sunday, noon - 8 p.m.
Internationally known author and journalist Mitch Albom launched this frozen sensation in Detroit in 2015, and he’s been scooping up treats there ever since. With less sugar and more fruit than your average frozen treat, D-ICE water ice is more like Italian ice, but don’t think you’re getting anything watered down. It’s known for being smooth, creamy, and delicious enough even the kids won’t mind it’s so healthy! Water ice does not contain any dairy products and is 100 percent fat free, so your family can eat their fill and you won’t feel quite so guilty. Flavors are named after local celebrities and locations, such as the Vanilla Temptations, Yooper Orange Cream, Bo’s Black Cherry Bordeaux, and the Zetterberry, which tastes like Swedish Fish.
Address: 19363 Livernois Ave., Detroit, MI 48221
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Owner April Anderson creates some over-the-top desserts at this Detroit favorite. The ice cream counter is well-stocked at all times, providing a cool alternative to Anderson’s selection of chocolates, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and other homemade desserts. This shop’s gourmet ice cream is a great solo treat or perfect topping for one of the many pies, cakes, and brownies that are also made fresh daily.
Address: 2461 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sunday, noon - 9 p.m.
Every trip to Eastern Market should include a trip to Mootown. The bright, cheerful interior makes this place a fun stop for parents and kids alike. There are tables to enjoy a rest after a long afternoon shopping at the Market, as well as lots of items to look at while enjoying your ice cream cone. The Hudsonville Ice Cream brand provides the treats, including their newest flavor featuring Vernor’s in the mix. There’s ample stroller parking available outside the shop.
Address: 1210 Lawndale St., Detroit, MI 48209
Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Some might call this Mexican restaurant a hidden gem in Southwest Detroit. Others might say they want to keep it a guarded secret so they can enjoy its impressive menu and tasty treats for themselves. Mangonadas is a destination. This spot’s specials feature fresh fruit, amazing flavors, and so many topping options it will give your whole family a brain freeze just looking at them! This is definitely a place you should bring the kids in hungry and always with room for dessert.
Address: 31055 John R. Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071
Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 2 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, noon - 10 p.m.
The best part of a visit to Milkster Nitrogen Creamery is finding out what kind of flavors the shop is going to have when you stop in. Perhaps it will be Pumpkin Pie around Thanksgiving, or maybe it could be the Salted Caramel, which is filled with an actual syringe of caramel. Kids will have fun watching the staff mix the ice cream with liquid nitrogen, giving it a little cloud coming off it that looks like magic. The ever-changing treat board will keep you and your family coming back for more! Some people even say they try to visit weekly just to say they’ve had everything.
- Detroit: 4160 Cass Ave., Unit A, Detroit, MI 48201 | P: 313-818-0084
- Ferndale: 22965 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, MI 48220 | P: 248-544-3440
Hours: Sunday - Thursday, noon - 9 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, noon - 10 p.m.
You never know what you’ll find on the creative menu of this beloved ice cream shop. Everything is out of the ordinary, and that’s a good thing! If you want cookie dough flavor, expect it to have a big portion of crushed cookies in the mix. The berry-flavored ice cream doesn’t just have strawberries inside… It has a huge portion of fresh fruits blended into it, too! Everything Treat Dreams puts together is extreme and chock-full of tasty additions. The portions are sizable, as well, so make sure your kids come in hungry!
Address: 26145 W. 6 Mile Road, Redford Charter Township, MI 48240
Hours: Monday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, noon - 9 p.m.
If your family likes desserts of any kind, chances are you will find something for everyone at Vicky’s. They are always experimenting with new ideas, such as pie ice creams in flavors like cherry, pecan, and blackberry streusel. If you want to be truly decadent, consider bringing the kids in for breakfast, when they serve ice cream with waffles. Everyone in the family will feel like they got their special flavor and selection. There’s a reason why this parking lot is always full. But don’t worry, there is plenty of space for everyone, with a large lot and street parking.
Address: 22501 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080
Hours: Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
There’s always a long line at Wally’s Frozen Custard, and it is well worth the wait if you find one there when you arrive. But the great employees keep things moving, and there’s lots of firefighting equipment and displays to keep your little ones engaged. The custard that owners Matt and Eliza Ahearn serve is so thick, you’ll have a hard time scooping it up with a spoon. But you’ll be happy to try! The shop is known for a few things, like dipping your entire cone in sprinkles or mixing in great candy flavors for their signature Whirly, or their Dole Whip! They’re always having fun with new flavors, as well, such as the chocolate-raspberry truffle or Heath Bar custard. Everything is so good that you’ll have to come back for another try.