When it comes to soft serve ice cream, Surf’s Up Ice Cream Shack in Haines City might be one of the best kept secrets in central Florida. It’s a great location for soft serve and other chilled treats. Plus it’s a destination point for fun (especially if you have kids).
Again, we were tipped to this place through a post on the Polk County Restaurants & Reviews Facebook page. Actually, it was lucky that we saw it. Finding this place without our GPS would have been a challenge. It’s tucked in off Lilly Avenue just north of the Haines City downtown area.
Lots of Choices
As we walked up, the Surf’s Up folks had a banner announcing that we had two dozen choices of soft serve from which to choose. Rounding the corner we saw that there were lots of entertainment choices as well. But I’ll have more on that later.
There’s a little ramp where we walked up to the office to order. There, we were greeted with even more options. In addition to the soft serve, we could have had Italian Ice, Vanilla Custard or Hawaiian Shaved Ice treats.
Incidentally, they have non-dairy, sugar-free and low fat options available for those who wish.
The gal behind the counter told us they had a variety of combination “signature flavors,” as well as some Surf Board Floats. It all looked so good. But we had just eaten at The Pantry,” so we settled for a couple of simple cones.
Under normal circumstances, we would have headed on down to the “Flavor Shack” to pick up our order. But because we came in at a slow time of day, they brought our cones up to us.
We were delighted to see the way they were served. They were not “simple.” Our orders were served on their sides in a plastic banana split boat, and topped with a toasted marshmallow. We could have had it in a bowl. Our options there included, “Little Dude,” “Average” and the “Big Kahuna” portions.
I told you we’d discuss the entertainment options – and there are a lot of them. The owners have taken the property and covered it with crushed gravel. The resulting expanse has been dotted with pastel colored picnic tables, various kinds of games and surfer decor.
Walking about we counted a foosball game, a basketball throw. dart toss targets and beanbag pitch goals among the games of skill for young and old alike. Oh, and the darts were the suction-cup variety which also were safe for kids of all ages.
Most of all, we were fascinated by “The Ocean Theater.” This is a giant outdoor TV screen. As it was explained to us, they play cartoon and kid-friendly videos there in the evening. Customers can park themselves on the gravel and watch family-friendly presentations while consuming sweet treats.
Good For All Occasions
As my wife pointed out, The Surf’s Up Ice Cream Shack would be good for a reward for children who had done well in school. I was thinking it could provide a sweet ending for a date night with my wife. Their selection of soft serve ice cream and other treats is hard to top (although they do offer toppings).
In any event, this is a really fun place with a quality product. I told my wife that we would be back at a time where we could sit outside and enjoy ourselves. They are open Monday – Wednesday from 4-8pm and Friday – Sunday from 2 – 8pm. They are closed on Thursdays.
As we said, they are a bit off the beaten path. Like us, set your GPS for 950 Lily Avenue, Haines City, Florida. Most of all, be prepared to enjoy yourselves. We did.