New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

Frankie and Annette went on one, as did Gidget and Moondoggie. Archie was known to enjoy one with Betty and sometimes with Veronica, too.  Even Samantha and both Darrins got into the act. If we take a page from the retro dating handbook, you might just want to join the crowd and take your sweetie on one of the sweetest dates possible — one that involves the choice between a cone or a cup.

Going out for ice cream can be a stand-alone first date or the sweet ending to a fun day, or perhaps the perfect nightcap following dinner and a movie. And when it comes to ice cream, New Jersey serves up so many flavors you can easily enjoy a creamy cold treat twice a day the entire summer and never repeat a single one.

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Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night guaranteed to scoop you up!

Real-Deal Nostalgia

From the moment you pull into the Colonia Dairy Maid parking lot, you’ll feel transported in time to a carefree place where all that mattered was if you could balance two scoops in a cake cone. Located in Colonia, this mainstay boasts over 40 flavors of ice cream handmade on site. 

Be sure to check out their banana splits, as they’re incredible and can be made with any flavors you like.  There are also tasty sugar-free options, perfect for those who want a splurge without going overboard on the sweets.

Located on 1075 St Georges Avenue, Colonia Dairy Maid is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and only accepts cash.

Ice Cream for Everyone!

Dietary restrictions can put a hinder on an ice cream date, but that’s not a problem at Gabriel’s Fountain in Martinsville. These ice cream makers serve up an assortment of traditional, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free and vegan options. Most of their ice creams are created with a Philly style base (zero egg yolks) as opposed to a French style base (lots of yolk). This is all explained on their menu, and their friendly staff is more than happy to discuss those choices with you. 

From Cookie Monster to key lime pie, you’re sure to choose the perfect flavor perfect for you. For more information on Gabriel’s Fountain, visit

A Date on a Roll

You can’t beat great ice cream and a show and Melao Café and Creamery in Rahway offers both. After you place your order you get to watch them prepare it for you in perfect Korean fashion. Using a steel surface chilled to -35C, the sweet milk base is poured and combined with tasty ingredients. The mixture is chopped as it’s chilled, then flattened to complete the freezing process. The ice cream is then expertly rolled and served. 

With options including The Bamm Bamm (vanilla mix with strawberries, cheesecake, caramel drizzle and Fruity Pebbles) and Banana Landslide (chocolate mix with brownie, banana, Nutella, banana chips and walnuts), sharing a bite with your date is mandatory. Melao also offers coffee and espresso-based beverages to accompany your dessert. 

Melao Café and Creamery can be found at 1425 Irving Street and is open weekdays Monday through Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 6:30 a.m. 9:30 p.m.

Just Like Grandma Used to Make!

Childhood memories of grandma churning ice cream will come back to you when you visit Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream in New Providence. Established in 2000, this family-owned parlor creates handmade ice cream with the constant inspiration from their matriarch, Zita. 

One flavor you don’t want to miss is s’mores, as it earned them the No. 1 flavor award at the New Jersey Ice Cream Festival. Another scrumptious standout is their signature flavor called 91716 (vanilla ice cream with chocolate-covered pretzels, caramel, peanut butter and chocolate chips). Check out their ice cream sandwiches too — you won’t be disappointed! 

For more information about Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream, visit

Here’s the Scoop…

Taking your date out for ice cream is a throwback to a time of innocence and simplicity; a time where words like “collusion” and “obstruction” weren’t on constant repeat. Simple in the respect that it’s about two people enjoying each other and their sweet treats without the noise of world around them. Taking that moment to unplug from clamor and reconnect as a couple is essential in successful relationships. Doing it over ice cream is just the cherry on top.

More New Jersey Date Night Ideas:

Get a Tasting Room

Comfort Food Restaurants to Brighten a Bad Day

Tropical Getaways, No Passports Necessary

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of “The 49th Challenge,” Rogers has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about him, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at

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