The Scoop on Visiting the Museum of Ice Cream with Kids

By Gianna Abruzzo, Creator, Our Play Patches February 7, 2024

If you’re looking for a way to spend an hour frivolously indulging your kids, head over to Lower Manhattan’s Museum of Ice Cream. My daughters (ages 5, 8, and 10) had a great time, and your kids probably will, too. But, it will cost you nearly $100 to take one child, so you should know what to expect going into it.

What you’ll find at the Museum of Ice Cream are many photo-ops, some active experiences, and a few ice cream treats. The museum is spread over thirteen installations on three floors. The highlights for my kids were the 3-story tall slide and the sprinkle pool.  

The twisty tube slide was long, fast, dark, and super fun, so said my husband and two older daughters. When my youngest chickened out, we took the elevator. I did see a toddler go down on her father’s lap. You’ll find the slide about two-thirds through the experience and it takes you all the way down to the bottom floor where the exhibit continues. We waited only a few minutes for our turns (though the wait may depend on the size of the crowd) and you can only do it once.

The “sprinkle” pool is a colorful scene and the detailed design makes it look like you are truly entering a pool. But cannon-ball jumps are not advisable – this is not a ball pit, and you will not sink into it. The colorful sprinkles are pellets made of a dense rubber material (antimicrobial and biodegradable, according to the website). The pool was crowded, but if you can find the right angle, the selfies are very cool.   

Other activity for kids includes a playroom with swings, ice cream scooper see-saws, climbing equipment, and a basketball hoop toss. In other rooms, there is a pink mini bouncy house and a room full of pink refrigerator magnets to practice spelling. You can spend as much time as you’d like in each room, but you are meant to flow through the experience in order and not revisit a spot once you’ve left.

The rest of the experience is selfie backdrops (search Instagram for a preview). While my kids enjoyed posing and using the museum’s custom photo filters, those installations did not keep their interest for long. Then there were the four mini treats, of which my daughters gave mixed reviews. But, we did go for second helpings of the chocolate “milkshake” at the lounge bar, which was an exciting start to the experience. 

Finally, don’t expect to learn much about ice cream! You’ll only find a brief historical timeline and a wall of fun facts. The website explains that it is not an official museum but rather a “multi-sensorial” experience. The website’s fine print also explains it interprets ice cream as symbolic for “happiness, a vehicle for imaginative wonder….” So, not every installation has a direct connection to ice cream. For example, a room of yellow and pink bananas hanging from the ceiling, a pink subway train, a music room, which was puzzling to me. Neither of these issues were a big deal for the kids though, and the experience was fun for them.

We visited at the opening hour on a Saturday morning. We had an initial wait of about ten minutes after entering at our designated time, and then we were able to walk through the experience at our own pace and without waiting too long as others perfected their selfies. If it were more crowded, I would have worried about keeping track of my kids; there were a couple of junctions where I almost lost them, when they ran ahead or chose to enter rooms in two different directions.

Tickets can only be purchased online for a specific date and time slot. The price for anyone over the age of 2 is $39 with an additional $8.50 service fee per ticket. There is stroller parking and a coat check. In rooms with treat samples, there is hand-sanitizer and plenty of napkins.

Museum Of Ice Cream

558 Broadway, between Prince St. and Spring St.

Hours: Wednesday – Monday: 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. Closed Tuesday.

Admission: $39 plus $8.50 service fee. (Children 2 and under free) 

*We received two complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated in any other manner, and all opinions expressed in this article are my own.

Gianna Abruzzo is a Brooklyn-born adventurer with nearly ten years of experience exploring playgrounds – in Lower Manhattan, around NYC, and in eleven more countries – with her three daughters. Gianna seeks to share a sense of community and pride in the places we play. Follow her on Instagram

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