Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream just opened up in the Domain.  The title suggests a fun history of ice cream!  The website suggests the museum “transforms concepts and dreams into spaces that provoke imagination and creativity.”   Their Instagram suggests great opportunities for fabulous pictures.  The reality of the Museum of Ice Cream is actually underwhelming.  At $40 per ticket, the museum doesn’t quite deliver on any of its promises. 

Getting there is pretty painless, considering the Domain can be very congested.  There is valet parking right next to the museum.  The Pink Parking Garage is also super close.  The wait outside is short, and the very enthusiastic staff provides popsicles while you wait.  I appreciated having a specific ticket time.  It allows you to plan ahead and keeps the crowds smaller. 

Once you enter, you are sent into a small waiting room.  You fill out name tags with your own personal ice cream favor.  Don’t stress to much about thinking of a flavor name, it is never brought up again for the rest of the time.  After that, you enter the first real room of the museum.  It is a small soda shop where you can grab your first ice cream.  Besides the ice cream, the only thing this first room has to offer are some restaurant-style activity sheets for the kids, and a jukebox. 

Then you move into the Instagram heaven of the exhibit.  Hanging bananas, light up hallways, and Circus Animal Cookies are strategically set up to make that perfect Instagram photo.  Your kids will most likely blow through all of these section as they serve no use and aren’t edible.  Along the way there is a stop to fill up on all the red-colored candy you can find.  This is followed by a stop for cotton candy.

Once the kids are full of sugar, you enter the climax of the exhibit, the Ice Cream Playground.  Inside this playground is the pool of sprinkles.  This is the most interactive part of the museum for kids.  It is definitely fun, and will make the kids work off some sugar, but how long it will keep the kids entertained, is uncertain.

That’s about all there is.  And while it is a perfectly pleasant experience, for the high price of $40 a ticket, you would hope to get more out of it than some fun Instagram pictures.  Really this trip is the most fun for the teenagers and lovers of social media.  For the little kids looking for sugar and playtime, it is okay.  They would probably have just as much fun going to an actually playground and then going to get some ice cream.

Tips:

It’s warm:  Ironically, the inside of the Museum of Ice Cream was very warm.  Between the Texas heat seeping in through the open doors, the amount of people, and the close quarters, the heat is noticeable. 

Waiting time:  Getting into the museum is very efficient.  They have specific times for you to show up.  Your wait outside will only be a few minutes, and once inside you can move about at your own leisure.  However, if you are coming to get your Instagram picks, you will be waiting a while.  Everyone wants to get their perfect picture and you will have to wait your turn. 

Beware the spinner:  In one of the last rooms of the museum, there is a large playground with slides, basketball hoops, and the pool of sprinkles.  There is also a pink spinner.  Every-single-person we saw get on that spinner had a hard fall!!  If you plan to try this obstacle out, just make sure someone has the camera ready!

So should you make the trip to the Museum of Ice Cream?

0-3 (Stop!)

I will commend Museum of Ice Cream for having fabulous family bathrooms.  And what little kid doesn’t love having free ice cream, candy, cotton candy, and popsicles?  The playground is really too big for this crowd.   It is not a stroller friendly experience.  There are a few great photo ops for your little ones.  But at the end of the day, it is an expensive photo op.

3-6 (proceed with caution)

This age group will definitely have a good time with the visuals, the games, and the ice cream of course!  The playground is a good size for these kids.  The playground does offer only a few option, but depending how much your kids loves repetition, you could kill a lot of time here.  In my experience kids this age aren’t big fans of getting their picture taken.  This museum is all about the photo ops.  If your child ducks for cover whenever you pull out a camera, this might not be the place for you.

6-10 (proceed with caution)

While this age group is best suited for the playground area, that is really all there is to offer these kids.  It’s a fun idea.  But at the end of the day, the museum is only interactive enough for about an hour and half of activity.  They aren’t going to learn anything fun about ice cream.  They aren’t going to come away with an appreciation for art.  At most they will have a good sugar rush for the car ride home.