A Scoopful of Fun at the Museum of Ice Cream, Chicago

Nestled just off Michigan Avenue in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Museum of Ice Cream is an experience that transforms the concept of a museum into an immersive, ice-cream-themed wonderland.

Think Willy Wonka meets Instagram paradise, where every corner unveils a new vibrant, fantasy-filled world dedicated to the sweet delight of ice cream.

Here’s a spoonful of our experience and some tips for families considering a visit.

First Taste: The Entrance

Upon arrival, each visitor is invited to choose an “Ice Cream Name” – a whimsical start to the journey.

Then, as you wait on a stationary pink trolley adorned with screens, you’re whisked away (virtually) in a fashion reminiscent of the trolley ride through Willy Wonka’s factory – thought not as creepy!

The Sweet Journey Begins

The adventure starts in a cocktail lounge/bar area, where adults can order ice cream themed cocktails. Your family’s journey begins to the left of the bar.

Jelly Bean Joy

First you’ll step into a room that bursts with the charm of jelly beans – from wallpaper to creative installations.

Here, you’re treated to a swirl of pink vanilla ice cream and sprinkles, a sweet start to the all-you-can-eat ice cream adventure.

Pro tip: arrive hungry to make the most of this delicious offer.

Banana Bonanza

Wander into a banana-themed room, where hundreds of soft bananas hang from the ceiling, creating a unique sensory experience. It’s just one of the many interactive installations that invite you to engage and play.

Interactive Installations

From spelling out messages on a magnetic wall to discovering your “ice cream personality” based on your horoscope sign, the museum offers creative ways to interact and reflect on your sweet journey.

There’s also a section where you can discover all the different types of ice cream from around the world.

The inclusive options continue with a choice between two types of ice cream, including vegan selections, ensuring everyone has a chance to indulge according to their preferences.

Mini-Golf and More

Navigate a fantastical mini-golf course, where your obstacles include giant hot dogs, larger-than-life scoops of ice cream, and whipped cream bottles that are taller than the average person.

One of the standout holes on the course is the donut-themed challenge, where players are tasked with navigating their golf balls through an array of giant pink and white sprinkle-covered donuts.

Hot Dog Flavored Ice Cream

After you play some mini-golf, you can head to the hot dog stand where you can dare to try the iconic hot-dog flavored ice cream.

For those who might prefer a sweeter, more traditional treat, there’s an alternative—a delicious strawberry ice cream dipped in rich chocolate.

Frosted Animal Cracker Circus

After mini-golf, you’re treated to a nostalgic experience as you enter a room themed around frosted animal crackers – complete with carnival games like “Cherry on Top” and “Scoop A Scoop”.

There are also giant sprinkled animal crackers your kids can climb on.

The Secret Room: Don’t miss the frosted animal cracker room’s secret starry wonderland – it’s a magical moment worth discovering.

A Sprinkle of Magic

The highlight for many is the sprinkle pool – an oversized pool filled with plastic sprinkles. It’s a place of pure joy, where kids (and adults) can dive into a world of imagination.

Our Verdict

After approximately 90 minutes and a second lap to revisit our favorite spots, we can confidently say that the Museum of Ice Cream is a hit for families, particularly appealing to kids aged 8-11, though younger children are sure to find delight as well.

That being said, if you’re looking for a true “museum” with objects of historical and cultural significance, look elsewhere!

Planning Your Visit

  • Duration: Allocate about 90 minutes for a full experience, though you might be tempted to linger longer in this sweet paradise.
  • Eating Strategy: With the all-you-can-eat ice cream policy, planning your visit around meal times can make it even sweeter.
  • Interactive Installations: Engage with the creative and interactive elements throughout the museum for a full experience.
  • The Secret Room: Don’t miss the frosted animal cracker room’s secret starry wonderland – it’s a magical moment worth discovering.

The Museum of Ice Cream in Chicago is a celebration of ice cream’s joy, creativity, and community.

For families looking for an outing that’s out of the ordinary, this is a place where sweet memories are made.

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