Friday, April 19, 2019

Ice Cream Museum: bite into a fun family outing in San Francisco

Ready for her close-up aboard an ice cream inspired steed is Penelope Margaret Ganner at the Museum of Ice Cream. The San Francisco attraction is not a museum really, but an entertainment venue promising a couple hours of tasty fun.

Animation and old-fashioned fun are part of the
attraction, here with Christene "Cookie" Meyers, right,
and her niece Amarylla Ganner, on old-fashioned dial-ups.


James Brian Ganner is adrift in sprinkles in one of the Museum of
Ice Cream stops.  It's a pool of non-edible sprinkles for kids to play in.
Below, he is joined by his parents, right, sister, auntie and friends.

SAN FRANCISCO'S Museum of Ice Cream Museum brings out the kid in children of all ages.
Who likes ice cream?
 Apparently, people from all over the world shout, "We do! Make mine a double scoop."  So we recently joined an international crowd to queue up for a two-hour journey into the history, mystery and fun of 

ice cream at the colorful San Francisco venue, right in the center of town just steps from Union Square. We based at the lovely Handlery Hotel Union Square, steps away. 

THERE'S A LOT of theater in the museum, which isn't really a museum at all, but rather an entertainment venue geared to family fun. From the moment you show your tickets and progress into the line, you're front and center for a bit of edible theater. First, you must have an ice cream name, so our party of six came up with some doozies: Keller was Peppermint KK. I was Cookie Monster Mocha. Our family signed in as Mint Chocolate Chip Daddy, Apricot Amarylla, Peachy Peny and Jelly Bean James.
We joined an international crowd to queue up for a two-hour journey into the magic, mystery and fun of ice cream at the colorful San Francisco venue, right in the center of town just steps from Union Square. There's a lot of theater in the museum, from the moment you show your tickets and get in line for the first of of several interactive exhibits.
Pink is the color at the museum,
with large sculptures, all in the
theme of ice cream.

THE MUSEUM of Ice Cream concept was born in New York City as an user-involved extravaganza with ice cream and candy themed exhibits, all brightly colored, in a maze of rooms containing a rock-candy cave, a unicorn, and the fabled swimming pool of rainbow sprinkles which made its way to the San Francisco show. The exhibits are tailored as backdrops for selfies, and social media sites promote the exhibit. Tickets are not cheap and must be purchased in advance for specific time slots online only.
I asked about the term "museum" and was told it was chosen for the temporary art exhibition because it was something people would understand
One of the activities is a funny-face selfi camera
that puts interesting adornments on people.

THE TREATS are plentiful as there are tasting stations along the way:  your choice of several samples.  We enjoyed peach and mint chip mochi, popsicles of several flavors, cotton candy (pink of course), delicious fruit sherbet and ice cream cones, then at the last munchy stop, hot chocolate served in an old-fashioned '50s soda shop with whipped cream topping.
Capping the day are samples of hot chocolate with cream.
ALTHOUGH the place is not an art museum, there are nods to learning about ice cream's history if you care to, with plaques and data about ice cream and its history. Ice cream has a time-honored past -- dating back hundreds of years to the Chinese or Romans, who
used snow to ice the mixture -- long before refrigeration.
The audience is largely family-oriented -- grandparents and parents taking their kids on an outing, or great-aunties and uncles such as ourselves treating the family out for a fun afternoon.
Lots of pictures were taken and everyone had a cell phone. Instagram photos aplenty were in vogue.
If you go, plan to just "roll with it" and rediscover your inner child. If you do, you'll enjoy it. It's up in San Francisco through May 27.;

Uma Incrocci, Omri Schein and David McBean
in a sketch from "All in the Timing."  Can chimps
really eventually type their way to "Hamlet"?  
BEST BET:   North Coast Repertory Theatre's "All in the Timing" is a tour de force for an ensemble of  southern California's most versatile actors. A half dozen David Ives sketches are directed by the gifted David Ellenstein, whose love of the bon mot and physical comedy are a perfect fit for this entertaining and fast-paced production. The one-act comedies premiered Off Broadway in 1993 and have withstood the test of time. Prepare for a little Marx Bros., a pinch of Seinfeld, a measure of theater of the absurd, and a dollop of Mel Brooks. Those old enough to appreciate the banter may be reminded of Nichols and May or Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Bravo, brava. You'll laugh until you hurt. It's a show to relish and see again. On stage through May 5.   

NEXT UP:  Balboa Park is a beloved urban park, one of America's largest and a a tribute to the vision of its founders, who conceived of the idea more than 150 years ago. Come with us to visit this San Diego wonder, with magnificent gardens, hiking and walking paths, a theater, concert venue, buskers, food aplenty, a green belt, a veritable 17-museum mecca, and the world famous San Diego Zoo. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each Friday for a novel look at travel, nature, family, the arts and more.  


  1. Wow, from ice cream to comedy to Balboa Park -- you amaze me, whereiscookie! I hope to meet you some day. What fun you have in this too brief life. Keep it up.

  2. Jersey Jet SettersApril 19, 2019 at 5:45 PM

    We saw the Ice Cream Museum in Manhattan when it was first the rage. Expensive, but fun and as you say, a sweet treat for family. Fun memories. Our grandkids loved it and we had way too much sugar for one afternoon!

  3. Ice Cream FanciersApril 20, 2019 at 6:17 AM

    Ice cream story brought back memories of going for sodas with my grandpa in upstate New York. Old-fashioned sodas the best. Fun story, good for you.

  4. This is a perfect Easter blog. Family, fun and too many desserts. Love it.