Visiting the Museum of Ice Cream as a Food Allergy Family


    I’m a food allergy mama, and I wanted to share my experience visiting the Museum of Ice Cream. Hopefully, this will help fellow food allergy parents make the difficult decision about whether to visit with your child. 

    My son is allergic to peanut and dairy. Based on our experience, we are okay with products that do not contain peanut and dairy but are produced in the same facilities as other products that do contain both or either. My daughter does not have any food allergies

    I really did not know what to expect from the experience, so my husband and I visited the museum with our daughter while our son was in summer school. She had so much fun exploring, and we got some great photos of her playing. I texted some pictures to my mom and warned her not to mention it to my son. He loves being silly, loves bright colors and all things unicorn. I knew he would have really enjoyed it.

    I had imagined big crowds of people eating ice cream in every nook and cranny of the museum. I worried about big messes (my son can’t even touch dairy), and him feeling left out. In reality, the museum is as much about ice cream as it is about fun. Besides consuming treats, visitors are busy interacting with the decor and having a good time. There was a garbage can in most, if not all, of the rooms, and we ran into multiple cleaning crew members during our experience. It wasn’t the sticky mess I had imagined. The number of visitors in each room was also very comfortable. The flow of the experience was casual and mildly paced. 

    Then I heard the museum was launching a Halloween themed “Nightmare before Pinkmas” experience. I knew adding costumes to the experience would up the fun factor, and I wanted my son to enjoy it. Based on a few discussions in a local food allergy forum where parents gave tips on what treats to expect at the museum, I knew the museum rotates their treats. When I visited, at least one treat was dairy-free (popsicle). I emailed the museum to check if I could get a list of what treats would be offered for the “Nightmare” experience. 

    Unfortunately, the museum only shares the product/brand name for museum partners. I knew this meant I wouldn’t be able to confirm ingredients on my own. I packed a teal pumpkin pail with safe treats and told my son he would get his own special treats. I included a wide variety of exciting and new treats for him so that they felt like a big deal for him while our friends ate their ice cream. He didn’t even want any treats in some of the rooms because he was too busy having fun. I also brought my own wipes in case anything was messy, but we didn’t use any. 

    Here’s the museum’s official stance on their food allergy policy as stated on their website: 

    Unfortunately, we do not offer vegan, egg free, certified gluten-free or Kosher ice cream at this time! If nuts are served, they will be labeled, but please note products may contain traces of nuts and we cannot guarantee preparation in a nut-free environment. Most of treats do have gluten and or dairy, but we do have a few non-dairy and non-gluten treats inside! Please check in with us in the future as we are trying hard to accommodate all of our fellow ice cream fans. We hope you still come visit Museum of Ice Cream and experience the art and installations.

    There are also a couple signs posted throughout the museum about the food they serve.

    My son had so much fun, and I was so happy to share the experience with him. As a food allergy mama, I work hard to make him feel included. The first time I visited the museum, I was sad to be there without him. 

    Some very conservative food allergy parents might say why risk anything that isn’t 100% safe? Unfortunately, few or zero instances are 100% safe. If you have multiple children, if your child is invited to the museum for a playdate or party, or if you just know your child will love it, the Museum of Ice Cream can be a viable choice if you plan ahead. 



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