After compiling my exhaustive list about NYC Hot Spots for Cool Treats 4 Kids post, we voted as a family that for our first half of day of school in March, which happened to be the 1st beautiful Spring Day, we wanted to sprint straight to Cool Mess. From the minute we arrived and were greeted by the velvet hot pink ropes, you could feel the excitement in the warm air. Cool Mess is the kind of place I figured would be fun in groups, so each of my girls brought 3 friends and before you knew it there was a party in the Sprinter! (***editted to add from a friend “if you have a food allergy call them the day before and they will make sure there isn’t any cross contamination with anything!!” ***) How awesome is that! Anyway we took our obligatory picture outside in front of the ropes and the kids jetted up the 1st flight of stairs.
But immediately we were stopped for another cool pic opportunity. See, what we didn’t realize was that Cool Mess is the kind of place where part of the experience is the pic opps. Its an instagram and social media dream come true, the photoshoot possibilities plentiful!
A very nice man offered to take the pic for us, it was almost like he was just as excited as us, which later made sense because we found out he was part owner. The kids could barely sit for the pic but they did and then they turned the corner and ran up the next flight of stairs. But wait, we were stopped again with another cool feature. A fun twist on a fire escape ladder, they were allowed to climb up till the sign said stop…
Once inside, it was a colorful ice cream and candy playground just waiting to be explored. Lots of squeals and lots of “omg look at this” and “omg guys come over here” could be heard. We were pumped. We scored the huge communal table in the front and soon found out we were very lucky to come on an “off day.” What do you mean? We were told that they take no reservations and the velvet ropes outside are there for a reason, there is usually a line to get in. Nights and weekends are of course the busiest, so expect to wait. I turn to the kids and I say “ok who’s ready to eat ice cream for LUNCH!” I promised the kids that today we could be bad asses and skip a typical lunch in lieu of an ice cream lunch. But when we arrived my bestie Sandy and I were VERY excited to learn that there’s a full food menu. The kids ordered kiddie type food, Sandy a burger, and I got an asian chicken salad.
While waiting for the food to arrive, Sandy and I had the time to talk to the owners and they told us how they just opened 8 weeks ago and had never even advertised and the place has already blown up on Instagram, with almost 1k followers in 2 months. Cool Mess is a family run business and while we were there we met the aunt Marguerite, the picture taking uncle, and a niece who were the NICEST people. It really had that family friendly vibe and I felt like I was hanging at my cool Aunts house. There was music blasting (they are very careful screening kid appropriate songs), the staff was super patient with 4 tweens and 4 pretweens running around squealing, and we just felt really at home hanging and chatting with Marguerite and her niece as we picked their brain about how it all got started. Since we were killing time until the main event of Ice Cream making was to start, I walked around taking pics of the place. They sell all different kinds of candy, chocolate treats, already made ice cream in various flavors and they even were willing to give Sugar Rush NYC a chance and see how it sells…now that was COOL!!!
Ok the moment we were waiting for…time to make ICE CREAM! The placemats had the instructions on it, and once the kids stopped whining and arguing over which toppings to choose they brought out the ingredients in a premixed measuring cup and we got started. Then they had to agree on who was going to pour it in, settling on each taking a turn LOL.
Next you had to wait about 10 minutes for the ice cream to churn and get the thick consistency. Which lent itself to more selfie taking opportunities and dancing by the bathroom mirror and climbing the ladder.
Once the ice cream reached a certain thickness they poured in the toppings to mix. Then we waited a little bit longer, till it was completely done!
Once the ice cream was ready to be eaten, the waiter/helper guy came over and scraped it out into individual didjew. We had 2 girls per ice cream maker machine. Then at that point they each chose more toppings to add to their creation.
The kids really enjoyed eating their idea cream creations and it tasted yummy as well! We definitely were enjoying the experience and not rushing it, but before we looked at the time we had already been there 2 hours. Of course ice cream wasn’t enough, so they each loaded up on candy from the self serve candy bar area. But why not? Isn’t that part of the fun? Of course we needed our group photo inside of Cool Mess so the girls lined up and gave me their best smiles. As we were saying our goodbyes and thank yous, once again the staff was really nice and gave the girls parting gifts of Cool Mess bracelets…
A great time was had by all and I could definitely see this as becoming one of those must do’s every time we go to the city. Kids love an “experience” and this was both an experience, a meal and a dessert all in 1 so it really fit many categories of kid fun in the city. Next time we come we will have to find out about coming during one of their Dj parties at night, until then Cool Mess will be remembered as that amazing day with our best friends that first warm day in March…