6 Unique Places to Find Ice Cream on Summer Scavenger Hunts

I scream, you scream

It’s hot all over, folks, so it’s the perfect time—as if we need an excuse—for a heaping helping of cone-hugging, topping-bedecked goodness. You can join a public scavenger hunt with us in six cities all over the country, and wouldn’t you know it? You can find amazingly unusual ice cream all over the country too. Here are a few choice places to try some out-of-the-ordinary ice cream after a summer scavenger hunt.

Boston: FoMu Fo’ You

After you win (obviously) a Boston scavenger hunt, like the Hidden Harvard Scavenger Hunt in Cambridge, dip into the brain-freezingly hip FoMu. This local chain features ice cream hand-made using carefully sourced, plant-based ingredients. Instead of, say, cow’s milk and cream, think coconut or almond milk and organic sweeteners. Flavors rotate consistently, but expect to find their gelato-like ice cream flavored with avocado, corn, mint, cashews, habanero pepper, and all sorts of fruit.

Chicago: Bombo Combo

Toast your victory on a scavenger hunt at the Lincoln Park Zoo or the Field Museum with a trip to BomboBar. Skip the rest of the menu (pizza schmizza) and get yourself a Bombolato: a gelato sandwich served on a “bun” of hot Italian doughnut. Feel free to mix and match, too. Doughnuts come stuffed with Nutella, salted caramel, vanilla bean custard, and more. Gelato flavors include coffee caramel crisp, white chocolate raspberry, and “sugar clouds.” And toppings include gummi bears, Fruity Pebbles, Reese’s Pieces, cotton candy, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Whew! Oh, and their fully loaded milkshakes are pretty great too.

Los Angeles: Feeling Salty?

Salt & Straw promises “deliciously interesting ice cream,” and they sure deliver. Their Summer Camping series is a perfect example of the tastily confounding flavors you’ll find at this Portland-born chain. First you’ve got Campfire S’mores. OK, normal enough. Then Wild Fennel Amaro Milk Sorbet. Unusual, but not too out there. But then you move on to find vegan Berries, Beans, and BBQ Sauce (huh?); Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon, and Eggs (bwhah?); and Mushroom Muddy Buddies (mushrooms candied in honey??). If you’re still hungry for adventure after, say, the Santa Monica Pier Pressure Scavenger Hunt, go wild with the crazy flavors of Salt & Straw.

New York: Winter Is Here

Or it is at Snowdays, the perfect place to cool off after the Secrets of the East Village Scavenger Hunt. This whimsical, Yeti-themed scoop shop specializes in shaved cream. Literally, they shave bits off a big block of ice cream until you’ve got a light, airy mountain of sweet snowy treats. Flavors include green tea matcha, vegan strawberry, roasted black sesame (a yummy but acquired taste), and Yeti Tracks (flavored with blueberries and Oreos). And of course the toppings and drizzles are fun too: matcha brownies, red beans, Frosted Flakes, Japanese Pocky sticks, honey, blueberry puree, condensed milk, and more.

Philadelphia: All About the Benjamin

Franklin Fountain is easily one of the best and most popular ice cream stops in the city. The newer Franklin Ice Cream Bar nearby is just as good but usually less crazy. After Hamilton: The Scavenger Hunt, visit this other founding father for scoops like peanut butter, caramelized banana, and the chocolate-on-chocolate-on-chocolate Whirly Berley. Or tackle the huge Vesuvius sundae. Or get a hand-dipped ice cream bar coated in fun toppings like cocoa nibs, roasted almonds, marshmallow fluff, sprinkles, dehydrated bananas. strawberry shortcake crumble, and even red pepper flakes. Yowza!

Washington, D.C.: Pitango Gelato

You won’t necessarily find “trendy” flavors at Pitango Gelato—their focus is on “classics done right,” and they’re not messing around. Using only dairy, eggs, and fruit from local farms, Pitango makes all their stuff in-house, in dozens of flavors. Check out gelato flavors like black sesame, the super-chocolatey Bacio, and the licorice-like star anise. Sorbets include blood orange, cantaloupe, Bosc pear, and Granny Smith apple. After you solve the mysteries of the Whodunit Scavenger Hunt at the National Gallery, your dessert destination decision is a no-brainer.  (Lead image courtesy of FoMu)

Photo courtesy of Teejay via Pexels.