The best ice cream shops in NYC for kids

Spice up your sundae with the best ice cream shops in NYC for kids. No scoop will go to waste at these hotspots!

Photograph: Courtesy Mari Spiker
By Rebecca Jennings, Lee Magill, Allie Early, Dorkys Ramos and Danielle Valente |
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What makes the perfect sundae? Add a dusting of sprinkles, a dollop of whipped cream and douse it with hot fudge. Viola! Your taste buds will be grateful for the super-sweet expedition. 

For delicious desserts, check out our list of the best ice cream shops in NYC for kids. No matter what you and the crew are craving, these destinations are nothing short of fabulous. From cones and cups to the more avant garde, these can't-miss venues serve up sweets for days.

Looking for more things to do with kids in NYC? We know a thing or two. Once you've finished your last licks at the best ice cream shops for kids in NYC, visit these family attractions, cool off at one of fun water playgrounds each borough has to offer or check out the best underrated museums in NYC. 

Best ice cream shops in NYC for kids

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Sundaes and Cones

East Village

This East Village ice cream shop offers classic picks like vanilla and chocolate and then turns the tables with quirky offerings such as wasabi, ginger, corn, tiramisu and black sesame. There's also non-fat and no-sugar-added ice cream or frozen yogurt if you're feeling like going that route! Last but not least, little ones will be happy to know that they can sample any flavor they want before selecting their perfect cone.

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Lower East Side

The long list of flavors available at this Lower East Side locale is enough to make anyone’s mouth water: lavender honey, banana chocolate chip and maple walnut, to name a few. Little ones looking for something out-of-the-ordinary can taste any of bizarre flavors like wasabi and sweet potato while the grown-ups cool off with a cup of chocolate amaretto crunch, bourbon pecan and vanilla rum.

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Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Lower East Side

Morgenstern offers a contemporary twist on your average ice cream parlor, boasting serious attention to texture, flavor and use of natural ingredients. The ice cream hotspot offers ice cream cakes in addition to ice cream flavors like Blueberry Milk Chocolate, Vietnamese Coffee, Durian Banana and Salted Pretzel.

Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Melt Bakery

Lower East Side

Perfect for little ones who just can’t decide between a soft-baked cookie and a cold summery treat, the crafty Melt Bakery serves up a delicious dose of both. As the only shop in the city that sells ice cream sandwiches exclusively, you might expect business to lag behind other, more traditional shops, but owner Julian Plyter is confident in two things: “They’re perfect for kids because they aren’t messy at all. Parents love that!”—plus, he swears he makes the only (correct) Snickerdoodle in Manhattan. Kid favorites here include the Lovelet, a red velvet whoopee pie with cream cheese ice cream and the Classic (with chocolate chip walnut cookies). Most sandwiches also come in mini sizes.

More fun for kids

Photograph: Courtesy Kellogg's
Restaurants

Kellogg’s NYC

Midtown West

Most of our early years were fortified with sugary cereals from the Kellogg’s family: Corn Pops, Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, on and on. So when the brand opened up a store near Times Square in 2016, they made all our childhood dreams come true with our favorite flavors and “Kid at Heart Boosts” like chocolate sauce, cookie dough, graham crackers and Pop Tart crumble. Mix your own bowl or select one of their own, such as Birthday Cake (Frosted Flakes, yellow cake mix, vanilla syrup and rainbow sprinkles) or Life in Color (Fruit Loops, lime zest, marshmallows and passion fruit jam). Recipes were developed by Milk Bar’s own cereal milk genius Christina Tosi so you know it’s going to taste better than you remember.

Photograph: Courtesy Milk & Cream Cereal Bar
Restaurants

Milk & Cream Cereal Bar

Little Italy

A new addition to the budding cereal bar craze, this Little Italy cafe dishes out 18 types of cereals, including faves like Trix, Lucky Charms and Honey Nut Cheerios. Top your pick with drizzles or any of 18 toppings, which include other cereal to mix into your bowl. Pick from a menu of specials that include The Big Apple Pie, a blend of Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and granola topped with apple and caramel drizzle. Or just convert your cereal bowl cravings into a taste for cereal ice cream or milkshake instead.

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Photograph: Courtesy Kith Treats
Restaurants

Kith Treats

Park Slope

When street gear and sneaker store Kith opened up shop in Prospect Heights, it added a cereal bar to the mix. Kith Treats Cereal Bar offers 23 different cereals, including classics like Fruity Pebbles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 21 toppings and four milk options. Not only can you make custom cereal combos, but other cereal-based goodies like cereal ice cream swirls and cereal milkshakes are also on the menu. The Brooklyn shop features a menu of special mixes created by celebs and friends of the brand while their newest location, Nike x Kith Shop in Lower Manhattan, is a partnership that combines the sneaker brand’s iconic elements with Kith’s rise in cereal expertise.

Photograph: Courtesy Milk Bar
Restaurants, Bakeries

Momofuku Milk Bar

Williamsburg

Momofuku’s sister dessert shop has been driving the masses crazy with its cereal milk, which tastes like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cornflakes. You can drink Milk Bar’s cereal milk straight up (there’s even a DIY cereal milk mix) or in a cup of soft serve ice cream made with the special milk, cornflakes, brown sugar and salt.

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp + Ankita K
Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Snowdays Shaved Cream Co

East Village

The cross between ice cream and shaved ice has made a tasty impact on the NYC dessert scene, largely thanks to success of Snowdays. The company puts an unconvential twist on typical ice cream parlours with its shaved cream offerings—ranging in flavors from chocolate and mint oreo to roasted black sesame and sweet milk. Speaking of milk, what goes better with the dairy product than cereal? Choose a flavor as the base of your dessert, add a breakfast vibe with Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms or Cap'n Crunch and don't forget to sweeten things up with marshmallows, wafers, M&Ms, fruit and drizzles of honey, fruit puree and more. These dessert-breakfast hybrids are welcome at any point during the day! 

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp + The Bean
Restaurants, Coffee shops

The Bean

East Village

From acai bowls and breakfast burritos to smoothies and muffins, The Bean is the ideal place to make a pitstop first thing in the morning. Whether you're craving something sweet or healthy, you're bound to find a new favorite order. Kids will swoon over the cereal bars—made from Rice Krispie Treats, Fruity Peebles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch respectively. Plus, the shop's version of PopTarts make for a super sweet start to the morning. You'll probably have a difficult time making a selection, so we recommend the acai bowls during the week and sweet and savory treats to summon those weekend vibes. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp + Sam's Fried Ice Cream
Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Sam's Fried Ice Cream

Lower East Side

When a banana split won't cut it, spice up your dessert with a visit to Sam's Fried Ice Cream. The Chinatown staple is well-known for its atypical take on ice cream—a crunchy exterior and cool, creamy interior that begs you to take a bite. Customers can opt for a breakfast twist on their selections with treats such as the vanilla Fruity Pebbles milkshake, Fruity Pebbles crust, strawberry ice cream with cornflakes and much more. 

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