Tips for Enjoying the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl

Scooperbowl 001 If there’s one harbinger of summer in Boston, it’s the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl. I have been wanting to attend for years, but something has always gotten in the way. This year, FedEx, the Scooper Bowl sponsor, asked if I’d like to attend as their guest to cover the event and I took that as a sign. I packed up the kids in 90+ degree weather and headed out for a delicious adventure.

By way of history, this was the 29th Scooper Bowl. The event began in 1983 when four ice cream companies (Brigham’s, Baileys, Emack & Bolio, and Hendries) agreed to serve ice cream at the New England Dairy Festival on the Boston Common. They decided to give their income, a modest $1,000, to the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research and patient care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The idea took off, eventually becoming an event of its own, and the Scooper Bowl was born. This year, the Scooper Bowl raised more than $358,000, bringing the total raised over the 29 years to more than $3 million!

We had a fun time, as you can see from the picture above, but I thought I’d share some tips that may help you enjoy your time even more.

  • Take public transportation if at all possible. The Government Center T stop drops you off right at the gates of the Scooper Bowl.
  • A visit during the day will most likely yield smaller crowds, but lots of school groups.
  • Leave the stroller at home if you can. Navigating the crowds with a stroller is a nightmare, especially if you’re by yourself. That brings me to the next tip…
  • Go with a friend, especially if you’re bringing young kids. You have to work your way up to a tent to grab the cups of ice cream and back out again. It’s a lot faster without little ones in tow.
  • Bring wipes. The lovely people at FedEx had wipes at their tent, but having some on hand for the inevitable ice cream accidents is a better plan.
  • Plan ahead, especially with kids. The Scooper Bowl website has a list of all of the flavors available.
  • Buy tickets in advance online and avoid the long lines.
  • It’s going to be crowded, chaotic, and possibly very, very hot. Plan accordingly.
  • Make sure to visit the water stations as needed to stay hydrated, especially when arriving at and departing the event.

Scooperbowl-icecreamSpecial notes for my friends with food allergies:

  • Visit the Scooper Bowl website and click through to each of the product links to find allergy information.
  • There was supposed to be some indication of products with nuts on the boards at the event, but it was very difficult to see the boards. I couldn’t find any info, but had looked things up in advance. I also made it a point to ask a server at each station. Don’t rely on that info, as they are super busy scooping, but it can be good for a last-minute confirmation.
  • There are typically several options that are dairy free (some lovely sorbets).
  • Given the chaos at the event, this isn’t a great place to be if you’re concerned about the tiniest bit of cross contamination. It could very easily happen, or someone could spill ice cream on you.

I will definitely go again, preferably with another adult… I just hope that SoCo Creamery is their with more of their Dirty Chocolate ice cream. Yummmmmm…

Disclosure: We attended the Scooper Bowl on media passes provided by FedEx. There was no promise of a positive review and the opinions contained in this post are my own.

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