The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces plays host to its 14th Ice Cream Sunday on July 16.
The Museum’s largest event of the summer – which happens to land on National Ice Cream Day — is from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and admission for the event is the same as regular Museum admission: $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for children ages 4 to 17. Children 3 and under are admitted free. Free passes (Culture, Library or Friends) are not part of this special event.
New to Ice Cream Sunday this year will be the presence of the Wonders on Wheels (WoW) mobile museum. The bus brings educational programs and exhibits to all part of the state through the Department of Cultural Affairs. The featured exhibit at Ice Cream Sunday includes authentic fossils from the vast internationally renowned paleontological resources held by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
The first 600 people to pay admission to Ice Cream Sunday receive a coupon for a free 5-ounce cup of Caliche’s Frozen Custard to use at the Museum during the afternoon. Visitors are also invited to make their own ice cream, either using tin cans or plastic bags. Ingredients are provided and there will be eight instruction areas in the Museum courtyard.
The popular annual ice cream sandwich eating races are scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m., with registration from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Only those who sign up will be allowed to compete and there will be a limited number of participants. The age categories for the races are: 4-6, 7-10, 11-13, 14-17, and 18-and-over. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each division.
Living history characters from the 1950s and ‘60s will host a fun room that features old-fashioned games such as marbles, jacks and croquet. The Museum will also have a plant sale, offering many types of plants grown in the Museum’s greenhouse.
The WoW bus will be parked in front of the Museum’s Bruce King Building during the event and there is no charge to see the fossil and dinosaur exhibits on the bus. From the boot heel to the plains, to the Four Corners, to the Texas border, dinosaur fossils have been found all over New Mexico. The WoW exhibit offers a glimpse into the life of Seismosaurus, and Coelophysis – the State Dinosaur of New Mexico. In the exhibit, children will learn how fossils were formed, what paleontologists do, what dinosaurs ate, how they lived, and their habitat.
The Friends of the Museum, Caliche’s Frozen Custard, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Sarah Farms and GH Dairy continue to be annual partners for Ice Cream Sunday, and other supporters include Tractor Supply Company, Hubbard’s Music-N-More, Peter Piper Pizza, Chuck E. Cheese, Allen Theatres, Cracker Barrel, Wet N Wild, Village Inn, Kohl’s, Mayfield High School Honor Society, McAllister’s, Red Hawk Golf Course, Arrowhead Park Early College High School, and Walmart (Walton, Valley locations in Las Cruces).
The Museum, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. The 47-acre attraction features animals, demonstrations, indoor and outdoor exhibits, greenhouse, and the Heart of the Desert Gift Shop & Snack Bar. For more information, call (575) 522-4100 or visit www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org