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Mandy Alman and her daughter, Susie, of Mahomet toss their homemade ice cream ingredients back and forth at the Museum of the Grand Prairie event.

Community members beat the heat and made homemade ice cream at the Museum of the Grand Prairie on Monday.

The cool treats were part of the museum's I Scream, You Scream Museum Monday event. Each Monday, from now through Aug. 13, locals have a chance to learn more about culture and natural history at the museum through fun activities.

"We really enjoyed it," Mahomet resident Tiffany Maduzia said.

Maduzia brought her children, Charlotte, 4, and Adeline, 2.

"It's something fun to do today," she said.

Her only complaint?

"It took a long time to make," Maduzia joked.

Crystal Griest knew she had to make the drive from Dewey to Mahomet to take her two children, Vance, 6, and Reed, 3, when she received a flyer about the event from the boys' school.

"I knew it would be a hit for them," she said.

"My favorite part was eating the ice cream," Vance said in excitement.

The finished product was by far many of the children's favorite part of the day, but for Mandy Alman and daughter Susie, 7, of Mahomet, it was all about the process.

The two tossed the plastic, resealable bag filled with ice and ingredients back and forth as a way to mix the ice cream.

"It's one of their (her children's) favorite days of the entire summer," Mandy Alman said.

"It's my favorite Museum Monday," Susie Alman added.

Though buying ice cream or purchasing ingredients to make the creamy treat at home are both viable options, Alman saw the museum's event as a way to make summer memories.

"We have ice cream bars and popsicles in our freezer right now that they could just sit at home and eat," she said, "but there's something about coming out, especially when you're able to do it outside. It's really fun. The shaking it and the fact that you're doing it yourself."

Echoing Alman's sentiment is Janice Roller, of Gibson City, who made homemade ice cream with her two grandsons, Joe, 9, and Andrew, 7, of Mahomet.

"We came to experience shaking ice cream," Janice Roller said. "It's a fun activity and it's something fun you can do together to make memories. In our family, it's all about making memories."

Visitors had the opportunity to make ice cream by either shaking the ingredients in a plastic, resealable bag or using a hand crank.

"The hand crank for ice cream was invented in 1843 by Nancy Johnson who made ice cream more common," said Patrick Cain, who is the public program/visitor services coordinator for the museum.

Cain said the origin of ice cream dates back thousands of years ago.

"People were eating frozen treats back in the second century B.C.," he said. "But up until the 19th century, it was a rare food item."

Cain credits the ice cream event as one of the museum's popular summer activities.

"It's a way to bring people together," he said.

The former history teacher told his students that food was often the best way to see what brought people together.

"Ice cream being a sweet treat, we thought it'd be a great way to bring people together."

That it did. The museum used more than 200 pounds of ice and greeted approximately 140 visitors during its ice cream activity. Cain even assured the popular homemade ice cream event will return this fall for the museum's welcoming week.

"It turned out really well," Cain said. "Museum Mondays provide Champaign County citizens of all ages an opportunity to enjoy the culture that surrounds them while still having some great hands-on activities."