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The Antelope

Waka Waka Ice Cream Parlor and Arcade offers creamy treats

Waka+Waka+unites+gamers+and+ice+cream+lovers.+Photo+by+Mariah+Watson+%2F+Antelope+Staff
Waka Waka unites gamers and ice cream lovers. Photo by Mariah Watson / Antelope Staff

watsonm@lopers.unk.edu

Stepping into Waka Waka Ice Cream Parlor and Arcade was like taking a time machine back to the 1980s.

Located in north Kearney, right next door to Axe Holes, Waka Waka’s menu includes house-made ice cream, made-to-order grilled cheese, and soup. But this isn’t the average ice cream parlor. Waka Waka’s main attraction is the vintage replica arcade games that fill the east side of the space.

Waka Waka offers eight classic ice cream flavors, along with a selection of limited-edition specialty flavors. The treats range in price from $4.50 for a single scoop to $7.50 for a double scoop.

The grilled cheese bar has five different sandwich offerings, ranging in price from $6-$9.25. All sandwiches are served with a pickle and customers can choose to add chips and a drink or soup for an additional two dollars.

If customers want to test their skills at the numerous arcade games, they can pay $3.50 for 15 minutes, $5 for 30 minutes, $8.50 for an hour or $40 per month.

I visited the parlor, which has been open for around two months, on a blustery winter day. Although some may think ice cream is strictly a winter treat, I believe it should be enjoyed year-round. I may have been one of the few people willing to brave the cold for a sweet treat, but it was absolutely worth it.

The employee welcomed me into the shop with a friendly smile. To my left was the wall full of retro games and a dozen or so vintage-looking tables and chairs. As an ice cream fanatic, I beelined to the ice cream freezer at my right to examine the ice cream selection.

One downside of my experience at Waka Waka is that they don’t offer taste tests like many other ice cream parlors do, so I had to make my choice solely off of looks and the employee’s description of each flavor.

I eyed the cereal milk-flavored “Breakfast of Champions” and interesting-sounding “olive oil” flavors but decided to stick with my tried-and-true favorite: chocolate chip cookie dough.

I paid around $5 for my single scoop, which is a little pricey, but the cost was worth it as soon as I took a bite. The ice cream was thick and creamy with the perfect amount of chocolate chips mixed in. It had a perfectly smooth texture and delicious, but not overpowering, cookie dough flavor.

Although I am not an arcade fan, I’ve decided I’ll have to make another trip to Waka Waka to try out the games – and some more flavors of ice cream or a grilled cheese. I really enjoyed the nostalgic vibes, yummy ice cream and friendly service.

Waka Waka is a must-visit, especially for families and game lovers. The parlor is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and is closed on Monday.

The vintage atmosphere and delicious food make Waka Waka Ice Cream Parlor and Arcade a one-of-a-kind spot in Kearney for fun entertainment and tasty treats.

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MARIAH WATSON, Advertising Manager
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