If thinking of new ways to spend this winter safely is leaving you “puzzled,” look no further than a new community-wide puzzle exchange, courtesy of Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor in Eau Claire.
“That’s the story for most of us,” said owner Kayla Midthun. “You do the puzzle, and usually we don’t revisit the same puzzle over and over again. And if you don’t frame it for your wall, what are you going to do with it?”
Friends, family, and employees of the indie ice cream parlor donated 15 puzzles to get the exchange started, with the hope that local families can grab a new puzzle every week (or however long it takes to finish a puzzle! No judgement here!) to help keep families safe this winter, while having some fun. You don’t need a puzzle to trade in, and no purchase is necessary. There’s only one real “rule,” Midthun said: Please make sure your puzzles have all the pieces.
“We’re all in the same boat,” she said, “as far as, it could be a long winter and there could be a lot of nights at home.”
“We’re all in the same boat as far as it could be a long winter and there could be a lot of nights at home.” –Kayla Midthun, Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor
One of the puzzles is a “mystery puzzle,” which you’ll only know once you open it. Since all the boxes are taped shut to keep each of the pieces inside, you won’t know if you have the mystery puzzle until you bring it home and open it! Once you complete it, post a picture on social media and tag Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor to receive a free gift card in exchange.
“We’re just trying to have fun with it,” she said. “It is crazy, challenging times for everyone, and what’s something fun that we can do? And we realized, what we do – ice cream – it’s ageless and it’s timeless, and we see so many families coming in, so it’s like, what can we do for families like us to have fun?”
If puzzles don’t pique your interest, no worries. Ramone’s also has coloring sheets – with the theme of Ramone’s reimagined as a gingerbread house – through the month of December. Once kiddos complete their coloring sheet, they can trade their artwork in for a free scoop of ice cream during the first week of January.
“Honestly, I just wanted it to be a community resource for people,” she said. “We’re a family, and I’ve been racking my brain on what are we going to be doing this winter without the events going on in the community? We’re doing our best to be safe as a community.”
Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor, 503 Galloway St., Eau Claire • ramonesicecream.com • 11am-9pm, Friday-Sunday