Camillus man opens B'ville's Merlins Ice Cream and Bounce House

— It’s a bounce house, with a twist. Literally.

Merlins ice cream shop and bounce house opened in Baldwinsville this month. The shop will offer children and their parents a safe place for private parties, and a new twist on the traditional ice cream shop, said owner Chris Norcross, of Camillus.

The ice cream is a self-serve shop, offering 10 flavors and five twists of ice cream, yogurt, sherbets and dairy-free products. You then move to a fruit tray, where there’s options for different fruits, cookie dough and other things that need to stay refrigerated.

But then comes the real fun.

There’s 23 tubes of toppings. You click the handle, and the toppings drop in, and you end your choices with hot fudge or caramel.

The customer is then charged based on the weight of the ice cream.

“The kids love to do it themselves, as opposed to looking at a menu. You’re right there, I think people are more connected to what they’re getting,” Norcross said.

The shop is modeled after a style seen in southern states.

“There’s kind of a trend,” he said. “A wave of yogurt shops are doing the same format.”

Adding in the bounce house was something that came from the planning of the birthday party for his son, Jackson.

“It was a nice marriage of the two ideas,” Norcross said.

The bounce house is for children 10 and under. It has four rides and a couple of slides, and is available for open bounce and private parties.

The shop got its name from the concept of the fictional character -- magic.

“I wanted to create a place that was magical for the kids,” Norcross said.

Merlins is open on Downer Street in Baldwinsville, in the River Mall plaza.

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