Inside the Museum of Ice Cream
Close your eyes and picture pink, brightly colored rooms designed to fill your senses with wonder and awe. Imagine different types of ice cream being handed to you, ‘free’ of charge, picturesque themes waiting to be discovered by you, and a giant pool of colored sprinkles inviting you to jump in. Can you see it? This, my friends, is what the Museum of Ice Cream embodies and more. It provides an unforgettable experience that will make you want to Snap/IG story every part of it. MOIC attracts people of all walks of life, from families to celebrities to bloggers and everyone in between. I had the great fortune and pleasure of visiting myself in its 3rd run in San Francisco. Here is my detailed visit and some tips and tricks for visiting in San Francisco.
What is MOIC?
Before I can describe what Museum of Ice Cream is, I’ll first tell you what MOIC is not. Museum of Ice Cream is not your typical museum. It is not a place that just displays art and sculpture where you can’t touch the objects presented. It is quite the opposite; MOIC is a place that thrives on community, interaction, and or course, ice cream. While most museums forbid flash photography, MOIC encourages it, especially since it is built with technology in mind. The lighting in MOIC couldn’t be more perfect for photography.
Museum of Ice Cream started in New York City in the summer of 2016 as a one stop pop-up shop designed to give its patrons a fun, ice cream filled, Instagram worthy experience. It’s presence caught on like wildfire, gaining fans from all over the world that wanted in on the fun. MOIC rode on this wave and opened in Los Angeles shortly after. The San Francisco location just opened this past fall and will extend its opening through February 2018. MOIC SF sold out soon after the tickets dropped in October, so if you are planning on visiting, your best bet is to plan a trip to Miami since that is their newest location. General admission price is $38 per person (children under 3 are free).
What’s The Appeal? | What to Expect
The first thing you should expect is that the visits start at scheduled times and typically last to 1-1.5 hours. They suggest to show up on location with in 15-20 minutes within your scheduled time, to ensure that every patron gets the full experience. MOIC operates on guided tours, so expect to make new friends! This is perfect because not only do you share this sweet experience with each other, but you also have a designated photographer throughout the tour.
So what’s in the Museum of Ice Cream? Within the place are different rooms with varying themes. For example, one of the rooms at the SF location is a pink room with hanging clouds and cherries. Before entering this room, you are greeted by a guide that makes cotton candy. You are encouraged to take the cotton candy and enter the cloud room to take pictures.
Another fun room is the all white room covered in pink magnetized letters, so the possibilities of the different words and phrases you can make are endless. In this room, the guide offered samples of mochi ice cream. They had strawberry, cookies and cream, and chocolate.
Now I can’t forget about the sprinkle pool! I hate to burst the bubble, but the sprinkles aren’t real. They’re made of antimicrobial plastic shaped to look like real sprinkles. Hands down the most popular attraction at MOIC, the sprinkle pool is where all the IG posts are taken, get a photo here and I guarantee that you’ll get more likes than you normally would. An attraction as popular as this has a protocol behind it to keep it running, so here’s how it goes down. No shoes, purses, jackets, and backpacks are allowed in the pool. You cannot dive into the pool for real, but posing on the wooden diving board is acceptable. Lastly, you only get 2 minutes in the pool so get your cameras and phones ready and brace yourselves for a lotta picture taking. Have an idea of what poses you want captured in the pool so by the time you are there, you are ready. If you are hesitant about looking too extra, don’t. Everyone is just trying to get a good picture, so do whatever you need to do to get the perfect picture (as long as you are following the rules). Two minutes seems fast, but I honestly think it is just the right amount of time, plus the guide will give you a 30 second warning.
Advice for SF Visitors
- If you can, take public transportation. It’s way easier and less stressful than trying to find parking. My brother and I took the BART to San Francisco and got off on Powell St. MOIC is literally a 5 minute walk away from the station.
- Make it a day trip. Because it is centrally located, you are steps away from Union Square, Westfield Mall, Chinatown, and Yerba Buena Park.
- Bring your best camera. Museum of Ice Cream is truly a photogenic environment, so why not make the most out of your $38 and take lots of pictures! You won’t regret it!
- Be prepared to get in touch with your inner child. I felt like a child again and it felt so nice to just have fun and not worry about anything!
Is It Worth Visiting?
I’d say Museum of Ice Cream is worth going for the experience. I can’t really compare it to any experience I’ve had. Its novelty and fun rooms and installations truly make it a unique experience that will attract all kinds of people, so I totally understand why it is so popular and in demand. As for the ice cream, it’s okay (in terms of quantity, not taste- the ice cream tastes amazing). I only tried three or four samples and I was expecting more. Ultimately, the experience I had in the fun, friendly environment surpassed my slight disappointment in limited ice cream choices. If you are able to buy tickets, I’d say go for it! Your life may be sweeter because of it!