The Museum of Ice Cream, also known as MOIC, took the internet by storm. The pictures of the cotton candy pink theme and sprinkle pool went viral on Instagram, captivating people’s interests immediately and giving them the instant desire to see this wonderland in person. Especially those who sought the perfect Instagram picture or a little sweetness to spice up their lives.
MOIC originated in New York City, continued to Los Angeles and made its way to San Francisco. The designs vary in each new location, but the museum’s rooms and its concept are based on the sweet childhood fantasies of the founder, Maryellis Bunn. The Museum of Ice Cream is a hit and has been from the very beginning. In New York City, the free opening day brought in a much larger crowd than expected. Bunn saw New York City as a place where everything is established and routine. That’s why she brought the new MOIC to NYC and is most likely a large reason for its immediate popularity.
The start of the line to enter the museum is indicated by a glittery pink rope, a play on the classic red velvet rope. Upon entrance, every person immediately took out a phone or camera and begun taking pictures, even though the only sight in front of the door is a pink wall with “MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM” written in bold white letters. Even before entering, it is clear to see that the purpose of MOIC’s existence was for people to take pictures in it.
A timeline outlining the history of ice cream is printed on the wall at the beginning of the tour. The tour continues through a series of themed rooms that range from a ‘50s diner with a scoop of complimentary ice cream and a jukebox to the famous sprinkle pool with heart-shaped inner tubes and pink beach balls. The sprinkles are logically, yet disappointingly plastic. The idea of going into a pool of plastic sprinkles may seem odd and unhygienic, but the feeling is calming and pleasant.
A few other rooms offer more complimentary treats, such as cherry-flavored cotton candy with silver glitter which was served between the room of pink magnetic letters and the fantasy-inducing room of giant floating cherries and clouds. Pop rocks are handed out in the crystal-like cave with benches that resemble rock candy. Each treat was clearly chosen to satisfy as many people as possible, considering the diverse crowd the museum attracted. The price of these treats is included in the $38 ticket.
The aesthetic of each room manages to have the perfect amount of decor. There are many decorations, games and activities happening in each room, but it is not overwhelming or cluttered. The rooms also have impeccable lighting which adds to the idea of MOIC simply being a backdrop to visitors’ Instagrams.
Considering the name, it is logical to assume the theme of the museum and prominent aspect would be ice cream. However, the real purpose of the museum, as written in multiple places throughout the tour, is to bring the candy pink unicorn dreams of childhood to life and help adults hold onto their youth. MOIC did not fail in this.
The museum attracts all ages and types of people. There were young couples with their third-wheeling friends, families with young children, teen friend groups and older married couples. Everyone was having a wonderful time, although it would be difficult to have a bad time considering the environment that the enthusiastic employees and sweet treats foster. Each employee was energetic, but still genuine. All around people were having a good time and simply enjoying the contagiously sweet atmosphere.
Although MOIC is simply seen as an opportunity to take a multitude of cute pictures, the experience of going through each room and getting a few sugary treats is strangely uplifting. Many people’s childhood dreams consist of life-sized candy and an endless sugar rush that all come to life at MOIC. The joy and nostalgia the museum brings are worth the $38.
San Francisco is only the third location that MOIC has popped up in and it is far from the last. Bunn wishes to pop up in Miami by the end of the year. The museum’s popularity, especially on social media, has attracted attention from international cities, such as Abu Dhabi and Japan, who wish to open their own MOIC. The universal feelings of comfort that ice cream and other sugary treats bring have never been represented quite as well as it is at the Museum of Ice Cream.