Welcome to my first blog post on the new blog! So excite!!
If you want to read a little bit more about why I started this blog and what to expect, feel free to get the scoop here. And if you don’t care to read any more than you have to, the short version is…I like food, like a lot.
Having made the move in 2017 to the bay area from sunny San Diego, the last six months have been of exploration and amazement with the sheer number of eateries around. Living in San Diego certainly has its benefits. The weather, the tacos, less traffic, the amazing beaches, the tacos, you name it, they got it. But what I’m finding out about the bay area is that size does matter, and having a large population brings a lot of different types of experiences our way that might not make it to a slightly smaller city. “My lady” got tickets without me knowing and in her normal, can’t contain her excitement fashion, soon-after told me that we had something fun booked in San Francisco. This something is, you guessed it, The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC).
What is it?
You’ve probably seen pictures of it on Instagram before. It’s very eye catching and appealing to look at bright colors involving ice cream or the thought of ice cream. It originated in New York in the summer of 2016 and quickly spread to Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. As of this writing, the Los Angeles exhibit is moving to another unnamed location and the Miami and San Francisco exhibits are finishing up at the end of February. No word on if they will extend those two locations yet. Other locations are set to open in the future. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are all sold out for the current locations. They charge $38 a person with a transaction fee on top of that if I’m not mistaken. I don’t remember how my lady found out about them selling tickets, but we felt fortunate to be able to catch the wave while it was here.
I want to give you an idea of what we experienced at the MOIC without revealing every single detail. So if you don’t want me to ruin it, here is your warning: SPOILER ALERT! Jump to the “Final Thoughts” section for a general synopsis if you don’t want to see what I am about to share. Since it most likely will not be open again in the bay area after this month, I figured it is less of ruining a surprise, and more of a preview of what you might find wherever they decide to pop up next. Did you know the Chinese invented ice cream!? I did not and if knew earlier I could have told my parents I was just honoring our ancestors each time I wanted an extra scoop when I was younger.
We arrived at the “museum” at our specified time and were ready to live out our days as kids. The experience lasts about an hour and they stagger the different groups so hopefully a huge bottleneck doesn’t form during your visit. This location used to be an old bank. So of course they now use the vault to store the most precious commodity on earth, ice cream (not really). Speaking of precious commodities, if ice cream were a cryptocurrency it should be called “icreamium.” I digress…
My brother’s and I had hundreds of these green army men when we were kids. Nowadays little kids carry around ipads. Times have changed, but damn those green army men brought a lot of joy to me back in the day.
To break up the visit and to keep you occupied while you wait for the next group to finish up they have a quick carnival game in the form of ring toss with whipped cream cans. If you win you get a prize ticket which gives you an extra scoop of ice cream at the end of the exhibit. We did not win. 🙁
The first tasting room they transformed into “Marye’s Diner.” It had the bar type style layout and featured a Peach Bellini ice cream from Cream. This was okay. I’ve seen other visitors get Salt and Straw and Bi-rite Creamery flavors that looked much more appetizing to me.
They had an old juke box to play oldies with fun records on the wall playing off the ice cream theme.
Another interactive area was this room where you can play around with magnet letters. We totally had these when we were growing up too!
After you finish spelling there’s more ice cream to sample! This time in the form of ice cream mochi. The flavors were cookies and cream, chocolate, and strawberry. We had the cookies and cream and chocolate. These flavors were more along the line of what we would normally eat and we enjoyed taking these down. They were soo cold and we didn’t really know how much more there was left to see so we narrowly avoided brain freeze state. They sort of make you stay in the room before you can move on because they don’t want certain rooms all messy with your ice cream. It probably makes it a lot easier to clean a few rooms versus all of them. Nobody likes sticky floors.
The very next room they served us cotton candy. I know cotton candy has flavors sometimes, but the only flavor I taste whenever I eat cotton candy is
cavity sugar. And as bad as cavities are, glitter is worse in my book. And these suckers were covered all over with glitter! Pet peeve #1 revealed on the blog.
As if you weren’t in the clouds already, the next room made sure you reached them. I’ve never seen a cherry in the sky before, but imagine if cherries came raining down on you instead of water. I wouldn’t know if I should open my mouth or duck for cover!
Cool art if you want to call it that pops up around each corner during your maze like adventure.
Ice cream truck vendors would love this wallpaper. Heck, I love this wallpaper. Okay, everybody who loves ice cream would love this wallpaper. “I call ice cream sandwich…no wait, I call push pop! Dang, I call rocket pop!” Indecision at its best.
I’m not sure what unicorn milk ice cream is but whatever it is, I gladly accepted it into my belly. Vanilla+strawberry+white chocolate maybe? Why must you be so small?
Last but certainly not least is the sprinkles pool. And before you think you can eat your way around while you get lost in the rainbow abyss, they aren’t real. Resist the urge and do not eat the plastic impostors. Still, the sprinkle pool is a huge reason why people want to come see the MOIC. Personally, I think it was too busy to really get down and cannonball the heck out of it. Too many little kids and big kids alike. If you don’t care about injuring others or causing yourself bodily harm I’m sure you’ll do fine. But for us, we’d rather have some random jump and run into our arms rather than have us do that to someone else. ;p
Was it worth it? That really depends on the person and what they want to get out of it. To be honest, I didn’t really do much research beforehand and just kind of went with the flow. I came to have a good time with little expectations. Because of that, I think I enjoyed myself and ultimately was glad we had a chance to experience it all. Did it have the best rides or games? No. Was it the most amazing ice cream we ever tasted? No. Did we see anything groundbreaking or earth shattering? No. Did we have fun? Yes!
If Instagram or posing is your thing, there are more than enough opportunities for that here. But if you are expecting the place to be empty, with no crowds, and the best tasting ice cream, you probably should pass. We still act like kids and this is a great place to relive your childhood days without judgement. Pop ups are huge right now and we can only hope more people come up with more creative ways to have fun!
How about you? Have you gone to the Museum of Ice Cream? Are there any other fun places or pop up experiences that you would recommend to check out?
The Museum of Ice Cream
1 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94108