Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Big Scoop on New York City’s Museum of Ice Cream

ExperiencesThemed ExperiencesThe Big Scoop on New York City's Museum of Ice Cream

by Spencer Bollettieri, freelance writer for Theme Park Magazine

When thinking about Manhattan’s many museums, images of towering dinosaur skeletons or perhaps regal mummies behind glass might come to mind. The Museum of Ice Cream is another experience entirely. While you might not expect it from the museum’s sleek white and pink exterior, inside the building is a quirky culinary playground. Full of offbeat art pieces, interactive exhibits, and a varied palette of frozen treats to sample, the gallery is a distinct attraction among the many colorful buildings of NYC.

Museum of Ice Cream Locations

Located at 558 Broadway in Manhattan’s SoHo district, the Museum of Ice Cream is just one of several locations. Three sister museums are located in Austin, Chicago, and Singapore. Founded by Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora, they wished to challenge the concept of what a museum could be. Hosting multi-sensory attractions, playgrounds for guests of all ages, and unique aesthetics, the Museum of Ice Cream began as a new wave of pop-ups called “experiums.” Encouraging exploration, play, and social media photography, it’s an idea as experimental as the art housed within the museums’ walls.

Museum of Ice Cream Experience

Before embarking on their sweet escape from New York, guests begin by filling out a sticker displaying their “ice cream name.” Given a marker and directed towards a wall of monikers, some of the name examples include “Ben and Jerry Seinfeld,” “Melon DeGeneres,” and “Sorbet-yonce.” Embracing campy puns, whimsy, and a sense of humor, the museum gives a taste of what to expect on a mostly self-guided tour of the multi-leveled building.

Although the Museum of Ice Cream gives facts, figures, and fun trivia about its namesake, the experience is more of an interactive ice cream parlor and playground. Different themed rooms offer different experiences. For example, guests can board a pink subway car for an imaginary journey across an enchanted New York, be enticed by the tropical scent of swinging bananas, or share their thoughts in a room of magnetic letters.

But no trip would be complete without a visit to their star attractions: A three-story slide into a cave of melting ice cream, a playground for the young and young at heart, and their giant pool of sprinkles where visitors are encouraged to take a dip. For those with a sweet tooth and an appetite for the delightfully quirky, the attractions will make the experience memorable.

However, it’s the museum’s ice cream that steals the show. With the price of a ticket, guests can sample as many frozen treats as they want, allowing them to take seconds, thirds, or even fourths without shame. At a mock cosmopolitan bar, visitors can order pink and white cones. In the celebration room, people are encouraged to enjoy birthdays, anniversaries, and life in general with vegan cherry ice pops around a floating banquet table.

Meanwhile, other rooms offer ice cream flavors like cookies n’ cream and birthday cake with a second-story view of SoHo. For those seeking sorbets and sherberts, the museum won’t disappoint with its pineapple, orange, lemon, and rainbow-flavored concoctions. For a more adult-oriented experience, that comes with a vodka-cranberry, potential visitors can also book a night at the Museum of Ice Cream. Providing all the quality desserts guests can handle, this is what truly defines the multi-sensory immersion that the Museum of Ice Cream prides itself on.

As expected, the final stop before leaving is a gift shop. The Museum of Ice Cream’s merchandise reflects the usual pins, key chains, and shirts. However, they also offer more distinguished items like puzzles, party supplies, and scented candles with fun names like “Go Shawty, It’s Yo Birthday” and “There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Sprinkles.” Although, it’s the gift shop’s ice cream counter that offers their most unique keepsake. For an additional fee, in addition to alcoholic and non-alcoholic milkshakes, customers can order a sundae served in a replica of their iconic sprinkle pool. Regardless of tastes, there are plenty of souvenirs to purchase that reflect the museum’s colorful aesthetics and love of frozen sweets.

Peace, Love, and Sprinkles

For those seeking a unique excursion and all the ice cream they can eat, the Museum of Ice Cream is there to spread “peace, love, and sprinkles.” Although not quite a museum in the traditional sense, it may just help to expand the concept or stand out as something all its own.

If dessert is a passion, art is a joy, and imagination is their guide, guests can book tickets online at The Museum of Ice Cream and check out the sweetest place in SoHo.

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Featured image ©copyright and courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream

About Spencer Bollettieri: As a biologist, journalist, and writer, Spencer Bollettieri has written for sites such as Screen Rant. Although mostly based out of New York, he’s traveled the world in pursuit of new stories.

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