My trip to the MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM (LOS ANGELES)
Who doesn’t LOVE ice cream?
A museum dedicated to ice cream is the stuff of childhood dreams. So when I heard that the MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM was coming to Los Angeles, I screamed and bought myself a pint of ice cream to celebrate.
My girlfriends and I had planned this outing for weeks. To be honest, I was a little bit skeptical about the museum and whether it would meet all of my ice cream expectations.
We took a Lyft to the museum and got dropped off in front of a magical pink building during an unusually cloudy day in Los Angeles. We followed a trail of fake sprinkles on the sidewalk and then walked over to a mysterious back alley. We checked in with a museum ambassador decked in all pink attire. He gave us an overview of what we were about to see/eat/experience for the day, and told us to yell out our favorite ice cream flavor and take as many “Instagram pictures” as we possibly could. (I have way too many ice cream favorites, so I was totally stressing at this point. Virgo issues, you know what I mean)?
I let myself ride the sugar rush wave and pretty much forgot about everything else that was going on in the adult world. At least, for an hour or so. Emails, pitch rejection letters, disappointing dating app matches, and everything else could wait in the name of ice cream.
Inside the magical pink building, you’ll find every possible kind of confection and sugary treat you could think of: Gummy bears, mint chocolate mochi ice cream (THE BEST), Dove ice cream, McConnell’s, and activated charcoal cookie dough (which technically doesn’t count as ice cream).
There was definitely a good assortment of samples you could pick up along the way, but I was too distracted and worried my allergies would creep up on me so I avoided some of the samples and lived vicariously through my friends, Traci and Kristen.
You could definitely say the museum had some major Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory vibes. Every room had its own personality: sugar cone walls, hot pink signs and funky fruit wallpapers, rainbows, and a glass display of knee high boots with a scoop of ice cream on top. (Think “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” where an invention goes haywire and starts shooting pancakes and ice cream and junk food. That about sums it up).
The exhibit itself was cool, but I kind of wish there could have been some sort of ice cream explainer or in-depth audio conversation to go along with all of the stunning art pieces. Is it weird that I love reading everything on walls? (As a kid I read and re-read the back of cereal boxes, billboards, and pretty much anything). I would have been interested in detailed explanations on how to make homemade ice cream or maybe even something along the lines of the history of ice cream.
A majority of people were obviously there for the Instagram photos, and the ice cream, too. But more so for the photographs. Because when’s the next time you can monkey around or sit on a Neopolitan ice cream swing and unleash your inner child? (Btw, I had no idea that the banana room had scratch-n-sniff powers. Thanks, KPCC).
I can see why this museum is a popular destination for foodies, bloggers, and Instagram influencers. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone renewed or exchanged their wedding vows in here, too. It’s a beautiful venue for those who would love to pay tribute to ice cream.
While there has been much hype surrounding this museum, I’ve also heard plenty of “mehs” about the whole experience.
Some of my friends were quite disappointed about the museum: “The one in New York was much better,” said one friend.
“I wanted more ice cream samples,” said another friend who wishes to remain anonymous.
“30 dollars for ice cream —so worth it,” says another.
Krs10vray on Instagram writes, “Everyone keeps asking if the museum is worth $30 and honestly I’m the wrong person to ask cuz these two could convince me to pay to watch paint dry. Heck, we’d probably take a picture with the wall after it’s done drying lol.” (THIS IS V TRUE BY THE WAY).
Overall, there were some visually stunning rooms that did an excellent job honoring ice cream. There was one room in particular that payed tribute to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but in a different kind of way. The entire room was dedicated to “ice cream” stars like “The Fresh Pint of Bel-Air” set against a backdrop of palm trees carefully crafted out of fake sugar cones.
Then there was the famous banana room. If you haven’t seen this picture yet, you must live on another planet because every time I scroll through my Instagram feed, I’m bound to see another banana room selfie. This room was underwhelming, because I’ve already lived through it on Instagram, tbh. I’m actually allergic to REAL bananas, so I was eternally grateful there were no actual bananas in the room otherwise one of my friends would have had to use an Epi-pen on me.
I think Fred Garbutt would be very fond of this exhibit (When I worked for SoCal Connected, I had the honor of putting together this post on The International Banana Museum. It’s one of my favorite videos that captures the unique story of a museum near the Salton Sea that features 20,000 “banana-themed” items). Collab, soon??
There was also the pink vintage telephone room, another excellent photo op. I had the sudden urge to check if this was secretly disguised as a candy dispenser.
The last room served up some “ice cream pancakes” for breakfast. The vanilla bean ice cream flavor was AMAZING, but the pancake fell flat in my opinion. I was hoping there could have been a maple syrup dispenser nearby because the pancake was too fluffy and dry for my tastes.
I’d have to say my favorite room was the “Mint Life” room. An assortment of fresh mint leaves were carefully nestled under the bright lights. We tried a sample of mint chocolate mochi ice cream, which was to die for. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t say no to mochi. That’s my major weakness. Send me a box of mochi ice cream, please. And not the one from TJ’s, please.
As soon as I walked into the Gummy Bear room, Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” suddenly came to mind. This was such an adorable room. I mean, I felt guilty eating gummy bears in the presence of full life-sized gummy bears. It was like they were still watching us as we took another bite of gelatin.
The last time I had gummy bears was when I watched an episode of “Gilmore Girls” with my best friend. We thought I’d be a good distraction to drown out the noise of a nearby after party. We definitely had a sugar rush, and I can’t remember whether we ended the episode with Lorelai getting into a huge argument with Luke, or if it was some other episode.
And then there was the popsicle room, which reminded me of melted Crayola, but in popsicle form. The room evoked feelings of anger and sadness more than anything. I thought about all of the idiots I dated and how much I wished I could have thrown a popsicle stick at them instead of dating their cheap asses.
And then I tried activated charcoal ice cream — an experience I will never forget.
“It’s not going to be cold like ice cream,” one of the museum ambassadors warned me. I was curious anyway, so I took a bite from the warm dough, loved it, and then went back to hating it. I’ll stick to using activated charcoal for my face, thank you (activated charcoal removes blackheads, and other impurities from your skin).
WATCH me butcher the words “cookie dough.” https://twitter.com/monicaluhar/status/862841063282573314
WATCH me try “activated charcoal cookie dough”: https://twitter.com/monicaluhar/status/862841873727053824
Since I really didn’t like the taste of charcoal cookie dough, I channeled my inner Lucy and decided to play with my food instead. I honestly didn’t know what to do about the horrible taste of charcoal, so this seemed like the next thing to do.
During the entire visit, I couldn’t stop thinking about the sprinkle pool everyone had been raving about. Honestly there weren’t that many rooms to see, so the entire trip took at most, an hour. If you hate long Disneyland-ish lines, then I think you’d enjoy your visit to the MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM. The lines were not bad at all (we went around 5 p.m.) on a weekday though.
I’m sure by now you’re probably dying to find out whether the sprinkle pool was hygienic/worth the hype. Here are some pictures, although I feel like you need to experience and judge for yourself:
I’ve heard so many questions about this sprinkle pool: “Is it sanitary?” “Do they clean it every day?” “Are those real sprinkles???” Let me assure you that the sprinkles in the pool are NOT edible. There’s a time limit in the pool, so make sure you pre-plan and get all the Boomerangs out of the way so you can enjoy the sprinkle pool. When we dove into the pool (4 feet of sprinkles), I definitely had to hold on to my girlfriends because the sprinkles were extra slippery.
Even though I wore several layers and thought I was prepared for what I was about to experience, I couldn’t quite seem to get rid of the sprinkles. I came home, emptied my pockets only to find more sprinkles. I also found a few more sprinkles in my socks. Love memento, I guess.
Luckily none of us drowned in the sprinkle pool. I originally placed bets that one of us was going to lose our phones. It happened for but a split second when my friend Traci’s hands became slippery and she lost all control of her phone. Luckily the phone didn’t travel too far because she was able to pick it up, unscathed. Not sure if she was able to remove all the sprinkles from her case yet.
Worth the hype and $30? I think so. Be prepared to find sprinkles in your room for days. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.