Is $35 worth it?
Last Sunday, I visited to the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco with my boyfriend — someone who I knew would be willing to take picture after picture of me without getting annoyed. This is important if you’re planning a trip to the museum with someone because it’s a popular destination for taking pictures. The tickets for this photographic experience cost $35 each and can only be bought online. I recommend buying tickets well in advance as they sell out quickly, especially on weekends. The tickets are non-refundable and are available in strict thirty-minute time slots. If you’re late, the ticket is no longer valid.
Parking also isn’t included; you will need to find a parking structure nearby, which won’t be cheap. The museum is located at 1 Grant Avenue and occupies a space that used to be a bank. If you look closely enough when inside the museum, you can see the infrastructure of the prior bank. The basement floors and playful safe make the history of the museum come alive.
This is not a classic museum with traditional artwork that evokes thought and discussion. Rather, the Museum of Ice Cream is an interactive museum, and what makes this museum stand out is the ice cream. In every other room, guests are given a small ice cream treat. The first room is the Instagram-famous Sprinkle Pool. While standing in line for the Sprinkle Pool, I questioned whether I made the right choice on where to spend our time and money. But as we walked into the pool, I quickly changed my mind. Although childish, the sprinkles were fun to throw around and made for a good boomerang on my Instagram story.
It’s worth it to note that the Sprinkle Pool has received backlash due to environmental concerns. The tiny bits of plastic that make up the sprinkles inevitably stick to clothing and make their way onto San Francisco’s streets and into storm drains. The museum has been cited twice. In hopes to settle environmental concerns, the museum hired extra workers to vacuum the sidewalks around the building and are working on creating biodegradable sprinkles, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The next big exhibit was a small space filled with square mirrors. I was still finishing up my mochi from the room before and wondered if it was best to skip this part of the room. The area was stuffy and too small for my claustrophobic self, and it wasn’t necessary to stay inside. After snapping a few quick pictures, we were off to the next exhibit which featured the unicorn statues (also Instagram-famous). I had a bit of trouble getting onto the unicorn, so make sure that the person you’re with is not only good with a camera but is prepared to help you get on and off the props. The picture was worth the climb though. The lighting makes the colorful wall behind the unicorn vibrant and each picture looks as though it were taken with a professional camera.
The most interesting exhibit has crystals on top of a red background cast the image of a rainbow. Following the crystals exhibit were lifesize Mother’s Circus animal cracker statues. This prop was especially hard to mount; I was afraid to jump on top for fear of falling to the other side. The sprinkled statue swayed from side to side easily, but with a little help and by holding on for dear life, I got the picture.
With a few smaller exhibits in between, the next major exhibit was the Gummy Bear Garden. This came with a choice of fruit- or milk-based strawberry ice cream, providing fellow lactose intolerant people a chance to enjoy a sweet treat. This ice cream was from La Michoacana and brought me a little closer to home. With the life-sized gummy bears and lollipops, it is every five-year-old’s dream. This exhibit wasn’t as interactive as the other exhibits, but it was definitely a sight to see. Sitting on the ground made the props look bigger than me in pictures, and they followed the same color pattern as the rest of the museum.
The next room featured two giant cherries perched on top of a small hill. The background of this room was just as expected — cherries. Floating from the ceiling were small, illuminated cotton clouds surrounded by dark cherries. However, this room had a sweet surprise in store: cotton candy. To be expected, it was cherry flavored, matching the room’s design. And it was freshly spun so the warmth was a nice change of pace from all the ice cream we had been eating.
The next treat was a soft serve lemonade ice cream and was my favorite dessert in the entire museum. This ice cream was served in a restaurant-style room called Marye’s Diner and the menus had fun facts about ice cream written on them. The room has a jukebox in the corner and visitors can choose whichever song they like, with the catch that you have to dance to whichever song you chose, according to one of the employees. Fortunately for me, we could not figure out how to work the jukebox.
The last room of the museum had a ping pong table and three swings with colorful backgrounds. Although this could have been my favorite room, it was the my least favorite. It was so crowded, the swings were always in use and the line to hop on seemed unmoving. This, however, was made up by the Museum of Ice Cream’s very own ice cream. I ordered the churro ice cream, and my boyfriend ordered the vanilla. I recommend sticking with the traditional flavor. The churro flavor’s cinnamon was overpowering.
The Museum of Ice Cream was a fun experience, but it’s all about timing. I went on a day where there weren’t many people, so I had the opportunity to take as many pictures as I wanted, except in the last room. In total, we paid $85 for a five-picture post on Instagram. This museum is mainly for the ‘gram.
Written by: Itzelth Gamboa — firstname.lastname@example.org