Do you have a sweet tooth with a special hankering for ice cream? You are in luck my friend. The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) has opened it’s pink painted doors and people are going nuts for the ice cream wonderland.
Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream flavor and sit down for a read, or more likely a quick scan – because who has time for reading these days? I’m giving you the scoop on the MOIC with tips on how to roll-through the MOIC with kids in tow plus some photography tips. For a double scoop of MOIC, check out the article I wrote for RedTri.com too.
If you’re living under a rock and have no idea what the Museum of Ice Cream is, it’s an interactive pop-up art installation celebrating all things ice cream. Even the facade of the building is painted to look like it has huge pink sprinkles on it. Housed in the former Emporio Armani / Saving Union Bank you’ll be able to see the original bank vault that hasn’t been opened since the 90s (just the door – not inside the vault).
Tickets for the MOIC are causing major #FOMO (that’s ‘Fear of Missing Out’ for anyone who’s been in a coma for the past decade). Tickets have told out in within 18 minutes and they’ve extended their dates once already. If you’re determined to snag tickets, be sure to sign-up for MOIC’s newsletter and follow on Instagram. You’ll get the news from these sources first about ticket extension dates – which I’ll bet a pint of Ben and Jerry’s that they’ll extend again. Tickets are $38 each and kids younger than 3 are free.
Pretty Please with a Cherry on Top
Museum of Ice Cream staggers entrance into the building for extra crowd control. You’ll enter in groups of about ten. So if you can get a group of friends to go this will make it even more fun because you can tell them get out of your way when taking photos. If you’re in a group with the IG obsessed sharpen your elbows – these types seem to snap a lot of retakes, which takes up more time in the areas you may be interested in exploring (I mean, how many retakes can you take of someone sitting on a unicorn – apparently a lot!). The good news is people will wait in lines so everyone gets a turn to take their photo. It’s sorta like waiting in line to take a photo with Santa – but only it’s with gummy bears instead.
Savor Every Bite
Here’s a few rooms you’ll want to be sure to snap photos in. I actually thought every room was worthy of photos, but these were likely my son’s favorite places to play in:
Sprinkle Pool: Kick your shoes off and jump into a pool filled with plastic sprinkles. Backstroke or dip your toes in, you’ll have a limited amount of time in this room before a staff member counts down and kicks you out so snap away and don’t be shy.
Pink Ice Cream Counter: A vintage looking ice cream counter in all pink. Sit down and enjoy your scoop of Bi-Rite ice cream before setting off to see the rest of the pop-up.
Banana Swing Rooms: At the very end of the exhibit, near the gift shop, are three themed rooms with swings. A banana room, a whipped cream room and a pink painted room. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime swinging opportunity for your kids. So let them at it!
Unicorn Stables: Accessed through miniature doors, this room is floor to ceiling mirrors. Bust a move for your iphone video and be transported back to the music videos of the 80s and 90s. Need inspiration? Check out my 3 year old son jiggin at the end of this blog post or click here.
– Parking: The MOIC is in downtown San Francisco, so plan on taking public transit. There is the Ellis-O’Farrell garage two blocks away or the Union Square garage that is about four blocks away. Strollers aren’t permitted but there is a place to stow them.
– Bathrooms: This one is a biggie – the restrooms are located at the very end of the exhibit and you’re not allowed to retract to previous rooms. These are the ONLY bathrooms in the building. So for the littles, be sure they go to the bathroom prior to entering MOIC at a nearby coffee shop. Or, you could let your littles pee in the gutter outside – seems like that’s what everyone else in San Francisco is doing these days anyways (just kidding – not kidding).
– Best for kids 3 and older: I want to add that while kids of all ages are welcomed, this pop-up is really best for kids who are 3 and older. Since you’re unable to go back to a previous room – and what 2 year old isn’t a runner – you may feel you didn’t get the full experience. Also, you’ll be waiting in a few lines, which a 2 year old will not want to do. And lastly, because of the bathroom situation (see tip above).
– White Balance / Color Correction: If you bring your DSLR, set the white balance to auto. If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about don’t worry – your camera is already set to white balance. Even with it set to auto you’ll have to color correct in post – and it’s a b!@#$.
– Selfie Stick: Just buy one already. If you’re anything like me it feels strange and narcissistic. But you’ll get fun photos of you and your child and that’s priceless so just suck it up. Did you see any cute photos of me and my little man? Nope. My point is made.
– Lighting: The creators of MOIC made sure that every room was well lit for photography. I didn’t use a flash but I had to bump up my ISO so my photos are insanely grainy – which is fine since I’m just using them here and for memories for my son. But a flash will help with that.
Museum of Ice Cream
1 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Did you snag tickets to go to the Museum of Ice cream? I’d love to hear what you think and which room was your favorite! Let me know in the comments.