The Museum of Ice Cream reminds guests that ice cream is delicious. With gigantic gummy bears, scratch-and-sniff banana walls and the Instagram-famous sprinkle pool nestled inside a bubblegum pink warehouse, the museum looks like something out of a child’s sugar-induced dream. March 28, Designer Maryellis Bunn announced that she would bring her wildly successful immersive pop-up art installation from New York City to the Los Angeles arts district. Tickets to the popular museum sold out faster than it would take ice cream to melt. The museum originally planned to run from April 22 to May 29, but extended its stay until July.
The mission statement defines the museum as a place where ideas are transformed into real life experiences and sprinkles make the world a better place. They hope to bring people together and provoke the imagination through the 10 different sweet-treat themed exhibits.
Each ticket came with two ice cream samples from local creameries. Upon entering the museum, visitors were greeted by a chipper employee wearing pastel-pink shirt and jeans, who then opened the doors into an even pinker room filled with pink rotary phones. In keeping with the spirit of the event, many of the guests color-coordinated their outfits with the exhibit and sported a similar shade of pink. On the other end of the line, the Ice Cream Fairy, who sounded suspiciously like actor Seth Rogen, implored me to begin my ice cream journey.
Pink Hollywood stars decals on the floor, pastel palm trees and ombre walls fit right in the room accurately called “The California Room.” I hope to one day meet these ice cream celebrities such as “Kim Carbdashian,” Dwayne “The Rocky Road” Johnson and my favorite, “Scoop Dogg.” There they served the flavor of the day, Earl Grey and Biscuit Ice Cream from McConnell’s in Santa Barbara.
Another employee boasted that the museum grew the only chocolate chip mint plant here in the mint room. Mint plants grew out of chocolate scented soil, something only Willy Wonka could dream up. He had me whisper words of “encourage-mint” in exchange for a mint chocolate chip mochi. In the three-minute conversation I had with him, he used a total of five mint-related puns.
Each subsequent gallery was another explosion of colors and delectable smells. Soon, I found myself surrounded with enormous plexiglass melting popsicles by the artist Baker’s Son. Next, giant pastel gummy bear statues stood in a neon-lit room.
Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much pink and too much happiness. After passing through the gummy bear room, I headed into an installation by artist Abel Bentin. Bentin’s piece featured black ice cream cones that were smushed on a stark white wall — another ice cream cone was smushed on a Greek bust that lay on its side. A few cones were playfully smeared in the shape of a smiley face. Another friendly employee handed me a scoop of charcoal-infused cookie dough in a cone and told me that the piece is a take on chaos and the corruption of something innocent. He said that after the excitement of the giant gummy bears, humungous popsicles and jungle of dangling pink bananas, guests need to take a break before the final exhibit, the sprinkle pool.
Jumping into the sprinkle pool was a perfect ending to a day spent at the Museum of Ice Cream. The pool was filled with 95 million anti-microbial plastic rainbow sprinkles according to another energetic and enthusiastic employee. She was so vibrant that one museum-goer offered her a job as a babysitter on the spot. After rolling around and swimming in sprinkles for about two minutes, my time was up and my face hurt from smiling. I wasn’t a 19 year old with academic responsibilities, I was a kid again and that was well worth the $29 admission.