Museum of Ice Cream Miami is a pleasant and light-hearted addition to Miami’s saturated market of museums.
And while many of the city’s facilities explore the arts, sciences and history with an air of seriousness, the smaller Museum of Ice Cream is a defiant escape from Miami’s imposing Goliaths. It’s decidedly more fun than facts, more splashy than reflective.
It’s also a damn good time – but only if you have a camera in hand.
The Miami location, at 3400 Collins Ave. on Miami Beach, is the fourth in the United States. The first opened in New York City in the summer of 2016 and was shortly followed by outposts in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Co-founder and creative director Maryellis Bunn, said she soaked up inspiration from Miami and Miami Beach and added special details, like a key lime pie ice cream flavor, into the museum’s eight different rooms.
“I came and lived here and really understood the culture and the people and wanted to respond to what I would think would be an addition to Miami, and would also embrace the culture and history of Miami,” she said.
Then she added her vibrant design sense to top it off.
At its entrance, Museum of Ice Cream Miami’s aesthetic is immediately clear: Bubblegum pink with a nod to the Magic City’s tropical landscape. The words “Museum of Ice Cream” are spelled out in huge pink letters in all caps. Near the front doors are several pink palm trees.
Visitors are greeted by an “ice cream prophet.” This sweet psychic has all the insight on your personality and dreams. Just pick three cards from her assortment and she’ll deliver your “ice cream reading.”
Most of the rooms in the four-story building at Museum of Ice Cream Miami are delightful. Patrons of the museum might find themselves impressed with the extreme attention to detail and design, if not overpowered by the excessive pink.
Chances are, though, if you go to the Museum of Ice Cream Miami, you know almost fully what to expect: There are more than 100,000 posts using #museumoficecream on Instagram. Some of the biggest celebrity names have shared photos from the popular destination. Now Miami residents can join in on the fun – at least until January. The Museum of Ice Cream Miami opens to the public on Dec. 13, though pricier viewings are available now through the remainder of Miami Art Week.
Quick Museum of Ice Cream notes
- The museum is a one-way route up four floors. Visitors can spend as long as they’d like in each of the eight rooms but cannot go backward. There is an elevator for people with special needs.
- There are treats in most rooms, but patrons must finish or trash them before moving to the next room.
- Tours through the Museum of Ice Cream involve as many as 30 people at one time. Tickets are purchased in 15 minute increments.
- Museum guides are more than happy to snap your photo.
Bunns Shake Room
The first room on the Museum of Ice Cream Miami tour is the Bunns Shake Room. It has a conveyor belt that sends milkshakes to an ice cream bar, an impressive gold glitter floor and retro video game console. Museum guides will drop some knowledge about milkshakes while you check out remixed portraits of celebrities such as Beyonce, Cardi B and Pharrell.
FAN-tastic is an ice cream-themed dance studio with fans fashioned as pink ice cream cones. A museum guide collaborates with visitors to choreograph an ice cream-inspired jig. The Museum of Ice Cream Miami characterizes the experience in this room as a probe into “our relationship with heat, movement and dance.” But really, it’s just an open space great for a silly Boomerang video.
Safari is a blast and probably the best room in the Museum of Ice Cream. Hear about the one treat that rounds out one of ice cream’s most iconic pairings: bananas! Then go crazy on the banana swing, revel in the pink palm trees and discover the secrete Coconut Cave.
In Food Fight, you can taste melted ice cream. The Museum of Ice Cream oversells the room as a “whimsical playground” while challenging visitors to accept liquid ice cream if even for a few minutes. The drink, which is packaged in cartons similar to those for school lunch milk, is making its debut in Miami as a trademark of the Museum of Ice Cream. It tastes like sweetened condensed milk.
The Sand Castle room is very hands-on and accessible, making it most appropriate for toddlers. Play in pink sand to create your own sculpture, reminiscent of childhood visits to the beach.
Sweet Sculpture Studio
Sweet Sculpture Studio is an opportunity to build your own masterpiece. Think the classic Fisher-Price Rock a Stack toy, but life-size and way cuter. Bead colorful blocks of different patterns and shapes onto a pole, then snap a pic of your creation.
In Pop, you can sample some locally inspired ice cream flavors, take in views of the Atlantic Ocean or play a variety of games. Before you finish your Museum of Ice Cream journey, though, you’ll want to pose for a photo in front of a cascading wall of pink, red, blue and yellow popsicles. But don’t worry about a mess – the plastic ornaments won’t melt!
Even fans of the Museum of Ice Cream familiar with the Sprinkle Pool will revel in the final leg of the museum tour. The Sprinkle Pool is outfitted with lockers where visitors can place their shoes and belongings, gold showerheads, pink tile and (of course) a pool full of sprinkles. The pool is about a foot high and filled with 100 million plastic sprinkles. There are some basic rules you’ll need to follow. First, like any pool, there’s no running. There’s also no diving, eating the sprinkles or getting nude (hey, there’s a reason this was made a rule).