One of the most exciting recent pop-up additions to LA is the Museum of Ice Cream at 2018 E 7th Place. This exhibit is one best described as a true cross section of the traveling Barbie exhibit and LA’s downtown Broad Museum. It’s an eclectic series of presentations involving ice cream and fun art with lots of great treats to get on the way. This exhibit is perfect for preteens, teens, millennials, and the kid in everyone.
The Story Behind It
The insanely popular art installation/big kid playground/shrine to frozen dairy opened in New York last summer and sold 30,000 tickets in five days. Twenty-four-year-old creative strategist Maryellis Bunn created the exhibit with thirty-six-year-old Manish Vora, a former investment banker.
The first Ice Cream Museum opened in New York last summer. It sold-out its month-long 30,000-ticket run in five days with a waiting list of more than 200,000 people.
The New York version included things like an ice cream cone room, an ice cream sandwich swing, a chocolate room with a chocolate fountain and the main attraction, a swimming pool full of colorful rainbow plastic sprinkles.
The History in New York City
The museum’s main draw involved channeling childlike wonder in a pool filled with rainbow sprinkles, which aren’t actual edible toppings and instead are “tiny bits of hard plastic that embed themselves between your toes for hours after the experience is over,” according to The New York Times.
In addition to the sprinkle pool, attendees could delight in other youthful escapisms like sucking helium out of a sugar balloon. Other attractions included a chocolate-themed room, a gift shop with an ice-cream scoop see-saw, and a taste experiment by biomedical engineer Irwin Adam Eydelnant, which exhibited a “miracle berry” candy that made guests taste a lemon slice placed on top of a dollop of soft-serve vanilla ice cream as sweet.
What You Will See
The experience starts as soon as guests park. Visitors get to follow ice cream cones painted on the pavement all the way to the front door. As visitors enter, they can see to the side a small outdoor playground with fake grass, hula hoops, and ice cream shaped beanbags.
Upon entering, each guest gets a piece of Dove chocolate in their choice of milk and dark. Then they enter a pink room filled with old fashion rotary telephones on the walls, which gives everyone a taste of what they’re about to experience.
As guests walk through each door, they are greeted by one of several enthusiastic “ambassadors.” These representatives will happily explain each of the presentations to visitors.
The first room is done in a Hollywood style, including a walk of fame with pun-filled ice cream celebrity names like Brad Pistachio and a pink palm tree. Here, visitors get their first serving of delicious cold caramel ice cream, one of the many rotating scoop flavors highlighting local ice cream shops. They can also take a selfie next to the large ice cream Hollywood poster.
After the Hollywood room, visitors first walk through a small purple hall with painted bananas. They then walk into a banana split themed room filled with 10,000 pink and yellow bananas, literally “split” down the middle of a pink and yellow room. Best of all, kids can enjoy two fun swings in this room.
The third room is a blue “grow house” all about chocolate mint, filled with lovely mint plants. This place could make just about anyone consider taking up gardening as a hobby – they grow these plants in chocolate infused soil which smells delightful.
The next room is an avant-garde sherbert themed room. This room features a claw machine that people can press for free to receive cotton candy or an iPhone cover. Not to be missed is the white wall that depicts ice cream sundaes, with whipped cream, sugar, and high heel shoes that Lady Gaga would love.
My favorite room of all was the next one, the popsicle room. This white walled room is filled with giant popsicles stuck in and dripping down the walls. Visitors will also notice the giant blue popsicle on the floor that simulates the melting process on top.
Next is the gummy bear room. In this fun room with unusual colors and giant gummy bear statues, visitors can enjoy sampling real gummy bears. The room also features a gummy bear neon lamp that kids can control with buttons.
Chaotic Ice Cream
Next is the crowd pleaser, the exhibit that was a huge success in last year’s New York exhibit. The Sprinkles Swimming Pool is a pink room that simulates a swimming pool, with lockers included, that patrons can walk through. The “pool” is at least one foot deep in plastic sprinkles, so visitors can almost sink in when walking. This area is a great place to take a picture and relax.
Ice Cream for Breakfast
Last but not least is the breakfast parlor that serves “ice cream for breakfast,” which includes two blueberry pancakes with ice cream in between. This room also boasts a small playroom with a ping pong table and the coolest ice cream sandwich swing in Neopolitan colors.
Those who wish to purchase souvenirs can do so in their mini store which has keychains, cards, candies, and much-needed water bottles to wash down the sugar experience. We especially liked the pins and the small ice cream statues, though we did find the $65 price tag a bit much.
Hours and Admission
The museum runs daily from eleven AM to ten PM except for Tuesdays, when they are closed. Tickets cost $29 for visitors aged thirteen and up and $18 for children aged three to twelve. Children younger than three get in for free and don’t require a ticket. Visitors need to purchase all tickets in advance, and they are non-transferable. There is available street parking, though we recommend using the $6 valet parking.
Autism Travel Tips:
- Kids and parents need to take their shoes off for the swimming pool. Parents should prepare their kids for this fact. They should also make sure everyone wears socks that day.
- Parents should make sure their kid understands the sprinkles are not edible.
- Parents need to tell their kids they can’t hoard the swings or other equipment.
- As this exhibit is hugely popular, families might experience long lines or other waits.