In November, when I went to my aunt’s wedding, I also arranged tickets to visit the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco. I missed my chance on the original in New York City. By the time I had heard about it, it was over. Then this year they opened one in Los Angeles. Yet again, I missed my chance because it had sold out by the time the news reached my ears. Fortunately I had an epiphany and I signed up for the newsletter. This enabled me to know when new tickets were being sold AND where the next museum would pop up. So the next time, I would be ready…
I received an email about a month before they would be selling tickets to the new installation in San Francisco. I started making plans immediately. I set an alarm on my phone for the day and time I would need to order the tickets. Now this might seem a bit much, but in between the time the LA museum had sold out and then, they had sporadically been releasing tickets for the LA space and they were selling like hotcakes. Within minutes, it would be sold out. It was a nightmare. On top of that I had no reason to be in LA, so I stopped trying to get those tickets.
Back to SF. So on the day I was to attempt to get the tickets for SF, I happened to be visiting the Magic Gardens in Philly. Very random. Anyway, my phone alert rang, I got flustered but I got the tickets. It was not an easy task, as American Express Platinum users were supposed to get first dibs, but something was wrong with my little code. In the end, I made it happen.
Cutting to the chase, we arrived at the Museum of Ice Cream SF. The outside was an impressive looking brick building, apparently it used to be a bank. We waited on a short line, as the tickets were timed. After we checked in, we were greeted by a very enthusiastic cast member. He gave us an introductory speech about what we were about to experience and the do’s and dont’s. “Do taste the ice cream, do take photos, DON’T touch the giant cherries.” We were then instructed to pick a team name; mine was voted best, The Chroma Chameleons, and we were off.
We walked down a flight of stairs with tons of ice cream facts. After rounding a corner, we were met by another cast member. He explained to us that this space used to be a bank and that the museum creators nodded to that with the huge vault door in front of us. He also gave us a little pep talk about how to enjoy the museum and sent us on our way.
The next room was a carnie ring toss area. The walls were filled with hard candy, balloons, and glitter. The floor was made of pink raffle tickets. The cast member in this room, gave you three rings to toss and try to ring three whipped cream cans, if you got all three, you got a ticket, which gave you a surprise at the end of the museum. Jules was the only one in our group that got a ticket.
We moved on into a small hallway that had peekaboo question and answer flaps on the wall. That led us to the ice cream bar, Scooping, serving It’s-It. Every month they serve different kinds of ice cream. It’s-It was a strawberry ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate. This room had a jukebox with records on the walls. The records were puns of artist and songs; Scoop Dogg, The Rolling Cones, Britney Pears, etc.
The next space was entitled Make a Statement, What do you Scream for? It was a magnetic room, that was covered in letter refrigerator magnets. People were about to create any statement they’d like, or just spell out your name. In this room we were given a choice of several flavors of mochi.
Onward to a small alcove, where we were given fresh spun cherry flavored cotton candy. This preempted our visit to the cherry room. One of my favorite spaces. Cherries hanging from the ceiling with cotton candy clouds, cherry wallpaper, and a set of enormous cherries sitting on a platform.
After walking through the cherry room, you found yourself in a room that your brain thought must have been made by Willy Wonka. Now I know that everything before this kind of alludes to that, but this room really took it there: the color scheme, the giant gummy bears, the rolling hills, and the moving pinwheels. They really took you into a crazy candy world unlike any previous room. The floor had glitter in it, I was in heaven.
After marveling long enough in the gunny bear room, you walked through a room walled with giant push pops, and striped wallpaper that was covered with various kinds of ice cream truck treats.
Then you went into another small hallway filled with light that seemed to be a filtered through a prism. It created a rainbow light effect, which was a foreshadowing of what was to come next.
The rainbow room. As a nod to the LGBTQ community in San Fransisco, the creators of this museum, included this incredible room, also one of my favorites. Besides loving the rainbow color scheme, there was a rideable unicorn! I love unicorns. In this room, they also gave you a tiny cone with “unicorn milk” ice cream i.e. vanilla.
If you looked carefully you would see a small door, once you crawled inside you found yourself in a tiny, mirrored room, great for obnoxious photos.
After leaving behind the glitzy mirrors, you were confronted with a rock climbing wall. One could chose to climb around or not; I chose not. After climbing (or walking) around a corner, you entered into a rock candy cavern. I loved this idea. Here we received candy cane flavored pop rocks. I did not partake.
At this point I had to yell at a small child whose parent was not attending them. They kept getting in my photos. I didn’t really yell at them, I asked his mother to remove them and reminded her this was a one way museum and to keep him going in the direction away from me.
This is the time in the visit where you could stop for a bathroom break before continuing on upstairs…to the SPRINKLE POOL. You waited behind a velvet rope until it was your group’s turn. In front of you was a sprinkle fountain to keep you occupied.
When it was your turn, a cast member gave a spiel with rules and regulations, but no one was listening. We all wanted to get into the sprinkles. After removing our shoes we were allowed about 3 minutes. It was short and crowded, but worth it. If you thought you were getting in with just your friends/family, think again. After hopping out we airbrushed ourselves to try to not leave with sprinkles. Apparently people in SF had been complaining, because the tiny plastic sprinkles were being found all over the city. In fact, when I got home to the East Coast, I found them in my clothes and bag.
After trying to get rid of all the sprinkles, we enjoyed the swings. There were three cubical rooms,with different themes. One was yellow with pink bananas overhead, one was just pink with two swings, and the third had whipped cream cans all over the walls.
Denali realized one of the cast members was a friend from school so they chatted on the swings.
The last area was the gift shop. There was also a ping pong table that Jules and Denali partook in. At the ice cream counter, they were selling more ice cream. By this time, we were ice creamed out. But Jules had won a prize earlier, and that price was free ice cream. There were two flavors but he chose the animal cracker one, we all had a taste, it was pretty delish. And thus ended our visit to the San Francisco Museum of Ice Cream. Overall, I had a wonderful experience and would recommend it to any and everyone.
On a side note: they added more installations later, an animal cookie carousel and a mint room. I would have liked to experience both and am kind of bummed that we didn’t get that chance, but oh well.