You go to some museums to learn about history, to appreciate art, or even to study scientific artifacts. But when you go to the Museum of Ice Cream in New York City, you’re there simply to be a kid again — and eat a lot of ice cream, too. And that’s just what you’ll do at this New York City hotspot that has tons of treats, sensory experiences…and NYC’s most delicious (and highest) indoor slide.
Located in the heart of SoHo, the Museum of Ice Cream (lovingly referred to as MOIC) is a delight for all the senses. It’s a 3-story playground full of surprises — and ice cream — at every twist and turn. After purchasing your timed ticket, you’ll be ushered into the Museum of Ice Cream and immediately see the slide. But there’s time for that, as you’ll first enter a psychedelic hallway with other ticket holders whom you’ll get to know as you wait to officially enter the museum. And if you’re starting to feel a little trippy, it’s not your imagination — or your brain on overdrive in anticipation of ice cream. The room has a Willy Wonka/Alice in Wonderland effect that makes the room seem like it’s shapeshifting before your very eyes.
When you visit the Museum of Ice Cream, you’re there for one purpose, and one purpose only: to eat as much ice cream as you can handle. Thankfully, MOIC delivers almost instantly, because once you exit the hallway, you’ll pass through an interactive area that asks you what your ice cream name would be. To give you some inspo, you’ll see plaques on the wall that have some celebrity ice cream names, like Alexander McCream, Demi Gelato, or Mintdonna, for example. But ice cream is in the air, and you’ll get to sample some at your first ice cream stop (FYI: treats are included in your ticket price). You’ll get a pretty in pink ice cream soft serve cone, and it’s just enough of the sweet stuff to get you excited for what’s to come. There’s even a stage with cool curtains that’s begging for what will be your first of many selfies.
Because let’s face it, the Museum of Ice Cream doesn’t have a bad angle or hair day. In every single room, and on every single level, there’s a gorgeous place to take a selfie — or 10.
By now, your kids have had enough ice cream to get them going to the next stop. You’ll “melt this way” up a pink ombre staircase to a really cool room that’s dedicated to desserts. But don’t try to take a bite out of them; unlike almost everything else that is edible in MOIC, this actually isn’t.
Once you’ve passed through the room, you’ll find yourself in one of the coolest locations in MOIC — a room full of doors. Each door leads to something fun and funky. Some doors have doors within doors within doors. And one door will lead to a mirrored room that’s sure to make you want to “celebrate”.
Now, taking the trains isn’t a big deal if you’re a New York native, but even the A or E train doesn’t compare to the one at the Museum of Ice Cream. It goes warp speed (not really) and looks just like a real NYC train – except that there are seats. MOIC signage is everywhere, so it’s literally impossible to not take a sensational selfie on this train.
Things can get quirky and curious at the Museum of Ice Cream. Case in point: there’s a room with oodles of pink and yellow bananas hanging from the ceiling. It looks more like an art installation from a hip gallery, which might be a wink and a nod to SoHo, which is known for its awesome art galleries. And while it’s tempting to touch the bananas, (womp womp), you’ll have to keep little hands away, since this is a no-touch zone.
But no matter, because there are more things to see around every bend…or in the case of the sprinkle cave, things to climb into. In a blink-and-you-might-miss-it, the sprinkle cave is located immediately after the hanging fruit. Be careful you don’t bang your head whilst entering or exiting, but once you’re inside, stay a few minutes and marvel at all the amazing sprinkles surrounding you from every angle. Run your fingers over them for the coolest sensory experience ever, and marvel at the fact that you’re in a sprinkle cave.
The Museum of Ice Cream is certainly inspiring, if not for your taste buds, for your mind, too. There are areas everywhere that allow for not just interaction, but positive thinking and good vibes only.
Now, it might be a minute since you’ve had some ice cream. Have no fear, because you’ll find another ice cream stand just waiting for you. You’ll love the fact that at the Museum of Ice Cream, you’ll never find the same four flavors repeated. You can take a rest in the quasi-cafeteria with your ice cream, or stare at the huge ice cream scooper and ice cream suspended from the wall. After a few minutes, you might notice an arched hallway with lights and wonder what’s over there. When you wander over, you’ll be delighted to find the opening for the 30-foot slide at the Museum of Ice Cream. The slide does have a height requirement, so smaller kiddos might not be able to slide down. And for those who don’t like the idea of sliding down three stories, you also have the option of taking the elevator as well. Much like everything else at MOIC, the slide is super fun!
At the bottom of the slide, you’ll land in a very pink room that looks like a NYC nightclub. Ice cream and sorbet is also available in this moody space. But it’ll feel like you’re going from night to day when you enter a room that’s entirely yellow. (And for those counting, this is where the fourth free ice cream station is.) Once you get your treat, you’ll be drawn to the insanely awesome chairs that look like they have wings. Be prepared to wait in line to snap a selfie in this room, but once you do, it’ll be worth it.
By now, you and your crew have had quite a bit of ice cream. So if you notice that your kids are bouncing off the walls, you’ll love the next room, which is a pure play space for kids — and of course, it’s ice cream-themed. Full of monkey bars and swings, your child can even throw a ball into the ice cream cone basket. Your kids will have a blast burning off some energy — and you might be happy to get a small break.
Finally, a long hallway leads you to what you’ve been waiting for: the sprinkle pool. And it’s absolutely everything you would want it to be. Once you put your shoes in the supplied lockers, your kids can plunge into the kiddie sprinkle pool, while parents can lounge in the smaller adults-only pool. Kids can slide into the pool via two slides, take a dive off the diving board, or climb down via a ladder. There are almost one hundred million sprinkles made from antimicrobial biodegradable material in the pools. And if you’re concerned about everyone “swimming” in the same pool, MOIC sanitizes the sprinkles with their own antibacterial sprinkle shower. And as delish as they look, the sprinkles, sadly, are not edible.
As you exit the sprinkle pool, you’ll find yourself back in the MOIC lobby. You can scream for some ice cream in the form of milkshakes (think animal cookie with cotton candy ice cream and animal cookies) or the Sprinkle Pool Sundae (which comes with three scoops of ice cream with strawberry, chocolate, and caramel sauce, and is topped with fluffy whipped cream, MOIC sprinkle pool sprinkles and a pink cherry.) You might even grab a cute candle or other merch that is sprinkled with fun.
After a couple of hours, you’ll have experienced the yumminess of the museum and be ready to head home. As you hit the NYC streets yet again, you’ll remember the delicious day you had at the Museum of Ice Cream, which is truly a treat for everyone in the family.