The Museum of Ice Cream’s first international outpost in Singapore is no rootless imitation of its US original, with locally-inspired exhibits and ice cream creations.
We are submerged waist-deep in a giant pool, bordered by millennial pink walls. Except this is not your typical pool. It is brimming with sprinkles, and fully-vaccinated visitors like us can frolic in multi-coloured plastics shaped like the dessert toppings.
Dubbed the sprinkle pool, the pièce de résistance at the newly-opened Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) Singapore – the first MOIC outpost outside of the US – was inspired by founder, Maryellis Bunn, who dreamt of swimming in an ocean filled with sprinkles.
MOIC started out as a New York pop-up in 2016, marketing itself as “a playground of boundless creativity for the ice-cream obsessed”.
Since then, MOIC has become a cultural phenomenon, creating a new type of experience called “experiums”. It has welcomed more than two million visitors to locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York. As one of the world’s most Instagrammed museums, MOIC has copped more than a little sprinkling of celebrity stardust, with fans like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, David Beckham, Ryan Reynolds, and the Kardashians.
Now, the newest, creamiest attraction to hit our local shores promises to bring some sweet relief to a travel-deprived local crowd.
Bunn said: “Ice cream is a universal symbol of joy that brings happiness to everybody, regardless of age and across all walks of life. Museum of Ice Cream is for the kid in all of us, and in a time when every little dose of positivity is needed, we hope to uplift spirits, and bring people together to make the world a happier place, one ice cream at a time.”
Located at 100 Loewen Road, in the tranquil neighbourhood of Dempsey, MOIC Singapore is 5,574m² of whimsy doused in every shade of pink.
Each room in this ode to the frozen dessert transports visitors to a different space. Scream’s Diner, furnished with retro pink payphones and a vinyl jukebox, is a throwback to the 1920s soda fountain shop that was a landmark of American culture.
Nostalgics will also love the unicorn playground, a striking spin on the iconic dragon playgrounds that dotted Singapore’s public housing estates in the 1970s.
Elsewhere, the Melted Infinity room treats visitors to a Yayoi Kusama-esque mirrored vista of seemingly endless melted ice cream – neon-lit, no less.
Free-flow ice cream is the cherry on top of an MOIC Singapore visit. The frozen dessert served at this establishment come with a local twist, such as pulut hitam potong ice cream, as well as lychee bandung and taro milk tea ice cream sandwiches.
Every nook and cranny of this pinked-out paradise serves up a photo opportunity. Think banana swings, a potong playground, and an arch-shaped banana split-inspired tunnel made up of 10,000 artificial bananas in yellows, pinks and reds.
Upon entry, visitors navigate an interactive experience, from creating a virtual ice cream to stringing together letters on a magnetic alphabet wall. They can also build their own MOIC ice cream truck and a Mercone – an amalgam of a Merlion and an ice cream – standee out of cardboard as unique momentos to take home.
The Mercone also fronts some of the merchandise at the retail shop, from lapel pins to caps, as well as limited-edition activewear, under a partnership with local brand Kydra. MOIC Singapore has also collaborated with other homegrown brands to push out exclusive merchandise such as a pink guava and raspberry flavoured beer with Brewlander, and a citrus grapefruit scented candle with Artisan of Sense.
Despite being an imported attraction, MOIC Singapore is no mere copy-and-paste clone, boasting never-been-seen exhibits, some with a distinctly local flavour. In particular, this museum will draw in the social media-obsessed crowd and families with young children.
But while MOIC Singapore is less educational institution, and more selfie playground, there is more to this museum than Instagrammable installations.
Trivia about the frozen dessert presented in bite-sized chunks line the walls across 14 multi-sensory installations. Which country buys the most ice cream in the world? How much ice cream can a single cow make in a lifetime? Whoever knew that soft serve was born out of a flat tire? Or that air is an important ingredient in ice cream?
So even if you are not into selfies, or jumping on a Barbie pink bouncy castle and grooving in a disco room is not your kind of fun, you can still binge on fun ice cream facts in this Insta-worthy wonderland.
Rate: From S$38 (US$28) per person; free entry for children aged two and below
Dates: Thursdays to Sundays, from 10.00 to 23.00 (last entry at 21.00)