Museum of Ice Cream takes the Pop-Up Shop cake

The summer’s most delicious Pop-Up Shop brings local ice cream, artists, and a dating app together in an interactive, edible tribute to ice cream.


Childhood dreams come true this August at the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) Pop-Up Shop in New York City. But grab a spoon —this scrumptious Pop-Up will melt in a month! Lauded as “the summer’s best Pop-Up”, it is a sensory, interactive exhibition which features all things ice cream. Art installations, history lessons, tastings, and an ice cream-themed playground, replete with an ice-cream scoop seesaw, ice-cream sandwich swing, and pool of sprinkles, are churned together for “a lick-able, likable, shareable ice cream-centric experience,” explains co-founder Maryellis Bunn.

Playing in the Pop-Up pool of sprinkles

The Pop-Up museum opens today at 100 Gansevoort Street—in the heart of the city’s Meatpacking District, just scoops away from the Whitney Art Museum and the High Line. Tickets have already sold out, but should you manage to get your hands on one, here’s what to salivate over: food scientist Dr. Irwin Adam of Future Food Studio and some of NYC’s most beloved sweet shops, like Odd Fellows, Black Tap, and Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory have created MOIC-exclusive flavors which rotate weekly. Local New York ice cream shops engender a sense of community, but are often too busy and cramped to inspire the joviality founder Bunn and co-founder Manish Vora seek to nourish. MOIC is a wildly colorful, appetizing example of an appealing Pop-Up environment putting local brands and artists on the global stage: exhibitions were curated by London-based ice cream sculptor Anna Barlow and a dozen artists from Brooklyn gallery Apostrophe NYC’s Base 12 pop-up.

An array of free toppings await Pop-Up Shop visitors

Attractions include a room full of edible helium balloons, which set the stage for silly times as visitors nibble of their sugary tops and suck out the air to talk like chipmunks. The so-called Chocolate Chamber pays homage to ice cream’s delicious partner in crime through smell and texture with a chocolate fountain in the center of the room and walls that, according to the museum, “drip with digital chocolate projections set to a unique score inspired by the grand wizard Willy Wonka.” Dove chocolates abound.

Sugar helium balloons

The highly anticipated pool of sprinkles, the dream of which inspired co-founder Bunn to create MOIC, proves to be better for photo-ops than swimming with colored beads reaching only ankle-high.

The highly anticipated pool of "sprinkles"
The highly anticipated pool of sprinkles

Less hyped by the press and perhaps more interesting is the exhibition’s psychedelic flavor trip in which an artist prompts you to take a glycoprotein pill to alter taste perception. The pill acts as a sweetness inducer, turning sour foods sweet to the palate. You receive an ice cream cone topped with a lemon slice and, instead of cringing, you will perceive it palatable, maybe even enjoyable!

Lemons never tasted so good… flavor tripping at the Museum of Ice Cream


2 for 1: Guests contribute never-melting ice-cream, crafted from a special enzyme, to make the world’s largest sundae

As if all of that were not enough to whet your appetite, there might be love at the bottom of the sundae: Tinder is co-sponsoring an interactive exhibit, the museum’s grand finale, with a custom app called Tinder Land that attempts to match visitors and help them “discover their true flavor match”. Couples can share ice cream in “the ultimate first date setting” in the Land, “seesaw on an ice cream scooper” or “swing together on an ice cream sandwich made for two,” according to the museum description. It is rumored that more prolific collaborations will be revealed over the course of the Pop-Up.

“And remember when you found love at first swipe” ice cream sandwich swing in Tinder Land at the Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream is a delectable example of how brands and artists can increase brand visibility and charm the world at large through participation in Pop-Up Stores. The proof is in the pudding (ice cream)!


by Virginia Thomas Gray

Image sources, top to bottom:

Eater NY 

Tech Insider

AM New York

NY Daily News

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