Pull up your Instagram app, click on #museumoficecream and you’re plunged into a technicolor sea of selfies—nearly 120,000 at last count. Type in #moic and you’ll find another 40,000 images; #icecreammuseum yields 22,000 more candy-colored snaps. More art installation than academic exploration of the frozen sweet, the museum is the brainchild of twenty-five-year-old California native Maryellis Bunn. With a Walt Disney-meets-Willy Wonka ethos, Bunn designed the Museum of Ice Cream to invite creativity and give imagination free reign, no matter your age or flavor allegiance.
The pop-up concept debuted in New York City in late 2016, before taking its Insta-famous sprinkle pool on the road. (Sprinkle pool? It’s exactly what you’re thinking; if what you’re thinking is a kidney-shaped plunge pool filled with tiny plastic rainbow-hued jimmies.) Bunn and team opened three more temporary iterations of the museum in 2017 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and most recently Miami, which launched in December during Art Basel inside a four-story building, designed by the award-winning international architecture firm OMA, in Miami Beach’s Faena District. The seven-room Florida experience, complete with ocean views, includes an homage to the classic 1950s American diner, a forest of bubblegum pink palm trees, a sweets sculpture studio, an actual ice cream parlor (yes, you get to eat the real stuff), and that famous—now notorious—sprinkle pool.
It seems those itty-bitty sprinkles have the bad habit of sticking like sand to “swimmers” long after they exit the pool, depositing themselves on the surrounding Miami Beach streets and into nearby storm drains. Last week, the city fined the museum for creating an environmental hazard as the pesky plastic pieces continue to find themselves into area waterways, becoming a potential hazard to the local aquatic life. The museum is working to curb the proliferation of debris. With just days left in its run in Miami, which ends on January 22, we’d recommend you make like Fido if you go and give yourself a good shake (or three) before leaving.