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A rainbow sprinkle pool, a gummy garden, and ice cream installations galore: Stepping into this museum is like realizing your childhood dreams.

The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) opened its San Francisco pop-up in September 2017 after majorly successful runs in both Los Angeles and New York City. (According to a report, tickets to all of the pop-ups sold out, with 30,000 tickets sold for Manhattan’s original MOIC.) Because the immersive installations were such a sweet success, MOIC SF now permanently sits in San Francisco’s Union Square.

 
 
 
 
 
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Ice cream-inspired installations
The Museum of Ice Cream is housed in a historical landmark building at One Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Union Square. According to the founder and creative director Maryellis Bunn, the building—which served as a bank built over 100 years ago and more recently was the location of the San Francisco Emporio Armani store—felt like “the perfect place” to create the sweet tooth’s wonderland.

The vibrant museum transforms childhood dreams into reality; ice cream flavors and toppings come to life in “super cool” Wonka-like rooms, and delectable, edible ice cream treats are almost always on hand.

 
 
 
 
 
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Inspired by a 1950’s diner, MARYE’S DINER, is a flashback that commemorates the quintessential American dining structure. Museum of Ice Cream teamed up with the best of San Francisco’s ice cream vendors, to serve on rotation, an original ice cream flavor, made EXCLUSIVELY for Museum of Ice Cream San Francisco. Make sure you stop my MARYE'S DINER when you visit Museum of Ice Cream San Francisco to taste our SCOOP OF THE MONTH! #museumoficecream

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Boasting creative, color psychology–inspired exhibits and a playful, modern design, the Museum of Ice Cream unlocks a world of imagination for and from its visitors.

We’re not sure whether we’re more excited by the multiple treats included with admission or the museum’s famous Sprinkle Pool—but we do know that the combination may just make it the most Instagrammable site in town.

Click through the slideshow below to check out six reasons why you need to visit the spot—then purchase your tickets here.

Inside the Museum of Ice Cream

The Architecture
6 Highlights from the Museum of Ice Cream
The Museum of Ice Cream’s location in San Francisco has some sweet surprises in store. Here's the inside scoop.
By Samantha Juda, AFAR Staff
Photo by Samantha Juda
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    The Architecture
    The Architecture
    The interior of the museum is seriously cool. Creative director and founder Maryellis Bunn revamped the classic architecture with playful modern touches. This vault, for example, which dates back to when the building was a bank in the early 1900s, is now finished with pink handles and “melting” ice cream floor details.
    Photo by Samantha Juda
  • 2 / 6
    The Games
    The Games
    You know the museum will be fun, but you might not realize just how many activities there are (beyond eating ice cream, of course). With ring toss, fact-finding games, (pop)rock climbing, dancing, swimming, and more, each room will take you on a sweet, sweet themed journey.
    Photo by Samantha Juda
  • 3 / 6
    The Treats
    The Treats
    What would a museum about ice cream be without treats? MOIC certainly knows exactly what visitors are craving. While some rooms are only for interactive games, in others you can sample sweet treats, like this exclusive Bi-Rite strawberry-gingersnap flavor (made just for the museum).
    Photo by Kelly Greenia
  • 4 / 6
    The Colors
    The Colors
    What pairs well with ice cream? Bright colors! (And sprinkles, but we'll get to that later). This room allows you to share “unicorn” soft serve ice cream on a cone “dipped in magic” (or rather, a pink sugar coating) with the friendly unicorn statue.
    Photo by Samantha Juda
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    The Pool
    The Pool
    The Sprinkle Pool is what sugar-lovers’s dreams are made of. Under the San Francisco building's historic 40-foot vaulted ceiling, you can roll around in oodles of (plastic) sprinkles. Beware: Even if you use the museum's air tube “showers,” the sprinkles will still stick in your clothes.
    Photo by Samantha Juda
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    The Surprises
    The Surprises
    We don’t want to spoil all the secrets—there really is so much more to see. Don’t forget to look for hidden doors and be ready for a treat around (nearly) every corner. We dare you to try to leave without a smile on your face.
    Photo by Samantha Juda

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Follow @museumoficecream on Instagram.

This article originally appeared online in September 2017; it has been updated to include current information.

>> Plan Your Trip with AFAR’s Guide to San Francisco