The Museum of Ice Cream, the ice cream-themed art installation that rocketed to social media stardom with selfie-friendly exhibitions like bubblegum pink sprinkle pools, opened its twee new flagship location in Chicago this month in the redeveloped Tribune Tower at 435 N. Michigan Avenue.
The fourth permanent location for the attraction, Chicago’s new 13,544-square-foot venue has special components only available in the Windy City, co-founder Maryellis Bunn tells the Tribune. These include a speakeasy-inspired cafe with a menu of ice cream, milkshakes, and shave ice treats — including some bizarre-sounding hot dog-flavored soft serve, which comes with mustard and gherkins on a pink poppyseed bun from Milano Bakery — and cocktails such as the “Pinktini” for likely weary adults.
The Museum of Ice Cream also has applied its candy-colored veneer to other Chicago symbols throughout its 12 exhibits: Visitors enter through the “Sprink-L line,” a cupcake-pink El train car, and can explore a jelly bean room that incorporates a replica of the Bean (formally known as Cloud Gate) sculpture in Millennium Park. There’s an ice cream lab, where fans can create their own flavor as staff dish on the history and science of ice cream, as well as the museum’s signature component: an enormous ball pit-style pools of oversized plastic sprinkles (perhaps a questionable activity amid rising rates of monkeypox). A typical tour takes 45 to 90 minutes, Bunn tells reporters.
Originally founded in 2016 as a pop-up in New York City, the Museum of Ice Cream was a near-immediate hit, hosting events across the U.S. A 2017 stint in San Fransisco sold out in a mere hour and a half. Two years later, it spawned its first permanent location in Manhattan, followed by openings in Austin, Texas, Singapore, and Shanghai.
The hot dog flavored ice cream has been met with mixed reactions, but it’s attracted visitors. Those interested can cough up $36 to $44 per ticket. Sadly, there are no free admission days for locals, like at a normal museum. Check out the attraction today.
Museum of Ice Cream Chicago, 435 N. Michigan Avenue, Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.