The Chicago installation of the Museum of Ice Cream opened Saturday at Tribune Tower’s street level, opening up a bubblegum-pink dreamscape fit for a sweet tooth. Boasting several themed exhibits, a speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar, and a sprinkle pool — complete with diving boards and slides — the museum caters to both kids and adults. Most importantly, it’s the city’s newest Instagrammable backdrop.
The museum — which also has locations in New York City, Austin, Singapore, and Shanghai — doesn’t scrimp on Chicago pride. Visitors start their self-guided tour inside an all-pink, CTA-inspired rail station before walking through a train car to the speakeasy. One exhibit showcases the history of ice cream, including Chicago’s role as the birthplace of the Dove Bar.
MOIC even gives a nod to the Chicago-style hot dog, but with an ice cream twist. Inside one room, giant sculptures of sprinkle donuts, whipped-cream cans, and yellow mustard bottles guide the way to a hot dog stand. Here, visitors are offered hot-dog flavored ice cream scoops inside pink sesame buns — fixed, of course, with mustard and baby pickles. The ice cream itself tastes more like a peppery vanilla bean, but the mustard-and-ice cream combination isn’t entirely unpleasant.
Museum attendants dish out complimentary cold treats near the end of each exhibit, and guests can purchase signature cocktails or milkshakes inside the speakeasy on top of their ticketed entry, which starts at $36. The imagery and sheer spectacle of the museum is better than the ice cream itself, but the exhibit hits all the marks if you’re looking for an interactive experience.