Museum of Ice Cream Review and Tips: Going with a Toddler

The entrance to the Museum of Ice Cream
The exterior of the Museum of Ice Cream. If you look closely, you can see Little Leia and her "Dada."

Before I went to the Museum of Ice Cream, I read a few reviews from other moms in one of the Facebook mom groups that I frequent. They weren’t shining reviews by any stretch of the imagination, so I was a bit nervous about going with Leia and my husband.

The first thing I took note of was that parking was a pain. The installation is in Miami Beach, so that means that only street parking is available.

So here’s the first tip...

1. Get there early to look for parking, but not too early!

We got tickets for December 22nd. My husband took the day off of work, and we left our house an hour and a half before the time on our ticket (11:30am). We got there an hour early (10:30am), and found parking two blocks from the building. We tried to enter the museum early, but they explained that they couldn’t let us in until 20 minutes before our ticket time.

So we went across the street and took a leisurely stroll down the beach, then explored the Faena Hotel (Wowza! What a beautiful/expensive hotel!). At 11:10am, we made our way back to the museum.

Shadow of two adults and one child in the sand at Miami Beach
Our shadows in the sand at Miami Beach across the street from the Museum of Ice Cream.

We also noticed plastic sprinkles all along the sidewalks for several blocks around the museum.

plastic sprinkles of various colors on some bricks
See article linked later in this post to learn more about plastic sprinkles on the sidewalks outside the Museum of Ice Cream.

2. Tickets are only sold online. Buy them as soon as you know you want to go because they sell out fast.


We stood in a short line and witnessed a family in front of us attempt to buy tickets at the door. They were turned away and informed that the tickets for December were all sold out and that they might be able to purchase some online for the beginning of January.

Little girl standing in front of a potted pink palm tree
Leia waiting patiently to enter the Museum of Ice Cream.

Little girl kneeling and smiling at a bench full of sprinkles
Leia was fascinated by this bench full of real sprinkles in the entrance lobby. She looked at me and asked if she could eat them.

We were welcomed into the museum and waited in a short line to reach an ice cream fortune teller.


3. You can skip the fortune teller if it’s not your thing.

We thought it was cute, so we let the fortune teller read our ice cream-related fortunes. I got the rainbow, which she said meant that I have a vibrant personality that attracts people around me.

Fortune teller with cards in front of her standing at a countertop full of sprinkles
The ice cream fortune teller at her booth that had a countertop full of sprinkles.

Then we walked into the first official room, and it was a 1950’s diner! We were served the most delicious miniature chocolate shakes topped with pink whipped cream and a pink cherry. I loved this room. It was definitely my second favorite in the whole museum. I wish I’d stayed in this room longer. They were playing fun music and it has several Instagram-worthy photo ops. 


A clear plastic cup filled with mall golden pencils next to a receptacle filled with pink paper placemats
You could take one of these placemats and a pencil and do some fun activities.

A family of three in front of a pink wall with white letters reading, "Shake your Bunns!"
An employee was nice enough to snap a few pics of us in this room.

We each sat on a bench at a counter to enjoy our milkshakes.


A family of three sitting at a 1950s-style diner counter
Leia is eating a cup full of whipped cream because she didn't like the chocolate milkshake. It was "too cold."

Toddler and her dad enjoy small milkshakes in front of a small jukebox


A small pink cup with pink whipped cream and a pink cherry on top
So delicious.

We left the diner to enter an open area in the center of the building where met the “Stairmaster” (instead of Ringmaster). 


A mass of multicolored balloons float several stories above the photographer
The Stairmaster stands below this mass of balloons. Aren't they striking?

The Stairmaster stands on a short platform to announce the rules of the museum...


4. Stay in a room as long as you like because they do not allow you to go back to any room. 

5. The ice cream melting off the walls and other props hanging from the walls are not to be touched.

6. There are interactive exhibits, and those that you can touch and interact with will be obvious.

7. There are 4 floors and there is one bathroom on each floor. Careful on the stairs, as you will be going up a lot of them!

8. They have an elevator…

But in a review I read on my Facebook mom group, a mom had gone with a stroller on a day when the elevator broke down, so her stroller was a total nuisance.

We always take our stroller everywhere, but this museum is not exactly stroller friendly, so my next tip is…

9. Don’t bring a stroller. You can bring it, but I don’t recommend it.

We went upstairs into a room with colorful walls and these fun Ice Cream windmills.

Ice cream in a cone shaped windmills and mother and daughter posing for a photo
The ice cream windmills look good enough to eat.

Toddler with a shirt that has an ice cream cone and has her hands in the air in front of a colorful wall
The walls in this room were so colorful and fun!

Then, we moved on to the tropical room.

This was where we got our second sweet treat; if you look really closely, you can see me holding it in the photo below.

Mother and daughter seated on a swing shaped like a banana


They gave us a chocolate covered frozen banana and the chocolate had some fun pink cereal stuck to it. It was fun and yummy, but, honestly, it was my least favorite treat in the whole museum.

The room was filled with pink palm trees and had a banana swing, a cherry wrecking ball (? for lack of a better term), and a little door to a small room with - what appeared to be - metallic coconut halves stuck to the walls and ceiling.

Toddler girl sitting on a swing shaped like a banana

A toddler girl sitting on a cherry wrecking ball
She came in like a... cherry wrecking ball?

Toddler girl sitting and smiling in a pink room with chrome objects pasted to the walls and short ceiling
Holy chrome coconuts, Batman!

On to the next room!

After more stairs, we encounter a room with some funky wallpaper and lots of fun, mostly interactive exhibits.

There was an ice cream toppings bar with a cash register and faux toppings.

Mother and daughter posing for a photo by a fake toppings bar art installation
Can we interest you in some plastic toppings for your melted ice cream? It'll cost you some pink monies, please.

Leia was a bit upset that she couldn’t eat the plastic gummy bears in the display.


We did, however, enjoy our melted ice cream, which was really just a sort of vanilla milkshake. Yum!

A toddler girl drinking from a pink milk carton in front of a wall with a pink milk cartons print

E. L. Lane drinking from a pink milk carton in front of a wall with a pink milk cartons print

There was a “What’s your flavor?” wall that everyone used to spell out their names. Everyone including moi. ;)

Me posing in front of my name below a sign that reads, "Whats your flavor?"
There is supposed to be an apostrophe after that "What," but I'll let it slide because that melted ice cream was good.

The next room was Leia’s favorite because it was the one where she could make the biggest mess - the sand room.

There were several "sand" sculptures in the signature Museum-of-Ice-Cream-pink, and a table in the middle of the room full of kinetic sand.

Toddler girl smiles in front of a pink sandcastle
That smile reads, "I can make such a big mess with this sand." Luckily, she didn't make any mess. 

Toddler girl plays with pink kinetic sand
This is such a great activity to help develop psychomotor, visuospatial skills.

This sand is unlike your typical playground sandbox sand. It’s cool to the touch and clumps together instead and falling apart, so it is so fun to create shapes using various molds that are provided, and then crushing your creation, then rebuilding it, then crushing it, and so on.


Toddler girl smiles and points to a pink kinetic sand castle that she built


While I was standing there waiting for Leia to finish her sand creation/destruction/creation, I asked the employee if they always have a lot of crowds. She told me that it gets busier after 5pm. So here’s the next tip…

10. If you want to avoid a heavy crowd, get tickets for a time before 5pm.

There’s another room that I did not get any pictures of because it had these poles that you could stack giant fiberglass sweets onto, so it was not very clumsy-toddler-friendly, so we moved on from this room quickly, but not before grabbing a few gummies! 

This room had a bar full of several kinds of gummy snacks that could just grab and snack on.

After this room, my palate was really tired of all the sweet treats, so this brings me to my next tip…

11. Bring salty snacks and water!

Luckily, since I’m a mom to a perpetually hungry three-year-old, I had some Ritz Crackers with cheese in the middle that we snacked on before continuing on our decadent walkthrough. We all drank from Leia’s thermos to keep hydrated and cleanse our palates of all the sweets.

After climbing more stairs, we arrive at the top floor of the museum and are greeted by a friendly employee asking us if we’d like to try some key lime ice cream. We take our snack to the beautiful ice cream bar installation, and Leia licks a few of them, even though we told her not to - because, you know, toddlers are selectively deaf when mom and dad tell them not to lick or touch something - but we finish off our snack without incident, and head out to the balcony.

A toddler girl poses holding an ice cream cone in an art installation that has ice cream bars hanging from the ceiling

The view is gorgeous and offers a few great photos ops.

A family of three pose for a photo on a colorful balcony with the beach in the background

They have a ping-pong table and shuffleboard on this floor, and last, but not least, the elevator to the sprinkle pool!

A sign that signals the way to the sprinkle pool


This floor was a bit warm because the sun was fiercely beaming into it, so everyone tried squeezing in behind a little divider wall while waiting for the elevator to take us down to the first-floor sprinkle pool.

The employee assisting the guests into the elevator had us play a few team building games while we waited for our turn, then finally, we were allowed into the elevator.

We felt the elevator taking us down, and the doors opened to reveal a room with a small pool full of - get this - 100 million plastic sprinkles.

Now, I know you might be asking this question right now: "How do you know how many sprinkles were in the pool, E. L.?"

Well, the employee that kept sweeping stray sprinkles back into the pool told us as trivia.

The employee instructed us to take your shoes off and leave them in a locker.

Now, I know there is controversy about these sprinkles and their potentially negative impact on the environment (read more about the controversy by clicking here), but I couldn’t contain the pure joy that I felt sitting in a pool full of colorful sprinkles. I felt like I was fulfilling some kind of childhood fantasy that I never knew I had, and it was euphoric.

Mother and daughter play in a pool full of colorful sprinkles
This is how I looked playing in the sprinkle pool.

A toddler plays in colorful sprinkles
This is how I felt playing in the sprinkle pool.

12. Your time in the sprinkle pool is limited!

Our time in the pool flew by! I felt like we were in there maybe three minutes, but I can’t tell you how much time we were actually in there.

Toddler being buried in colorful sprinkles

A family of three pose smiling for a photo in a pool full of colorful sprinkles
Thanks for joining us on our fun Museum of Ice Cream adventure! <3

The sprinkle pool was my favorite room in the entire museum.

Our time at the Museum of Ice Cream came to an end at the gift shop.

Everything in the gift shop is overpriced (like in every other tourist attraction), but they do have some unique items that you’re going to want to at least see.

The only thing we were able to get Leia in a hurry was a bottle of sprinkles for $15.

We had to hurry to the car because our metered parking had expired an hour before we even reached the gift shop.

So here's the next tip...

13. Pay for at least 4 hours of parking if you can, so you have plenty of time to check out the gift shop. Or be mindful of the time you have left for parking so you can avoid a ticket.

Luckily, we did not have a ticket waiting for us at the car.

Right after I sat in the car, I noticed something - I had about ten sprinkles in my bra!

Which brings me to the last tip…

14. Check all of your own and your kiddos’ crevices for plastic sprinkles.

I hope these tips help you make the most of your visit to the Museum of Ice Cream!

Please comment below if you’ve gone to the museum and I forgot to mention something or if you have any questions about it.

Have a great time, lovely!

Till next time,XOXO,


E. L.


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**NOTE: The order of the rooms in the Museum of Ice Cream may change, as the owners have expressed that they may put the sprinkle pool at the beginning of the museum instead of the end to avoid any more sprinkle pollution of the streets of Miami Beach.**

Comments

  1. What a great review!! Loved reading and adored all your photos!!! I would have to agree with most everything you stated about the museum! Loved it!!

    Xo Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

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