My dad, Mo, loves ice cream. That's no secret. It's actually become part of his "brand" - as has the moniker "Mo" become his internet stage name, replacing the more official "Mauricio" he was born with. Mo is the kinda guy who can walk into an ice cream place and order the most absurd combo of flavors and you’ll be like “butter pecan and mint? that’s disgusting” and you're wrong because not once has he come up with a gross concoction. No. The man is an ice cream ~savant~. He finagles the most delicious fusions. It’s a gift - but, if we're being honest, he’s also lactose intolerant. So it’s more like a blessing and a curse.
Since Mo loves ice cream (even if ice cream doesn't love him), I figured a trip to Miami's Pop Up of The Museum of Ice Cream would be like taking a kid to a candy store *quite literally*.
First off, Mo made sure to wear his "pistachio pants:" these glaringly aqua bottoms that he also owns a matching polo for, though I told him to tone it down for this instagrammable adventure.
Stepping right up to the building on Collins, I couldn't be more eager for this winter break treat - especially since I heard you actually received a treat in every room. When I tell you we all left with cavities and full stomachs - I'm serious. We went at 12pm and didn't eat again until 8pm.
The very pink lobby of the museum foreshadowed what was to come: facts, fortunes, fun, and fuchsia. After receiving a "fortune" from Fortune Teller "Café con Leche" (of which my dad got "cherries"), we were ushered into the Sprinkle Pool - which did not pique the interest of my adult father, so I took the plunge instead. The sprinkles are made of plastic, so luckily they don't melt on your clothing, but they do get stuck in between your toes and in the spandex I wore underneath my skirt.
"SPRINKLE POOL is a reminder that when you believe in the power of imagination, anything is possible. Inspired by Museum of Ice Cream's Founder & Creative Director Maryellis Bunn's childhood dream, SPRINKLE POOL represents the magic of an everlasting dream realized."
- Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC)
Because the museum is located in Miami, half of the adventure is outside: murals, balloons, and pink staircases aplenty! (Cue photoshoot with excellent natural lighting):
For our first snack of the day, we were treated to mini chocolate milkshakes at the Bunns Shake station. And we shook our buns indeed:
"BUNNS SHAKE is an homage to a beloved dining institution and a throwback to 1950s Americans. Celebrating our inexplicable feeling of delight when we enter a classic diner, BUNNS SHAKE reminds us of the beauty of genuine nostalgia and memory."
Next up, we entered a room with life-sized ice cream cone fans, and were instructed to learn the "Ice Cream Dance." Mind you, when you teach two twenty year olds and a sixty four year old the same dance, it's going to look verrrry different. I am proud to say, though, that Mo was indeed able to drop it low for the big finish.
Post mini dance workout, we got to snack on frozen bananas and swing on life-sized fruit. Peep the huge grin on Mo's face here, leading me to believe that (aside from the day I was born) this must've been the happiest day of Mo's life.
(While we waited in line for the swings, Val and I crawled into this oven-thingy for some pics):
Next up was the "Melted" station where we were given actual cartons of melted vanilla ice cream.
"A play on the sizzling heat of Miami Beach, MELTED takes you to your favorite ice cream shop frozen in time. We invite you to slow down and savor your most cherished treat reimagined."
For a respite from eating, we got to play with some kinetic sand. And Mo insisted that I take a picture of him doing... whatever it is he's doing here:
"SANDCASTLE DREAMS challenges our understanding of "adulthood" by evoking the childhood memory of playing in the sand. Like ice cream, our most treasured treat, sandcastles stir up nostalgia for our most beloved childhood seaside memories. Toying with size, scale, and depth, SANDCASTLE DREAMS urges you to create, engage, and unleash the childlike wonder that lives within us all."
To work off a little bit of our ice cream consumption, "Sweet Sculpture Studio" let us play with life size blocks of ice cream - and they made a pretty loud *thud* when I dropped them on top of each other...
"To Museum of Ice Cream, experimentation is the soul of creativity, innovation and the core of our ever-expanding community. SWEET SCULPTURE STUDIO challenges you to explore your creativity through flavors, treats, and ice cream delights that are as grand and robust as your imagination."
For a little more calorie burning, we got to play ping-pong while overlooking sunny Miami. Having spent most of our adventure inside this four story wonderland, it was easy to forget that we weren't actually at the pink cousin to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but still in vintage Miami Beach - a treasure more special to me than all the ice cream in the world.
Arriving at the last stop, I couldn't help but smile at it's apt title - POP. Because, without my pop in tow, I don't think I would've had cause to check out this museum. So cheers to Mo, the man, the myth, the legend, and the best father a girl could dream of. Love you, Papa! <3
"POP is the perfect spot to stop, chill out and enjoy the majestic view. Surrounded by a popsicle-city frozen in time, POP prompts you to appreciate the moment and reflect on your journey."