First Licks: The Museum of Ice Cream Sweetens Austin’s Summer Agenda

Sweet dreams are made of this.

Museum of Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream

Dessert-lovers, brace yourselves for the ultimate sweet treat: The one and only Museum of Ice Cream is touching down in Austin this very month. After sold-out stints in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Singapore, the OG of IG-worthy exhibitions is set to debut at The Domain on Saturday, August 21. This marks the first new location for the brand in two years and a proof is in the pudding-style sign that life’s deliciously back to normal down in the Lone Star State. “With Austin’s love of amazing food, experiences, art, and its inclusiveness and welcoming culture, we couldn’t imagine a better place for MOIC to continue the journey,” says co-founder Maryellis Bunn.

Museum of Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream

The attraction will feature 12 reimagined, never-before-seen installations dedicated to the beloved creamy treat, all of which are, of course, highly camera-phone friendly (some are aren’t just friendly—they’re straight up flirts). The star of the show is a giant pool filled with sprinkles that has long had influencers salivating. No edibles are involved, though—the “sprinkles” are plastic, and more importantly, environmentally friendly: “For the past three years the pools have been filled with antimicrobial biodegradable material,” co-founder Manish Vora assures. “Plus, the sprinkles are large, so they do not leave the building.”

What’s more, Austin’s edition is extra special in that guests can reserve a “poolside” cabana for the day. And given that every apartment in town has a pool, swapping water for faux-sprinkles makes perfect sense for a sunny afternoon—it’s where Austinites feel most at home.

MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM
MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM

Another exciting new feature is the Museum of Modern Ice Cream Installation (referred to as the “MOMI”), where guests can both admire ice-creamified takes on classic works of art and create their own masterpieces. As Maryellis explains, “MOIC was created to be an immersive experience designed to engage all five senses. Once you step into MOIC, you can see how it’s a transportive vehicle for anyone’s imagination. It’s truly special for us to see people of all ages enjoy the experience.”

Now, let’s talk ice cream. Two ticket options are up for grabs: A Day Experience which includes five sweet indulgences along the route ($39), and an adults-only Night at the Museum experience which dishes up the same amount of scoops, but with optional spiked versions ($49). While five servings is plenty for most, those seeking an even higher sugar high can dip into the café, too. “We’ll have a full service cafe and bar filled with specialty cocktails, milkshakes and Texas-inspired treats. Menu items will include Shirley Temple-flavored ice cream, animal cookie milkshakes, and ranch water with a MOIC twist,” reports Manish, adding that animal lovers need not worry. “There will be vegan and allergen alternatives, too.”

Museum of Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream

Community wise, the team has put a program in place to benefit locals joining with the venture. “We are committed to making MOIC an inclusive experience for everybody,” says Maryellis. “By working with local nonprofits and community organizations to remove barriers to entry, we are able to give back in more ways than one, starting with sharing our love of ice cream.”

The Museum of Ice Cream will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. Presale tickets are available for purchase online for reservations beginning August 21.

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James Wong is a contributor for Thrillist.