I went to the Museum of Ice Cream this past weekend! After being super bummed out that it was completely sold out at its Miami location, MOIC extended its stay for another month and will be open until the end of February.
If you don't know what the MOIC is (hello, non-millennial!), it's basically a space that is transformed into an Instagrammable haven where every room serves as a colorful backdrop. If you just smacked your hand into your face and sighed, yeah, I know, it's so millennial, but it's a fun reason to get off the couch and do something on a Sunday afternoon.
I had trouble finding a guide for what to expect once I booked my ticket, so this post serves as exactly that. Here are my own FAQ's that the MOIC's website doesn't cover to help you have your best MOIC experience.
1. Don't show up without pre-purchasing a ticket. I waited for a friend by the entrance for about ten minutes, and three large groups walked up to the door trying to go without pre-purchased tickets in the time I was standing there and none were able to get inside. The MOIC is very strict about tickets which can only be purchased online, so don't wing it.
2. It's probably okay if you're a little late to your entrance time. I bought an afternoon ticket for 4:30 pm, and it wasn't clear to me if I had to arrive at 4:30, or if I had until a certain time to enter. Miami is so unpredictable with traffic and I was worried about having time to park and walk over, and I ended up getting to the door a few minutes after the time on my ticket. The doorman was super chill and basically said that the important thing was that I had a ticket. Don't freak out if you're running a little late, you'll be okay!
3. If you want a cool shot with the sprinkle pool, don't "start" with a group that has kids. There is just one timed room in the MOIC, and that's the infamous sprinkle pool. You only get five minutes with the pool before you're ushered out, and I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get more than one shot in this area because of the kids jumping around me. Not faulting the kids here because if I were little I would definitely be freaking out in that room, but if I did it again, I would stall my entrance (the sprinkle pool is the very first room) and try to enter with only adults.
4. Give yourself two hours to walk through the entire MOIC. I couldn't find any info on how long it would take to get through the exhibit, so there's your answer! I think it's timed so that it takes an hour from start to finish, but since I was doing photos, it took me longer. No rooms are timed after the sprinkle room, so you can go at your own pace through the exhibit. On that note...
5. Take your time walking through. You can go as slowly as you'd like through the rooms, but you cannot go backwards. Take your time as you walk through the rooms and overtake photos, because you can't change your mind and run back to a room to snap a quick picture.
6. If you want to take photos, book an early afternoon time. There is lots of lighting throughout the MOIC that is deliberately placed for taking awesome pics, but nothing beats natural lighting! I had a solid hour of light (started walking through close to 5PM) and was bummed about it being dark on the top floor where it would have been awesome to get a nice, bright shot on the roof outside.
7. Leave your 50mm lens at home. I primarily take photos with my 50mm lens, and if you know about cameras, you know that this lens doesn't have any zoom and you need to really stand far away to get a full length shot. Having to shoot like this was a little difficult in these rooms since there are people (especially kids!) milling about.
8. Don't feel embarrassed if you want to do an outfit change. I paid good money for my MOIC ticket, and so I was going to get exactly what I wanted out of this experience... meaning photos in two or three outfits! There are bathrooms on the second and third floors, so if you wanted to do a quick change, plan to do it.
9. Show up hungry. Yes, you are given ice cream at the Museum of Ice Cream! There are four treats throughout the exhibit, one on each floor. I won't tell you what they are so that you can be surprised when you go.
10. Have fun! The experience was unique, and I would absolutely go to another MOIC in a different city. The MOIC is really about taking photos in a cool space, so keep your expectations curbed to this and roll with it.