A guide to visiting the Museum of Ice Cream Singapore
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
The Museum of Ice Cream Singapore(MOIC) is a much hyped-about attraction that just opened on August 19, 2021.
What's the buzz all about? Well, it's one of the latest local / tourist attractions to be built in Singapore, and has drawn visitors for its all-pink, IG-worthy exhibits that are an ode to all things ice cream.
MOIC is actually a franchise from New York, with the first museum set up in 2016 as a pop-up experiential museum. The Singapore museum is the brand's first overseas offshoot.
I knew I wanted to visit as soon as I read about its launch here. After all, I love ice cream, museums, AND my favourite colour is pink. So this checked all the boxes for me.
Admittedly, tickets are rather pricey compared to other museums in Singapore. They cost $38 per pax for a group of 4, $40 for a group of 2/3 and $42 for single admission. Is this photo-centric museum worth the price tag, and what can you expect if you go?
Read on to find out about my experience on opening day!
Because of the Covid situation, tickets have to be booked online via their site. I booked mine about three months in advance for August 19 as I was very eager to go!
Thankfully, you don't have to wait three months to book a slot to visit. Since I last checked, you can book a slot (for two) three days in advance. Do note that slots are extremely limited for such bookings though, and you may have to visit at timings like 11am or 11:30am.
If you’re hoping to visit on Friday evenings or weekends, more timing are available if you book at least two weeks in advance. Opening hours are from 10am to 11pm, and the museum is closed from Monday to Wednesday.
What to know before booking
Also, do note that you either have to be fully vaccinated to visit, or produce a negative PET test taken 24 hours prior to your visit. So just get vaccinated if you're able to as you definitely don't want the hassle (and costs) of a PET test just for a 1.5 hour visit to a museum!
If you're coming with kids under 12 from the same household, they are of course excluded from the vaccination/PET requirement.
The museum can be cold too, with some exhibits that are pretty physical like a bouncy castle ( I lowkey regret wearing a dress). Wear shorts or jeans, and bring a jacket!
The museum is located at Loewen Road at Dempsey. It isn't very central, but getting there by public transport isn't too much of a hassle.
The nearest bus stop is CSC Dempsey Clubhouse, with the following bus services available: 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 123, 174. Once you get off, it's roughly a 10 minute walk to the museum. When you spot a long, all-pink building on your left after turning into Loewen Road (past Core Collective), you know you're there.
Choosing ice cream names
I booked an 8pm slot and didn't have to wait too long to enter. Despite being opening night, the queue to enter was pretty short, and they let you enter in small groups to ease crowds.
We were welcomed by a cheerful staff and they let us write our own ice cream names and paste them on as stickers before entering the exhibits.
You can also refer to the ice cream wall for inspiration. Lots of funny celeb ice cream names are displayed such as Lucy Liu-Lian, Kanye Zest and Melon Degeneres.
Exhibit highlights: Free ice cream
True ice-cream lovers aren't just here for the gram, they want to actually eat ice cream! You'll be happy to know that the museum offers at least five rounds of free-ice cream at several of its exhibits.
The first ice cream zone was a surfer's paradise-like area with Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Flavours on offer included pina coloda and chocolate. Both were delicious, and there are also a couple of seats to enjoy the ice cream.
The next free ice cream zone was Scream's Diner, an American-style diner with old-school telephones, a jukebox and bar counter seats to enjoy the ice cream. I'm not sure what brand of ice cream was served here, but they had two options in cones: apple pie and pink vanilla. You can also add sprinkles and an apple crumble topping, and combine flavours.
Whilst pretty to look at, the flavours weren’t as rich and tasty as the Haagen Dazs ice cream. I just remember them being very very sweet!
We also enjoyed free potong (red-bean flavour) at the Potong exhibit, and ice cream wafers in either yam, bandung or lychee flavours at the Playspace (Dragon Playground) exhibit . The lychee wafer was particularly yummy and refreshing.
Our final sweet treat was an odd-tasting candy ball at the DIY craft station, featuring ingredients like lemon, coconut and nuts. In my opinion, this was neither sweet nor savoury. It just had a strange taste.
A local twist
It was nice to have some of the exhibits having a local flavour (no pun-intended) too. For instance, the Potong exhibit is a tribute to the famous ice cream first enjoyed in Singapore and Malaysia in the 60s. Along with the free red bean potong, the exhibit had colourful, life-sized potong sculptures sticking out from the floor and ceiling.
The other local exhibit was one of my favourites. Named Playspace, its design is inspired by the classic dragon playgrounds that used to dot the island's housing estates in the 1970s.
Kids (and a few adults) were having a blast on the the pink slide, which was given a ice cream twist with a unicorn head design.
We also had fun sitting on banana swings, throwing hoops and posing in a mini pink car.
I also liked how interactive and multi-sensorial the museum is, with multiple hands-on exhibits. For example, the Marble Run contraption that's built to resemble a sandcastle and old-school marble run games. You turn a wheel to bring your marble to the top, and watch it come rolling down.
We also had fun at the all-pink bouncy castle, which can hold up to 8 people at one go. Staff kindly took photos for us as we revisiting our childhood and jumped to our hearts content. Singapore is also the first MOIC location to have a super-sized bouncy castle!
Another hands-on station was folding our own ice cream trucks. You can sit at stations and fold a DIY ice cream truck. The instructions are a little complicated for kids to follow though, so parents need to guide them along.
There's also a few exhibits where you can make your mark on the museum. For instance, a room with magnetic letters on the wall that can be re-arranged. Also, one, where you can write postcards and stick them up.
Last but not least, MOIC's iconic Sprinkle Pool, a reimagined ball pit for ice cream lovers. It's easy to see why this was everyone's favourite exhibit, including mine. Featuring giant ice cream sprinkles, you can dive in, bury yourself and even throw sprinkles at others.
One of the staff initiated an all-our sprinkle war too, which saw as hurling sprinkles at visitors on the other end of the room. See the video above for all the chaos.
If you're here for the gram, you'll have plenty of IG-worthy photo opps too. Obviously, everything I've mentioned makes for great pictures. Other noteworthy ones include a archway filled with colourful bananas, giant balloons, a room with glow-in-the-dark giant cones, and a disco ball room where you can boogie your heart out!
Ice cream facts
If you're a serious museum-goers who wants to learn all the intricate details about the ice-cream-making process and 1001 facts about ice cream , this is unfortunately not the place for you.
However, the museum does attempt to educate with some ice cream facts. For example, a Q&A trivia board when you first walk in (did you know that ice cream is 30 -50% air?), and some background info on several of the exhibits. For example, the history and evolution of ice cream, the origins of the American diner and how potong ice cream came to have its name.
There was also a nice display of the various ice cream flavours around the world and how they are made. For example, Turkish Dondurma ice cream which sees street vendors famously perform ice cream tricks, and the iconic gelato from Italy which is made with milk rather than cream and egg yolks (bet you didn't know that fact).
I would have liked to see the ice cream trivia better spread out throughout the museum and integrated with the exhibits. For example, an ice-cream making station where visitors can try out ice-cream making and learn a little about the process. Or perhaps an exhibit with photographs detailing how ice cream was first made, along with artifacts like the first-ever sorbet recipe .
After my visit, here's what I thought about the museum in general:
- Upbeat staff who are more than happy to welcome guests, serve them ice cream and ensure they have the best time possible.
- Exhibits are hands-on and fun. Kids in particular will have a blast.
- Great crowd control even on opening night. We never once felt that there were too many people in each exhibit, and didn't have to wait around to enter.
- As mentioned, facts could be better integrated with the exhibits. But one should bear in mind this is an experiential museum, so the fun and hands-on factor takes precedence over ice cream knowledge.
- More tie-ups with premium ice cream brands would be good. Only the Haggen Dazs and wafer ice creams were truly delicious. I would have loved to see a tie-up with Singapore brands like The Ice Cream & Cookie Co, or even local creameries like Salted Caramel and Udders.
- The merchandise section was a little underwhelming. I expected ice cream stuff toys and the like, but there was only a limited selection of offerings like stuffed unicorns, sports apparel and water bottles.
So should you go? I'd say it's a novelty one-time experience, and not somewhere you'll be revisiting regularly due to the price. I'd definitely come back if I had kids or friends visiting from overseas though.
Whether you go with friends or family, you'll certainly have plenty of fun and satisfy your ice cream craving!
Find out more and buy tickets here.