America's Museum of Ice Cream has launched its first international outlet in Singapore, providing some sweet distraction from the coronavirus pandemic after restrictions put a halt to many entertainment activities across the city state.
For its opening day on Thursday, visitors were required to book in advance to prevent crowding and many were excited about the interactive exhibits. Among the museum’s attractions are free-flowing ice cream and a children's ball pool filled with plastic multicoloured sprinkles.
"We had a lot of fun in the bouncy castle, we were wearing our masks, but bouncing off the calories," health coach Trudy Sweeney said while enjoying a red bean potong ice cream, one of the Singapore venue's local offerings.
Her friend Mitch Tugade said the museum was a nice break from the pandemic.
"It's really a good place to be – it's happy and you forget about what's happening outside when you're here."
The Museum of Ice Cream said it planned to expand to more locations soon; a second US location opened in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.
Its flagship New York museum is wildly popular with social media influencers and frequently attracts celebrities.
Pirakash T, Asia Pacific head at Museum of Ice Cream Singapore, said a big plus was seeing people happy.
"It also helps the creative side of your brain, helps you forget about things. So I definitely do think that it is beneficial, allows you to take a break from things that are happening outside," he said.
The 60,000-square-foot museum has strict coronavirus protocols in place, including mandatory check-ins and the showing of vaccination certificates or negative Covid-19 test results.
"We definitely feel safe, we are all wearing our masks, except when we are eating the treats, and the vaccination rate is so high here," said personal trainer Amanda Lim. "We felt like it was a no-risk situation, so we are happy to be here."
– Additional reporting from Reuters