Pop-up food installations can be found in many cities around the globe and they are a reflection of the change that's happening in the art world right now. In the age of Instagram, interactive exhibits that offer something quirky in eye-grabbing designs that photograph well, are seemingly designed for those with smartphones who want to add to their personal portfolios. But these exhibitions also offer something deeper, they're pure escapism and offer visitors the chance to indulge in their wildest childhood fantasies; splashing about in pools made of sprinkles and running through webs of candy floss.

A bright pink Sprinkle Pool at the Museum of Ice Cream.
The Museum of Ice Cream.

The Museum of Ice Cream has been popular with visitors in locations across downtown Los Angeles, New York, Miami and now at its permanent location in San Francisco. It's a digital phenomenon with a cult-like status on Instagram that hosts a kaleidoscope of installations to make the perfect photo backdrop. From a “banana split” made up of ten thousand bananas, to a melted popsicle jungle, a rainbow-coloured swimming pool filled with one hundred million custom-designed sprinkles, a mint growhouse and edible helium balloons, it's a colourful swirl of interactive fun for all ages. Tickets are priced at $38 per person and can be purchased here.


Another pop-up designed for those with a sweet tooth is Candytopia. It's currently located in New York (until 15 November) and San Francisco (until 30 November). The candy-centric temporary museum was set up by Jackie Sorkin, star of TLC's 'Candy Queen'. Highlights include a marshmallow pit, a candy recreation of the Mona Lisa and plenty of free candy samples. Tickets are priced at US$34 for adults and US$26 for 4-12 year-olds and can be booked here.

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The Egg House allows visitors to explore a series of rooms.

Meanwhile, The Egg House is making its way to Los Angeles in 2019. The quirky egg-themed pop-up was created by a team of artists, interior designers and marketers and set up shop in New York last spring and across the globe in Shanghai in summer. It featured multi-sensory rooms that made up the home of a fictional character called Ellis. Each of the exhibits' rooms - The Foyer, The Kitchen, The Hallway, The Pool, and The Garden - featured quirky interiors such as a frying-pan style trampoline, life-size foam eggs, a human-sized egg crate and an eggshell swing. The LA event will launch in February, general admission is US$18 and tickets can be purchased here.

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The Museum of Pizza is in New York.

In New York, the Museum of Pizza has extended its run until 18 November. The pop-up experience includes pizza-inspired immersive rooms, a pizza art gallery, cheese cave, pizza beach, pizza meditation, exclusive film screenings, and more. Founded by youth media company Nameless Network, tickets are priced at US$35 per person but a portion of every ticket fee will be donated for a meal for a family in need. Tickets can be purchased here.


The US isn't the only place where pop-up food museums are having a moment. Over in Australia, a pop-up dessert museum is giving visitors a sugar rush as it travels to major cities across the country. Sugar Republic visited Melbourne in June and is currently on location in Brisbane until the end of October and will open in Sydney in 2019. The Sydney event will feature "14 brand new rooms, all new installations, plus a sweet themed cafe and candy store." Its previous iterations have included a sherbet-filled rainbow bridge, a giant gumball machine that guests can climb inside, an adult-sized ball pit in bubblegum-pink hues, a candy floss room and sugar-centric art. Tickets start at AU$31.42 per person and can be purchased here.

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The Victoria & Albert Museum has taken inspiration from the trend of documenting food online with the subject of its new exhibition – food. Image by Shutterstock

In London, a new food-themed exhibition will take place in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition, simply titled Food, will explore how our relationship with food has evolved through the ages; from using food for fuel to the current obsession of documenting our food on Instagram and our love of cooking shows such as Masterchef and Bake Off. Food has become a national, cultural obsession in Britain and the museum’s director, Tristram Hunt, said the exhibition will tap into that fascination. The exhibition will launch next May and tickets will be available to book here in early 2019.

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