Some Additional Instagram Playground Ideas for Selfie-Loving Millennials

I was actually disappointed when I learned it wasn’t really a museum of ice cream’s history.
I was actually disappointed when I learned it wasn’t really a museum of ice cream’s history.
Image: AP

NBC News has an update on the phenomenon of pop-up experiences seemingly engineered specifically for the perfect viral selfie—things like the Museum of Ice Cream. They call them “Instagram playgrounds,” which is the best possible way to describe these places. “You can huff and buff all you want and say, ‘I can’t believe how self-obsessed people are’, but if you’re not designing things in 2018 with the hope that it is shared on social,” said Paige Solomon, CEO of “Dream Machine” in Brooklyn, “then I feel like you’re doing a disservice to yourself as a creative, an artist, a business owner.”


It appears that Instagram-ready “experiences” are here to stay. Perhaps, then, we could make some humble requests?

Themes already tackled include “A sunflower garden, a caviar pool and a psychedelic laundromat.” So then, what’s left? Some ideas:

  • An interactive potato chip experience, inspired by some truly incredible bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper flavored Wavy Lays that Megan brought to the pod yesterday, sponsored by any of the many potato chip brands always trying to catch America’s attention with weird-ass flavors. I’m seeing myself frolicking in a giant ball pit filled with plush potato chips.
  • A Masterpiece Theatre playground where I get to dress up in period garb topped off with a really fetching fichu and parade around on cliffs (created via green screen is fine), looking moody as I am gently spritzed with seawater through a complex series of pipes in the ceiling.
  • A literal playground, but you rig cool lighting and sell $45 tickets to adults (and then use the proceeds to upgrade the playground for local children).
  • Two words: SHARK TANK.
  • Another word: KNITTING.
  • Okay, three more words: Old Hollywood scandals.
  • An actual museum with genuinely good shit in it, but presented like one of these playgrounds, with lots of pink lighting. Maybe a ball pit in the Met fountains? Just spitballing here.
  • Flower show rebranded for millennials.
  • A book version that functions as a truly terrifying haunted house when the realization gradually dawns that organizing your bookshelves specifically for Instagram likes is—I’m so sorry—some serial killer shit.
  • An abandoned mall originally built in the early 1980s that perfectly recreates the mall as it looked when it opened, complete with B. Dalton and Baskin Robbins with those old creepy pastel posters of children enjoying ice cream and of course a thriving Sears and J.C. Penney BOTH, thereby collapsing completely every older millennial’s sense of time and resulting in mass hysteria.

Do it for the ‘gram, baby!

Senior Editor at Jezebel, specializing in books, royals, romance novels, houses, history, and the stories we tell about domesticity and femininity. Resident Windsor expert.



The Wheel Turns and Returns:

I shall never forget, nor forgive, the 1990s obsession with Glamour Shots—pop-up photo studios in Wal-Mart that gussied up women and children and did a F U C K I N G crazy photoshoot with them. 

I try and I try to find all the Glamour Shot photos my mom had printed of me, BURN THEM, condemn them to hell, and there are always more hidden away in the secret mom drawers. [Shakes fist at heaven.] If I could turn back time I would wipe the makeup from my ten-year-old face, throw the boa in the trash, maybe keep the sparkling pleather flag jacket, but I cannot. What is done is done and will be done again. Have fun on your Insta photoshoots, kids. Just know that the pictures are forever.