Did you know that the month of July is National Ice Cream Month? I mean…how fitting? I personally could (and do) eat ice cream ALL year long. However, it is the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Celebrate the summer with a DIY ice cream party! The great thing about hosting an ice cream party is that you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you like. You can get really fancy and have a whole table of topping options. Or, you can have your very favorite toppings out and call it good.
How to Host an Ice Cream Party
When hosting an ice cream themed party the only rule is that you absolutely serve ice cream at that party. There are so many ways you can really have fun with this theme from color scheme to food to serve. You can do a retro throw back party with a color scheme of red, white, and black and serve up tall hot fudge sundaes or root beer floats. You can do like I did and focus on all the colors of sprinkles for you theme. Heck, you can even throw an ice cream taco party if you want to go crazy!
Enjoy these simple tips will help keep your ice cream party fun for all… including YOU the host.
6 Creative Ways to Serve Ice Cream:
I like to give guess a few fun options for how they can make the ice cream of their dreams. Make the whole process easier by pre-scooping your ice cream and freezing the scoops on wax paper or in muffin liners in your freezer. You can then serve it up in bowls with a spoon and guests can easily grab a scoop without a lot of effort or mess.
Some of my favorite ways to serve ice cream:
- Cones: Okay, so serving ice cream in an ice cream cone isn’t exactly the most creative way to serve ice cream. However, you can make it more fun and interesting by adding a chocolate and sprinkle rim to your waffle/sugar/cake cones. Simply dip the cone in melted chocolate or candy coating and then roll in sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.
- Cups/Bowls: Create a fun ice cream Sundae bar with disposable cups and bowls. One of my favorite things to do is build a sundae in my cup and then topping it with a waffle cone!
- Cookies: Set out a bunch of delicious cookies and some ice cream and allow everyone to make their own ice cream sandwiches!
- Waffles: Is there anything better than a big, delicious Belgian waffle topped with ice cream? A lot of people are now making sundae tacos by filling a waffle with ice cream and toppings and folding it over for eating.
- Edible bowls: Creating edible bowls means that there is nothing to throw away after all the eating! You can create a chocolate bowl with a balloon and some melting chocolate, purchase waffle cone bowls, or create a cookie bowl with a muffin tin and cookie dough!
- Cups & Soda: Have an ice cream float bar with cups, straws, spoons, and a variety of sodas.
Ice Cream Topping Ideas:
Ice cream is wonderful all by its lonesome, however, when celebrating a party with an ice cream theme then it is time to pull out the toppings! Let your guests have fun creating the most outrageous combinations of ice cream sundaes. Here are some of my favorite topping ideas:
- Fresh fruit – I particularly love strawberries and bananas
- Maraschino cherries – Or hey, fresh, in-season cherries with the pits taken out are a delicious treat to serve with ice cream!
- Sprinkles… lots and LOTS of sprinkles
- Chopped up candy bars
- Chocolate Chips
- Broken up waffle cones
- Fruit puree
- Whipped Cream
- Nuts (just be aware of allergies)
Highlight your toppings with these free mini table tents. Click the image below to download to your computer. Print on white cardstock, cut around outer line, and fold in half.
Activities for an Ice Cream Party
Creating ice cream sundaes is an activity in itself. But, besides the creations and then eating those creations, you likely want to have a few activities to help work off some of the sugar energy! I’d recommend doing any high-intensity activities before eating ice cream as you don’t want to have upset bellies.
Ideas for ice cream party activities include:
- Ice Cream coloring sheet (print off the free printable coloring sheet below and let your guests color after they are done with their desserts and are waiting for the next part of the party.)
- Ice Cream sundae contest – Have a contest as to who can make the most delicious, best looking, and most extravagant sundaes! Everyone will want to get in on the judging of these!
- Pin the cherry on the ice cream sundae – Take a big poster and create a couple of ice cream scoops to post on your wall. Then get cherry stickers or print out cherry images and put double sided tape on the back. Have your guests spin while blindfolded and stick the cherry on the sundae! (This cute activity from 30 Handmade Days has a free printable for a pin the cherry on the ice cream cone activity.)
Download your free printable coloring sheet by clicking the printable sheet below and saving to your computer. Print on copy paper in black ink.
How to Decorate for an Ice Cream Party:
I let the ice cream be the start in my ice cream party and really didn’t decorate a bunch. Things like toppings and containers can make for really fun decorations that do double duty.
Decoration Ideas for an Ice Cream Party:
- Balloon Ice Cream Cones: Print off the mini paper waffle cone below, wrap into a cone adhering it with hot glue. Put hot glue on the rim of the top of the cone and adhere a slightly inflated and tied balloon to the cone. The hot glue does not pop the balloon and it works for keeping the cone and balloon combined!
- Sprinkles: Sprinkles are great for decorating. Put sprinkles in the bottoms of your platters and create a fun, colorful backdrop for your treats to sit in.
- Decorative paper cups & napkins: I found great little “sprinkle” inspired paper cups and napkins that were both useable and decorative.
- Use cones or ice cream sundae cups for floral arrangements: Anders Ruff created beautiful ice cream themed floral arrangements using an ice cream sundae cup and carnations. Chicabug featured another ice cream party with a similar floral idea but using tissue paper rather than flowers.
- Sprinkle Backdrop: Oh Happy Day shared a great DIY using long skinny balloons to create a sprinkle backdrop.
Ice Cream Party Favor Ideas:
There is really so much you can do for an ice cream party favor. I opted to do something that didn’t include sugar mainly because I didn’t want to add to the sugar that I’d already given the kiddos at the party. I love that Yoobi currently has some seriously cute ice cream themed goodies at Target right now. Side note about Yoobi (this is not sponsored, I just love this fact)… for every item that is purchased from Yoobi there is an item given to school children in the U.S. So, not only can you feel great about getting cute favors to hand out, you can also feel good about helping other kids have school supplies!
Some fun ice cream party favor ideas: (* affiliate links)
- Ice Cream themed back-to-school kit: Yes, it is summer… but, school supplies will ALWAYS be welcome in my house. These ice cream themed school supplies are perfect for a favor for staff. Yoobi makes fun ice cream themed items such as their ice cream side walk chalk*, ice cream bar erasers*, ice cream pens*, or the composition note books covered in treats*.
- Build your own ice cream sundae kit: Send home sprinkles, waffle cones, ice cream cups, etc.
- Gift Card: Send a gift card to a favorite ice cream place.
- Ice Cream Minis: Send home a mini ice cream pint. Just remember to keep them SUPER cold and let your guests know that they are taking home ice cream so that they don’t go home to a melted mess!
Download free printable ice cream favor tags by clicking on the printable photo below and saving to your computer. Print on card stock in full color (or on sticker paper) and cut out the circles around the edges. If hanging as a tag punch a hole with a small single hole punch and attach to a bag with ribbon. If printed on sticker paper, simply pull off the back and attach to your favor!
I hope that you are feeling inspired to host your own Ice Cream Party this summer and that these tips and printables help make the party just a little more sweet!