While school is still out, and the heat is still on, you’re probably in need of some new ideas for entertaining the kids. The kids wanted ice cream and I thought it sounded like the perfect party theme. This ice cream party is a great way to spend a summer afternoon; just right for end of school, sports team, or summer birthday parties. When you host the party at a park, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up before the party, either. Just make sure you have any necessary permissions or permits. Cleaning up during the party may be another issue. Just make sure to have plenty of wipes to take care of those adorably sticky faces and hands. Two scoops, anyone?
Thank you to Arden Ward, Arden Photography for the beautiful images.
This is the extremely easy part. Just run by the store on your way to the park and pick up everything you need. Ice cream, cones, disposable dishes, toppings like crushed cookies or sliced strawberries.
Put a cooler in your car to keep ice cream from melting. If you use dry ice; it will keep the ice cream really frozen. Wear thick insulated gloves to make sure your skin doesn’t come in contact with dry ice and keep it away from children; it can quickly cause frostbite or burns. If you haven’t used dry ice, learn about the hazards beforehand. You can also layer ice with rock salt instead of using dry ice. If you love the taste of homemade ice cream, break out your ice cream maker or get one of those awesome ice cream making balls. Toss it and freeze your ice cream at the same time.
Since ice cream makes you thirsty, juice isn’t a good choice. I decided on Kool-Aid this time; always refreshing and fun. I made three flavors in self-serve plastic beverage dispensers loaded with fruit slices. The dispensers were easy to transport, too.
Water is best, but at a party, you want something colorful and festive so flavored water is a great option. Infuse water by adding fruit, cucumber, or mint. I like a cucumber/mint combination or oranges and other citrus. Simply slice the fruit into water in a pitcher or dispenser an hour or so ahead of serving. When you are ready to serve, add the ice to the dispenser. Refreshing, delicious, and a healthy alternative.
So guests could easily find us in the park, a clearly defined party space was essential. We decided to make a bright flag banner in party colors from rope and scrapbook paper. The project cost us $9 and took about an hour. Fold paper squares into a triangle over the top of the rope and use a glue stick to fasten the edges together. You can use any paper you have for this project or find ready-made party banners to match your theme. Use your party food as decorations. Waffle cones dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles held all of our toppings or get an ice cream set to kick it up a notch. I used vivid kid-friendly vinyl from the fabric store for tablecloths, only $2.99 per yard. Find cheap plastic bowls and serving pieces at the dollar store and your decorations are complete.
Kids will do anything if ice cream is the end result so you can easily keep them occupied until you’re ready to serve. My niece and I made a bean bag toss game, Baggo, out of some scrap lumber. We designed it with an ice cream cone motif. After that, we made bean bags out of fabric squares. We had fun making our Baggo game but if this seems like too much work, you can buy a Baggo game online. You’ll use it for tailgate parties, birthday parties, etc. We also had a big play parachute and used our ice cream ball for lawn bowling. Get the kids to roll the ball around and half an hour later—ta-da, you have ice cream!
This party is a cinch to pull together. You can even plan and execute this party in the same day if you have a gang of kids headed to your house. Set up stations of all-purpose wipes and recruit other parents to help you keep the kiddies cleaned up—but try to relax and let the kids be kids. Who cares if they’re covered in sprinkles afterwards? Just wipe them down for the ride home and have a great afternoon in the park!