Summer is the perfect time to throw an ice cream party! These easy ice cream party ideas will have you ready to host your friends and family in no time! There's no better way to kick of summer break than with creamy, refreshing ice cream sundaes made with delicious Tillamook Ice Cream! From topping ideas, a fun, summer-inspired activity and a tasting area, an ice cream party is a sure-fire way to get people smiling!
This post is sponsored by Tillamook. Tillamook Ice Cream is available at retailers across Southern California. Visit Tillamook.com/where-to-buy to find it near you.
If your kids are like mine, they get really sad when the school year ends. It can be hard to stay connected with friends when everyone is at camp all day or off on vacations. I decided to throw an ice cream party so the kids could play, make plans for summer play dates and for the parents to celebrate a break from the school routine.
But you really don't need a reason to throw an ice party! There's never a wrong time for ice cream.
These tips and ideas apply to all kinds of summer get-togethers whether it's a party just because or you actually have something to celebrate like a birthday, graduation or summer holiday.
How to Throw a Summer Ice Cream Party!
I wanted to invite a lot of friends and neighbors so I decided to rent out a local rec room. This type of party can just as easily be hosted at your home. While I used large party tables, you can easily recreate these ideas with your dining table or even kitchen counters.
This room sits right off our lake so I knew our view would be amazing. Even though this space sits in the center of our neighborhood, it truly feels like you are on vacation.
Your location really doesn't matter, as long as you have Tillamook ice cream! People truly love this brand (me, included).
Since this party room was a big, open, plain space, I knew I wanted to create a colorful backdrop for a photo area. It was perfect as a photo background but also helped to decorate the space.
If you are hosting at home, you can create a mini version or you can just use some banner paper to create a designated picture spot.
I had these adorable ice cream cone cut-outs created which I put up on the walls with some blue painter's tape. It was a simple way to play up the ice cream theme and add a little more color around the space.
The space looked cute but took very little time and effort which is a party win in my opinion.
I found these awesome large paper ice cream cones and had to have them. They added the perfect whimsical touch and made a big impact. If you are hosting at home, a few of these would be all you need to create a really fun environment.
And never underestimate the power of fresh flowers! I used colorful blooms, throughout the space, to add more pops of color. Arranging flowers is not a great skill of mine so I kept things super simple by grouping colors together.
An Ice Cream Tasting Station
Because I knew that Tillamook Ice Cream had a few new flavors out, plus there are some classic flavors that I am obsessed with, I decided to set up a tasting station. And, if we're being honest, the sampling is sometimes the best part of going to the ice cream shop!
When Tillamook sent me some of their flavors to try at home, I was pleasantly surprised by my love of the Birthday Cake flavor. And I knew my friends and neighbors would be too. This tasting station gave everyone a chance to try out 7 different flavors!
I wanted to serve a variety of flavors to appeal to all the guests so I served Birthday Cake, Chocolate Mudslide, Old Fashioned Vanilla, Oregon Strawberry, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Oregon Hazelnut and Salted Caramel, and Marionberry Pie.
You may not be able to serve this many, but a few flavors will give your party that ice cream shop feel!
I picked up some small-sized wooden spoons that made it super easy to taste the flavors. I made sure to have enough so that people could use a new spoon for each flavor and used small empty vases for them to place their dirty spoons.
My mom and mother-in-law kept this station running smoothly. I think they really enjoyed seeing which flavors the kids responded to.
The guests loved the tasting area! Some of the adults played it cool at first, but most of them came back to try multiple flavors throughout the afternoon. The kids, on the other hand, wanted to try them ALL!
I kept table decorations simple with just some flowers and things like fresh strawberries, vanilla beans, chocolate bars and a birthday cake to play up the ingredients found in the ice cream.
Ice Cream Sundae Bar
After tasting the flavors, you moved on to the sundae station where you could enjoy a full serving of your favorite Tillamook ice cream flavors.
Because Tillamook uses only quality ingredients, I wanted to as well. I skipped the usual candies and sprinkles in favor of homemade sauces, fresh fruits, homemade granola, scratch-made cake crumbles and waffle cone pieces made lovingly by my mom (those waffle cones have been my favorite ice cream topping since she got the waffle cone maker when I was a little girl!).
I tried several sundae combinations over the course of the party and loved each of them. I have a sweet tooth, what can I say. Also, my excuse is that I was the party hostess and I had to make sure I knew exactly what I was serving my guests…
The kids loved the topping choices and no one made outrageous sundaes like I thought they would. You never know what to expect when kids can make their own sundaes.
Summer Bucket List Activity
I set up a Summer Bucket List station for kids as an activity during the party. Because we are at the start of summer, I wanted to encourage the kids to think of some fun things they'd like to do with their families over the break.
Not only will it help get the kids excited (even though they might be missing their friends), but it will also help the mom's plan their long summer days!
I had them write summer ideas on mini paper ice cream cones and stick them up on a poster to help their friends round out their own lists. I had cute printed pages with space for them to keep track of their ideas to take home with them.
My kids have them on the refrigerator so we can easily see what they want to do. You know, like going to New York. I thought they might put things like go to the zoo, or watch a movie…not my kids.
Photo Booth Area
Giant inflatable ice cream cones were a hit in the photo booth area. I also provided a few other summer-themed props for guests to use and had them use their own cameras to take photos of their family. We got some funny shots, that's for sure! Kids love to be silly in photos!
These ice cream party ideas are easy and this is a great way to bring the neighborhood together for some summer fun.
Tillamook Ice Cream is a Must!
You can skip all the decorating and all the extras as long as you are serving Tillamook ice cream! From the first bite, you can tell that this isn't just any old ice cream. It's rich and creamy and it's something you just have to taste for yourself!
Tillamook is committed to making the best-tasting dairy products in the most natural way possible and that's no small task!
Tillamook has hard-core fans and I can see why. At the party, people shared their favorite ice cream flavors (some of which were not at the party and now I need to go find them to try!) and watched people fall in love with new-to-them flavors.
The Birthday Cake flavor surprised a lot of people and if you haven't tried it yet, you need to!
Visit Tillamook.com/where-to-buy to find Tillamook ice cream near you!
Pin These Party Ideas for Later
Use these ice cream party ideas to inspire your own sundae party. Your friends and family, and most of all, the kids will thank you!