An ice cream social, or an ice cream party at home, is a great party theme for any event or special occasion — from summer party ideas, to children’s birthday party themes, or even holiday party ideas! Here’s how to host ice cream social from topping ideas, decoration ideas, and a supplies checklist!
How To Throw An Ice Cream Social Party
These will work for ice cream social ideas for adults, an ice cream party for kids (or a mix of ages!), or even if you need ice cream social ideas for school or groups parties. (Some people even have an ice cream social fundraiser to raise money for their favorite charity!)
How do you throw an ice cream social party?
Ideas For Ice Cream Social
- Post a fun ice cream social flyer or send out festive ice cream social invitations
- Have a variety of ice cream flavors (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookie ice cream, etc.)
- Create a fun ice cream toppings bar (sprinkles, shredded coconut, caramel sauce, candies and cookies, and more beyond just traditional toppings)
- Include fun ice cream dishes, ice cream spoons, and ice cream scoops
- Have edible sundae shells / Sundae bowls, as well as different kinds of ice cream cones
- Use big bowls or tubs with ice to keep the ice cream from melting
- Set up tables and chairs and include umbrellas or canopy tents for sunny days
- Include ice cream alternatives (sherbet, sorbet, snow cones, fun fizzy drinks, etc.)
- Have a band or festive ice cream social music
- Play ice cream games
- Have ice cream eating contests
- Play the disappearing ice cream sundae game
Don’t miss more ideas for your ice cream social checklist below!
What do you serve at an ice cream social?
Your ice cream social menu should include a variety of ice cream flavors, as well as a range of ice cream toppings. You’ll also want to have non-ice cream items (even if it’s just water and other drinks). If you want to keep the party to a minimum, you don’t have to serve much beyond that (but some people serve cake and baked goods, too).
How much does ice cream social cost?
The cost of an ice cream social will depend on a number of factors, such as the number of guests, the number and type of ice cream you serve, how many ice cream toppings you provide, if you’ll have drinks and alternatives for ice cream, and other costs like party favors, game prizes, and setup costs. Generally speaking, you can expect to spend around $5-$10 per person for food and drink items, with additional overhead costs if you have those.
Ice Cream Social Alternatives
You’ll also want to include some no dairy treats for those who can’t eat dairy products or prefer something else.
Alternatives to ice cream:
- Fruit ice bars
- Italian ice
- Bubbly drinks
- Boba teas
- Hawaiian shaved ice
- Sno Cones
- Fruit salad in ice cream cones
Why is it called an ice cream social?
The old fashioned ice cream social was first celebrated in the early 1800s. It referred to a type of gathering where people would enjoy ice cream and other desserts, sometimes cakes, and socialize. Today, the term is used to describe any type of party or gathering where ice cream is served.
Let’s get to the fun ice cream social event ideas!
Ice Cream Social Party Ideas
Ice Cream Social Event Names
- I Scream For Ice Cream
- Sundae Fun Day (if you’re having it on Sunday)
- We Have The Scoop
- Make You Melt Mixer
- Sprinkle Social
- Ice and Dice (great if you’re pairing an ice cream party with a game night!)
- Cone-Gratulations Party (perfect for an ice cream social graduation party or an ice cream social for seniors!)
- Sun & Sweets (for summer parties)
- Sweets and Social
- Sundae School Social (for a church ice cream social)
Get creative with your names for ice cream social!
Ice Cream Social Party Supplies
In addition to ice cream and toppings for the ice cream (toppings list below), you’ll also need supplies for ice cream social:
- Cute ice cream party menu telling what flavors are available (optional)
- Paper ice cream cups (we love these ones with lids)
- Ice cream spoons
- Waffle bowls
- Waffle cones
- Regular ice cream cones
- Ice cream scoops
- Ice cream cone holders
- Something to put your toppings in for your ice cream social bar (these are great)
- Ice bins for ice cream like this (or inflatable ones like this) – you’ll just sit the ice cream containers down in the ice
- Paper towels / napkins
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer and food gloves for the people serving the ice cream
- Extra ice in coolers to replenish your ice cream ice bins
If you’re having a smaller ice cream party (like a an ice cream birthday party for kids), try these cute ice cream bowls and spoons.
Also, if you’re also having drinks, grab these super cute ice cream straws!
GREAT RECIPE FOR THIS PARTY:
Ice Cream Sundae Bar Toppings
Your ice cream party definitely needs fun ice cream sundae ideas and a wide variety of toppings!
Ice Cream Sundae Toppings List:
- Whipped cream
- Gummy bears
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Marshmallow fluff
- Caramel sauce
- Mint chocolate candies
- Maraschino cherries
- Fresh fruit (like cut up kiwi!) / fresh berries
- Chocolate syrup
- Mini chocolate peanut butter cups
- Hot fudge sauce
- Rolled Wafers
- Brownie pieces
- Mini M&M candies
- Pop Rocks
- Caramel Topping
- Candy bar pieces
- Shredded coconut
- Nuts (although we love this as an alternative to nuts)
- Strawberries / strawberry syrup
- Crushed cookies
- Mini chocolate chips
- Nerds candy
- Mini marshmallows
- Crushed graham crackers
If you’re wondering how many toppings for ice cream social, don’t! You can go as big as you want or just offer a few shaker sprinkles (like chocolate sprinkles and rainbow sprinkles) and squeeze toppings like this.
Ice Cream Social Party Decorations
Your ice cream social extravaganza doesn’t need a ton of party decorations!
Ice cream social decorations ideas:
- Ice cream table clothes
- Festive party pennants
Ice Cream Social Party Favors
If you’re having an ice cream birthday party theme and want to give out party favors or just want to have something special for kids at your party, try:
- Colorful sunglasses (if outdoors)
- Mini wet wipes
- Ice cream pop it toys
- Ice cream temporary tattoos
- Ice cream pens
- Pop The Ice Cream
Don’t forget the cute ice cream favor bags!
Ice Cream Party Game Ideas and Activities
These are fun for ice cream birthday party activities or if you’ve been wondering what do you do at an ice cream social!
Ice cream social games and activities:
- Pin the ice cream scoop on the cone
- Sundae Ice Cream Game (learn how to play ice cream game) – great if you’re looking for ice cream station party ideas
- Ice Cream Minute It To Win It challenge
- Ice cream slime craft station
- Ice cream truck sprinkler pad
- Ice cream scoop stack game
- Ice Cream Bingo
- Ice cream toss
These work for ice cream social ideas for school, ice cream social ideas for work, an ice cream social birthday party and more!
ALSO CHECK OUT MORE SUMMER FUN IDEAS: Fun Beach Snacks For Kids
What did we miss on our ice cream social list?