Ice Cream Birthday Party

Ice Cream Birthday Party: homemade decorations, a pretend ice cream store with homemade cotton ball ice cream, ice cream games, and an ice cream sundae buffet!

Ice Cream Birthday Party: homemade decorations, a pretend ice cream store with homemade cotton ball ice cream, ice cream games, and an ice cream sundae buffet! 

Yesterday we celebrated my oldest daughters sixth birthday, with an ice cream birthday party.  We had so much fun, and so much ice cream!

I. Ice Cream Birthday Party Decor

We wanted to set the theme as soon as our guest arrived so we added lots of ice cream themed decorations.  At the front door guests were greeted by some fun little ice cream scented candles that smelt jus like ice cream.

ice cream candles

On the console table, our regular candles were dressed up for the occasion with some cute ice cream cone ribbons, and I also displayed one of the invitations.  I made the pink gingham table runners for another event, and thought they fit in with the ice cream theme perfectly.

ice cream birthday party

Ice Cream Birthday Party Invitations

I made the invitations a few weeks ago.  I found some inexpensive cute ice cream scoops, and attached them to the cards.  On the front was a simple ice cream cone made out of scrap book paper and glued on to card stock.  On the back were all the party details, and the line”Here’s the scoop, Paige is turning six!”  I bought a few extra scoops to use at the ice cream buffet.

ice cream birthday party invitations

DIY ice cream birthday party invitations

Ice Cream Birthday Party Loot Bags

The loot bags were also on the console table, ready for guests as they left.  I had a lot of fun putting them together, and hunting for ice cream treasures over the summer.  I always tell friends when they ask how I do it that the key to a great themed party is to plan early.  That way when you are out and see something you can pick it up. 

The loot bags were in cones, and filled with ice cream themed treats.  There were a several kinds of candy;  Neapolitan popsicles lollipops, ice cream cone lollipops and gummie ice cream cones.  There was also ice cream cone bubbles, stickers and lip gloss for the little girls.  One of my favourite little items was the sidewalk chalk, with our custom made labels.

ice cream themed loot bags

Homemade Ice Cream Decor

For this party, I also decided to decorate the powder room with our theme.  I made some small paintings in the ice cream theme.  I couldn’t resist these little canvases and easels when I saw them at the dollar store.

DIY ice cream mini art

DIY mini ice cream art

DIY mini ice cream art

We also used the ice cream towel I made last week.  See the tutorial of how I did it by clicking here.

DIY ice cream towel

I decorated the fireplace mantel with baby pictures of the birthday girl, little ice cream cone candles, and one of my homemade banners.

ice cream birthday party decorations

The other banner was also in the living room.  I made these banners several years ago, out of felt , seam binding, and pom-poms.  The flags are sewn to the seam binding, and each tip has a pop-pom on it.  I made the letters out of felt also and glued them on. 

I have used these over and over again, by changing the themed accent each time.  They have had Dora on them, cupcakes, and cookie monster, but this year we made ice cream cones.  I made simple ice cream cones and popsicles out of felt and attached them with double sided tape.  Next year, when I need them again, I’ll simply remove the ice cream cones and popsicles and add something to match our new theme. 

Since I have two little girls, I made the bunting flags out of pink and white felt and pom-poms, but if you have boys you could make them blue and white, or if you have a boy and a girl maybe in yellow and green, or something else gender neutral.  Choose what ever you think you could get the most use out of.  Make them once and use them over and over.

DIY ice cream party decorations

Ice Cream Flower Arrangements

One of my favourite little details were the ice cream cone flower arrangements.   I bought ceramic ice cream cones, and put a little floral foam inside.  I used white carnations to make scoops of ice cream and red carnations as the cherry on top!

ice cream flower arrangements

ice cream flower arrangements

What is it they say?  “it’s all in the details”!

II. The Ice Cream Birthday Party Activities and Games

Pretend Ice Cream Store

We thought it would be fun to put together a pretend ice cream store for dramatic play at the birthday party and it was a huge hit with the kids.  

We started out with a menu board, created from our chalk easel and a homemade sign, complete with some of her ice cream drawings.

ice cream dramatic play centre

How We Made the Pretend Ice Cream

We made the ice cream out of cotton balls.  We had been saving all our empty ice cream containers for months.  Vanilla was the simplest, just an old ice cream container filled with regular cotton balls.

For the chocolate chip and smartie flavours we used markers to add dots to the cotton balls.

how to make ice cream for a drama centre

Dying Cotton Balls

We made the chocolate and cherry flavours by dying the cotton balls with fabric dye.  I added about half a package of pink dye to boiled water in a mixing bowl, and added wet cotton balls, that had been rinsed in hot water.  The dye only took a few min. to set.  Then I rinsed the coloured cotton balls with cold water, until it ran clear.

how to make play ice cream

how to make play ice cream

how to create an ice cream dramatic play centre

I repeated the process with brown dye to make the pretend chocolate ice cream.

After the dyed cotton balls were rinsed I tried drying the brown ones in the clothes dryer in a garment bag, but they became a little misshapen, and did not fluff up again like I had hoped.  I decided to let them, and the others finish drying on newspaper over night.  When they were dry, I fluffed them up a bit more with my fingers.

how to make pretend play ice cream

dramatic play ice cream centre

After they were all dry, we put them into empty ice cream containers.

This worked out really well, and the kids absolutely loved it, and loved playing with it.  It was a great activity to play again and again after the birthday party too.

The Pretend Ice Cream Store

pretend play ice cream store

In addition to all our pretend ice cream in old ice cream containers, we added a few other fun things too.  We used red pom-poms for cherries, and some of the plastic fruit and cookies for ice cream sundae toppings.  

There were plastic bowls, scoops, cups and straws for shakes, and real ice cream cones.  I also used some plastic bottles we had from play food sets, and added some home made labels for chocolate, caramel, hot fudge, strawberry, and pineapple sauce.

ice cream pretend play dramatic centre

There also had a checkout table, with our play cash register, and a set of play money.  After the kids got their ice cream order, they headed over to the cashier to pay for it.

ice cream store pretend play dramatic centre

The ice cream stand was a real hit, and something my kids will play with long after the party.  The ice cream play centre was set up in the basement, since it looked like rain, but later in the party it cleared up and we were able to head outside for some games.

Ice Cream Relay

The first game was an ice cream relay race.  We divided the kids into two teams, and gave them each a wooden ice cream cone, and two magnetized scoops of ice cream, from the “Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Parlour Set”  The magnets hold quite well, but were just wobbly enough to make it fun.

wood ice cream toy

The kids had to race through a hula hoop, and around an ice cream cone box with their ice cream cones.  It was such a cute race.

ice cream cone relay

Ice Cream Cone Bowling

Our second game was our version of ice cream cone bowling.  We used ice cream cone popper toys, to bowl over some small ice cream cones.  I found it to be harder than it looked!  And it was a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

ice cream cone bowling game


ice cream cone bowling

Ice Cream Crafts

Our final activity was some ice cream themed crafts.  We set them up in the dinning room.  There were wooden ice cream sundae cut-outs to be coloured, glittered and bejeweled. 

There was also foam sheets cut out in the shape of a popsicle.  The children could glue a popsicle stick on the back and add a face with googly eyes and markers.

ice cream birthday party craft

ice cream craft

ice cream birthday party craft

Part III -The Ice Cream Sundae Buffet!

ice cream sundae buffet bar


We had a bbq for dinner;  hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage, chips, and salads, all the regular fare.  A cute detail was also adding ice cream cone picks to the burgers and dogs.

bbq dinner

ice cream picks in hamburgers

Before the party I also found great ice cream cone plates in blue, pink and yellow for the kids, ice cream bowls and spoons for dessert, and ice cream and popsicle napkins.  I sure had fun shopping for this party!

ice cream plates, bowls and spoons

Ice Cream Birthday Party Dessert

The highlight of the ice cream birthday party had to be when we finally moved onto the ice cream sundae bar.  I had a lot of fun collecting all the different goodies.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I made ice cream cone cupcakes to go with our theme.   They are very simple to make, just pour your regular cake batter into flat bottomed ice cream cones.  I used a zip lock bag filled with the batter, with the corner cut off to make a piping bag.  That made it easy to fill the cones without making a mess.  I filled them about 3/4 full.

cupcake in an ice cream cone

They looked great when they came out of the oven, but I have to say that the cone softened up over night.  If I made them again, I would really try and bake them the day of the party.  Not that the kids noticed!

how to bake a cupcake in an ice cream cone

I love how they look in the different flavoured ice cream cones.  They were iced to look like they were filled with ice cream and topped them with sprinkles and a mini M&M cherry.

ice cream cone cupcakes

The day before the party I also baked ice cream cone sugar cookies. 

ice cream cone cookies

In addition to these we also included a bowl of marshmallow ice cream cones.  These were a fun grocery store find.

ice cream cone marshmallows

The Ice Cream Sundae Buffet

The rest of the dessert table was ice cream, toppings and cones!  I found lots of fun different kinds of cones.  There were the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ones I used for the cupcakes.  There were tiny mini ones for kids.  We also had some waffle bowls, regular sugar cones, and oreo cones.  There were also the cute ice cream bowls and spoons.

ice cream cones

We also went a bit crazy with the ice cream flavours, but why not, it was an ice cream party!  We had chocolate, cookies and cream, and vanilla.  There was also had some coffee flavour, which the grown-ups seemed to really enjoy.  The other flavours were banana split, rainbow, sprinkle party cake, and marshmallow chocolate swirl.  They were all very enjoyed by the kids, and I liked that they came in small containers for a reasonable price so we could have lots of variety.

ice cream buffet

ice cream scoops

The real fun was the toppings!  I found cute ceramic ice cream cone containers and filled them with chopped peanuts, chocolate covered peanuts, chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, fruit flavoured mini-marshmallows, toffee chocolate bar bits, candied almonds, gummy bears, and mini-M&M’s.  And finally we had regular and chocolate whipped cream, bananas, strawberry, chocolate and caramel sauce, and the requisite cherry for the top!

ice cream sundae buffet toppings

ice cream buffet toppings


The look on the faces of the kids when they saw all the ice cream was priceless, and certainly enjoyed by all!

ice cream sundae

With an Ice Cream Sundae Bar, life really is a party!

More Ice Cream Birthday Party Inspiration

You might also like our latest Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party here.

Also check out our Ice Cream Sundae Kit here.

Ice Cream Sundae Kit: Perfect for summer gift giving. Wrap up your favourite ice cream toppings, sauces, cherries, ice cream cones, and ice cream.

You might also enjoy our Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream recipe here.

Homemade Rhubarb and Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe: creamy vanilla base, with tangy rhubarb compote and sweet strawberry compote ribbons throughout.


  1. I am so impressed. You make it all seem so easy but I know it took a lot of time to make it all turn out so perfectly! What a great Mom you are!

  2. Just a courtesy note to let you know I have pinned your “Ice cream birthday party” post to a pinterest board with a collection of learning resources to support learning through playing ice cream shops. You will find lesson ideas, learning activities and resources on my boards. You can view my boards at http://pinterest.com/fingerpprojects/
    Warm Regards

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