Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party: DIY ice cream decorations, ice cream themed party games, activities, and crafts, and sundae buffet.
We had so much fun celebrating my daughter’s Maddie’s 11th birthday with an Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party. Today I want to share all the fun details with you.
Giant Ice Cream Cone Backdrop
The most exciting part of the party was the ice cream dessert table where everyone could build themselves the perfect ice cream sundae for dessert. We wanted this area to feel really special so we made a special backdrop on the wall.
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This ice cream cone backdrop was so easy to put together and had so much impact.
We started with making a giant ice cream cone shape out of brown kraft paper. And then we attached it to the wall.
For the ice cream we used a combination of different honeycomb balls. I was inspired by Lemon Thistle’s version-check out her cute party. I found the honeycomb balls were a little hard to attach to the wall, since they’re quite heavy so I used some straight pins to secure them.
This special backdrop was really simple to make and had so much impact for the party.
Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party Table Decor
We kept the decor for the party pretty simple. For table runners we used some fun bright wrapping paper. It was a great way to add lots of colour for the party, really inexpensive and great for clean-up.
The food was as pretty as the decor. We made ice cream cone cupcakes, by cooking cake batter in ice cream cones. Then we added icing, sprinkles and a m&m “cherry on top”. The “party” pics we added to the ice cream cone cupcakes are so cute and reusable, and certainly set the mood to celebrate.
As a centre piece for the table we used some ice cream cone ceramic cups and added in some faux rose balls (from the dollar store).
It was so easy and looked so cute for the party. I also used our light box with a birthday message. I love pulling this out for parties.
Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party Loot Bags
Over on the side table we had the loot bags ready for guests. We did a lot of little crafts at the party so one of the first activities was to make a label with their name on it for their bag, and tuck their crafts in as they were finished to take home at the end. There was a also a “Make Your Own Sundae” kit inside for everyone. At the party everyone got to design and create their own ice cream flavour and then bring it home with them -more details on that in our upcoming post on the party activities. Inside the the “Make Your Own Sundae” kit there were bags of sprinkles and candies, chocolate and caramel ice cream sauce, and some assorted cones and waffle bowls all to go with the ice cream they made so they continue the party when they got home!
I always think it’s fun to display the invite for the party at the front door, so we did. There was also a basket of ice cream bubbles for everyone to grab on their way out.
I also set up a little drinks cart for the party. There’s nothing like pretty pastel ice cream coloured paper straws for a party!
Ice Cream Cone Bunting
Over in the living room I decorated the fire place mantel for the party too. It’s always fun to pull out some old pictures of the birthday girl for a party. Oh how she’s grown. I used my letter board for an ice cream message. “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream and it’s kind of the same thing.”
My very favourite little detail though has to be the ice cream cone bunting I made. I found the honeycomb ball garland at the dollar stores and picked it up so that I could use the little red one as a cherry on top of our ice cream cone wall backdrop. But…then I had another idea. I used some small wood veneer cones (usually used as disposable food containers for parties). I cut the top point off of the cones to make them look like an ice cream cone, and then hot glued them onto the honeycomb balls. It turned out so, so cute and was really easy.
The bunting was so sweet that I picked up another one, and cut it into individual balls and made more ice cream cones to hang from the light in the kitchen. Aren’t they the cutest?
Ice Cream Party Birthday Party Activities
Next I want to tell you all the fun Ice Cream Themed Activities that the kids did at the party. Admittedly we had a lot going on. It was a four hour party over lunch. I would rather over plan for a party and run out of time than run out of things to do. I tend to think that busy kids are the best kid of kids (leftover from my teaching days). We did end the party with about a half hour of play time in our pretend ice cream shop, but we’ll get to that soon. Our first activity as the girls arrived was to make our own new ice cream flavours.
Invent Your Own Ice Cream Flavour
Our first activity at the Ice Cream Birthday Party was for our guest to invent their own ice cream flavour. Our little chefs were invited to suit up for the occasion with their own chef hats and aprons when they arrived.
Next, our ice cream flavour inventors got to choose a container and make a label for their new flavour with what ever they’d want to name it. Some of the names were really cute and really creative! We had cute containers and sticker labels. The girls got to write the new flavour name and then decorate their labels with markers and washi tape.
Next it was into the kitchen to actually create their new flavours. We had a base of homemade vanilla ice cream for everyone. The churning of the homemade ice cream was timed so that it would be ready for them but still soft so that it would be easy to mix in anything they wanted.
We had lots of fun add-ins for the ice cream inventors. There was peanut butter, nutella, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, and caramel sauce. There was also fresh fruit and jams. We also had a whole bunch of different sprinkles and candy add-ins.
After the ice creams were created our guests put their labels on, and we popped the new ice cream flavours into the deep freezer for the rest of the party.
At the end of the party we added them to their “Make Your Own Sundae” take home kits as loot bags. Everyone got some assorted cones and waffle bowls, chocolate and caramel sauce, and some different little bags of sprinkles and candies to have with their ice cream at home. These were a real hit with the kids, and they couldn’t wait to tell their parents when they came to pick them up.
Pom Pom Ice Cream Cone Craft
These cute pom pom ice cream cones were really fun to make, and everyone was able to personalize theirs with their own colour choices.
We used these wood veneer cones as the perfect ice cream cones. The wood veneer cones are usually used for food service, all we had to do was cut off the tip to make them look more like real ice cream cones. If you couldn’t find these though, you could make the cones from some kraft paper, or brown construction paper.
Next, we made a large pom pom as the scoop of ice cream. Then we made a much smaller bright red, or dark pink pom pom as a cherry on top. If the children were too small to make their own pom poms, you could use ready made ones. Lastly, we hot glued the pom pom into place and added some sequins as sprinkles.
Ice Cream Cone Key Chains and Necklaces
My daughter loves crafts so we also made ice cream cone key chains or necklaces.
- polymer clay
- key chains
- jump rings
- eye pins
- wire cutter
We started by shaping an ice cream cone out of brown/beige polymer clay, and then adding one, two, or three scoops of ice cream. We used the serrated edge of a plastic knife to create the ruffled edge of each scoop of ice cream. Everyone could choose their colours of ice cream and how many scoops to add. To finish it off we made a tiny cherry for the top. I used wire cutters to shorten the eye pin so that it was shorter than the finished ice cream cone. Then I carefully inserted it into the cone, so we’d be able to attach a jump ring to it.
Next, we baked the cones for about 5 min. to set the clay. To make it easy, I lined a baking tray with parchment paper and wrote everyone’s name beside theirs with a sharpie.
Once they were cooled I called up each girl and asked if she’d like a key chain or a necklace. Then I added a jump ring to the ice cream cones, and then attached them to the key chain, or a necklace chain.
I used some small organza bags to put the finished key chain and necklaces into, and then we put them into everyone’s loot bags to take home.
Blind Ice Cream Tasting
Everyone loved the blind ice cream tasting. We asked the girls to find a partner, and for one of them to blind fold themselves. Their partner then gave them a taste of the three different samples of ice cream and guessed which flavour they were.
Then the girls switched places, and we had another three different ice cream samples for them to try. The girls all had a little piece of paper to write their guesses on. This was one of everyone’s favourite activities and was easy to put together.
Ice Cream Sundae Bar
What was everyone’s number one favourite activity at the party? It had to be eating ice cream! We set up an amazing ice cream buffet for everyone to enjoy after lunch.
We started with lots of ice cream flavours. In order to keep it all from melting, I put some of the smaller ones into a galvanized pail of ice.
We had lots of different ice cream cones and waffle bowls to choose from. In addition to these though, and everyone’s favourite were the fresh homemade waffle cones we made. We picked up a new waffle cone maker for the party. One of the activities for the party was making the batter together. Then my awesome sister worked away cooking them and forming them into cones (the tricky part). They made the whole house smell amazing and were such a fun addition to the party.
We had lots of different toppings for the ice cream. I had loads of different sprinkles in mason jars, and had them on a little lazy susan so everyone could easily help themselves -and boy were they a hit with the kids!
We also had lots and lots of little candies, and nuts, and chocolates to add on top in the cutest ice cream cone dishes.
We also had some ice cream sauces -chocolate, caramel, and strawberry, whip cream, and the requisite cherry!
Another fun addition were these little ice cream cones made with rice krispies.
Maddie used mini ice cream cones as the base, and added a small ball of rice krispies dipped in pink chocolate. She added some sprinkles and a red M&M for a cherry while the chocolate was still not set so they would stick. They were so cute, and delicious.
And the final deserts were these ice cream cone cupcakes. We baked normal cake batter inside some ice cream cones instead of cupcake liners. Then we added icing, sprinkles and a candy cherry. They were so sweet.
This party was so fun! And I didn’t take any photos of the final activity.
Pretend Ice Cream Shop
We set up a pretend ice cream store in the basement. You can see how I made a similar one for another ice cream party when my girls were much younger. Maddie set up a menu, and some tables and chairs. There was a little kitchen and order desk for customers. She made ice cream out of tissue paper balls, and sprinkles and cherries out of pom poms. The cones were a combination of paper ones and real ones. She had pretend syrup bottles, little cute paper bowls and spoons and ice cream themed napkins. There was toy money and a toy cash register, and costumes for the all the girls to dress up in. She’s growing up so fast. It did my heart good to see that what she really still wanted to do was have her little friends over and really play. I’m sure these days are really limited now, but for the last half hour of the party, with bellies full of real ice cream, they played and played, and laughed and played some more until their parents arrived.
It was a very full of activities kind of a party. We made our own ice cream flavours, did crafts, tasted ice cream, cooked ice cream cones, ate lunch, and then played pretend ice cream store. It was also very full of fun! Just how we like it. 😉
With an ice cream themed birthday party to enjoy, life really is a party.
You might also like our Ice Cream Birthday Party here -from when my girls where younger.
Also check out our Kit Kat Ice Cream recipe here.
You might also enjoy our Ice Cream Sundae Kit here.