From sending out the invites to setting the stage for the party, read on for mouth-watering serving ideas, décor suggestions, yummy toppings, and planning tips to host an ice cream social party. Follow the guideline mentioned below, and throwing this party will be a breeze.
Check the stock in your freezer and make a shopping list.
Once you finish a head count, it'll be easier for you to decide how much ice cream you'll require for the party. Ideally, 2―3 cups of ice cream per guest is sufficient. However, depending on how you're planning on serving it will drastically impact the exact quantity. While serving ice cream as is, in a cup, may require you to serve about 4―6 scoops per guest. This number is high because, technically, you will serve a wide range of ice cream flavors at the party. This means, a guest may sample a scoop (or two) of each flavor.
Send invitations at least 2 weeks in advance.
Below, we have provided 4 printable ice cream social flyers that you can print and send to your guests. Click on the card you wish to print, and choose the 'landscape' option to obtain an enlarged version. Cut the printout in half so that you can separate the front and back of the card, cut around the edges of the paper, and paste it on a piece of paperboard for durability.
* These images have been provided by Buzzle for personal use only. Please do not share, reproduce, or resell any of these images in any form.
Depending on how many people you're planning on inviting, send the invitations to your guests informing them about the party. The cards should have information about the date, time, venue, type of party, and RSVP details.
Now planning a party isn't cheap, and if you're inviting more than 5 people, it'll be a good idea to turn your ice cream social into a potluck event. You can, if you wish, include a list of topping items that guests can bring for the event. This way, you're not only cutting down cost at your end, but are also making the guests feel like they're an integral part of it.
Decide between homemade and store-bought ice cream.
Basically, making your own ice cream means a ton of fun, a chance to be creative with the flavors, and reducing the cost considerably. However, for a busy host or hostess, making their own ice cream can be overwhelming. Which is why, you need to figure out how you wish to go about it―taking a chance on homemade ice cream, or going with the tried-and-true flavors? Apart from the delicious and creamy ice creams, be sure to offer sorbets and popsicle for guests with food allergies.
Now, if you're keen on having something 'homemade' on the menu, you can search for local grocery stores that make their ice creams from scratch. That way, you can order their signature flavors and get store-bought cones, sprinkles, jimmies, cookies, etc.
To get into the party spirit, put some thought behind decorating the venue.
You don't need to go overboard with balloons, buntings, and banners everywhere. We are asking for some minimal decorative items that will set the mood for the gathering. Choose from colorful tablecloths, a few streamers, and menu boards to get into the party spirit. Basically, keep the ice cream social decorations as simple as possible; you want the ice cream to be the hero of the party.
To save time, set up a self-serve buffet or ice cream bar that has all the flavors on display.
Setting everything up before the guests arrive means more time for you to mingle. However, as you can't keep ice cream on the buffet table for long, you can keep the utensils, napkins, plates, etc., outside and serve the guests as and when they arrive. A good way to reduce your work during the party is to scoop ice cream in a muffin pad lined with cupcake liners, and pop it in the freezer. Bring these out and have the guests choose the flavors they want.
For a small group of people, you can spend some time to create a masterpiece.
Of course, no one wants to be stuck serving everyone and miss out on all the fun. However, an exception can be made for an intimate gathering. Store glassware and spoons in the freezer till your guests arrive. At the time of serving, grab everything one by one and serve the ice cream in chilled glassware to prevent it from melting too fast.
Obviously, you'll have a separate section for the toppings. But don't forget the additional food items and supplies.
We are talking about ice cream cups and cones, utensils, nuts, candy sprinkles, syrups, sauces, whipped cream, hot fudge, root beer, soda pop, and basically anything and everything you can think of to serve with the delicious ice cream. Apart from this, you can have a separate section with an array of fruits. We love the idea of serving seasonal fruits as it adds color and substance to the party. Make sure there is enough for everyone. Which means, have enough stock on hand and keep refilling everything as and when needed.
Ice cream is meant to be enjoyed outside, in the sunshine.
Last, but definitely the essence of the party―making sure the guests are having a ton of fun. Guide and help them make their own sundae, cone, or float creations, so it's easier for everyone to really enjoy the party.
Regardless of when and where you host the party, the most essential thing is to enjoy every minute of it. After all the planning and organizing, make sure that you don't stress yourself out and are able to spend the day with everyone. Even if certain elements aren't as perfect as you wish them to be, let them be―what's important is that you had the opportunity (and excuse) to celebrate this gathering with family and close friends.