Schools Out for Summer Party

I woke up one morning and they were big. I don’t know how it happened, but now I have one heading to Pre-K, one to 1st grade, and one to 3rd grade. It seems like last week that we were going to Gymboree and tumbling on mats instead of doing real homework and reading chapter books. All 3 had wonderful teachers this year, and they learned so much. They also worked really hard, and to celebrate a great year, we had a “last day of school” ice cream party. It was also our way of saying goodbye to our neighborhood friends. I have to be honest, this was one of my most favorite parties that we have ever had. It was easy, cheap, and the kids went crazy for it. I made a few sauces, bought some fun toppings and ice cream, and that was it. Wes filled 120 water balloons and it was an afternoon filled with happy tummies and lots of laughter. Adults and children alike.

ice cream partyWe live on an Army base, and the kids outnumber the adults. By a lot. I figured that I would have about 40 kids. I bought 8 tubs of Breyers, and 50 cups. We ended up running out of cups and our kind neighbors brought us some reinforcements, so we served about 80 cups of ice cream in a little over an hour. Next time, I would offer less toppings, or have more than 2 kids at the table at a time. It slowed things up, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. I was standing on the other side of the table, and at some points it was overwhelming to see that many children in line coming towards me. It felt like they were going to rush me. Thankfully, they took it easy on me.

ice cream partyHere is what I had:

chocolate sauce (4 batches)
caramel sauce (2 batches)
strawberry sauce
peach sauce
raspberry sauce
milk chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
sliced almonds
Andes candies
Reeses Pieces
Mini Reeses Cups
rainbow sprinkles
chocolate sprinkles
mini marshmallows
cinnamon marshmallows
gummy bears
Oreo crumbs
whipped cream (the surprising hit of the party)

ice cream partyTo make your life a million times easier, pre-scoop the ice cream. I softened the ice cream a bit, scooped it out, and put it back in the freezer. I covered each sheet pan with parchment and had them stacked up in the freezer. I have a freezer outside in my garage, so as soon as I was running low, my husband would grab me another, and we were back in business. Next year (this will now be an annual event), I will most likely only offer vanilla. It will just be easier that way.

ice cream partyThe kids were really into picking out their toppings. I was also impressed that a lot of them picked the fruit toppings. Not my kids, of course, but I knew that they wouldn’t.

ice cream partyIn between ice cream, they threw lots of water balloons. And then came back for some more.

ice cream partyHere is to a great summer, filled with new adventures, and new friends.

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  • What a great (and super cute) idea! Whipped cream is always the hit around here too. I could serve bowls of it and my kids would be tickled pink! Here’s to a great summer!!!

    • Seriously! Of all the things that I make, whipped cream is the thing that impresses people the most.

  • Wow, they are big! Looks like the party was a big hit, but how could it not be with all of those wonderful topping choices??? Good luck in the coming weeks with your move; can’t wait to follow along!

  • What a sweet lovely mom you are 😀 melts my heart! Can’t wait to do fun things life this for my son!

    • thank you Anita! It is so much fun to do this kind of stuff.

  • This looks like so much fun!!! Great pictures and set-up idea!

  • this is just FABULOUS!!! it’s funny how you say you woke up and they were big…some days i think my 2 year old days will last forever, but i know it will go (and is) going by fast. we even have one on the way due in sept! i hope that when we move again, we find a great neighborhood like yours so i can do this for all the kiddos..i just LOVE! it!!! so fun!! 🙂 good luck with your move this summer.

  • What a fun party!! I wouldn’t have picked the fruit toppings either. Even in my 20’s I still go chocolate, on chocolate, on chocolate at a fro-yo shop!

  • So cute! Only you can turn the simplest idea into the biggest hit.

  • I love the idea of having an ice cream and water balloon party, thanks for all the tips!

  • It really is fun, isn’t it?! You live in the perfect place for this kind of party…looks like it was a total hit!

  • Wow, what a wonderful party! Thank you so much for sharing what worked and what didn’t. We live on an Army post too, and I bet something like this would be a huge hit in our neighborhood.

    Best of luck on your move!

  • Love this idea! And for something so simple, it’s gorgeous and so well planned. Happy summer!

    • Thank you Deena! It was so much fun that we will do it every year until they won’t let me!

  • What a fun little party! Would that be weird if a bunch of 25-30 years old held a party like this?

    • No, not at all! The grown ups were really into it too. 🙂

  • Summer is what we all want and what the kids are waiting for.. School is out and fun is in.. Good luck for our summer vacation..

  • I LOVE this !! Such a wonderful idea! My son is 3 and my daughter is one and this fall my son starts preschool and I cannot wait to do things like this ! You are amazing and I know how you feel I mean my kids are only 1 and 3 but I feel like it just goes by so fast!! I may have to have a few more kids so they can stay little longer 😉 haha ! Your kids are so adorable and I hope you all enjoy your summer vacation!

  • Your kids are beautiful. How nice to give them a fun memory. You know it is these
    childhood moments that will make them love Mom forever, and also teach them
    to be kind to others.

    • Thank you so much Mark, that is really nice of you to say.

  • Love this idea for a birthday party! I found it on Pinterest of course! Where did you buy the cups?

    • Thank you! I got the cups at Party City I think. Just plastic cocktail cups. Nothing fancy.

  • I love this idea. I throw a root beer float/swim party to celebrate the end of school each year, which is undoubtedly cheaper and easier, but I’ll be using your party plan one way or another. Thanks for posting. (I also love your sense of humor.)

    • That’s a great party idea! I love it. This is my favorite party hands down. We don’t do kids birthday parties, so we do this one and call it good. It’s pretty reasonable because there is always one brand of ice cream on sale. (And thanks, I appreciate you appreciating my sense of humor, not everyone does!)

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE! I’m looking for ideas for my son’s first birthday party and I love your toppings ideas and look forward to making the sauces! I was wondering where you got the aqua spoons? The color is exactly what I’m looking for.

    • Probably Target? But you can get them at Party City or most party supply stores, they have every color these days.

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