Hosting a backyard barbecue for July 4th? End your party with desserts that delight! Set up a charming little ice cream float bar where guests can choose an ice cream, a soda and toppings to create their own desserts. We’re sharing step-by-step instructions and a free chalkboard printable, too!
You can build an impressive display with a few rustic serving pieces and fresh flowers. Add height with crates, a cake stand, and varying vases. Incorporate color with fresh flowers from your local farmer’s market or even your own back yard! We chose sunflowers with a clipping of blue hydrangea and red carnations for accents. Use our free printable to design and print simple instructions to set out in bright gingham frames and you’re ready to go!
1. Choose an Ice Cream Flavor
Ice cream will be the first thing you prepare and the last thing you put out. Prepare party-ready ice cream cups the day before. First, scoop the ice cream into mason jars. Two scoops nearly fill the jar, and one scoop leaves more room for soda. Pack plenty of chocolate and vanilla options, and then pop the jars in the freezer overnight.
You can set up the whole bar ahead of time, and leave a space for the ice cream tray. When you’re ready to serve, place the jars on the tray and then surround them with ice to keep them cool.
Planning Tip: Run your ice cream scoop under warm water before each scoop so you can form perfect servings. Don’t worry if they look a little messy! The jars will develop a nice frost from their stay in the freezer.
2. Pick a Soda Pop
Classic soda bottles make a nice nostalgic presentation for the center of the ice cream float station. Create a cute printable chalkboard sign in a gingham frame to tell guests what to do. You can even tie custom bottle openers to the bottles for guests to keep as a favor! We used red and white baker’s twine to add another splash of color.
Planning Tip: Set out a container between the ice cream and soda bottles in which guests can discard bottle caps. This will keep your display nice and tidy throughout the party.
These mini bottles are the perfect size for filling a few jars. You can offer a few different soda flavors, too!
3. Top It Off
Set out whipped cream and cherries for guests to top off their creations. Save yourself the clean up, and simply cover up the labels on the store-bought containers! We used corrugated kraft paper and a personalized bottle label on ours.
Hostess Tip: For the adults at the party, you can offer a splash of vanilla vodka for boozy floats!
4. Pop, Fizz, Float!
Once guests have completed their ice cream concoctions, they can cap them off with pretty yet practical daisy drinking lids and select a straw! Personalized party straw flags make these floats even more fun to sip!
Party Tip: Add chocolate sprinkles in a mason jar so your straws stay put. It also adds a cute touch to the decor!
Would you set up an ice cream float bar at your backyard barbecue? How about a late night treat at a summer wedding?