July kicks off birthday season in my household. Four of the last six months of the year are filled with planning, surprises, and of course, cake and ice cream. It’s almost kismet that July is National Ice Cream Month because both of our July birthday girls, my mother and my daughter, love ice cream. While partaking in a scoop (or two) of ice cream will do, I put together four other fun and delicious ways to celebrate National Ice Cream Month:
1. Invent Your Own Ice Cream Flavor
The first of July is National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, but you can still celebrate Ice Cream Month by inventing your own ice cream flavors throughout the month. Making ice cream can be fun with or without an ice cream maker.
While places like Baskin Robins seem to have a monopoly on ice cream flavor creation, they can’t make an ice cream flavored by your grandma’s sweet potato pie recipe or whatever unique combination your little ones pull out of the pantry. An added bonus of making your own ice cream is that you can avoid cross-contamination to create an allergy-safe dessert.
2. Host an Ice Cream Bar
Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be limited to the grill. Entertain guests with an ice cream bar. Perfect for parties and feeding a crowd, ice cream bars offers a buffet of ice cream flavors and toppings that make devouring the cool treat fun and satisfying. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sundae Bar – classic ice cream bar with a smorgasbord of ice cream flavors and toppings. To add a twist, offer waffle cone bowls, pre-scooped ice cream in mason jars, or ice cream cups as the base for your sundaes.
- Banana Split Bar – banana splits are another classic ice cream-based dessert. To avoid gridlock in the serving line, I suggest making ice cream scoops ahead of time. Serve them in baking cups so that it’s easy for guests to pick the three scoops of ice cream needed to build their banana split.
- Ice Cream Sandwich Bar – build your own ice cream sandwiches with cookies and ice cream or add toppings to store-bought ice cream sandwiches.
- Soda Float Bar – there are other variations of the soda float besides root beer and vanilla that guests could enjoy like cream soda and chocolate ice cream, or for the strawberry lovers, strawberry soda and strawberry ice cream.
3. Create an Edible Ice Cream Sensory Bin
I will begin by stating that this is an ice cream-inspired activity so no worries about little fingers getting cold and covered in melty mess. Instead of using real ice cream, you can create edible ice cream play dough to mold, scoop, and roll around in sprinkles.
A less sugary version I’ve found for an ice cream sensory bin uses whipped cream and sprinkles inside individual bowls. If you don’t have to worry about your little one’s eating out of their sensory bin, you can also try making ice cream-scented doughs that feel more like traditional play doughs. However, they’re more fun to smell than to taste.
4. Celebrate All of the National Ice Cream Days in July
July is one of the hottest months of the year so no surprise that it’s full of holidays related to ice cream:
- National Strawberry Sundae Day – July 7
- National Freeze Pop Day – July 8 (Perfect for those of us who can’t consume dairy)
- National Ice Cream Day – July 17
- National Peach Ice Cream Day – July 17
- National Vanilla Ice Cream Day – July 23
- National Sprinkles Day – July 23 (A classic ice cream topping)
- National Fudge Sundae Day – July 25
- National Coffee Milkshake Day – July 26 (Ice cream is one of the main ingredients)
What is YOUR favorite way to celebrate with ice cream?