How to Set Up a Summer Lemonade Stand

If you’re in the market for outdoor kid-friendly activities that don’t require a car ride, simply look to your own front yard!

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / ©Nicole Mlakar /

Not-Your-Average Lemonade Stand

Setting up a lemonade stand is a creative way to keep little ones entertained during the dog days of summer, and it provides a perfect way to educate them on the basics of cooking, teamwork and handling money. Keep reading to see how to make your lemonade stand the talk of the neighborhood this year.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar

by Camille Styles, photography by Nicole Mlakar
by Camille Styles, photography by Nicole Mlakar

Set Up Shop

Building your lemonade stand structure is half the fun. Start by finding a large cardboard box and use a box cutter to remove the front and back sides, then put the kids to work painting the exterior white. Once it’s completely dry, hand-paint signage on both sides of the box so neighbors can see your stand from blocks away. Tip: During this process, keep a roll of heavy-duty tape on hand to help with any structural needs.

Think Inside the Box

To create a functional lemonade stand, you just might have what you need right in your own closet. A simple shoe rack or small bookshelf slides squarely into the box and provides shelving for all your storefront needs. And if you’re really feeling creative, put the finishing touch on your stand by using old sheets or painted fabric to create a festive awning.

Menu du Jour

No restaurant is complete without a menu. Help your little ones create their own with a rectangular foam board, food imagery made of felt cutouts and hand-painted prices. This is also the perfect opportunity to teach your children the basics of sales and mathematics!

Easy Pouring

Just because they’re old enough to run a lemonade stand doesn’t mean they’re quite ready to handle a pitcher. Save on spills and cleanup by setting lemonade out in a kid-friendly drinks dispenser — this way customers can help themselves, or the kids can dispense each cup made-to-order.

Craft-Your-Own Cups

Invite your kids to show off their creativity and send a piece of their talent home with each customer who stops by the stand. Rather than serving lemonade in monotonous plastic cups, let them adorn paper cups with whatever they desire: Hearts, stars, initials or just scribbles are all fair game, and the drawings will add a colorful, personal element to every cup.

On Display

Once they're dry, stack the painted paper cups and set them out somewhere prominent on the lemonade stand. Other important components you won’t want to forget: striped paper straws and plenty of napkins.

Like Grandma Used to Make It

The most-important factor of all? Your lemonade! Be sure to offer a classic version that'll please even the pickiest palates. The must-have lemonade ingredients are sugar, water and lemon juice.

Feeling Blue

For those who love a fruitier flavor, mix up a batch of this blueberry lemonade. A bunch of fresh, sugary blueberries add a seasonal twist to the classic lemonade, and the deep berry color of the final brew will give your lemonade stand instant curb appeal.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Lemonade

The Choice Is Yours

Pour the blueberry lemonade into a large drink dispenser and display it alongside the classic lemonade so guests can pick their preferred drink.

A Final Flourish

A little garnish goes a long way. Give customers the option of adding a burst of flavor to their lemonade by setting out self-serve bowls containing washed sprigs of mint and fresh blueberries.

Keepin’ It Sweet

Who doesn’t love a classic chocolate chip cookie? This super-simple recipe yields perfectly moist and chewy cookies that will sell out in a flash. Go ahead, we dare you to try and eat just one!

All Hands on Deck

For a menu option that the kids can truly take ownership of, why not setup a station where they can make their very own candy kebabs? Simply set out wooden skewers and a variety of soft, sweet and sour candies, and let them “cook up” their very own culinary creations.

Plating for the People

Once all the kebabs are skewered and ready for market, arrange them neatly on an acrylic serving tray. Slide them onto a shelf of the shoe rack alongside the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies; they’ll be in plain view and utterly irresistible to customers.

Straight to the Bank

Help your young entrepreneur keep his or her finances in order by picking up a plain wooden box from the craft store and letting the kids decorate it however they like. It’s the perfect place for them to keep their cash and coins, and at the end of the day they’ll be thrilled to open the box and count their earnings!

A Step Up

Don’t forget the little ones! Encourage smaller children to get involved by providing a step stool — which you most likely already have at home — for them to grab their own cups, help with serving lemonade and even hand off cash.


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