Tips for Hosting an Ice Cream Party

Ain't no party like an ice cream party! The Kitchen has a few quick tips and easy ideas to help you throw an ice cream social so epic, it'll have your friends and family screaming with delight.

Katie Lee throws an Ice Cream Party, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Putting together a fabulous ice cream-themed party is such a great way to put smiles on everyone's faces. An ice cream sundae bar is as easy as 1-2-3! Just follow our favorite tips for festive decor, tasty add-ons and the simplest do-ahead tasks to get this party started without breaking a sweat.

Pre-scoop a variety of your favorite ice cream flavors onto parchment-lined quarter baking sheets and store them in the freezer until you're ready to party. This will ensure the prettiest, neatest scoops that stay frozen and firm longer, and eliminates the need to scoop on the spot, cutting down on mess and getting right to the fun stuff—toppings!

On to the festive decor! Make decorations with yellow cone-shaped party hats, the same number of large round honeycomb paper lanterns (we like pastel pink and green) and the same number of small round red honeycomb paper lanterns. You will also need a hot glue gun. (Be sure to keep a bowl of ice water nearby just in case there should be any glue-gun mishaps.) Assemble the large lantern according to the package instructions. Rest the lantern on the hat like a scoop filling a cone (orient the lantern's string at the top) and gently pull the hat's elastic around the lantern to secure it in place, hiding the elastic along a seam. Assemble the small red lantern, closing it on the string at the top of the scoop and hiding all the string inside the red lantern. Carefully dab a small amount of hot glue to secure it closed, and voila! A sweet ice cream cone. Hang a bunch of these overhead to really set the mood.

Waffle it! Everyone loves the combo of ice cream and waffles, so pre-mix some waffle batter and set it out next to a couple mini-waffle makers. Guests will enjoy making their own waffles and tucking them into their sundaes.

Set out toppings like chocolate, strawberry, and caramel syrups, along with canned whipped cream and a spread of salty and sweet toppings. You can't go wrong with standards like rainbow sprinkles, coconut flakes and crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, but we also love to shake things up with chocolate covered bananas, honey-cinnamon almonds and even crushed gingersnaps. Don't forget the maraschino cherries on top!

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