The Best Ice Cream Bar Ideas

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​How to create a charming ice cream bar for your next party!  Perfect for all occasions, from birthday parties to an ice cream social, 4th of July parties, or even casual summer kick-offs. This easy dessert idea promises to be a crowd-pleaser, offering a customizable and interactive experience for guests of all ages.

Ice cream cones in a wooden holder on a bar

An ice cream sundae bar is a delightful dessert for any event. I have made ice cream bars or trays for many of my parties, and everyone loves them! It’s a fun way to present a dessert. Kids and adults will eagerly wait to craft their own sundae. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like ice cream!

A DIY ice cream bar has diverse flavors, toppings, and innovative suggestions. I will teach you all my tips and tricks for creating one to excite your guests at your next party! 

If you love bar ideas, check out my snow cone bar and spritzer bar, both are great for entertaining.

Scoop of purple ice cream with cones, flowers, whipped cream.

Why You’ll Love These Ideas

Fun: Ice cream parties are a perfect way to excite any gathering. With ideas like a Waffle Cone Wall and Ice Cream Cone Holder, guests can enjoy the whimsical side of dessert.

No-Bake: These ice cream bar setups require no oven time. All fun, no fuss!

Personalize: Customizing the experience is accessible with various Ice Cream Flavors and Ice Cream Bar Toppings. Add a touch of personality with Favorite Sprinkles.

Practical Tips: Efficient ways to keep ice cream from melting are provided, ensuring a delightful experience for everyone.

Ice cream bar with ice cream cones and colorful flowers.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar at Home

Find a spacious area like your kitchen island, dining table, or bar cart where attendees can easily access all the options.

Ice cream scoop: A good quality ice cream scoop will do wonders when scooping several ice creams!

Ice Cream Varieties: Offer a selection of your favorite store-bought flavors to cater to different tastes. Add in a few sorbets and dairy-free options, too. Offer 3 to 5 choices to satisfy every taste bud.

Toppings Galore: Prepare a variety of toppings, including sauces, nuts, and fruit, alongside unique options such as mini marshmallows or chocolate-dipped spoons.

Ice Cream Cones and Cups: To add an authentic touch, have an assortment of cones and cups, including waffle cones. Waffle bowls are also a fun addition.

Wooden Spoons: Ideal for eco-friendly serving.

Small Serving Bowls: To hold toppings and sprinkles.

Décor: Enhance your bar’s look with charming decorations like colorful flowers or a waffle cone wall.

Ice cream bar with pink flowers and a green cooler with ice cream tubs.

Remember, an ice cream bar isn’t just about the delicious flavors and toppings but also creating a festive experience.

The design elements like the Mini Ice Cream Cone Cookies serve as treats and as part of the decoration, making every detail count in creating an unforgettable event.

Three colorful ice cream cones in a wooden cone holder with sprinkles on the top of them.

6 Fun Ice Cream Bar Ideas

Here are some fun ideas to create a charming ice cream sundae party

1. Waffle Cone Wall

Enhance an ice cream party by creating an eye-catching backdrop using waffle cones. They can be attached to a wall, creating a thematic and innovative decoration that will excite guests.

2. Charming Colorful Flowers

Incorporating vibrant flowers at an ice cream bar adds a touch of elegance. Arranging colorful blooms can transform the space, making it more inviting and picturesque.

3. Ice Cream Cone Holder

Ice cream cone holders are not only functional but can also be decorative. Whether purchased from stores or bespoke ones from Etsy, they contribute significantly to the aesthetic of an ice cream parlor setting.

Colorful pink flowers.

4. Chocolate Dipped Spoons

Personalizing an ice cream gathering is simple with chocolate-dipped wooden spoons. They are delightful to look at and use, adding a special touch as people enjoy their ice cream.

5. Mini Ice Cream Cone Cookies

Serve mini ice cream cone cookies as an inventive topping or alongside the main treat. They are as delightful to look at as they eat, providing a playful nod to the event’s theme.

6. Ice Cream on Ice

Display pints nestled in a vibrant ice chest to keep the ice cream at the perfect scooping texture. This functional choice ensures flavors stay distinct and delicious throughout your event.

Waffle cones on a wall behind an ice cream bar.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

When selecting ice cream flavors for an event, variety caters to all tastes. Essentials include:

  • Classic Vanilla: A timeless favorite that pairs well with any topping.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip: Refreshing with a balance of sweetness from chocolate chips.
  • Strawberry: A fruity option that’s consistently popular.
  • Coconut: Tropical and creamy for those seeking an exotic twist.
  • Espresso: The robust flavor is a perfect pick-me-up for coffee lovers.
  • Black Raspberry Sorbet: A vibrant and lighter alternative.
Sprinkles, ice cream cones, and dipped chocolate spoons for ice cream bar toppings.

Ice Cream Bar Toppings

Enhance your ice cream with a variety of toppings:

Sauces: Hot Fudge Sauce and caramel sauce for a decadent twist.

Creams: Whipped cream adds a light, fluffy texture.

Fruits & Nuts: For a natural touch, berries, cherries, and nuts.

Maraschino Cherries: A classic topping that adds color and sweetness.

Confections: Sprinkles, chocolate chips, and gummy bears for sweet bites.

Fresh Fruit: Sliced bananas, strawberries, and raspberries are refreshing and healthy options.

Crushed Cookies: Oreo cookies or graham crackers add a crunchy texture to sundaes.

Candy bar toppings: Crushed candy bars like Reese’s or Snickers add a fun and indulgent touch.

Favorite Sprinkles: Opt for blends from Fancy Sprinkles for their unique, playful touch.

Edible Flowers: Incorporate dried, edible flowers for a subtle floral essence.

Waffle cones and flowers on an ice cream sundae bar.

Tips for Creating an Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Protection: Utilize food covers to shield sweet treats from outdoor pests.

Temperature Control: If leaving the ice cream out, place it in an open bucket with ice to ensure it remains chilled; replenish as necessary.

Cleanliness: Have wet washcloths on standby for tidying up spills promptly and maintaining a neat sundae station.

Signs to label flavors and toppings: Consider creating custom labels for each flavor and topping. This adds a personal touch and helps guests quickly identify their favorite options.

Encourage creativity: Give guests small notebooks or cards to write down their unique ice cream creations. This allows them to experiment with different flavors and toppings and share

Ice Cream Sundae Tray

You can also create a similar ice cream bar with a tray. Arrange your favorite toppings in small bowls and sauces in a tray with small compartments, making it easy for guests to choose their desired flavors. This option is excellent for smaller gatherings or intimate events with limited space.

Chocolate-dipped spoons with sprinkles for ice cream.

Special Occasions to Serve

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Small jars of ice cream, all different colors sitting in ice with flowers.

More Fun Entertaining Ideas You’ll Love

Fancy sprinkles in bowls with a small wooden scooper.

Now that you have all the ice cream party ideas you need, it’s party time! Tag me @sugarandcharm on social media. I’d love to see what you’ve created!

You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!

ice cream bar

Ice Cream Bar

Everything you need to create a beautiful ice cream bar!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 1633kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 cup sprinkles
  • 1 cup gummies
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 2 cups chocolate sauce
  • 2 cups caramel sauce
  • 16 ounces whipped cream
  • 1 gallon ice cream , different flavors
  • 10 waffle cones
  • 10 sugar cones


  • Place all of the toppings in mini bowls.
  • Place everything on a kicthen bar or island.
  • Organize all of the supplies and ice cream bar decorations.
  • Have guests create their own ice cream sundaes!


This is a rough estimate for 10 guests. Add more or less of whatever you love!


Calories: 1633kcal | Carbohydrates: 264g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 912mg | Potassium: 840mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 154g | Vitamin A: 1310IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @sugarandcharm or tag us #sugarandcharm!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many toppings should be provided at an ice cream bar?

Aim for at least 10 different toppings, 3 different sauces, and essentials like cherries and whipped cream. Approximately 4 ounces of each topping per guest is a good measure.

What toppings are commonly favored for ice cream?

Classic toppings include peanuts, whipped cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, cherries, and chocolate sauce.

What is the recommended method for scooping ice cream?

Dip the scooper in warm water, scoop at an angle, complete a full circle motion, and then release the ice cream onto the cone or bowl.

How large is a standard scoop of ice cream?

A single scoop is typically around 1/2 to 1 cup, while a double scoop is about 2 cups.

How much ice cream should be provided per guest?

It’s recommended to have a minimum of 2 cups, or 16 ounces, per guest. With a gallon of ice cream serving approximately 8 guests, 4 to 6 flavors can cater to different preferences.

Can I pre-scoop ice cream for an ice cream bar?

Pre-scooping ice cream is feasible and can help expedite service at the bar. Consider keeping pre-scooped ice cream chilled until served.

How do I keep the ice cream from melting?

To maintain the solidity of ice cream during service:
Pre-setup: Arrange the bar with an array of toppings and decorations ahead of time.
Storage: Keep the ice cream at the bottom of the freezer to ensure it is extra solid before use.
Timing: Remove the ice cream only when ready to serve.
Insulation: Place the ice cream in an ice chest or bucket packed with ice to reduce melting.

Ice cream sundae bar with title.

2 thoughts on “The Best Ice Cream Bar Ideas”

    • Hi Lani, not sure which link you are talking about. We checked the Etsy Journal Link and it is linking back to Etsy. The cart is from HomeGoods! We use it a lot for entertaining.


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