Cake is great, but an ice cream sundae bar is epic. Building it is half the fun, which is why an ice cream bar will take your average party into something no one will forget. A few decorations and a lot of toppings will make your guests so happy, they’ll scream for ice cream! Read on for some fun and whimsical ideas.

Serve Ice Cream in Mini Brownie Bowls

Because cones are so ordinary, right? Up the ice cream sundae bar game by opting for a super sweet bowl the gang can eat: these mini brownie bowls from Life Love Liz are perfect because you can serve them warm or cooled down, depending on how much time you have before you need them. Get the details on how she did it over at


Unicorn Sundae Bar

Because every kid wants to eat a unicorn sundae, and probably every adult does, too! The best part about this amazing treat from Dawn at Cutefetti is her low-cal version that still has all the whimsy and the taste. Find out how she made them (and get a ton of other cute ideas) here

Banana Split in a Jar Bar

Around My Family Table's great idea combines all the best parts of a banana split into a cute mason jar, making it the perfect individual treat for tots. Layer up graham cracker crumbs, different types of ice cream, and fruit toppings for a dessert that really rocks. To check out the full recipe, click here.

photo: Around My Family Table

Italian Gelato Bar

Set up your own mini gelateria right on the counter: you can buy gelato at the store but to make the gelato bar seem autentico, scoop it into the mini cups and garnish with a mini Italian flag. Be sure to have fresh fruit, mint and small cones or wafers for garnish, too.

Simple & Chill

If you love the whole "ice cream bar" idea but it seems a tad unrealistic to you, especially on a hot day, try a very simple method. Set our your cones and anything non-perishable in advance, then just before your party peoples are ready for their treats, keep the ice cream in its own pints and set in a bowl of ice. Make tiny labels to make it look chic—they can have the flavors of the ice cream or just simple words, like "celebrate." 

Pastel Palette

A cheerful color palette is a perfect compliment to an ice cream party. The pastel-hued tablecloth, honeycombs and paper goods are darling and a simple way to amp up your party décor. Even the scoops match the color palette at this ice cream social. We especially dig the pink waffle cone-style cups. So smart!

Classically Cute

This old-fashioned-themed sundae bar by event planner Pocket Full of Parties makes us as happy as a kid in an ice cream shop. The chalkboard, color scheme and vintage objects add to the charm, while the display of sauces and toppings is sweet and simple.

Rustic Charm

We love the casual, homespun feel of this sundae set up. The wooden spool table and a cart found at the flea market make a great showcase for the ice cream and toppings. The use of buckets, crates, chalkboards and mismatched dishes fit in perfectly, creating a cute and cohesive party style.

Fancy Pants

For a more sophisticated setup, this display from Eat Drink Chic is fabulously fun. Glass sundae dishes, custom labels and a pink candy box with a silver scoop elevate an average ice cream party to a girly girl’s dream. We love the way the toppings are displayed—maraschino cherries have never looked so chic!

By the Jar

All those sprinkles, candies and cookie crumbs look extra appetizing in little glass jars, and it’s a great way to store leftovers. We love the use of jars over on Baked Bree.

Popsicle Stick Solution

This idea is so simple, we’re kicking ourselves for not already thinking of it. Use a marker and popsicle sticks to label your toppings. It’s a quick and easy way to make your party look more pulled-together.


Shelf Station

Why not use a piece of furniture to display your sundae bar? This charming yellow bookshelf spotted on A Lovely Place to Land provides a perfect backdrop for ice cream, toppings and silverware at a Curious George-themed ice cream social.


Cookies & Cream

What’s more fun to eat than ice cream? An ice cream sandwich! Offer a selection of ice cream flavors, a variety of cookies, sprinkles and mini chocolate chips. Let guests choose their own adventure! Find other delicious ice cream sandwich inspirations on Yellow Bliss Road.


Just Add Soda

If you’re looking for another twist on the ice cream theme, bring soda into the mix. There’s an old-fashioned appeal to ice cream floats, and so many options available when it comes to glass bottles of soda. Kids and grownups will love trying out different flavor combinations. This colorful party has a great soda-filled setup.

Sweet Selection

If you want to serve sweets along with ice cream, there are plenty of inspired options. Cake pops in cones and ice cream-shaped cookies make adorable and delicious additions to this darling party.

Scoop Ahead

We’re always on the hunt for hints to make our parties look a little more seamless. This clever tip comes from Kojo Designs. Scoop your ice cream in advance and put it back in the freezer until it’s party time. It makes for a delectable display, and you’ll get to spend time with your guests rather than the ice cream scoop.

A Pint to Go

When it’s time for guests to leave, send them home with a pint for the road. It’s a perfect parting gift, so you can make sure they got their fill of ice cream. We spotted these pints with custom labels over on Kiss My Cakes.


— Natalie Broulette

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