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Old Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae Bar

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Dad making ice cream sundaes with his children.
Dad making ice cream sundaes with his children.

One of my favorite childhood memories was our ice cream sundae night (usually done on a Sunday, just to be extra ‘punny’). It was a great way to spend some time together, fun to make your own treat, and it was a low-stress treat for mom to prep! 

It was also perfect when hosting friends at the house because everyone can make something they like. If you put newspaper, butcher paper, or wax paper under your ‘bar’, it’s easy clean up, and it doesn’t involve complicated preparations.  Simply put your ingredients out in bowls or small dishes, serve up scoops of ice cream, and have fun!

Additionally, there is always a way to make this work for your family – even if allergies or intolerances are an issue.  With alternative milk ice creams, gluten/allergen free candies and cookies, and simple DIY chocolate or caramel sauce options, you can make something work for your family’s dietary needs.  

It can be as complicated as you’d like, or simple – just make your ice cream sundaes work for you! The possibilities are endless, so get creative! Here are some ideas on what you can use:

Ice Cream:

Ice Cream(s) of your choice (typically a simple flavor, such as vanilla, caramel, or chocolate, works best)


  • Chocolate chips
  • Chopped up peanut butter cups
  • Peanut butter
  • M&M’s
  • Chopped up snicker bar
  • Marshmallows or marshmallow fluff
  • Graham cracker
  • Hershey bar
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh, canned, or frozen berries or fruit (peaches, cherry, blueberries,  strawberries, apples, etc)
  • Ice cream cones
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Sprinkles
  • Gummy bears/worms
  • Crushed up Oreos
  • Whipped cream
  • Chopped nuts

Sauces & Syrups (squeeze bottles are great for younger kids or bigger groups!)

  • Caramel sauce
  • Butterscotch
  • Hot fudge sauce
  • Chocolate sauce or syrup
  • Honey

Have fun and enjoy!

If you are feeling nostalgic you can even make you own ice cream from scratch. I have the fondest memories of making ice cream with my Grammy Opel (but we use a hand-crank).

White Mountain Electric Ice Cream Maker

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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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