Desserts Family Activities Feature Kids in the Kitchen

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae Bar

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

If sorbet is your thing follow this link.

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