Hosting a Homemade Ice Cream Contest
What says summer more than a big bowl of delicious homemade ice cream? What better way to enjoy it than with your friends and family? Almost everyone has an ice cream maker collecting dust in their pantry. Pull it out, dust it off, and BRIBE your friends to do the same by hosting a homemade ice cream party! Every summer we have either hosted or participated in a homemade ice cream party. Look below to find out how we judge the ice cream, what games we play, what prizes we award, what recipes we use, and more! It's super easy and super fun!
What Should Everyone Bring?
Tell your guests to each bring either homemade ice cream to enter into the contest or a container of their favorite store-purchased variety along with their favorite topping for ice cream. Ask everyone to also bring an ice cream scoop. I always provide the bowls, spoons, napkins, and brownies.
When and Where to Host Your Party
We've done this outdoors before, which is great because it makes cleaning up incredibly easy. Spills? Smears? No big deal! However, it can get H-O-T if you're doing this over the summer. Because of that, evening is the best time to have your party. 6:30PM is our usual start time. (Expect that everyone should be there by 7PM.) Since this is the summer, prepare to be flexible. Thunderstorms have driven our party inside our house, so be prepared just in case. Also, don't forget to clean out your freezer. You'll need the space in there!
Fun Ideas for Invitations
1) Ahead of time set up a couple long tables and top them with disposable table cloths. Set spoons, bowls, and napkins at one end.
2) When people arrive with their ice cream, set it on the table. If it's homemade ice cream, write the name of it on a paper lunch bag and set that next to the ice cream.
3) After everyone has arrived, pass out a token or ticket to each person for voting purposes. Instruct everyone to grab a few disposable spoons and sample each homemade ice cream. They should drop their token/ticket into the paper lunch bag for the ice cream that they think tastes the best.
4) After guests vote, it's time to eat! They can then fill their bowls with ice cream and toppings and mingle while you tally the results.
5) Play a couple games. I'll note our two favorite games below. (Offering prizes usually motivates people to participate.)
6) Award prizes for the homemade ice cream contest. I usually award prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. If you have children participating, be sure to have a separate category for them!
7) Mingle more until it's time to clean up. Always accept everyone's offers to help! Many hands make work light!
Fabulous Festive Decorations
Fun Games: Ice Cream Eating Contest
The Tame Version: Give all participants an ice cream cup (the kind used at children's birthday parties that has the stick with which to eat it). See who can finish off the cup of ice cream first.
-Add blindfolds to all participants.
-Have them use their fingers to eat the ice cream.
-Instead of ice cream cups, give each participant a plate of ice cream and have them eat it without their hands.
No matter which option you choose, don't forget bibs!
Partner Ice Cream Eating Contest
All participants need a partner. (We usually insist on family members: either husband/wife teams or child/parent teams.) Place an ice cream cup or a bowl of ice cream and a spoon in front of each ice cream eater. Have their partner stand behind them and put on a blindfold. The partner will have to feed the ice cream eater the ice cream. We usually do this over a table to catch any dropped ice cream. If you're not using a table, be sure to put a towel in all the ice cream eater's laps. Don't forget bibs!
These are the bibs that we use for our ice cream eating contests. They're large enough to cover the front of everyone's shirts and have a pocket at the bottom to catch and drips. They're also disposable, which makes clean-up a breeze! These come in different sizes. Be sure to buy the large size if you're using them for adults!
Prizes & Awards
After the fun and games, it's time to award prizes to everyone who won the games. We usually have gift bags with various ice cream related items in them such as ice cream sprinkles and flavored syrups. Let the game winners pick their own gift bags.
Then it's time to award the winners of the homemade ice cream contest. For a smaller group, you can give all participants a small prize such as an ice cream scoop with a ribbon on it. (Dollar stores usually have these). For those who placed, you can give awards such as rock salt, ice cream starter mixes, themed ice cream bowls or sundae glasses, ice cream recipe book, and/or ice cream pop molds. If you're hoping to make this an annual event, add a "trophy." A golden spoon or a golden sundae glass will work. (Just spray paint a wooden spoon or a sundae glass with gold colored spray paint.)
Great Prize Ideas
Making Ice Cream Is Easy
Never made ice cream before? Don't have an ice cream maker? No problem! Watch these videos for tips on how to make ice cream and on what to use if you don't have an ice cream maker.
More Great Prize Ideas
Which Flavor is Your Favorite?
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