The Story of our Annual Ice Cream Day

ice cream day tradition

A happy (but messy) child eating ice cream on a long, hot day.  Is there any image more symbolic of summer?  So you can imagine how thrilled a group of kids would be to spend a day filled with ice cream shops and parks  . . . Well, the moms were just as excited because our Annual Ice Cream Day had arrived.


Pop your lactaids because we are hitting the road in search of the best ice cream. Special thanks to my sweet cousin for planning out this year’s adventure.  Each year, we choose a different area and try five different ice cream shops with four different parks.  My cousin compiled a great list and we spent the whole day touring around having fun.




If you’re going to plan a day of ice cream, you have to start early.  We met up at 9:45am, switched our car seats around and hit the road all in one vehicle.  The music we played?  Chip Richter’s Ice Cream Song, of course…and we played it over and over again. 🙂


The first stop was probably my favorite.  A cute little popcorn/ice cream shop in a small town.  Picturesque with throwback candies and the best peanut butter chunk ice cream ever.  Mmmm.




We ran into a little rain, so a quick walk to see some waterfalls and onto Stop #2. This shop had a train running along the ceiling, which of course made this my son’s favorite place.




Our first playground was great and even equipped with actual bathrooms!  We enjoyed our packed lunch amidst the power washers and incredibly loud noise.  Well, the kids were entertained.



Stop #3, a build-your-own-sundae-style place.  Who created the most disgusting mix?  Well, sucking worms covered in ice cream and whipped cream took the cake.




The playgrounds were all so different and fun.  And it was great for the kids to burn off some of the sugar and the moms to chat.  Love mom talk!




Ice Cream Stop #4 had rides that all the kids sat on while eating and surprisingly, no one threw a fit when we told them no for quarters.  The day started to get hot here.




Getting close to home, but still going strong.  My cousin was the only one to wuss out and go for a smoothie.  I think this will be her annual stop #5 tradition.  😉




We wrapped up the day with an impromptu swim at a family pool.  It was the perfect ending to a fun day . . . and it washed off all the sticky.


Couple things to keep in mind in planning your own Ice Cream Day:

* Always, always order the kiddie size.  Don’t order the single . . . you will regret it.   Just don’t do it.

* Don’t spin the kids endlessly on a tire swing after two ice cream stops.  Someone will get sick.

* Pack hand sanitizer.  Not all playgrounds have pleasant bathrooms.  That’s all I will say.

* When your kid gets a 5″ long cut from some rusty metal, remember that for all those DPT shots he got, the T stands for Tetnis.  That way when you speak with the nurse on call, you don’t sound like a complete idiot.  A’hem. 

* Sing loud with your kids to the Ice Cream Song.  You’re creating great memories!

* Take lots of pictures but know that with 5 kids, you’ll only get a handful of great shots.

* Do this every year.  Explore new areas and when the kids are old enough, plan an overnight trip!  We can’t wait.


Hand out awards to each place you stop.  You can see what we use and print your own free copy from last year’s trip.

top photo credit

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Linked up with:  Cheerios & Lattes, Tutus & Tea Parties, I Can Teach My Child


  1. Such a fun idea Kristen.Love it.

  2. oh, this is the cutest idea! I love handing out awards! You also had me laughing…love your little side notes!

  3. I absolutely love this! Creating family traditions is so fun…I think we will have to add this one to our repertoire for the future! Thanks for your great ideas for celebrating…I come here when I need to remember that life is too short not to take full advantage of everyday! 🙂

    • Summer, it is definitely one to add. I just love it. . . . and wish I could eat that much ice cream every week! 😉 And thanks so much visiting. I’m so very glad you stopped by. 🙂