In July of 1984, Ronald Reagan made a Presidential Proclamation that July should be known as National Ice Cream month. A delicious decision! Fast forward thirty some years and here we are in July of 2016, and it’s flipping hot outside! So, I’m gonna take Mr. Reagan up on his offer and celebrate like there is a big, big shortage on the cool creamy goodness!
Here’s the scoop: I’ve gathered some recipes, activities, and local places to help you celebrate! Yum! Happy National Ice Cream Month, my friends!
Easy Ice Cream Cake
I went for a Neapolitan, but you can easily change this cake to any flavor or combination you prefer! For this basic formula, you’ll need 1 box of cake mix (your choice! I used chocolate), 1 carton of your favorite ice cream, and 1 small container of whipped topping. Sprinkles, nuts and other toppings are optional.
Prepare your cake mix according to box instructions. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Pour about 2/3 of the cake mix batter into pan. (I poured the leftover batter into cupcake molds.) Bake and let cool completely. Soften ice cream by removing from freezer for 15-30 minutes. This step will depend on your ice cream and the temperature of your home, but you want the ice cream soft enough to spread without being completely melted. Dump ice cream in a bowl and stir until smooth and soft. Scoop onto cooled cake and spread evenly. Place in freezer until solid. Spread whipped topping evenly across the top and place back in freezer until chilled. Serve frozen!
Chocolate dipped cones making eating ice cream even more fun and tasty than it was to begin with! And it’s easy! Melt your favorite dipping chocolate, like almond bark or candy melts, following the included directions. Once your chocolate is melted, dip the top of your ice cream cone into the mixture. Then roll the cone around until the top 1-1.5 inches is coated. Let little helpers sprinkle the chocolate with nuts or chopped candies before it cools, and lay out on waxed paper to set. Once candy coating has hardened, you can load up the ice cream and enjoy!
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Get creative with a mini ice cream sandwich bar! Gather up some cookies, graham crackers, or donuts for the “buns,” and set out some sprinkles, frozen berries, or chopped candies to roll around the edges! Assemble your go-to faves, or opt for fun concoctions like a s’mores sandwich or a maple glazed doughnut with vanilla and crispy bacon crumbles! Fun, late night date with the hubs, anyone?
Ice Cream has a diverse and extensive history. Google some interesting facts to discuss with your family and have fun quizzing each other about the most popular flavor! I found eCreamery to be a great resource!
Ice Cream Scoop and Dump
I set out cones, cups, and a couple bowls with cotton balls, pom poms, and tissue paper balls. I gave my daughter an ice cream scoop and she went to town scooping our pretend ice cream into made-to-order sundaes and cones! I cut pipe cleaners and paper straws into smaller pieces to resemble sprinkles for extra play options.
Ice Cream Craft/Collage
Flip through old magazines with the kiddos and search for photos of cool treats, then cut them out and glue them on craft paper collage style. Not everyone has a bazillion magazines lying around (I envy you, a bit), but almost everyone has cupcake liners. Alternatively, help or instruct your child to draw a triangle shape for the “cone,” and glue cupcake liners on top to resemble ice cream scoops. Add as many scoops as you’d like! You can keep crafting by adding glitter glue dots or poms poms on for even more flair!
Ice Cream Play Dough
I came across a recipe at Smart School House for a play dough that looks exactly like ice cream! I picked up the ingredients, but I’ll confess I haven’t had time to experiment with it yet. It definitely looks like fun and I’m anxious to try it out!
If your summer schedule is too busy to celebrate at home (I feel you!), check out our contributor’s list of favorite local places to grab a cone!
Cedar Rapids Ice Cream Shops
Nelson’s Homemade Ice Cream– Available in two locations inside NewBo Market or at Nelson’s Meat Market.
Parlor City Ice Cream– locations in Cedar Rapids and Marion!
Where do you go when your family screams for ice cream? Any favorite ways to celebrate the yummy treat? Please share with us!