Each year since 2013 our family has picked one day in July (preferably an intolerably hot one) to celebrate our Family Annual Ice Cream Day tradition. We spend the entire day hopping around different ice cream shops around town with stops at parks in between.
Every year several of my friends ask about it and how we manage it, so I thought it would be fun to share all about this adventure today, in case your family wants to create this new tradition too!
This isn’t for the faint of heart.
You have to LOVE ice cream.
I mean a lot.
Enough to eat it all day– for every meal. 🙂
But trust me– your kids will NEVER forget it and it is one of the most fun things we do all year.
We also have invited a friend or two to join us at some point (as you will see in some of the pics), but just make sure you prep their parents and know for sure they love ice cream!
Here are the rules we have developed over the years (but you are welcome to change them to fit your family’s needs):
Must eat ice cream for every meal and snack. That means: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. Cheating with real food IN ADDITION to ice cream is allowed for dinner only.
Preference given to independent ice cream shops– no chains.
Ice cream shops have to actually serve ICE CREAM. No custard or frozen yogurt.
Ice cream shops shouldn’t be a “create your own flavor”– hence why custard is disqualified on two counts since they only have 2 base flavors type– the base flavors must come pre-mixed.
Must stop at different parks in between each ice cream stop (to burn off the sugar).
The same flavor cannot be ordered by the same person twice at any point throughout the day.
Only one scoop of ice cream for snacks and up to 2 scoops is allowed for breakfast, lunch or dinner only.
No one ever HAS to finish their ice cream. Eat until you are satisfied and throw the rest away. This is the only way we avoid getting sick.
This above picture was taken in 2013, our first year! We learned a lot. This was our second to last stop for the day and my middle boy, Alex, had had enough! hahaha the picture makes me laugh!
Logistically, the night before I plan out all our stops and map it out. Then I look at the hours and determine which opens first and then plan out how we will hop around town.
Above was our 2016 schedule and below was our 2017 schedule.
Typically ice cream shops don’t open before 11, so I recommend checking out a gelateria because they often serve coffee as well, and open for breakfast (we start around 9am)– meaning you will be the first ones ordering gelato for the day! 🙂
Once I have figured out the order of each ice cream stop, then I find close-by parks or attractions (preferably free or cheap) in between each stop. We typically play for 45 min-1 hour in between each ice cream stop, and I try to give preference to ones that have some sort of water fountain in the late morning and afternoon, so we can cool off.
In the evening, I love it if I can find a concert or movie in the park or something along those lines, so we often end up picking a Friday for our ice cream day.
However this year, we couldn’t make a Friday work, so we are doing it on a Tuesday– TODAY!
I would love to know if you decide to do this with your family too!
Use the hashtag #FamilyIceCreamDay
and tag me @shadesofblueinteriors ! I would love to see you adapting our family’s Ice Cream Day tradition for YOUR family!
If you like this idea, I would love if you’d share it!