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A Fun & Delicious Ice Cream Float Bar

Put together an ice cream float bar for dessert at your next party. A fun, easy and delicious outdoor entertaining idea!

Ice Cream Float Bar Set Up on White Bar Cart with Ice Cream, Bottles of Soda and Toppings

Welcome to week two of the Outdoor Extravaganza! If you missed last week, be sure to check out my log and succulent centerpiece, as well as the other beautiful and clever gardening ideas from this year’s participants.

This time around, it’s all about OUTDOOR DECORATING & ENTERTAINING

Ice Cream Float Bar with Ice Cram, Bottles of Soda and Fruit

Ice Cream Float Bar Ideas

Planning on hosting a late spring or summer outdoor party? I’m pretty certain your guests will go nuts over an ice cream float bar. So fun, easy and delicious!

With Victoria Day coming up on Monday in Canada, we decided to celebrate the long weekend by hosting a little outdoor get-together. That means grilling, chilling, and, of course, indulging in a few treats.

Outdoor Ice Cream Float Bar

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, I like to plan ahead and make it as simple as possible. Having a dessert station where it’s self-serve means I’m able to enjoy my guests rather than run around getting this and doing that.

Being frazzled while entertaining is never a good thing. Been there?

Ice Cream Float Bar on White Cart

Plus, it’s far more fun for everyone to come up with their own float combinations, whether they fall on the Plain Jane side of things or are more of a Risk Taker. I’m somewhere in the middle. What about you?

How to Set Up an Ice Cream Float Bar

When it comes to supplies for an ice cream float bar, the basics are ice cream and soda (or sparkling juice). You’ll also need glasses, spoons and straws. Oh, and don’t forget a bottle opener and scoop.

Outdoor Ice Cream Float Bar with Bottle of Blood Orange Soda

Vanilla ice cream is always a favourite, but adding other flavours or even gelato or sorbet to mix things up is fun too.

The same goes for the carbonated beverages. I like to include options that aren’t the standard root beer or cola. Lemon lime and cream soda are popular choices. You could even use sparkling juice, such as peach.

Vanilla Ice Cream in Glass Jar with Wooden Spoon in Bowl of Ice

Float Toppings

Want to take your ice cream float bar one step further? Provide a selection of toppings to boost the taste and make the floats look even more scrumptious. Plus, a little fruit ups the health factor, right ;)

Ice Cream Float Bar with Fresh Strawberries and Blueberries in Farmer's Market Basket

I opted for strawberries, blueberries and fresh mint. Oranges and raspberries would be delicious too.

Of course, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and sprinkles are classic float toppings. Select flavours that pair well with your soda selection.

Ice Cream Float Bar with Soda, Ice Cream, Fruit and More

Float Bar Tips

Keep your ice cream and drinks over ice. Buckets or bowls work well.

I transferred my ice cream to a glass jar since the waxed cardboard tubs tend to get squishy over time and this looks so much better.

Outdoor Bar Cart Filled with Ice Cream Float Supplies

I used our outdoor bar cart to set everything up, but any table will work. Chances are it will get messy, so opt for something that isn’t too precious or cover it with a waterproof table cloth to be safe.

Keep a kitchen towel handy and some napkins too.

Outdoor Ice Cream Float Bar with Mason Jars and Vanilla Ice Cream

Ice cream floats are perfect on a hot summer day! (It was 28°C when I took these photos. Oh, how I wanted to dive right in!)

Outdoor Dessert Bar with Supplies to Make Ice Cream Floats

Ice Cream Float Combinations

What kind of float would you create? This one is blood orange Italian soda with vanilla ice cream and mint. So tasty and refreshing!

Some other ideas are:

  • cherry soda, vanilla ice cream, fresh cherries
  • sparkling lemonade, strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries
  • lemon lime soda, pineapple ice cream, fresh mint
  • grape soda, raspberry sorbet, fresh raspberries
  • lemon seltzer, blueberry ice cream, fresh blueberries

Be sure to share your favourite ice cream float ideas in the comments.

Blood Orange Ice Cream Float in Mason Jar Topped with Fresh Mint

Ice cream float bars are perfect for birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, Father’s Day, Canada Day (or Fourth of July) or any other outdoor celebration. Have some fun :)

Be sure to pin this summer dessert idea for later!

Ice Cream Float Bar for Outdoor Gathering

More Outdoor Decorating & Entertaining projects

You’re going to love these creative outdoor ideas. Be sure to pop by each blog to see what everyone’s been up to outside!

Looking for some motivation to get your outdoor space summer-ready? Join the Outdoor Extravaganza blogging series hosted by Satori Design for Living and friends!

Come back next Thursday, May 24th to see our Outdoor Paint & Build-it projects. Wishing my Canadian friends a happy Victoria Day!

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Have a splendid weekend :)

Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. I haven’t had an ice-cream float in what seems like forever! Sounds like the perfect Summer treat, as always your photos and styling are epic! Happy long weekend to you! xo

  2. This is perfect for summer! Ice cream floats always remind me of my grandmother’s house. She used to make them with root beer. Your bar looks amazing with all the beautiful colors of summer.

  3. What a fun idea Shauna…ice cream floats are SO good! It’s definitely so much more relaxing for us, and fun for our guests, to help themselves!

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