Celebrate Birthdays with an Ice Cream Soda Bar

Celebrate Birthdays with an Ice Cream Soda Bar! I’m sharing lots of inspiration and ideas here, with lots of colorful details perfect for a birthday party or summer party.

colorful ice cream soda bar

Celebrate birthdays with an Ice Cream Soda Bar where guests can make their own combinations of flavors.

Around our house it’s time to start thinking about birthdays. My son’s is this month, and my daughter’s is just a few short months later, and she’s ALWAYS planning her own party. They love my job because they get to reap the benefits of all the sweets I have to incorporate, and when I set up this Ice Cream Soda bar, my daughter said, “THIS is what I want for my birthday!” – I knew it was a winner then!

My idea for this bar was to create something that would appeal to children who were a little older {like mine} and who love to get creative with food. It’s similar to an ice cream sundae bar, but the sodas certainly give it a twist. In fact I had a fun time choosing from the selection of flavored sodas that are available.

Check out all the ideas and details from the ice cream soda bar, plus my tips and combination suggestions below…

colorful ice cream soda bar for birthday celebration ice cream soda bar vintage style bottles of sodaice cream soda bar party details

Setting Up an Ice Cream Soda Bar

I made two quick trips to get this ice cream soda bar ready. World Market had a wide variety of flavored sodas to choose from, and Walmart had everything else.

  • Flavored Sodas:  chocolate, orange, root beer, cream soda, strawberry shortcake, black cherry, coffee soda, blackberry cobbler, and cherry limeade. I love all the vintage looking labels on the bottles too!
  • Two Ice Creams: chocolate and vanilla. Pre-scoop ice cream balls, put them in a container, and place in the freezer until ready to serve.
  • Add-ins and toppings: mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, maraschino cherries, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, and Reddi-wip – original and extra creamy.
  • Cupcakes, because you can’t have a birthday celebration without cake, right!

Ice Cream Soda Party Decor

  • I hung a colorful banner above the table for a festive look. It incorporates colors for either a girl party or a boy party.
  • Colorful cups, a tray, and a sign continue the color theme, and a couple of brightly hued insulated tubs hold the ice cream scoops.
  • I found brightly colored favor bags at Michael’s for $1 each. They were the perfect color scheme to coordinate with the party and you can fill them with goodies for the guests to take home. Bonus – they look great lined up on the table as a background to the soda bar.
  • I always use Reddi-wip to top ice cream or other desserts, but I want it to coordinate with the table decor too. My go-to “trick” is to wrap the cans in scrapbook paper so they blend with the rest of the display, just like I did here for my banana split dessert bar.
  • As for the syrups, I decant those into glass containers that are easy to pour.
  • A tight bouquet of roses and stacked cake plates make the perfect centerpiece to this table. Be sure to drop the cupcakes into a pretty cupcake wrapper that matches the rest of your table 😉
  • Print a sign that lets the guests know what to do, and display it in a colorful frame.

cupcakes on white stand; ice cream soda barpouring ice cream soda bar

Now for the fun! Mixing up flavors is the best part, and you may want to start with one scoop of ice cream so you can try more flavor combos. Here are some of my favorites:

Follow these steps:  Add 2 scoops of ice cream to a small cup; top with soda just until it covers the ice cream; top with Reddi-wip; finish with a drizzle of flavored syrup and/or a dry topping. Mix to combine ice cream and soda, and enjoy!

Ice Cream Soda Combinations:

  • vanilla ice cream + orange soda {tastes like a cream cycle!}
  • chocolate ice cream + coffee soda
  • chocolate ice cream + black cherry soda
  • vanilla ice cream + strawberry shortcake soda
  • vanilla ice cream + root beer {classic!}

HOSTESS TIP: You actually want your ice cream a little soft so it will mix with the soda. Let it sit at room temperature until it’s softens up.

For more Reddi-wip ideas and inspiration check out my “make your own mini dump cake” party idea here.

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  1. Wow – I love this! I have a friend planning her daughter’s 15th birthday party and I know she’d love this.

    1. This is definitely a good idea for older kids – less mess to worry about than with the littles. 😉

  2. I love interactive food at parties! They get guests involved and for kids, they love the personalized treats. Perfect use of Reddi-wip, and great marriage with specialty sodas!

  3. I love this idea! I just noticed all the fun sodas at World Market yesterday and was thinking it would be fun for a party.

    1. Jessica, those sodas are just the perfect touch! I love the coffee soda with the chocolate ice cream 😉

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