How to Throw a Snow Cone Party This Summer

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The possibilities are endless—and sometimes boozy—with this perfect icy snack. Here are our best snow cone party ideas.

When summer finally arrives, we are all about all the icy, slushy, frosty treats we can find—including snow cones. Now, you might think that snow cones are a treat only found at fairs and carnivals, but making your own at home is pretty easy. And once you master your snow cone-making technique, you’re going to want to have a party to show off your skills and share in the sweetness.

Ready the Snow Cone Ingredients

The base for any snow cone is the ice. Instead of relying upon the toy Snoopy snow cone makers of yore, you’re going to need something more powerful: a blender (here are the best blenders, according to our Test Kitchen). Use the crush setting to blitz down ice into snowy shavings. If you’re ice looks a bit too fine, just add more to the blender and crush for just a second or two.

Once your ice is ready, you can keep it chilled in an ice bucket. Be sure to have a scoop handy!

Make Your Own Snow Cone Syrup

snow cone syrupsTaste of Home

Sure, you can buy ready-made snow cone syrups at the store or online, but making your own is way tastier (and it’s not that hard!).

All you’re doing is making simple syrup amped up with extra flavors like juice, drink mixes and even a splash of tequila (or rum, or whatever you choose). Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

  • Grenadine syrup: This syrup is flavored with pomegranate juice and is great on snow cones or in Shirley Temples.
  • Piña colada syrup: Rum, coconut and pineapple make this snow cone syrup a summery must for adults. Want a non-alcoholic option? Just omit the rum.
  • Margarita syrup: This one is made with lime, lime zest, tequila and triple sec, just like the classic cocktail.
  • Blue raspberry syrup: You can make blue raspberry snow cones with simple syrup and a powdered drink mix. This bright blue option is especially popular with kids.
  • Fuzzy navel syrup: Orange Kool-Aid and peach schnapps make this a tempting treat for adults.

Once you prep the syrups, store them in the bottle of your choosing. If your snow cone party is more kid-friendly, try plastic squeeze bottles. If you plan on making cocktail-style snow cones, you can add some glass bottles to your bar cart.

And feel free to prep these syrups in advance. They will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Create Your Snow Cone Setup

snow conesTaste of Home

With your ice shaved and syrups made, all that’s left is to set up your beverage buffet. Wheel your bar cart out onto the patio or drape a summer runner over a picnic table.

The Snow Cone Gear You Need

Make sure you have everything you need on hand including the ice bucket full of ice shavings, your homemade syrups, paper cones, straws, spoons and plenty of napkins. And if you want to add a splash of vodka, rum or another liquor to your snow cones, keep those bottles on hand.

It’s also smart to keep some glassware on your buffet—the plastic variety works well for outdoor engagements. This keeps cones upright, catches drips and keeps hands from becoming frozen.

And if your friends are more into floats, grab some vanilla ice cream. A splash of homemade syrup with a scoop of ice cream is darn delicious!

Snowy Snacks to Pair with Your Snow Cone

A party isn’t complete without some tasty snacks. Keep the presentation for these apps just as fun as the snow cones themselves. Skewers, fluffy dips and bite-sized treats are all welcome alongside an icy snow cone.

Add the Finishing Touches to Your Snow Cone Party

Cue Up a Fun and Funky Playlist

Set the mood by mixing in some music that includes tropical hallmarks like steel drum instrumentals, the Beach Boys and Bob Marley. We’ll start you off with this Snow Cone Party playlist.

Outdoor Games

Make the most of the nice weather by having a few yard games at the ready for your guests. Classics like croquet and bocce are always welcome, but be sure to have some casual fun planned as well. Oversized Jenga, lawn dice and even a few decks of cards are always good to have at any gathering.

Don’t Forget Decorations!

Yes, food and drink are the stars of any party, but it never hurts to add a little extra pizazz to your celebration. A few paper garlands, tabletop decor and even some fun lighting can help create the right atmosphere.

And it never hurts to send little ones home with a party favor like these super cute aprons with a snow cone pattern (bonus: they can wear them during the party and stay mess-free—or at least less messy).

With the right recipes, games and summery playlist, we know your snow cone bash will be a success!

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.
Amanda Kippert
Amanda Kippert has been an award-winning freelance journalist for nearly two decades. She is based in Tucson, Arizona and specializes in food, health, fitness, parenting and humor, as well as social issues. She is the content editor of the domestic violence nonprofit DomesticShelters.org.