Gluten Free, Dairy Free Ice Cream Party- On A Budget

Who doesn't love ice cream? And who doesn't love partying? Definitely this was a party for the books (or the blog) ...heehee...
With 3 girls, I can honestly tell you I have become a hoarder of pink STUFF!  This party happened to be extra tricky as it was for my cute Chanelle who has celiac disease... so yes everything was gluten free. To add even more excitement, she has 3 little friends who are allergic to dairy. We ended up pulling off a crazy-fun, gluten free, dairy free, party that did not break the bank. I call that a success!
Timing is everything!
I wanted to have a party that celebrated Chanelle but I also didn't want to spend an arm and a leg to put it on. Factoring the different food restrictions... we thought that having an ice cream party in the early afternoon would be perfect from 2:00 to 3:30. An hour and a half of fun, sugar and celebration! Even for me it was a struggle to be cautious with all things for all allergies. I knew serving a lunch or a dinner would take out all the fun for me and literally stress me out, so this was a perfect decision for me! My hat goes off for all of you moms out there who do multiple allergies every. I have R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
We kept it clean, classy and cheap! See the cute chalkboard labels. That is such a cheap and fun addition and makes it look so allergy friendly!


So many options! Toppings are such a fun way to add color and flavor. We were a little limited on what we could serve, but really there was plenty to go around... twice or even three times!😉


Decisions... Decisions...  They key is to have enough variety without going overboard.  Having too many options is not only more expensive because you have to buy more items, but it can also be so overwhelming for kids and make the line go A LOT slower. All of the toppings were gluten free and we had a section labeled off for toppings that were gluten free and dairy free. I also had the dairy free kids go first, to ensure no cross contamination. And they felt so special to go first as they normally can't even eat at parties. (For the dairy free kids, I go So Delicious ice cream and they were thrilled!)

We had the ice cream bar for the kids and made a yummy ice cream cake for the adults!

This recipe is crazy amazing and literally takes 10 minutes to make. You can find this recipe in The Formula Cookbook! You can adapt it for certain food allergies and even customize it with your favorite ice cream flavors... 

We found some cute party favors on amazon that doubled as our little game that the kids were lining up to play.  It was such a 'HIT'... (sometimes I think I am really 😆)

My Favorite Top 8 Party Planning Tips:

1. Pick a theme. Who is the party for? What are their hobbies or interests? A character maybe? Having a theme personalizes the party and helps you stay focused on the overall look and feel. (My son was really into Pokemòn, so we had that as the theme for invites and all. He was stoked when most of his presents were Pokemòn too)
2. Pick a color (I tend to pick pink for all of my girls to keep the cost down since I am pretty much a hoarder of pink things.) Try to pick colors that you could do several party themes with so anything you buy is more like an investment. If you are doing a Mickey Mouse theme, try doing black and red for most of the items and then accent it with pictures and different Micky Mouse accessories. If you buy every decor with Mickey Mouses face on it, you will most likely not use it again. 
3. Pick a time and date.  You can save on costs by doing a party that you don't have to feed a full meal to your guests. (Breakfast parties tend to be the cheapest)  Be sure to check your calendar and ask around about the date, make sure there isn't a major conflicting event. There is nothing like planning a party and realizing that half of the people can't make it or have to choose between 2 or 3 events.
4. Pick a menu. What do you want to serve? Stick with a theme for the food as well, it will keep your costs down and help you stay focused when you are out shopping. In the past I have done donut parties, pancake parties, nacho bars, taco parties... keep in mind your budget and what time of day you are holding the party.
5. Search Amazon or Oriental Trading for party favors, extra props and game ideas to go along with your theme, keeping your age group in mind. (Minute-To-Win-It games are always a blast for any age group)
6. Compile all of your simple-same-colored dishes and decor. Evaluate what you need. Head to the Dollar Store or Hobby Lobby for what you are missing.
7. Get a big "number" balloon to personalize it. (My husband fills it with his air compressor so I can buy it in advanced and not have to run and get helium the day of the party)
8. Enjoy it!! This is the most important step... Really why you are doing this party? To celebrate... so enjoy the process... if it becomes too stressful at any stage, step back and simplify.   Remember this is just for fun!
There were a million other things I could have done, I could have served a meal, I could have had more than one game, I could have spent more money on goodie bags, or on the decor... But life gets busy and I started to get overwhelmed when I was planning, so I took my own advice and stepped back to simplify it. Honestly, I don't think anyone noticed or looked for my flaws! We are our own worst critics and sometimes we need to ease up on ourselves and enjoy our journey!

Happy Party Planning!!

Message below any fun or life(time) saving tips you have!

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