Escaping the mundane on the work front with an employee ice cream social is an ideal way to unwind and get to know co-workers better. Ice cream is the quintessential party food, with endless possibilities for serving this frozen treat. Invite your team to toss on some blue jeans, turn up the party tunes and take a refreshing break from the work scene.
Choose a venue that screams inviting to help your crew kick back and enjoy the gathering. An ice cream parlor with a party space is one option, but a private location may be even more enjoyable. A green space on the office grounds, a picnic area at a nearby park or even the deck at a supervisor's home would provide a comfortable setting.
Choose the ordinary vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors, then toss in some uncommon ice cream offerings for the buffet table. Offer a variety of toppings from the typical hot fudge and caramel to sprinkles, candies, crushed cookies, nuts and fresh fruits. Don't forget the whipped cream and cherries, plus waffle cones and bowls. Fill some tubs with bottled water and sodas -- alcohol optional, depending on the time of day and venue.
Supplies & Decor
Decorate the ice cream buffet table with fabric that matches the company logo colors. Top with clear containers in all shapes and sizes to hold toppings, making it easy for staff to see what's available when moving along the buffet line. Label the different ice cream choices so you don't wind up repeating the flavors throughout the event. Have supervisors don aprons and do the ice cream dipping as a way to serve their employees. Ice cream melts and drips, so fill a basket with individual wet wipes to clean sticky hands.
Pit employees against each other in a little, friendly ice cream social competition. Split the men and women into teams or divide the staff by departments. Challenge each team to concoct an original flavor and churn their homemade ice cream recipe. Choose an unbiased slate of judges to select the winning creation, then award a prize to the champs. A day off, an extra hour at lunch, movie tickets or a gift card to a local eatery are excellent rewards for the winners.
Kelli Peacock Dunn has been a news editor and photographer since 1998, working at a weekly newspaper in Northwest Florida. Her articles have also appeared in "Panama City Living" magazine and "The Lookout."