How To: Organise an Ice Cream Trolley

Our simple and straightforward ‘How To’ series with Robyn Taylor kicks off with ideas and top tips for running a regular ice cream trolley or ice cream night.


  1. Purchase a trolley that you can re-use for different themes. Your kitchen or laundry department may have a spare one you can borrow, or ask your manager if you can order one from their local care home supplier.
  2. Decorate it and make it stand out – appealing and colourful but not too over the top! During your arts and crafts sessions, paint ice cream and lolly pictures to stick on it, write quotes and design menus.
  3. Fill the trolley with goodies. Different flavoured ice creams, cones, or bowls (and spoons), sauces and sprinkles and flakes. Don’t forget the napkins. Organise the trolley so it’s not too cluttered.
  4. Play some ice-cream-van-style music on your iPad, so when you’re walking around the home, the residents can hear you coming.
  5. Go room to room, and visit the communal and outdoor areas – don’t miss anyone out!


  • Wear a brightly coloured rucksack you can put rubbish in. This way it won’t get mixed in with your pretty display.
  • Have a bowl of hot water for your ice cream scoop to go in so it’s easy to scoop the ice cream.
  • Place the tubs of ice cream in a metal container surrounded by ice if you feel like you will be out and about too long and fear that the ice cream will melt before being served.
  • Find out what your residents’ favourite flavours are beforehand so you can ensure you have the best flavours available.
  • Keep morale up – make sure there is enough for staff and relatives to enjoy too! Residents tend to feel bad if they are enjoying something and their loved one or person sitting with them is not.


  • Do you have a local ice cream man that will come and visit the car park? You can take the residents out so they can order what they like.
  • Ask if your local cinema, theatre or dance hall has any old ice cream holders that are worn around the neck that they could donate to you.