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Giant Banana Split

This post is sponsored by Dreyer’s/Edy’s® Slow Churned Light Ice Cream: all the taste of regular ice cream, but with half the fat and 1/3 fewer calories. Now that’s a reason to smile. Give a smile here.
I’m so excited to share this party idea today on how to make a giant ice cream sundae!! My mom used to do this when I was younger for family reunions or for school or church parties so she gets the credit for this brilliant idea. (It’s funny how some of my favorite ideas came from our mom’s.) I have vivid memories of this from when I was a kid since it is basically the stuff kid dreams are made of. The concept of making this is pretty simple but you either need to be handy with a saw or else hire someone to do it. It is a very simple job and takes about 20 minutes to make so I can’t imagine it would cost very much if you needed to hire it out. I also included some tips for logistically making it happen. Just a warning though, with older kids (or adults) it ends in a food fight 99% of the time, as a kid it was my favorite part! You’ve been warned! You can make it as long as you want depending how many people are coming. It is the kind of thing people will be talking about for months afterwards, it’s SO fun. Find the complete instructions below.

Giant Banana Split | Oh Happy Day!

Click through for complete instructions.

Materials Needed
To make the Stands: 1 Carpet Tube, 1 sheet of 1/8″ MDF or Masonite, download these free instructions, a jigsaw, tinfoil, and tape.
For the Banana Splits: 15 Bananas, 7  tubs of ice cream, various toppings like: sprinkles, chocolate + caramel syrup, whip cream, maraschino cherries.

Step 1: For the carpet tube just go into a carpet store and ask for one of the center carpet tubes the rolls of carpet come wrapped around. They are usually 8-10 feet long. Cut the tube in half with a jigsaw. If you have a large group you can use the other half to make the sundae even longer.
Step 2: Cover the half tube in tin foil and tape the bottom so it’s ready to serve food in.

Step 3: You need two stands for each segment of tube. To make the stands we’ve made an easy pdf with instructions to download. You just make two simple pieces with slits that slide together to hold the tube.
Step 4: You’ll want to pre scoop the ice cream the morning of and keep it in the freezer so that when you are assembling the sundae it goes as quickly as possible so the ice cream doesn’t get melty. Lay out a cookie sheet and then lay all the scoops out, lay down wax paper in between layers of scoops. Keep them in the freezer until immediately before eating.
Step 5: For the assembly get lots of help from friends. For this I set up the stand and cut the bananas right before everyone got there. Then when it was time for the banana split I had 2-3 people putting down ice cream and toppings and had another person hand out all the spoons. The toppings were opened and ready to go. The whole thing took less than 4 minutes to assemble.
Step 6: After 10-20 minutes of eating the whole thing gets melty. That’s usually about the time the food fight ensues. For clean up you can recycle the cardboard and tin foil and hose off the grass (and people.) Have fun!

Special thanks to Alexis Birkmeyer + Paul Ferney for help with production and photography. And thank you to all my friends for coming to the ice cream party!

  1. anna @ noodlehead

    June 25, 2012

    we used to do these at our local park!!! very cool. I think they used rain gutters though. 🙂

  2. Ivett

    June 25, 2012

    Brilliant! I like it. 😀

  3. Megan

    June 25, 2012

    So this is what the pre scooped ice cream was for! Brilliant!

  4. Janelle

    June 25, 2012

    Perfect summer idea!! Worth the sticky mess 🙂

  5. Evani G

    June 25, 2012

    I seriously cannot believe how amazing these ideas are! I have no idea when I’ll need this much ice cream but as soon as I do, this is how its going down!


  6. Mar

    June 25, 2012

    I love it!!!

  7. Shannon

    June 25, 2012

    I’ve always done this with a rain gutter from a home store and we call it gutter ice cream. So much fun, plus a gutter holds up a little longer and can be re-used.

  8. Niki {Hello Paper Moon}

    June 25, 2012

    I love this. Have to do it at some point.

  9. Margaret, Enrout

    June 25, 2012

    Great idea!!!

  10. Julie

    June 25, 2012

    OH MY WORD! This is fantastic! The ideas you have are AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

    June 25, 2012

    This made my day!!!!!!

  12. laura parke

    June 25, 2012

    this looks like such a blast! and the perfect idea for a large party in the summer. as an ice cream lover, i’m going to have to do this soon!

  13. Erica

    June 25, 2012

    Now THAT is what I call a banana split! Where’s my spoon?!! 🙂

  14. B (Make Do and Spend)

    June 25, 2012


    I’m speechless

  15. meagan

    June 25, 2012

    this is simply amazing.
    xo the egg out west.

  16. katie

    June 25, 2012

    Do you just dig straight into the ice cream in the gutter thingy, or do you hand out bowls and let people scoop it out into their bowl?? I love the concept, but I’m a little unsure about the “double dipping.”

  17. omg. I just went grocery shopping and managed to resist the ice cream. This makes me want to go back for it.

  18. Kelly Golightly

    June 25, 2012

    You have the best ideas! Just sent this to my sister for inspiration for my niece’s 6th birthday party.

  19. Rachael

    June 25, 2012

    Holy Moly! Imagine those messy hands and faces! Love it!

  20. Notes from Holly St.

    June 25, 2012

    this looks insanely awesome! i will definitely keep this in mind for my daughters next birthday. so fun!

  21. Jaimie

    June 25, 2012

    Are you kidding?! This is AWESOME!!!!!

  22. My Love Wedding Ring

    June 25, 2012

    Wow!! This is amazing, think it would be such fun – dealing with the sugar rush for hours afterwards less so, but hey, even that probably wont put me off trying it with the kids!

  23. Martha

    June 25, 2012

    love it! pinning now!

  24. jen

    June 25, 2012

    I totally remember this from childhood too, love it!

  25. Chelsey N

    June 25, 2012

    My mom has been a third grade teacher for over 25 years and does this every spring with her kids – the highlight of their year!

  26. katrina

    June 25, 2012

    this would be my dream come true. lucky kiddos!

  27. laura

    June 25, 2012

    i work for edys! this is totally doable for me! can’t wait to try it! love your blog by the way….have been reading (&trying you diys) for years!

  28. Katherine

    June 26, 2012

    Cute idea, but my 3 year old son has a primary immune deficiency so this is also scary for us. Most parents I know would want separate bowls.

  29. Jenny Keks

    June 26, 2012

    OMG… we all screamed for ice-cream:) LOVE!

  30. mom in mendon

    June 26, 2012

    Fun!! Back in the day our friend Judy Nelson was our inspiration.

    Judy did a table top version of the supports, so you could sit up to a banquet or picnic table and eat from the tube. It’s good, but the get-away is harder when the food fight starts. I remember seeing a wave of melted ice cream slosh up and coat two-year-old Gabrielle before I could snatch her to safety. : )

  31. my honest answer

    June 26, 2012

    I was going to suggest using guttering as well, but I seen everyone else has beat me to it.

    However, what a fabulous idea! I will definitely be trying this.

  32. Rachel

    June 26, 2012

    sorry, this is really gross… It’s like bringing your kids to a trough of germs.

      • jordan
      • June 26, 2012

      Yeah, this activity is not for the OCD!

  33. Mandy

    June 26, 2012

    Wait. This is a thing? That can happen in real life? My life? PLEASE?

  34. Ariel

    June 26, 2012

    This is AWESOME.

  35. chingsthings

    June 26, 2012

    this bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! love it.

  36. Jordan - Polkadot Prints

    June 26, 2012

    Fun times! One big tray of awesomeness…What’s a bit of ice cream dribble amongst friends : )

  37. Suzanne

    June 26, 2012

    All I see is germs, food allergies and tummy-acehs. Also, my son would think it was an eating race.

  38. JMR

    June 27, 2012

    This is fabulous but all I can think of is germs… I’m a typical 90s Australian kid who grew up in the Meningcoccal scare.

  39. Katherine

    June 27, 2012

    Jordan, It’s not about being “OCD”. I find that comment almost offensive. There are tons more kids out there with primary immune deficiencies or who are immune compromised from illnesses than most people realize. You must not realize how serious a common illness can be for a child that doesn’t have the ability to fight it off. Besides that, if this was being served at a party my son was invited to, it would really hurt his feelings / make him feel uncomfortable when he wouldn’t be able to be included.

  40. Elena @ Randomly Happy

    June 27, 2012

    Afraid I don’t see germs. Just fun.

    All I can think of now is summer parties in the backyard.

  41. Katherine

    June 27, 2012

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a super cute idea, just think there should be bowls or something to make it more healthy 🙂

  42. sophie

    June 28, 2012

    i love how serious the kiddos are in the photos! this is serious business, people. 🙂

  43. Bretley

    June 28, 2012

    We used to do this at the Bible camp I attended. At the end when it was all melty, and germy, and gross we would do what we called a “gutter run” and run down the length of it with our tongues in it. So nasty but oh so fun!

  44. TJ

    June 28, 2012

    I understand your comments about germs and it being a bad idea for children with compromised immune systems and your bowl idea for some people would be great for those not wanting to dig in the trough.

    I know what it’s like to be “left-out” at a party and your child is just going to have to learn to cope with it. And I don’t mean that in an offensive way. I speak from MANY years of experience. In my whole life, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to eat cake at birthday, graduation, anniversary, etc. parties because I am allergic to chocolate. My parents have even forgotten (we have a big family, so they get a pass) and have served chocolate cakes at my birthday and graduation parties. I learned to bring a Twinkie in my purse if I feel like cake.

    That being said, I hope your son lucks out and gets to indulge with the rest of the kiddos in all his future parties. Now I’m going to go buy a new rain gutter and start planning this activity for my family’s 4th of July party!

  45. ivey@durangomom

    June 29, 2012

    this is awesome. and i truly feel sad for those who would take offense or see germs first and foremost. if your child has severe immune issues then don’t bother to comment and don’t try to shape the world in their favor….this is clearly not your thing. as for me and mine, where are the spoons!

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