The countdown to the first day of school is on, and if you haven’t had ice cream for breakfast this summer, are you really living your best life?

Below is a list of fun, family-friendly activities to beat the heat while taking advantage of the last few carefree and unscheduled days this season offers. Spoiler alert: Most of them involve ice cream.


Homemade Pizza Night

There are plenty of quick pizza dough recipes that allow you to start it during a pool break. Then, let everyone get creative with refrigerator leftovers and pantry staples to build their own.

Because movie night is an obvious pairing with pizza, try one of these ideas for a second course:

  • Movie popcorn sundaes: Top a dish of vanilla ice cream with kettle corn, caramel sauce and butter-flavored sprinkles.
  • Mix your own flavor: Soften one pint of Yarnell’s Homemade Vanilla or Homemade Chocolate per person. Then scoop it into a big bowl and throw in whatever you want: peanut butter and jelly, chips, brownies, candies, fruit, cake, whatever! Mix and mash it all in, then pack your specialty ice cream into freezer-friendly containers for at least a half hour to firm back up.



Didn’t make it to Europe? Visit your favorite coffee shop and ask them to add a scoop of ice cream to your espresso to create this luxe Italian dessert; kids can do the same with hot chocolate.


Bake Cookies

This one is not for the faint of heart. Allow plenty of time and have extra eggs on hand for mishaps. Let the kids put their math skills back to work as they figure out measurements and watch the clock while the cookies are in the oven.


Take a Hike

Pack a picnic lunch and head to one of these Arkansas State Parks:

  • Petit Jean
  • Mt. Magazine
  • Ozark Folk Center
  • Queen Wilhelmina
  • Fort Smith Museum
  • Wooly Hollow

Pro tip: Yarnell’s ice cream is also available at each of these parks’ visitor centers and/or restaurants if you need motivation to finish the trail in the Arkansas August heat.