Is it eleventy billion degrees where you are? With record triple-digit heat here in Arizona, we’ve been drinking our fair share of lemonade to keep cool. My neighbor and I got our 4 kids together (plus her niece) for a lemonade stand this summer. We’re sharing our fresh-squeezed lemonade recipe (big enough for a lemonade stand) along with tips for a successful lemonade stand, and how we helped our community with our proceeds from our Kind Kids Club Lemonade Stand.
So, seriously. Even though it’s feeling like eleventy billion degrees, it’s only been 117 here in Tucson. HAHA, yes I just typed that. Only 117 degrees.
Because of that brutal heat, and after much begging from our 2 big girls, my friend and I picked a date to host our Kind Kids Lemonade Stand this summer.
Kids Lemonade Stand Recipe
This batch makes about 1.5 gallons of lemonade. Perfectly sweet and tart lemonade for a lemonade stand. We doubled this recipe and still ran out!
- 6 lbs of lemons
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- lemon zest from 1/2 lemons
- 12 cups water
- Zest half (or more) of your lemons into a pot. (I used this zester)
- Add 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar in the pot and heat over medium heat to dissolve sugars and infuse the lemon zest into your simple syrup. *do not let this boil
- Cut your lemons in half and juice them all into a big pitcher or drink dispenser. My lemon/lime hand press worked the best for me.
- Strain the lemon zest from your simple syrup and mix your lemon simple syrup with the lemon juice and 12 cups of water. Lastly, stir and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tip: Don’t try to make this the day of the lemonade stand. Make your lemonade the day before your lemonade stand to make the lemonade taste better and make it less stressful for yourself on lemonade stand day.
Extra Tip: We poured some lemonade into paper cups and froze them overnight to make giant lemonade ice cubes. This kept the lemonade cold without watering it down. Also, we added a few slices of lemons to our drink dispenser to make it pretty.
We set up our lemonade stand on a hot Saturday morning in front of our local Ace hardware store. We ran our lemonade stand for 4 hours which was a long time but it flew by pretty fast because we were so busy and the kids were loving it!
About halfway through, we ran out of our homemade lemonade (people got seconds!) and we had to switch to Country Time Lemonade mix. We also served 2 kinds of cookies. I’m still working on getting that recipe for those delicious lemonade cookie from my friend’s mother-in-law!
Kind Kids Club Lemonade Stand
As part of our Kind Kids Club, the kids decided they wanted to donate half of their proceeds to our local Tucson Wildlife Center. Instead of having a set price for our lemonade and cookies, we just asked people to make a donation. That strategy worked really well and most people donated a few dollars (many donated more!). Some people even donated and didn’t want lemonade! Our girls were good animal advocates!
Tucson Wildlife Center rehabilitates wild animals and releases most of them back into the wild. The summer heat has be especially brutal for our wildlife here. We collected monetary donations as well as items people could purchase from Ace like trash bags, cat litter, soap etc. We called Tucson Wildlife Center and got a list of supplies they needed. Then we asked Ace what people could purchase there and since they were kind enough to let us set up outside their store. This helped Ace get some extra business too!
A few days after our lemonade stand we planned a trip to the Tucson Wildlife Center, to take in our donations and tour the facility. We got to see the triage room, where they do initiate check-ups on the incoming animals. We saw a baby rabbit getting checked and a baby hummingbird getting a feeding (see picture below)
The girls raised enough money to “adopt” 3 animals – Bubba (a Great Horned Owl), Ruby (a bobcat) and Lightning (a rare white red-tailed Hawk). You can read more about these animals and “adopt” your own here.
The staff was great and they are all volunteers! It was an amazing choice for our little Kind Kids Club and their animal-loving hearts!
Things you need to Host a Kids Lemonade Stand
- Folding table and chairs
- Signs and banners (don’t forget the tape!)
- Pitchers or Drink Dispenser (Tip: drink dispensers are easier for kids than a heavy pitcher)
- Snacks/Treats *optional
- Napkins/plates – *optional, if you serve snacks
- Gloves or tongs *optional, if you serve snacks
- Box to store money
- Extra change
Kids Lemonade Stand Tips
Here are some of our tips for hosting a successful kids lemonade stand.
- Host your lemonade stand in a popular spot. We hosted ours in front of our local hardware store on Saturday morning. The longest lull we had was about 10 mins between customers. First, be sure to ASK the store before you set up your lemonade stand. Some have rules about where you can set up or how long you can be there.
- Serve other treats. We offered 2 kinds of cookies. This isn’t necessary but a nice addition.
- Have signs promoting your lemonade stand. We made several posters for the kids to hold. We also sent out a virtual flyer to our community Facebook pages and local friends. And, we set signs up on the corner directing traffic to where our lemonade stand was located.
- Have water/snacks for the kids who are running the stand. They will be tempted to drink the lemonade but remind them it’s for the customers.
- Encourage the kids to practice their social skills. Being friendly and talkative about the lemonade/snacks/charity they are funding helps people be more willing to buy/donate. Don’t take over the lemonade stand but be a helping hand and smiling face as well. They kids will learn from your interactions.
- Take donations instead of set price. If you’re raising money for an organization, this works great. Many people were willing to donate more than we would have charged for the lemonade and some people donated without even buying lemonade. Also, this keeps you from having to constantly count out change. But do start off with some change and ones so that you can offer it if people only have larger bills.
Hopefully you’ll have a successful lemonade stand. Our kids loved it and we raised a lot of money!
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And be sure to check out our other Kind Kids Club activities this year.
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