Ice Cream Surprise Night

Last weekend while at the Hearts at Home conference, one of the speakers, Sharon Autry, gave those of us in the audience a great idea. Her presentation (with her sister) was on ways to get to your child’s heart, and one of the areas was to “Laugh Along the Way” while parenting. Her idea was this: put your kids to bed using your normal bedtime routine. About 5 minutes after you’ve said goodnight, run in, flip the lights on, and tell them to get in the car because you’re going out for ice cream. I knew right away that Matt would love this, and that we’d have to try it soon.

Lucky for us, it’s spring break week, so no need to wait until it’s not a school night. I remembered today that one of our local favorite places should be open by now for the season, so we decided that we’d try it tonight!

I’ll let the videos tell the story from here.

31 responses to “Ice Cream Surprise Night

  1. i just saw this on facebook and had to come watch. SO CUTE! my parents used to do stuff like this with us and i have such fond memories of it. i can’t wait to try this with adali!

  2. TOOO CUTE!!!! I have to ask, are they always that quiet?? My kids would scream!

  3. This is THE coolest thing ever!! I’d love to know what was going on in L’s & B’s brains the first few seconds after Matt asked them if they wanted to go! It was hilarious how they didn’t quite know whether it was for real & how to react! I noticed Jack Henry didn’t waste any time saying “yes”!

    I wonder if they’ll lie in bed many nights thinking, “Maybe tonight . . .!” 🙂

  4. you are the best.parents.ever.

  5. I’m with Jo. Coolest. Thing. Ever. We HAVE to do this some night with our kids! Except, we’d probably just have to leave Kenzie up cause that would really throw her off at her age 🙂

    I’m also with Suzanne. Best. Parents. Ever.

    SO FUN!!

  6. We HAVE to do this. My kids won’t believe Alex until the ice cream is in their hands. Thanks!

  7. This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen!!! JH is priceless with his whispering “Yes” repeatedly. . . and his smiling face eating the ice cream. So cute. 🙂

  8. That is SO cool!!! I love Bennett’s “Really?” in the first video. Such a great idea!

  9. LOVE IT! Will be stealing this idea!

  10. Great Aunt Carol

    What a completely awesome surprise!!! You made me laugh and I am still smiling!!!! What wonderful Parents!!! They are three lucky little boys!!!!!

  11. yay! i’m so glad you took video 🙂

    we’ll be doing this too once pais gets a bit older. but i may wait till even joe is in bed…he’d be more excited than the kids.

  12. That is such a cool idea.

  13. Awesome idea. Your boys are so adorable. I’m going to have to tuck this idea away for later.

  14. SUPER CUTE!! Love it!

  15. That was great! Those boys will be talking about that for ages!

    I think Bennett’s reaction was the funniest. It was like he was going to play along with Matt but keep a constant eye for when it’s all announced as a joke.

  16. That is great! I will definitely be stealing that one. Can you tell me more about this conference you attended? Sounds fantastic. As a side note…I have the same bedding on my boys beds.

  17. We’ve done surprise rides for years, but we’ve never gotten them out of bed to do one. Great idea! Thank you for sharing it!

  18. SO GREAT! love how JH was grabbing at his belly right away 🙂

  19. Nicole, I LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing this. My cheeks hurt b/c I had the biggest smile on my face watching their reaction.

  20. I love this! Our local ice cream place opens on Friday, and I might just try it!

  21. Awesome idea – I love it. We will definately have to do this sometimes with our kids. They would love that. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Nicole – that is such a cute idea. I absolutely love Jack Henry’s smile when you’re telling him what’s going on. We’ll definitely have to remember this one.

  23. Great Idea! I love how they just stared….like Yeah right……and Jack Henry’s onry laugh! Too Funny!!! As simple as this was to do, I’m sure this will be a very fond memory that will stick with them and you for a long time.

  24. P.S. Friends of ours were planning a trip to Disney for over a year. They didn’t mention it to their three kids at all. One morning, they packed up the car before their kids woke up. They got them up and got ready for school as usual. When they all got in the car and headed in the opposite direction of the school, their oldest asked where they were going. Her mom said, “We thought we’d go to DIsney World today.” They said the reaction was almost as good as the trip itself.

    This just made me think of that.

  25. I was on pins and needles watching that! My sisters and my favorite memory is when snowballs against our window after bedtime got us up and it was our parents down there motioning to us to come out and play. We couldn’t get coats and mittens on fast enough!

  26. awww! the videos are so fun. i’ll have to remember to do this in about 5 years!

  27. Jeremy actually told me about this post and he was most impressed with how Matt handled it. It was really cute listening to Jeremy explain it to me from Afghanistan! HA!

    I adored the long silence when Matt told L&B and then JH’s sweet contented face as he licked that little cone was so adorable!!!

    The question is….did they sleep after this?

    Can’t wait to steal the idea!

    • They did sleep! We stressed when we got home that we had fun, and someday, we’ll surprise them again if they’re quiet and go straight to sleep 🙂

  28. Pingback: Minivans Are Hot » Blog Archive » Linky Love

  29. OMG!! Could your kids be ANY cuter??? I really enjoyed watching the videos-your boys remind me of my boys 🙂

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