homemade sno cones!

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so summer in new york city is great, truly, i’m like a broken record and i know. BUT, there aren’t really any places to get sno cones in the city! just a whole lotta ice cream trucks and smaller helado stands near the playgrounds. but everyone knows that sno cones are where it’s at! (especially if you dump a bunch of condensed milk on top, but i’m trying to be better and not do that.)  we used to trek down to the meatpacking district for some new orleans style snoballs but they have since moved back to new orleans (we visited them when we were there last summer! if you’re ever there, GO! best ever).

i ordered this hawaiian shaved ice machine a few weeks ago and we have been having some good fun making our own sno cones at home! it’s kind of a win win, too, because we’ve been making our own homemade toppings full of yummy vegetables and fruits so it’s easier to let the kids make these knowing there aren’t any artificial sweeteners or color dyes. the recipes are below!


rolling the limes to get them prepped for squeezing out the juice! i didn’t know this was a thing but josh says it’s a thing.  or it’s a thing now!


samson kept taking bites out of all the fruit he was in charge of adding to the blender! he ate a good fourth of our watermelon on this day. ha!

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i also found these little silicone sno cone cups and swirl straws, which have been great because you can reuse them and they DO NOT LEAK!


the strawberry watermelon mint is the kids favorite!



for your reference, here’s two recipes below for some toppings we enjoy!  we feel like we shouldn’t to buy or use a special topping or special sweetened syrup. you can just puree some fresh fruit as a healthy alternative. and adding a sprig of mint is a great way to dress it up a bit!

mint strawberry watermelon recipe:

2 cups strawberry
1 cup watermelon
a few fresh leaves of mint
(puree or blend everything until it’s in a liquid form! it’s great to chill it in the fridge for a bit before serving on top of your ice so it doesn’t melt the ice as quickly.)

cucumber lime recipe:

1 english cucumber
1/8 cup agave syrup (or sugar)
juice from 2-3 limes
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups water
(puree or blend everything until it’s in a liquid form. like the top recipe, we’ve noticed that chilling it in the fridge for a while before pouring over your ice keeps it from melting too quickly.)

and we used this hawaiian shaved ice machine and these cups and swirl straws. we also used this recipe as inspiration.


  1. So. Freaking. Legit. And I adore Samson’s face when holding the blender!

  2. Mary Katherine

    This is such a great idea! I have the same problem as Samson, when cutting up my watermelon i end up eating half of it :)

    Where did you get those great carafes with the lids?


  3. Super cute- I want one! Your little ones are having so much fun and it’s definitely better to make at home when you know exactly what is going into treats :) good lesson for the kids, too!

    Warm Regards,

  4. Oh these look so delicious! I have been wanting to make homemade popsicles lately but maybe I’d better go the sno cone rout instead! xo Chelsea @ play. wash. rinse. repeat.

  5. mara

    sounds like you guys should open up a shaved ice stand in the city! you’d make it big, i bet, if there aren’t any others around ;) ps i can’t believe they don’t have a bunch around the city. we have one on every other block!

  6. Carlee

    Such a fun thing to do with kids in the summer! And E & S look so darn happy!

    Little Sloth

  7. Felisha

    Whoa – those look WAY better than the sno cones I grew up eating! I remember them being 99% ice, haha. I need to try these for sure!


  8. I so want the Ice Shaver! LOL thanks for the link!

    I absolutely adore the pictures where E is looking at S with a look that says “my brother is the funniest person ever!” You can tell by how they look at each other that they care and love each other very much. Such a great sibling relationship! I’m so glad you share bits and pieces of your loving family!



  9. Emily

    Ah yes. You can’t beat Utah sno cones! That’s the thing I will miss most about this place when we move to NYC!

  10. this is brilliant! who knew you could buy your own snow cone ice maker?

  11. Emily S

    Yum! These look amazing!
    I can’t believe there aren’t good sno cone places in NY! Someone has a great opportunity to fill a need.

  12. Jess.

    I’m not trying to knock anyone off the wagon, but some sweetened condensed milk would be goooooood with the lime recipe. ;)

  13. Paige

    These are so fun! We’re dying of heat stroke here in Atlanta, so these will be perfect to make this week!


  14. miri

    WOW! You all look so happy while preparing it. And I love this idea. Will definitely give it a try when the weather is warmer!



  15. Trish O

    Great idea. Love the watermelon one.

  16. Kristin

    They look super yummy, what a great idea from a great Mommy!!! :)xo

  17. K

    Great idea and tips as ALWAYS!! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Where did you buy the glass container for your juice syrups?

    Also, totally unrelated, but you’ve inspired me to take lots of photos of everything! little problem I feel like they are a big unorganized mess! Would love it if you could post ideas on how you manage/organize your many photos (I too use a big camera and phones) Thank you again so much!

  18. Ashley

    I just love seeing those littles!

  19. Nanette

    these look great! i’m going to make these with my little girl. xo.

  20. Allison

    Your family never stops being beautiful! Looks like you all are having a blast in the warm weather this summer–I bet you’re as excited to see winter long gone as I am ;)

  21. Bethany

    Such a great idea! It’s getting so much harder these days to have a “treat” without overloading yourself with sugar.

  22. Lisa

    Confused European here. Whats the deal with sno cones? Like, if its shaved ice and some fruity, liquid topping, that you end out drinking with a straw.. Whats the difference from a smoothie? Like, all the ingredients plus ice that you blend all at once and then drink? WHAT. Can someone please explain?!

  23. stefania

    This a funny nice odea…………… for kind e per grandi….quei coni sono veramente una isea fantastica….In Italia co saranno ??!!!

  24. Julia

    You guys seriously have to be the coolest parents ever! Save this machine, when the kids are older and you have parties with a lot of teenagers, shave ice will be a huge hit :D



  25. ABBY

    I really love the t-shirt your son is wearing with all of the NYC graphics across the front. Mind blown. Would you mind sharing where you got it? It is so great (coming from a graphic designer)!

    Thank you!
    Abby Low

    • TAZA

      it’s from bit’z kids!

  26. Mara

    Never heard about this sno cone thing here in Berlin. :(

  27. This is a very comprehensive guide for making your own snow cones. I bet that adding fruit like watermelons, and strawberries would make these treats very enjoyable. These kids sure look like they’re enjoying themselves at least. I will have to try these this weekend, I’m having a birthday party for my mom.