Does your vacation rental have a kitchen that you can use to prepare meals for your family? We will tell you exactly what to serve for dessert on a family vacation so that you can spend more time relaxing with your family. This vacation dessert guide is great for big families or families with children.
Key to Success #1 – Choose Make-Ahead Desserts For Convenience
You’ve planned the perfect family vacation, including the easy dinners, but now you need to plan some fun desserts for your family.
Choose dessert recipes that you can make in advance for convenience.
You can make the dessert a day or two in advance when you have a little downtime then just pull it out when it’s time to serve dessert.
Many of the desserts that made our list are no-bake as well so that you don’t even have to warm up the stove.
Key to Success #2 – Semi-Homemade Treats for the Win
Every dessert does not have to be completely made from scratch.
Vacation is a perfect time to use convenience items like baked goods from the grocery store or refrigerated cookie dough.
Use the ingredients that you can find around you, especially locally grown fruits and things that are in season in the local area.
Even though you might pay a little more for the convenience items, you are saving money overall because you and your family are not eating at a restaurant or dessert shop.
You can also plan some treats that are completely store-bought but present them in a different way, like storing candy in the freezer for a treat.
Serving desserts on vacation should be a fun experience, but don’t overthink it.
Key to Success #3 – Schedule a Grocery Pick Up or Delivery
If there is a store anywhere near your vacation rental that offers grocery pick up service, take full advantage of it while you are on vacation.
Grocery stores or big box stores often get busy during the vacation season so submit your grocery order at least a couple of days in advance of your arrival.
Choose a convenient pick up time so that you are not rushing to reach your destination on time.
Give yourself plenty of time because traffic can cause delays around the time the vacation rentals turn over every week.
You can always schedule another grocery pick up later in the week so consider what you will need for meals for the first few days that you will be at your vacation rental.
Let Us Help You Plan Your Vacation Menu
Having trouble coming up with a menu for your family vacation?
We can help!
Our blog posts about vacation meal planning are a great place to start.
- Vacation Breakfast Ideas for Families
- Vacation Lunch Ideas for Families
- Vacation Dinner Ideas for Families
- Vacation Dessert Ideas for Families
If you have more questions, leave us a comment and we will help you out!
Save this Vacation Dessert Roundup to your Family Vacation board or your Easy Desserts for a Crowd board.
Vacation Dessert Ideas for Families
If you're cooking meals on vacation, they should not be complicated. And this is no different for your desserts.
We're sharing our best ideas for desserts that you can serve from your vacation rental for the entire family.
This banana pudding is a family favorite.
It's what banana pudding dreams are made of and you will not regret trying this recipe on your next family vacation.
If you like the vanilla wafers to be soft, then you can make this full dessert a day in advance.
If you like the vanilla wafers firmer, try mixing up the pudding in advance then add in the bananas and vanilla wafers while you are prepping your meal.
A freezer full of ice cream sandwiches and other frozen treats is a great option for a summer vacation dessert.
These treats are individually packaged and great for both kids and adults.
Add these to your grocery pick up order for a fun cold dessert option.
We love York Peppermint Patties any way we can get them, but have you tried them frozen?
Stick a bag of York Peppermint Patties into the freezer for a light and refreshing dessert option.
They make a great dessert or even a quick snack as you're headed out the door.
Oreo Delight is a fun new twist on a classic 4-Layer Delight.
We're switching things up with an Oreo Crust to make this a no-bake dessert option that is perfect for your vacation.
You'll still find the thick cream cheese layer and the chocolate pudding layer that you know and love.
Pile some crushed up Oreos on the top and you're all set.
Little Debbie Snack Cakes are a great lunch dessert option while you are on vacation.
They don't require any refrigeration and you can bring them along with you if you are packing a picnic lunch.
You can even Amazon Prime a variety pack right to your vacation rental!
This option really brings back nostalgic memories for me. My grandmother had these for us after church on Sunday nights.
Pick up a package of chocolate chip cookies in your grocery order and add a scoop of ice cream between them for a fun and unique dessert idea.
You can also grab a roll of cookie dough and bake the cookies at your vacation home.
Be sure to bake the cookies in advance so that they will have time to cool before you add the ice cream.
For a smaller treats, pick up a package of mini cookies.
Lemon Delight is a no-bake dessert for all the lemon lovers in your family.
We're using crushed Golden Oreos for the crust and layers of luscious lemon and cream cheese.
You can easily make this simple dessert in advance so that it will be ready after dinner.
The leftovers are great too - if you have any!
Milkshakes are a great vacation dessert option, especially for summer vcacations.
You can use the fruit that you have on hand and mix up any flavor that you like in the blender.
Most vacation homes that we have stayed in have provided a blender.
Bring your own fat milkshake straws for a fun addition.
If your vacation rental does not have a blender, you can make root beer floats instead of milkshakes.
Add some root beer to your grocery order and you're ready for a fun dessert.
You could also do coke floats intead of root beer floats.
Strawberry Delight is a light and refreshing dessert option that combines a rich and creamy cheesecake layer with lots of fresh strawberries.
The crust does require a bit of cooking, but if you wanted to skip the cooking you could make a no-bake Golden Oreo crust instead.
While you're making your grocery stopping list, throw in an angel food cake or two.
They make a great dessert on their own but they can also be topped with ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, or a host of other toppings for a completely different dessert.
Don't forget a can of whipped cream to top your angel food creation.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are fantastic on their own, but they are even better frozen!
Throw a bag of Reese's in the freezer of your vacation rental and you will have the perfect snack or a light dessert any time.
You can also top
Homemade Ice Cream is a classic summertime treat that the whole family is sure to love.
Unless you are lucky enough to get a vacation house that has an ice cream maker, you will need to bring your own.
But if you are on summer vacation, it may be worth it to have homemade ice cream with your family.
Don't forget the rock salt if your ice cream maker requires it.
Fill your freezer with assorted popsicles and ice cream treats.
After a hot activity, the children will appreciate a cold treat to help them cool off.
Set them out on the patio to eat their popsicles so that they don't make a mess in the vacation rental.
Individual Ice Cream Cups
Check to see if your grocery store sells individual ice cream cups.
These are a great option for serving ice cream on vacation so that you won't have everyone dipping into the same tub of ice cream.
Blue Bell sells a pack of 12 at most Walmart stores, but you may be able to find other options at your local supermarket.
Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle is a delicious dessert featuring layers of angel food cake, fluffy sweetened cream cheese, and fresh strawberries in a sweet strawberry glaze.
It's easy to throw together and perfect for your vacation dessert.