As parents, Betsy and I have been really trying to find small ways to make this summer somewhat normal for our two kids. Our younger one doesn’t really care about the “Cowonaviywus” but our 5 1/2 year old definitely gets it and it has really changed his summer.

One thing he was totally set on doing this summer was his first lemonade stand! Normally this would be no biggie, but obviously a pandemic will dramatically screw with that plan. 1) We weren’t sure we could do it in a safe way and 2) we weren’t sure that people would actually come.

But after a few weeks of planning, we decided to give it a go and with lots of parental help, the Pandemic Lemonade Stand became a reality last week!

Making the Lemonade

I was kind of set on making the lemonade from scratch for our first lemonade stand. Some of this was pride as someone who writes homemade recipes for a living.

But, I also thought there was some philosophical lesson to making a kid squeeze 20 lemons and really realize what goes into each cup.

That said, I’m not sure I’d repeat the homemade part of the lemonade. Sure, it was good, but it was a huge pain to squeeze that many lemons with a kid AND way more expensive. There’s no way we broke even on our lemon costs!

Juicing Lemons for lemonade

At some point, Dad took over and went into mega-juice mode and I juiced like 5 cups of fresh lemon juice.

Next time, I think we might go the powdered route. (As an aside, Country Time has a fun Lemonade Bailout giveaway where you can enter to win $100 for your child.)

Lots of lemons are needed for lemonade
So. Many. Lemons.

Once the lemonade was made (I used this recipe, but slightly more watered down with four cups of water per batch), we packaged up the lemonade into individual containers and kept them chilled. In this way, people could serve themselves!

Individually packaged lemonades.
Pain the lemons.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made like 50 chocolate chip cookies also and we packaged those up individually. I was hoping to use recyclable or compostable bags for these but the store was out. Normally, I wouldn’t be concerned about just sticking out a plate of cookies for a kid’s lemonade stand, but these are NOT normal times.

Chocolate Chips cookies ready to go.

Pandemic Pricing

Pricing for lemonade.

Theo has been eyeing a rock tumbler all summer long and this lemonade stand was his attempt to earn enough to get start tumblin’! We told him he would need $30 to buy the tumbler.

$30 is not the price of a rock tumbler. $30 is a made up amount of money we thought he might be able earn in a pandemic and give to us (which would recoup some of the costs we spent on the stand) and then we would give him a rock tumbler that a friend gave us. It turns out that kids lose interest in rock tumblers pretty quickly and there’s a vibrant used market for the things.

Our pricing was pretty simple.

Lemonade: 50 cents
Cookie: 50 cents
Both: $1

I tried to convince my son that he should really charge 75 cents for the cookie and then the $1 combo seems like a better deal for people, but he would just stare blankly at me so we kept it simple.

We invited a bunch of close friends to come by at staggered times and we figured we could probably sell $30 worth of stuff even if no random customers stopped by.

Pandemic Precautions

Ultimately, there is no way to do a lemonade stand with 100% zero risk in a pandemic. We did make a big sign of the precautions we were taking though. They included:

  • Individually packaged lemonade and cookies
  • Socially distanced – the lemonade was far away from Theo and the money so people could help themselves.
  • We believe in masks! Theo wore his any time he was helping a customer.
  • Hand Sanitizer before touching food or money.

We did our best to make people feel safe!

Lemonade Stand Results!

Because it’s 2020, the year of the suck, it actually starting raining about an hour into the lemonade stand. This put a massive damper on what were already going to be low sales.

But, the dude DID just make his $30 goal, plus a little. So his rock tumbler dreams will come true.

And Dad has LOTS of homemade lemonade now for cocktails.

All-in-all, we will call it a success. Two thumbs up. All smiles behind the masks!