Skip to main content

Sip into Success: How to Start a Thriving Lemonade Stand

Little girl sells lemonade in her front yard stock photo

Nothing beats an ice-cold glass of homemade lemonade on a hot summer’s day—and it’s even better when it comes from an adorable entrepreneur! Having a lemonade stand is a beloved seasonal pastime that not only keeps our sweet angels busy but also teaches them valuable life lessons like critical thinking, problem-solving, and customer service. Follow these nine lemonade stand tips to make learning how to start a lemonade stand easy peasy lemon squeezy.

1.    Remember: location, location, location.

Host your lemonade stand in a visible location with a decent amount of activity. A busy corner or a spot near your community’s pool, playground, or clubhouse are excellent places to set up shop. The day and time are also crucial to keep in mind; you’ll get the most traffic mid-morning to early afternoon on the weekends.

2.    Spread the word.

Your lemonade stand ideas can’t come to life without customers. You shouldn’t rely on those passing by—announce it to the world! If your community allows, post signs around the neighborhood and share the details on your social media page to gather a crowd.

3.    Create curb appeal.

Your stand doesn’t need to be fancy—a card table with a tablecloth and a few chairs will work just fine—but there are things you can do to zest it up. Get the creative juices flowing and encourage your kids to have fun decorating the stand. Let them handcraft a lemonade stand sign with paint, markers, and bright poster boards, and add balloons and streamers for a little extra pizzazz.

Running a lemonade stand is a great summer bucket list item. Check out our other ideas for a seasonal wish list today!

4.    Train the crew.

Have a discussion and lay some ground rules with your crew before getting started. Decide on a fair price for each drink—.25 cents to $1—and show them how to make change. Practice doing sales pitches and pouring cups of lemonade, too. And don’t forget to highlight the significance of safety. Tell them what to do in an emergency and chat about the dangers of giving personal information to strangers.

5.    Stock the stand appropriately.

While the most important part of the lemonade stand is, of course, the fresh lemonade, it’s good to keep the stand well-stocked with supplies so you don’t constantly have to return home or to the store.

Necessary items to have on hand include:

  • Cups

  •  Pitcher

  • Cooler with ice

  • Gloves

  • Tongs

  • Paper straws

  • Trash can and bags

  • Cookies or other sweet treats to sell

  • Chairs

  • Small bills and quarters

  • Zip-top bag or lockbox

  • Notebook to tally sales

  •  Speaker

6.    Refine your fresh lemonade recipe.

Every great lemonade stand needs great lemonade. You don’t want to serve customers anything that’s too sour or sweet. Make sure you have the right ingredients on hand for a satisfying sip and enough to serve a group. Here’s our favorite fresh lemonade recipe:

fresh lemonade for a crowd recipe

Fresh Lemonade for a Crowd

Serves 24


  • 18 cups water, divided

  • 3 cups sugar

  •  3 cups lemon juice ice


1. In a saucepan on medium heat, make a simple syrup by combining three cups of water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove simple syrup from the heat and let it cool.

3. Add cooled simple syrup, lemon juice, and remaining water to a large pitcher or beverage dispenser and stir well.

4. Let chill in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve over ice.

Keep all your ingredients clean and cool in your fridge. For tips on how to do this, check out our fridge cleaning guide!

7.    Offer multiple ways to pay.

Cash is king, but it isn’t always convenient. Consider using a digital banking platform, like Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal, to collect money. Use an online QR code generator to link to your profile, and print the barcode off for simple scanning, paying, and tracking.

8.    Sell for a cause.

Your kids will already glean many new life skills during this business venture, so why not enrich the learning even more by donating proceeds to a charity? Fundraising is a priceless activity that teaches kids the value of humanitarianism and hard work. Talk about the benefits of helping those in need and let your kids choose the charity they want to donate some of their earnings to.

9.    Have fun!

Follow these lemonade stand tips to provide a great educational opportunity for your kiddos during summer vacation. Let them run the show as much as possible, but remember, after all the planning, setting up, and selling, the ultimate reward is the experience. If everyone is safe and having fun, your lemonade stand will be a success. 

neighborhood lemonade stand

Beyond the Lemonade Stand: More Summer Ideas

Starting a lemonade stand for kids is a fantastic summer activity. Looking for even more summer events? Check out our article, “Not Your Average Block Party: 7 Unique Summer Neighborhood Events,” now!

Lemonade Stand FAQs

What do you need for a lemonade stand?
You’ll need the ingredients to make your lemonade and the supplies to store and serve it for a lemonade stand, along with any materials that make up your stand, like a sign and cash and coins to give change. 

How to build a lemonade stand?

The construction of a lemonade stand is simple. Use a bin or small crates stuck together to create the base. For your sign, draw on a small erase board or hang a banner with tape and wooden rods. 

How to get a lemonade stand permit?

Check with your local health department and state agriculture department for any required permits to sell lemonade and the steps to obtain them. California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut don’t require permits to sell lemonade. 

How much does a lemonade stand make in a day?

A variety of factors can impact how much you make at a lemonade stand in a day. Depending on your location, the time you spend selling, and how much you charge, among other things, you can expect to make $20-$100.