How's the Neighborhood Lemonade Stand Business (by Young Kids)?

When I came back from a walk this morning some young kids a couple houses from mine were selling lemonade and cookies. My thought was they were going to have very limited sales so I bought a couple cookies for $1.

Other experiences with this? Frankly I thought this had almost totally disappeared decades ago.

Lemonade stands have been a popular way for kids to help charities for quite a while now.
Alex’s is probably the most well known.

My 5 year old great-niece (grand-niece?) and the neighbor kid had a lemonade stand earlier this year. They made $50.

That child’s mother and one of her fellow neighborhood kids put a sign up at the front of their condo complex that they’d sing songs for a quarter. They were maybe 6 or 7. This was 25 years ago, and they made over $25. Many people gave more than a quarter.


To keep singing or to shut up?

I don’t think either child could carry a tune in a bucket, so probably to shut up. However, they were paid by people in cars who saw their sign “We’ve been singing all day. $.25 a song”.


I live in the near western suburbs of Chicago, in a neighborhood with lots of smaller lots (it was laid out i the 1920s), so there’s a lot of homes, fairly close together; there are a lot of families with young kids around here.

I see a lemonade stand, or something like it, in the neighborhood a couple of times a year. Not frequent, but not unheard of.

I remember my father telling my mother ( 1956 approx) that we were spending more on sugar than we were taking in. .05 per cup.

My neighbor made a wooden stand for his kids. They used it a couple times. Over the last year he has used it as his work-from-home desk during covid. He sits in his garage where he can smoke.

Many parents still encourage their kids to do this for nostalgia and also to teach their kids economic lessons. Not uncommon in the neighborhoods I’ve lived in over the last two decades.

My brother sold brownies from a stand in about 2003. I was surprised how many people pulled over and hurried over with a huge smile, like they were reliving being a kid…

I saw a lemonade stand in my neighborhood a couple weeks ago and bought a cup. The kids were pretty young so the parents were doing the heavy lifting, whereas when I did it, I was 8-10 and by myself (or with friends my own age). But still, it made me happy to see.

At the risk of bringing the tone down, there are two big changes from the days of yore when kids would do this sort of thing.

The first is the whole “stranger danger” thing; parents are a lot less willing to leave their kids outside unsupervised talking to a parade of strangers pulling up in their cars than previous generations were. Which is understandable, I suppose.

The second, alas, is simply that younger couples - with kids of the age that do this sort of thing - are much less able to afford homes in the sort of neighborhoods you can do this thing in. My parents have noted that the number of kids in their nice middle-class suburban neighborhood has fallen dramatically since the days when we were kids, and the houses are all owned either by older couples who bought them when they were more affordable (like my parents) or by professional couples who moved in when their kids were mid-to-late teens at the youngest because it took them that long to save up for them.

I remember my sister and I took our business door to door. Pulling a cooler full of Koo laid on our red wagon. Lol

Mom and Pops had no clue what we were up to.

I was impressed when a friend’s grade school kids decided to start a lemonade stand. They started by asking adults how much they’d spend, what other products we’d buy, and if a sign saying “___% of Profits Donated to XYZ Charity” would mean we’d spend more.

Market Research! I was impressed. Also impressive was the thought they put into the best location. Which turned out to be busy street right near a parking lot where people could pull over (was also on the route that people walk to our neighborhood farmer’s market).

Fifteen bucks profit in three hours the first day… I was proud of them.