Fireworks Guide: Ice Fountains

Ideal for birthdays and other celebrations.

Key information

  • Bright, silver fountains intended for indoor use.
  • Can be used on cakes or attached to bottles.
  • Low smoke and no hot sparks.
  • Burn times typically 40 seconds or so.
Ice fountain selection
A selection of indoor ice fountains for just about every occasion!

The anatomy of an ice fountain

Ice fountains – called that because their fallout is cold and thus suitable for use indoors and on food – are also known as cake fountains. Virtually all of them are variations on a standard design:

Ice fountain

The nozzle and lighting point: You will see the white internal pyrotechnic composition at this end. This is where you light the ice fountain.

Main tube: A card tube usually around five inches long and decorated in a variety of colours or foil designs.

Mounting pin: This is what you insert into the cake or other food to stop the fountain falling over.

Please note that on some ice fountains, the mounting pin is initially placed over the live nozzle end as a safety cap. You’ll know this is the case because the exposed end looks hollow. You must first swap the cap to the other end before you attempt to light the fountain or nothing will happen:

Ice fountain lighting

Mounting ice fountains on bottles

An optional plastic clip is available which enables you to attach the fountains to the neck of champagne or wine bottles:

Ice fountain bottle clip
An example ice fountain bottle clip (left) and an ice fountain in action on a bottle.

Lighting ice fountains

These are very easy to light. Simply touch a flame on the end of the tube – ice fountains do not have fuses – ensuring that you’ve swapped the cap around if it was being used as a safety cap. The best lighters to use are those with an intense flame such as a chef’s torch or BBQ lighter:

Lighting an ice fountain
Lighting an ice fountain

What type of effects to expect

Most ice fountains are silver spark effects. Some are marketed as “premium” effects however these usually just burn for a little longer, in practice I have not seen a lot of difference between the various brands. The standard size ice fountains burns for around 40 seconds with sparks up to a foot or so.

Some ice fountains are marketed as having a specific colour such as pink or blue. Please note in these cases the fountains burn with a coloured flame rather than sparks. It’s less dramatic than sparks but the colours can be nice and blue and pink are ideal for gender reveal celebrations.

Ice fountain in action
Ice fountains simply push into a cake using the supplied pin (left) and create a wonderful plume of low smoke, bright sparks (right).

How much do they cost?

They vary a lot in price but expect to pay, for a single packet of 4, around £3-£5. Significant discounts are available from most firework shops or ice fountain sellers if you buy in bulk, for example if you are a restaurant or night club.

Novelty ice fountains (see below) usually retail for a little more.

Numbered ice fountains and novelty designs

If you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, fountains with numbers on the side are available. They work in exactly the same way as the standard fountains above, but are a nice touch for such occasions.

You can also buy ice fountains with other designs on the side, such as Halloween decals.

Also available are musical fountains. Once started, the flame burns through a small wire across the top, activating a built in musical effect, such as happy birthday. These novelty fountains are great fun for birthdays and the likes. I use them a lot myself and find they’re so naff, they’re a great laugh. Particularly as the tune won’t stop playing until you physically destroy the fountain!

Numbered ice fountains
Numbered ice fountains.

Further information and next steps

If you are following the Beginner’s Guides then you can click here to return to that page. Alternatively you can click here to see the main menu of each firework type in this section if you want to read more (or click on the menu at the top of this page to access all of my guides).

If you have any questions then please feel free to join my Fireworks Forum and ask away. Members are always here to help beginners and no question is too silly.

If you’re ready to buy fireworks for your display then the Buying Fireworks section will guide you further.