National Ice Cream Day: Where to Get Free Ice Cream on July 16

Getty A man makes an ice-cream cone on July 18.

Calling all ice cream lovers, today is your day! July 16 marks National Ice Cream Day, and people around the nation will flock to their nearest stores or restaurants to enjoy the infamous dessert treat in the only way they know how…by eating it, of course.

Even better, this year, dozens of nationwide restaurant chains are offering a free ice cream to customers — there’s no catch. From McDonalds to Baskin Robbins, if you’re a fan of ice cream, today is certainly the day to cash in on your craving.

In fact, the entire month of July should be, as it’s National Ice Cream Month. President Ronald Reagan made it a thing back in 1984 and declared that the third Sunday in July will be dubbed “National Ice Cream Day.”

Here’s a list of some restaurants that are offering free ice cream July 16:

16 Handles

The frozen yogurt chain is offering a coupon for a free four-ounce order of its specialty frozen yogurt simply by downloading the store’s mobile application. The offer is valid from noon until 5 p.m. only on July 16.


On Sunday, if you buy a soft-serve cone at any Carvel location, you’ll get one of equal or lesser price for free.

Cold Stone Creamery

At Cold Stone, the store is celebrating the holiday by offering those who sign up for its eClub a “Buy One Creation, Get One Coupon” delivered to your email promotion.

Dairy Queen

In honor of National Ice Cream Day, Dairy Queen is offering a free buy one get one Blizzard deal when you sign up to be in the DQ Blizzard Fan Club. Don’t forget, if they forget to hand you your blizzard upside down, it’s free!

Dippin’ Dots

Dippin’ Dots stores across the nation are offering customers a free mini cup of its “futuristic” ice cream on Sunday. The deal is only valid through a two-hour window, which you have to check with your local store on.


On Sunday, Friendly’s is donating money to the Boys & Girls Club of America. For every $2.99 Friend-z ice cream order that is placed July 16, the store will donate $2 to the organization. Those customers who purchase the treat on Sunday will receive a voucher for a free ice cream at a future date.


The fast-food chain Krystal is getting in on the National Ice Cream Day action by offering 99-cent ice cream sundaes. The deal starts Sunday and lasts until July 23.


Of course, one of the nation’s largest fast food chains couldn’t miss the opportunity to offer customers a deal. On Sunday, McDonald’s is giving every customer that downloads its mobile application a coupon for a free vanilla ice cream cone. There is no purchase necessary to get the deal.

That’s not it, though. McDonald’s is looking for one person who uses the free vanilla ice cream promotion from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to be the winner of “free soft serve for life.”


Don’t think for a minute that pets are left out of the equation when it comes to ice cream lovers. All pets that visit PetSmart and PetHotel locations across the nation on July 16 will get a free “Doggie Ice Cream Sundae.”


At Subzero, customers will get a free liquid nitrogen ice cream with the purchase of one at regular price. The deal starts at 2 p.m. and lasts until 6 p.m.


Wendy’s is giving its customers a small chocolate or vanilla Frosty for just 50 cents. It’s not only for the holiday, though, as the deal lasts all summer until August 25.

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