Here's how to get yours. 

Elisabeth Sherman
March 13, 2018

For much of country, this winter has felt like one of the longest in recent memory. Just when it seems like the snow has stopped and the skies have cleared, the temperature drops again. But you know what will cheer us all up? Free ice cream from Dairy Queen.

The first day of spring is March 20—just a few days away, for those of you eagerly keeping track—so to celebrate, Dairy Queen is giving away free small vanilla ice cream cones. Yes, you read that right. On March 20, you’ll be able to get free ice cream from DQ, no strings attached.

This is the fourth annual Free Cone Day campaign at Dairy Queen, and this year, you can donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals when you pick up your treat.

Even if the weather hasn’t cleared up by then, and there’s a definite chance it probably won’t be sunny or warm enough to enjoy an ice cream cone outdoors, you can always eat your cone inside the warmth and comfort of your local Dairy Queen, where you can sit and daydream about the summertime.

Expect a long line when you arrive: When a new Dairy Queen opened in New York City, the line stretched around the block—although to be fair, the chain did give away free blizzards for a year to the first fifty customers.

But you know who else loves ice cream, besides New Yorkers? Bears...

Yes, earlier this year a bear living at a wildlife refuge in Canada, drove up to a Dairy Queen drive-thru and demanded ice cream. Okay, one of the bear’s handlers was driving the car and asked for the ice cream, in order to help the bear celebrate his birthday (Wouldn't it have been safer to let the bear celebrate in its natural habitat?). Can you imagine opening the drive-thru window and being confronted with a live bear in the driver’s seat? I cannot. That story doesn’t exactly have a happy ending, though. Innisfail officials announced that they were investigating the video for misconduct, warning the public to never feed bears human food, or for that matter let them ride in cars to go on ice cream runs. 

All this is to say, if you're as excited about Free Cone Day as we are, you'd better be prepared to get in line.