Looking for frozen freebies this Sunday? We've got you covered

By Rebekah Lowin
Updated July 14, 2017
national ice cream day
Credit: Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

Forget summer solstice. We all know summer officially begins on Sunday, July 16: National Ice Cream Day. Why? Well, not only is it an entire day devoted to our the king of summer desserts, but many shops and restaurants around the country will be offering some pretty sweet promotions—and a few will be giving their cones out entirely free of charge. Below, we’re sharing the scoop on exactly where, when, and how to get your celebratory treat.


You might want to bring a friend with you to Carvel if you visit one of their shops this Sunday. They’ll be offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on any size soft ice cream cone or cup (you choose the flavors). And in case that doesn’t already put you in a good mood, they’re also partnering with Save the Whales, a marine conservation charity, in honor of Fudgie the Whale's 40th birthday, and will donate a portion of the proceeds from the day to the organization.

Cumberland Farms

Two of the brands newest flavors—Chocolate Peppermint Palooza and Awesome Chocolate Amaretto Almond—will be discounted throughout the day, for $3 less per pint. And through September 5, you can also receive a free ice cream sandwich with your purchase of a 20-ounce Pepsi or Mountain Dew Spikes beverage.

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream

If you’re looking for a deal that’s a little trendier, head to Sub Zero, the country’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream franchise. The chain uses -321 degree liquid nitrogen to hand mix (and freeze!) custom orders, which take about 2 minutes each to come together. Just like Carvel, Sub Zero is offering a buy-one-get-one-free promotion from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at participating locations.

Magnum New York

Looking for an Instagram-worthy #NationalIceCreamDay snap? This Sunday, head to Magnum’s ice cream bar shop in New York City and enjoy two bars for the price of one. The best part is, you get to create your own flavor. Vanilla bean or chocolate ice cream is hand-dipped into your choice of dark, milk, or white chocolate. Then, there are 20 toppings to choose from (including, yes, gold glitter flakes).

Dippin’ Dots

Okay, so it’s not technically the creamy texture you love, but it’s ice cream nonetheless. Dippin’ Dots will be offering one free “mini cup” at participating locations. Since the unique product is sold in all 50 states (and a whopping 11 countries), we’re pretty sure you’ll find a way to get your hands on some.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

The Portland-based ice cream company known for their tantalizing, one-of-a-kind flavors is celebrating with a full day of “ice cream surprises,” according to a press release. There will be prizes including t-shirts, tasting flights, ice cream scoopers, hats, pints and “one big prize” of a free ice cream shipment anywhere in the country. ...Anyone wanna go to Portland on our behalf?


The fast-food chain might not be your first thought when it comes to National Ice Cream Day, but it’s actually got one of the best deals. For the low, low price of absolutely nothing, you can get a free vanilla soft-serve cone on July 16, all day long.

Baskin’ Robbins

You don’t even have to wait until Sunday to enjoy deals from Baskin’ Robbins. Beginning today, July 14, the ice cream chain will be giving out free samples of its new mint chocolate chip polar pizza ice cream. But if you’re ambitious, you can also sign up for the brand’s mobile app before July 16 to get exclusive offers on the day of the holiday.


In NYC this weekend? MilkMade, a Brooklyn ice cream shop, will be giving out free scoops on Sunday, plus they're also featuring their Montauk Monster sorbet—a watermelon sorbet infused with watermelon ale from the Montauk Brewing Company—in their Carroll Gardens tasting room on July 16th (not for free, however). They also have a ton of other new, New York-inspired flavors available this month, including Coney Island Crunch, The Orchard Beach, and Rumble in Brighton.