Where to get free ice cream on National Ice Cream Day, plus deals at Dairy Queen, McDonald's and more Sunday

Kelly Tyko
USA TODAY
  • Baskin Robbins has two deals for Ice Cream Day including free ice cream-scented kinetic sand.
  • Dairy Queen has an Ice Cream Day deal on dipped cones and Carvel hands out coupons with purchase.
  • National Ice Cream Day 2021 also brings a way to get free pints of ice cream with a purchase.

Here's a reason to all scream for ice cream Sunday: free scoops.

Businesses nationwide are offering not just free ice cream, but specials, discounts and contests in honor of National Ice Cream Day, celebrated every July 18.

Ice Cream Day became an official food holiday in 1984 when President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day and the month of July as National Ice Cream Month.

Reagan’s proclamation noted the ice cream industry generated $3.5 billion in annual sales. 

According to a Tillamook County Creamery Association survey, a dairy co-op, 82% of Americans’ favorite sweet treat is ice cream.

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Sensitivity toothpaste brand Sensodyne found in its survey that the average American plans to eat 39 scoops of ice cream by the end of this summer. More than half (52%) prefer soft ice cream to hard ice cream (30%), the survey found.

Looking for another free frozen treat? If you haven't already had a free Slurpee at 7-Eleven this month, you can still grab one through July 31. 

The made-up food holiday comes after National French Fry Day Tuesday and National Mac & Cheese Day Wednesday but contests to win free fries from McDonald’s and free Panera macaroni and cheese are still up for grabs.

Also, Sunday is the last day teachers can save with Kohl's first-ever teacher discount and Target's 15% teacher discount is back through the end of the month.

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Ice Cream Day deals and freebies

Here are discounts and offers available Sunday, July 18, at participating locations, unless otherwise noted. Offers can vary and most times are offered while supplies last. To be on the safe side, always check with your closest location before heading out. Also, some will require you to have a restaurant's app or be signed up for emails.

7-ElevenMembers of the convenience store chain's loyalty program get a free Slurpee anytime in July. One per customer.

Alden's Organic: Find a $1 off coupon on the brand sold in 10,000 stores on the company’s website through July 31.

Baskin-Robbins: With a $10 or more purchase Sunday, get free ice cream-scented Kinetic Sand in chocolate mint or strawberry banana scents. Also from Sunday through July 24, get $5 off delivery orders of $20 or more from Uber Eats, DoorDash or Postmates.

Blue Bunny: The brand will open $1,000 tabs from Sunday through July 25 at select parlors that entered for “The Heart of Fun” contest. The selected parlors and schedule will be posted at BlueBunny.com Sunday.

Brave Robot Ice Cream: Get a free pint of the “cow-free” ice cream after rebate. Sign up on the brand’s website and then upload a picture of your receipt with a pint of the ice cream from your local grocery store. Reimbursements will be deposited into your Venmo or Paypal account.

Breyers: The brand is offering “Cookie Coverage” on its Cookies & Cream ice cream at CookieCoverage.com. At the site, get a $2 coupon for half off a tub and "an official insurance certificate that provides protection on their tub’s cookies & cream goodness." The brand says if you're "not completely satisfied with the cookie to cream ratio in Breyers updated recipe, the next tub’s on us." Limit one free product coupon and one $2 coupon per person.

Bubbies Ice Cream: With the Ibotta app at Whole Foods Market, get a buy-one-get-one free deal on the brand's individually-wrapped Mochi Ice Cream. Shoppers will get $2 cash back through Ibotta through Aug. 6.

Burger King: Get a free vanilla soft-serve cup or cone with $1 purchase and an offer from the chain. Find deals on the app and at Bk.com/offers.

Carvel: Purchase a new limited-time Churro-flavored product Sunday and get a "special offer card" with a surprise offer that can be redeemed through Aug. 30. Surprise offers include BOGO deals, freebies and discounts. Enter for a chance to win free ice cream for a year at Carvel.com/icecreamday. Carvel also has a printable coupon to use on ice cream cakes sold in grocery stores.

Cold Stone Creamery: From Sunday through July 22, My Cold Stone Club Rewards members get $3 off when you spend $10 or more online with code SWEETSTUFF.

Cumberland Farms: For a limited time, get the brand's new Ultimate Scoop Crème Brulee Crunch for $3.99, which is $1.50 off the regular price.

Dairy Queen: Participating DQ stores nationwide are offering $1 off any size Dipped Cone with the chain's mobile app, excluding kid cones. One deal per customer.

DoorDash: Order from The Ice Cream Shop on DoorDash Sunday and get a free pint of ice cream on orders more than $20. To qualify, add any pint of ice cream to your grocery or convenience store order more than $20 and use promo code ICECREAM at checkout.

Friendly’s: The chain is giving away free Fribble for members of its Sweet Rewards program Sunday through July 31. Customers that join the loyalty program will also get a free medium sundae when they download the mobile app or register online at FriendlysRestaurants.com. Also, if you purchase Friendly’s ice cream at stores, you can get $5 back through Venmo when you upload your receipt at GetFriendlys.com.

Gopuff: Through Sunday, get two Ben & Jerry's and Talenti pints for $8 with the on-demand convenience delivery service. Deals will be applied automatically.

Ibotta: The cashback app has several ice cream rebates for National Ice Cream Day from brands including Yasso, Blue Bunny and Halo Top. Also for a limited time get free school supplies.

Insomnia Cookies: Through Sunday, get a free scoop of ice cream with any purchase in-store or online for delivery with code ICECREAMDAY.

Killer Creamery: Through July 31, the creamery's products will be on sale at Albertsons Companies stores. Offers vary by location.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese: Not an Ice Cream Day deal but Kraft and Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen Ice Cream united two of the ultimate comfort foods into mac and cheese ice cream. The ice cream was released for National Mac & Cheese Day July 14. It costs $12 a pint and be available as long as supplies last.

Marble Slab Creamery: Slab Happy Rewards members get BOGO regular ice cream for Ice Cream Day. The chain also has a coupon for $5 off ice cream kits through July 31 with code ICECREAM5.

McDonald'sCheck the fast-food chain's app for coupons and freebies. And with the new rewards program after making your first purchase you will have enough points to get a free cone.

Meijer: Starting Sunday and through July 24, the retailer is offering its mPerks rewards program 50% off one pint of Purple Cow ice cream. To get the discount, customers can download the mPerks app, available for iOS and Android.

My/Mochi: For National Ice Cream Month, the brand is giving away free mochi ice cream with its "Mmm Face" campaign, which challenges fans to post photos of their face biting into My/Mochi. Post to the brand's social channels to get a free box and you'll also be entered in a sweepstakes for the chance to win a one-year supply of My/Mochi. Use the hashtag #MyMochiMmmface and tag @MyMochi on Instagram or TikTok. On Facebook and Twitter, tag @mymochiicecream.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and  Van Leeuwen Ice Cream are introducing a limited edition treat that blends two iconic comfort foods -  ice cream and macaroni & cheese.

Pressed Juicery: Get a size 1 plant-based soft serve (freeze or mini-frozen) with up to three toppings for $2 Sunday. Limit of three per customer.

ReThink Ice Cream: The ice cream brand, available at more than 450 supermarkets in California, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, has a deal for buy six and get two free. Stores include Nugget, Lucky, Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Markets and Raley’s and the savings should be applied automatically. 

Steak 'n Shake: Get a free shake when you join the chain's rewards program. Sign up at Steaknshake.com/rewards.

TCBY: Download the chain’s app and register for the loyalty program to learn about deals. The chain told USA TODAY that new TCBY Insider members will “receive special perks” now through July 31.

Wendy's: Through July 31, the chain is offering a small Frosty-ccino or brewed coffee with a purchase and an exclusive in-app offer through its Wendy's Rewards program. There also are other deals on the app.

Whole Foods MarketThrough July 20, get 35% off all ice cream and frozen treats, plus Prime Members save an extra 10%.

Yogurtland: Members of the chain's Real Rewards program get three times the points Sunday for in-stores and online orders.

More deals: Locally owned businesses and regional chains also may have specials for Ice Cream Day. One of the easiest ways to find out is to check restaurants' social media channels.

National Ice Cream Day contests

Lidl: Saturday was the deadline to enter the discount grocer’s National Ice Cream Day sweepstakes for a chance to win free ice cream for a year and the winner will be announced Sunday. Three winners will be chosen at random and announced Sunday. See the contest rules here

Nick’s: The brand has a contest where one winner will receive a year’s supply of ice cream, 10 winners will receive a “Kollosal Bundle” – all 23 flavors of the brand’s light and vegan ice creams – and 100 winners will receive a free pint. Plus, 10 babies born Sunday named Nick, Nicole or Nikki will get a year’s supply of ice cream. Learn more at Try.nicks.com/national-ice-cream-day.

PROOF Alcohol Ice Cream: Enter for a chance to win free ice cream with its contest "Weekend Adventures + PROOF." Tag @proofalcoholicecream in your post of your summer adventures and use #weekendadventure to be entered to win a four-pint party pack of the ice cream. 

Sensodyne: The sensitivity toothpaste brand is hosting a "Live Every Mo-Mint" sweepstakes on Twitter where participants can win one of 750 kits with mint ice cream, toothpaste and more that are available with same-day delivery. But not everyone can enter as the sweepstakes is only for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Learn more at Liveeverymomint.fooji.com

Snickers Ice Cream: Through Sunday, the Mars Wrigley brand is dropping a limited number of exclusive "Vacci-cation & Chill" kits through a contest. Enter for a chance to win one of 50 kits at ChillwithSnickers.com. The kits, valued at $350, include a premium cooler, wireless speaker, beach towel, pool float and Snickers Ice Cream.

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Krispy Kreme donut deal

Krispy Kreme is celebrating its 84th birthday with a doughnut deal through Sunday for members of its rewards program, who received an email.

Purchase any dozen doughnuts at participating shops and get a second dozen of glazed doughnuts with special strawberry-iced "BirthYAY" sprinkle doughnut for $1. Use promo code BIRTHYAY for online orders. The online deal has a limit of one and there's a limit of four for in-shop and drive-thru orders.

Also, with a valid COVID-19 vaccination card, get a free glazed doughnut through the end of the year.

Contributing: Brett Molina, USA TODAY; Ilana Keller, Asbury Park Press

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For more shopping tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group.