Psst! You Can Get Free Ice Cream At Dairy Queen For One Day — Here’s How

It’s a springtime tradition.

by Jacqueline Burt Cote

At last, the signs of spring are starting to show. Flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, the ice is melting, the birds are chirping... and it’s almost time for Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen. It’s like a sweet, sweet dream come true.

This year’s Free Cone Day is on March 21, but before the big day rolls around, there are a couple of things you should know. Only participating locations will be running the free cone promotion, so you should call your local DQ ahead of time to make sure they’re in on the fun. And if your heart is set on a chocolate cone with sprinkles, you’re in for a disappointment: Only small vanilla cones will be given away on Free Cone Day.

In truth, this restriction is a gift to parents. Give anything besides a small vanilla cone to a little kid and you end up with a chocolate, sprinkle-covered child. Save the Blizzards and the cherry dip cones for later on in the summer when everybody is sticky anyway and you can throw them in some body of water before they go back in your house.

If you’ve never taken advantage of Dairy Queen’s Free Cone Day, this is an extra special year to give it a try. That’s because Dairy Queen was forced to cancel the traditional first-day-of-spring event in 2020 and 2021, as Mashed reported, because of the pandemic (the long lines free ice cream attracts were exactly what everybody was trying to avoid back then).

If you miss Free Cone Day this time around, don’t despair. One of the great things about Dairy Queen is that their prices are pretty reasonable all year, with a small cone running about $2. So you can head back to DQ and load up on sprinkles all summer long.