Here's Where You Can Get Free Ice Cream in LA for National Ice Cream Day


Water is wet, the world is round, and free ice cream is the best thing on the planet. Those are the inalienable truths we hold to be self-evident. Accordingly, despite being a marketing-driven "food holiday," National Ice Cream Day is one of the best days on the calendar. This year it falls on Sunday, July 16, and there are plenty of ice cream shoppes and chains -- both local and national -- celebrating with the appropriate deals.

Here are the best ones to take advantage of this Sunday:

Local free ice cream deals

Salt & Straw
The deal: All five LA locations of this small chain are doling out free scoops as hourly prizes all day, along with hourly giveaways of more ice cream, T-shirts, and other swag. 
When: July 16
Where: All five LA locations

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
The deal: If you've got kids, they're in luck! Anyone 18 or under gets a free scoop in a classic orange cake cone with sprinkles, if an adult buys a cone first, that is.
When: July 16
Where: 1954 Hillhurst Ave

Frozen Fruit Co
The deal: This Santa Monica shoppe is giving out free cups of its dairy-free soft serve on Sunday afternoon. Its icy wares are made of natural fruit, meaning you can enjoy your treats guilt-free. 
When: July 16, 12pm to 5pm
Where:  729 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

Pretend City Children's Museum
The deal: The Pretend City Children's Museum is handing out free cups and cones for just one hour, so you better get them fast. They're also celebrating the day with crafts and songs for the kids, so keep that in mind.
When: July 16, 1pm to 12pm
Where: 29 Hubble, Irvine

The Milk Shop
The deal: You can buy three sandwiches and get a fourth free at either of this delicious local shop's two locations.
When: July 16
Where: 7290 Beverly Blvd; 1639 Silverlake Blvd

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream
The deal: The nation’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream chain is offering a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deal on its custom ice cream creations.
When: July 16, 2pm to 6pm
Where: Participating locations

National free ice cream deals

The deal: The chain is doling out free vanilla cones at participating locations if you order them using the McDonald's mobile app. Additionally, you have the chance to win free soft serve for life if you order within certain times.
When: July 16, all day for the free ice cream; 2pm to 5pm for the contest
Where: Participating locations

Dippin' Dots
The deal: Some locations (call before to check) are giving out one free mini cup of ice cream during select times.
When: July 16, but times vary by location
Where: Participating locations

Whole Foods
The deal: The grocery store is selling all Ben & Jerry's pints at a two for $6 discount. It's also hosting "Sundae Fundae" sampling events in stores nationwide.
When: July 16; sampling events vary by location
Where: Participating locations

Steak & Shake
The deal: This deal isn't pegged to National Ice Cream Day, but it's got a buy-one-get-one coupon for Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes. The coupons are good all summer long.
When: Now through August 31
Where: 1455 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica; 108 Palm Ave, Burbank

The deal: Two big offerings from one of the biggest ice-cream institutions in America: (1) they'll be doling out free samples of their pistachio ice cream pizza on Friday, July 14; and (2) if you download the Baskin-Robbins app, you'll unlock a variety of free ice cream deals on July 16. The company's been cryptic on this matter, but there's ice cream involved, so I wouldn't worry.
When: July 14 and July 16
Where: Participating locations

The deal: Bring this coupon to your local Tastee-Freez or Wienerschnitzel location and you’ll get $1 off any candy shake, including Reese’s, M&M’s, and Oreo.
When: Now through July 31
Where: Participating locations

The deal: Turns out your dog can get in on the dessert-filled celebration, too. The pet retailer is handing out free Doggie Ice Cream Sundaes -- dog-safe vanilla ice cream topped with a dob biscuit sprinkle -- at its PetSmart PetsHotel locations nationwide.
When: July 16
Where: Participating locations

More free ice cream?

Know of National Ice Cream Day freebies and deals that we missed? Email us at and we'll add 'em here. Celebrate responsibly. 

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Eric Vilas-Boas is a writer and editor at Thrillist. Follow him @e_vb_.