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There are lots of Free Cone Day events at various ice cream shops and chains, but arguably the most famous and anticipated of them all is Dairy Queen Free Cone Day.

DQ Free Cone Day is always held on the first day of spring, which in 2023 is March 20 — and for the entire day, you’ll be able to get a sweet treat free of charge. But how does this whole thing work? Is it really free for everyone? We’ll tell you everything you need to know to get your free cone and kick off the spring season.

And if you love food holidays, we’ve got what you need to celebrate (and eat) all year long.

Where to get ice cream and when chart

Everyone can get a FREE small vanilla soft-serve cone on Dairy Queen Free Cone Day — March 20, 2023.

No purchase required. No app required. No email signup required. No strings attached. All you have to do is visit a participating Dairy Queen on Free Cone Day from open to close — typically 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. — to get your freebie. (And nope, you don’t have to purchase anything.)

Just order your free cone at the register and DQ will give you a free small soft-serve cone (regularly $1.99) while supplies last. There’s a limit of one free cone per person.

Note: The cone is free, but donations to the Children’s Miracle Network are encouraged on Free Cone Day.


You can get a dipped cone instead for only $1 (reg. $2.99).

Two people. holding Dairy Queen cones, one regular and one dipped

If you’d rather have your soft serve coated in a hard shell of chocolate or churro, you can upgrade your free cone for just $1 on Dairy Queen Free Cone Day. These treats typically cost $2.89, so getting one for a buck saves you 65%!

And that’s not all you can do with customizing. You don’t have to get a vanilla cone; they also offer chocolate soft serve or a chocolate-vanilla swirl.

Related: Chill Ways to Get Dairy Queen Blizzards Cheaper



Most Dairy Queen locations celebrate Free Cone Day — but not all of them.

A Dairy Queen Grill & Chill storefront.

If you’re in the United States, there’s a good chance that your local Dairy Queen is participating in Free Cone Day. But unlike Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, there’s no way to filter locations on the DQ website by which locations celebrate Free Cone Day. So you’ll need to check with your neighborhood DQ directly to see if they are participating in the event.

Note: To make sure you get the free cone, your best bet is to go in person (or via drive thru). The fine print says this “may not be valid on delivery or mobile orders”. So you’re saying there’s a chance!


Dairy Queen Free Cone Day: Tips, Tricks & Surprises