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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 — 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 DQ cone in 2024, based on how they kicked off the 2023 spring season.

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


Dairy Queen Free Cone Day

The next Dairy Queen Free Cone Day is on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, marking their 10th year (minus 2020) of giving away free ice cream cones. DQ launched their free cone day in 2014 (as a goodbye to winter and a hello to the beginning of their favorite season). With over 4,300 U.S. locations, you should be able to find a participating shop easily.


Everyone can get a FREE small vanilla soft-serve cone.

Like every year, in 2023, there was no purchase required. No app was required. No email signup was required. No strings were attached. You only had to 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.

The free cone small soft-serve cone (regularly $1.99) offer was valid in store, with a limit of one free cone per person.

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



You can get a dipped cone instead for only $1 (reg. $2.89).

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 could upgrade your free cone for just $1 on Dairy Queen Free Cone Day 2023. These treats typically cost $2.89, so getting one for a buck saved you 65%!

Not a fan of plain vanilla ice cream? DQ also offered 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 participates 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 when this food holiday comes back around in March, 2024, 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 2024: Tips, Tricks & Surprises