Courtney Omell | 

Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen: Here's What to Expect On March 20, 2025

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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 will be March 20 in 2025! — 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 2025.

And if you love free ice cream, we've got all the Dairy Queen coupons and hacks for cheap Dairy Queen blizzards to get you deals all year round.

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Dairy Queen Free Cone Day is a one-day-a-year free cone giveaway.

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Dairy Queen's Free Cone Day is an annual event where customers can receive a free small vanilla soft-serve cone at any of the 4,300+ participating locations across the U.S. You don’t have to spend anything to get it, nor do you have to download an app or sign up for emails. Just visit your local Dairy Queen during business hours, typically from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., to claim a free cone (one per person). 

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

KCL predicts the next DQ Free Cone Day will happen on Thursday, March 20, 2025 — the first day of spring. 

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Since they started the promotion in 2014, Dairy Queen Free Cone Day has taken place on the first day of spring in each year (except 2020 and 2021 when it was canceled), which is either March 19 or 20. 

In 2025, the first day of spring (and Free Cone Day) will be Thursday, March 20. Dairy Queen will offer free cones from open to close for one day only. Hours vary between locations, but they’re typically open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

What Ice Cream Cones Are Free?

Everyone can get a FREE small vanilla soft-serve cone. There is a limit of one per customer, but no purchase is necessary.

If your store typically serves chocolate soft serve, it's worth giving them a call to see if chocolate or twist cones will be included in the promotion.

You can get a dipped cone instead for only $1 (reg. $3.69).

If you’d rather have your soft serve coated in a hard shell of chocolate or churro, you can upgrade your free cone. In 2025, we expect any upgrades with cost $1 on Dairy Queen Free Cone Day.

Not a fan of plain vanilla ice cream? DQ also offers chocolate soft serve or a chocolate-vanilla swirl.

Pro Tip: DQ Rewards members can earn double points on any food purchase on Cone Day as well. Sign up for free before March 20, 2025 and start earning points towards your next free ice cream.

Where can you get a Dairy Queen free cone?

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If you’re in the United States, there’s a good chance that your local Dairy Queen participates in Free Cone Day. However, mall locations do not participate. You will have to visit a stand-alone store to get your free cone.

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, you have to go in person or via drive thru. The fine print says this is "not valid on delivery or mobile orders”.

More Ways to Get Free Ice Cream Cones

Rita's Italian Ice

Get a free Rita's Italian Ice at all locations on the first day of spring — March 20, 2025. Stop in between noon and 9 p.m. to get your free Italian Ice.

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