Sunday Is National Ice Cream Day: Here’s Where to Get Free, Cheap and Extra-Special Scoops
When it comes to summer holidays, it’s hard to pick a favorite. We blissed out with fireworks and hot dogs on the Fourth, and we fully intend to spend Labor Day basking on a beach. But only one day holds the honor of being all about our favorite seasonal treat: National Ice Cream Day, the third Sunday in July (that would be this Sunday, the 21st). We’ve got the scoop (sorry) on all the freebies, deals and limited-run flavors around the city.
Fany Gerson’s popular West Village shop for paletas (fruity ice pops) and traditional Mexican-style ice cream is giving away free mini cones to all the kids at the shop on National Ice Cream Day. Adults are in luck too: Those who buy a sundae, a chamoyada (sweet and salty slushy with pickled plum juice and salted chili) or a pint will also get a free mini cone of their choice.
240 Sullivan St.; lanewyorkina.com
Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit
Who says you need to eat dairy to get in on the fun? The fruit-based soft-serve spot will be offering free toppings on any order—cup, cone or pop—throughout the day. Alongside their classic options of banana, dark chocolate, mango and strawberry, there’s a new seasonal blueberry flavor.
25 E. 17th St.; chloesfruit.com
Big Gay Ice Cream
The most fabulous of all ice cream shops has an equally fabulous deal for the holiest day of the year: Two regular-size vanilla cones for $2 at all Big Gay Ice Cream shops, all day on Sunday, July 21. (Although we might have a hard time resisting the signature topping-smothered treats.)
Multiple locations; biggayicecream.com
The luxurious boxed chocolate brand is whipping up a sweet deal for the celebratory day. Godiva boutiques and cafés nationwide will be offering a BOGO 50% off deal on soft-serve and parfaits ($6 to $8) on Sunday. Choose from Godiva Dark, Vanilla or a swirl of both and waffle-cone options like Dark Decadence or chocolate dipped.
Multiple locations; godiva.com
This Park Slope provisions shop may be better known for its savory offerings (and cheese, so much cheese), but it knows its way around a sweet treat. The house gelatos are made with farm-fresh ingredients and hand-spun in small batches. Get 20% off all gelato on Sunday and then 20% off all gelato sandwiches (on housemade cookies, natch) on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2).
228 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; bklynlarder.com
The café dedicated to the famed chocolate hazelnut spread of course has a delicious deal in store. From 3 to 5 p.m., the first 50 customers will receive one free Frozen Nutella Pop topped with chopped hazelnuts. Not sure you’ll make it in time? Keep your cool—until 5 p.m., you can still get a complimentary scoop of the gelato flavor of your choice.
116 University Pl.; 800-861-4888
Urbanspace Times Square Market
Ice & Vice has returned to Urbanspace Times Square Market, and the cult-fave shop is celebrating National Ice Cream Day with an Ice Cream Social (Justice) and $1 scoops. On Friday, July 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Ice & Vice booth in Times Square, enjoy a scoop of your favorite flavor for just a dollar. The cherry on top: 100% of all proceeds go to the NYCLU.
Broadway between 43rd and 44th; urbanspacenyc.com
Like your treats with a little something extra? This boozy ice cream purveyor has you covered. The first 100 customers at both Tipsy Scoop locations (Kips Bay and Williamsburg) and at the Mondrian Terrace will receive free scoops of the newest seasonal flavor: Malibu N Chill. The vegan option is made with a coconut milk and Malibu coconut rum base, then infused with pineapple, orange and citrus.
Multiple locations; tipsyscoop.com
Ample Hills Creamery x Black Tap
Two ice cream powerhouses join forces to bring you a treat inspired by a nostalgic summer tradition. Debuting at Black Tap on July 19, the State Fair CrazyShake features Ample Hills corn ice cream with popcorn brittle and a caramel swirl, a vanilla-frosted rim with kettle corn popcorn, and a topping of two fried Twinkies, two fried Oreos, whipped cream, sprinkles, caramel drizzle and a cherry. (On July 21, the first ten customers to order one at any NYC shop will get a second CrazyShake of their choosing.) At Ample Hills, you’ll find a three-scoop sundae with caramel, a salted chocolate pretzel, a Twinkie, caramel corn and whipped cream. Like the state fair, these won’t be around forever—they’re only available until August 19.
Swing by to-go window at the Smith's original East Village location for a July-only treat: The Smithwich ($5) features the restaurant’s quarter-pounder chocolate chip cookies filled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
55 Third Ave.; thesmithrestaurant.com
This scoop shop uses superfoods like chia seeds, collagen and more to create ice cream with actual health benefits. Think flavors like Boost Me Up (made with passionfruit, collagen, chia, coconut water and amaranth to improve skin, joint and gastrointestinal health) or Soothe Me Up (made with valerian root, coconut, almond milk, dark chocolate chip and vanilla to aid anxiety while helping with sleep). On July 21, get an extra scoop and cone upgrade added to any purchase.
95 Orchard St.; thegoodbive.com
Dasher & Crank
Popular Miami ice cream shop Dasher & Crank has a pop-up at Gansevoort Meatpacking and will offer a second complimentary scoop to anybody purchasing a single ($5.50). Choose from four inventive flavors: Zak the Baker Babka N Cream (a flavor collab with the famed Miami bakery), Hazelnut Crunch, Lemon Speculoos and a vegan Ube.
18 Ninth Ave.; dasherandcrank.com
Your fave juice shop is doling out $2 Freezes (PJ’s vegan, dairy-free version of soft-serve, made with nut milks), available at select locations (tip: filter by product). Freeze is available in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and, new for summer, pineapple. Make sure you hit up the toppings bar to douse your plant-based swirl in fruit, nuts and dairy-free drizzles.
Select locations; pressedjuicery.com
Grand Bazaar NYC’s Fourth Annual Ice Cream Blizzard
Manhattan’s largest weekly curated market will host its annual celebration on National Ice Cream Day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The lineup includes Stax Ice Cream, Taiyaki NYC, Bona Bona Ice Cream, Blue Marble and Melt Bakery, among others. Each of the specialty ice cream vendors will also donate 10% of their sales to four local public schools, making this a philanthropic day of indulgence.
100 W. 77th St.; grandbazaarnyc.com
This shop, popular for the bubble waffle street snack, brings traditional Hong Kong eats and sweets with a bit of New York flavor to the Lower East Side. On Sunday, July 21, New Territories is doling out BOGO single-scoop ice cream from 1 to 4 p.m. Get a lick of the house favorite, Cookie Dough Oreo, and other unique flavors such as Ovaltine de Leche, Yin Yang (half Hong Kong milk tea and half coffee) and Gold Rush (salted egg custard).
190 Orchard St.; newterritoriesnyc.com
Uniqlo x My/Mo Mochi
Head to the Fifth Avenue and Soho outposts of the Japanese basics clothing brand (yes, you read that right) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 21 for free treats from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. In between shopping for new tees and jumpsuits, grab a chewy, mochi-wrapped scoop of classic flavors like Sweet Mango or Ripe Strawberry as well as new triple-layer varieties like S’mores and Vanilla Blueberry. You can also enter via Instagram to win a year’s supply of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, a $500 Uniqlo shopping spree and more.
For one day only (July 21), customers at Eataly’s Flatiron and downtown gelato counters will get a free size upgrade (e.g., if you order a small, you’ll get a medium for no extra charge). Select from a variety of gelato flavors made in house every day using local, pasteurized whole milk from Hudson Valley Dairy farm, slow-churned with ingredients like pistachios from Sicily, hazelnuts from Piedmont and Venchi chocolate from Torino.
Multiple locations; eataly.com
The burger joint is teaming up with alcohol-infused treat maker FrutaPop to give away Coconut Rosé and Coconut Brosé (the same, but for dudes) ice pops on that special Sunday while supplies last (limit one per customer). Bring your free pop inside the restaurant to add it to a Coconut Sorbet Rosé Float.
The Beach at Dream Downtown
The stylish poolside bar will be offering its soft-serve Pineapple Whip for $10 (usually $14), featuring a limited-edition pineapple and coconut flavor. Served in a halved coconut, the delectable (and ’Grammable) dessert is sprinkled with dragonfruit and topped with a tropical fruit mix and edible flowers.
355 W. 16th St.; dreambeach.club
You probably know the chain for its fro-yo, but we were surprised to learn it also serves some incredible gelato offerings. Stop by any NYC location on National Ice Cream Day for free three-ounce samples of the new raspberry-lemon flavor. If you aren’t a gelato fan, pick a free three-ounce sample of any fro-yo flavor instead.
Multiple locations; 16handles.com
This Indian-inspired ice cream shop in Gowanus has our mouths watering with its special falooda sundae, a spin on a traditional cold drink found on the Indian subcontinent. The treat features house-made rose pomegranate syrup and Sweet Milk ice cream, with a topping of fresh pomegranate seeds. There are also specials throughout July, like half off pints of Orange Fennel all month and a special vegan chocolate cake (made with the house rose ice cream) the last weekend of the month.
268 Smith St., Brooklyn; malai.co
Milk & Cream Cereal Bar
The early bird gets the worm…er, ice cream. This Little Italy sweet shop (known for its build-your-own cereal bowl blends) is giving away 50 free swirls—first come, first serve—of its fun and fruity soft serves, with a choice of cereal blend and one topping.
159 Mott St.; milkandcreambar.com
Another Hong Kong street food–inspired dessert shop, Eggloo will be offering complimentary mini vanilla scoops on top of all cone orders. The signature waffles—crispy on the outside, sweet and soft on the inside—make a delightful complement to creamy and refreshing ice cream flavors like Campfire S’mores, Green Tea and White Rabbit Candy.
60 Mulberry St.; myeggloo.com
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
For the adventurous ice cream hunter looking to indulge in an unusual flavor on National Ice Cream Day, head to this envelope-pushing creamery to try…tomato gelato. The scoop scientists created the flavor specifically for the day with a concentrated tomato paste and fresh cream. Served plain or with a balsamic drizzle, it’s a surprisingly refreshing sweet and savory treat.
Multiple locations; laboratoriodelgelato.com