Get ready to get treated, y'all. Dairy Queen's fourth annual Free Cone Day is coming up, and that means on Mar. 20, you'll be able to snag a free Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream cone to celebrate the first day of spring, Delish reported. On top of the sheer goodness of getting a taste of spring and summer, digging in to a free cone means doing some good, too: Free Cone Day will help raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Maria Hokanson, Executive Vice President of Marketing for American Dairy Queen Corporation, said in a statement, "We're excited for our fourth annual Free Cone Day. This day has become a spring tradition and a sign that warmer weather is upon us," Delish reported.
According to Delish, participating non-mall Dairy Queen and DQ Grill & Chill restaurants will be handing out the cones to customers. As for fundraising, this year's customers have a lofty goal to beat — last year, Free Cone Day helped raise $300,000 for local hospitals from donations collected at participating DQ restaurants, Delish reported. That was $100,000 more than the total from the second Free Cone Day, which saw $200,000 collected, TIME reported. Dairy Queen told TIME it has raised "more than $120 million for the cause over the past 32 years."
If you're hoping to extend your warm weather welcome a little longer than the time it takes to eat one free cone, you're in luck. Dairy Queen isn't the only company handing out free cones. Ben & Jerry's will also join in the fun, although the company hasn't yet released any information about the 2018 Free Cone Day. TIME reported that Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day started as a way to thank the brand's customers, and since Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day celebrates its anniverary, you can be pretty sure the timing will be similar to the 2017 Free Cone Day, which took place April 4.
There is a time limit on Ben & Jerry's free cones — in 2017, they were only served from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, free cones were available to customers all around the world, and folks who came in to get one could choose from multiple Ben & Jerry's flavors.
Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim said in a 2017 statement, "We believe in having fun, and in thanking our fans with free ice cream for our anniversary every ear. Through the power of ice cream, we are able to form strong connections and create positive social change together. Free Cone Day is one way to show our fans how much we appreciate them," TIME reported.
According to TIME, Ben & Jerry's gives away over one million scoops of ice cream on Free Cone Day each year.
If DQ and Ben & Jerry's still won't satisfy your spring craving, you're in even more luck, because May 8 will be Häagen-Dazs's Free Cone Day, and customers will be able to get a free sugar cone, cake cone, or cup, the brand says on its website. Its 2017 Free Cone Day benefited bees, which Häagen-Dazs said in a press release are critical both to the environment and to the process of making its ice cream.
"Without bees, many of our indulgent flavors would disappear from our shops, including Vanilla Swiss Almond, Strawberry and Rocky Road," Adam Hanson, president and general manager of the Häagen-Dazs Shoppe Co., said in the release.
After the dour winter weather, a triple helping of fresh (and free!) ice cream sounds like the perfect way to drive away the snow and the cold. Bring on the blooming flowers and the beach!