Today is the annual food holiday you've been anticipating since temperatures hit the 70s way back in April.
The barrage of free frozen treats, new, exclusive flavors and celebratory festivals accompanying National Ice Cream Day in New York City kicked off Thursday, but there's still one more day to take advantage of the offers.
Devise a strategy to maximize your sweet returns with our tip sheet:
Mini cones at Creamline: The burger joint's Seventh Avenue outpost (180 Seventh Ave.) is offering free cones filled with locally sourced soft serve every Saturday and Sunday in July, in honor of National Ice Cream Month. Get one in chocolate or vanilla, or a twist of the two.
Two-for-one bars at MAGNUM New York: Bring a friend to MAGNUM's summer pop-up at 875 Washington St. Sunday and claim two customizable ice cream bars for the price of one after checking in on social media with the hashtag #MagnumNYC. This way, no one has to agree on the fancy toppings; you'll get the gold glitter flakes, she'll have the chocolate-covered chia seeds.
Vanilla cones at McDonald's: You'll need to download the fast food chain's app to claim your free vanilla soft serve cone with a mobile coupon for participating franchises today. If you're really lucky, Charlie Bucket-lucky, you'll get the one golden cone that entitles you to McDonald's soft serve for life. (May the impossible odds be in your favor.)
Häagen-Dazs at the Museum of Food and Drink: The Brooklyn museum known for exhibits you can eat is teaming up with Häagen-Dazs to stock its freezer with pints of ice cream for a giveaway on Saturday and Sunday at 62 Bayard St. Museum visitors will receive a free individual cup while supplies last, but keep in mind: admission ranges from $7 to $14 for guests ages 6 and up.
Soft serve at 16 Handles: Snag a free 4-ounce portion of the self-serve fro-yo chain's three ice cream flavors by presenting your 16 Handles app to a cashier today. Choose from classic vanilla, dutch chocolate or the new limited-edition strawberry shortcake, a collaboration with Food Network host Duff Goldman.
Ice cream cones at The OddFellow Carnival at Chefs Club Counter: OddFellows is giving away 25 free soft serve cones with toppings like caramel popcorn and cotton candy at its carnival-themed pop-up in NoLIta this Sunday. Doors open at 12 p.m., but we recommend lining up way earlier than that outside the storefront at 62 Spring St.
Two-for-one cups and cones at Carvel: The national chain with locations in all five boroughs is rewarding customers on Sunday with a free second cup or cone along with their purchase of any size or flavor of soft ice cream in a cup or cone. A portion of the profits will be donated to Save the Whales, a nonprofit committed to marine wildlife conservation, in honor of Carvel's Fudgie the Whale mascot.
MilkMade's Montauk Monster Sorbet: Brooklyn-based boutique ice cream company MilkMade is scooping out an exclusive flavor for National Ice Cream Day at its Carroll Gardens tasting room (204 Sackett St.) Sunday. Montauk Monster Sorbet is a watermelon sorbet infused with Montauk Brewing Company's watermelon session ale and crafted in small batches.
Morgenstern and StreetEasy's Brownstone Crunch: Who'd expect a real estate listings site to partner up with Morgenstern's to introduce an exclusive, new ice cream flavor? Brownstone Crunch – available this weekend only, starting Friday, at the inventive Lower East Side ice cream parlor – combines salted chocolate pretzel ice cream with whipped cream, fudge and caramel. One scoop goes to any customer who donates at least $1 to Women In Need (WIN), a nonprofit providing shelter and supportive housing for the city's homeless families. For every dollar donated, StreetEasy will make a matching contribution to WIN.
NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard: Artisanal ice cream makers are cherries on top of this Sunday's Grand Bazaar NYC, a weekly indoor and outdoor market featuring arts, crafts, furniture and food at 100 W. 77th St. Vendors attending include Dolche Brooklyn, Victory Garden, and Taiyaki NYC. Admission is free, but donations –100 percent of which go to four neighborhood schools – are encouraged. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.