It's the middle of July, which means we're all truly in need of a break from the heat. Coming to the rescue is National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 15, and there are so many places to get free ice cream in NYC (not to mention gelato, soft serve and frozen yogurt) that it's really a toss-up whether you'll find relief from the heat of succumb to sugar shock first.
Either is a better alternative than continuing to slowly melt tbh. Here's where to find free ice cream in NYC on National Ice Cream Day:
Head to Camp Arlo, the Arlo Soho Hotel’s courtyard glampground, to cool off with boozy ice creams and cocktails courtesy of Tipsy Scoop and Muddling Memories. On National Ice Cream Day, the first 50 guests starting at noon will get a complimentary scoop of Frose All Day: white peach sorbet infused with Notorious Pink Rose. Must be 21, 231 Hudson St., Soho
In the heart of Little Italy, you’ll find Polosud Gelato, where pastry chef Giacomo D’Alessandro and his team churn and scoop authentic Sicilian gelato in 21 flavors, made with imported ingredients and sold on the same day. On National Ice Cream Day, buy a small cone and you’ll get a second one free. 166 Mott St.
Fish-shaped waffle cone sensation Taiyaki — and their soft serve in flavors like black sesame and matcha aren’t bad either — is opening its third New York City location on July 12 in Williamsburg. To celebrate, the purchase of one cone from July 12-15 gets you a choice of freebies: either another cone or one of their inflatable unicorn floaties (they’re usually only sold with one of their colorful milkshakes). For the grand opening celebration, Taiyaki cones will be priced at $9, then revert back to their usual $8 afterward. 294 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn
Ample Hills Creamery
Here’s a sweet surprise from Ample Hills: For National Ice Cream Day, they’ll be scooping inside the Soho shop of unisex boutique clothing store Opening Ceremony. Every flavor from Ample Hills’ pushcart is totally free from noon to 7 p.m. — or until scoops last. 35 Howard St., Soho
During the warm months, Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus also turns out decadent ice creams in delicious waffle cones (the second most popular food Belgium is known for!) On Sunday, get a complimentary two-piece chocolate box with any ice cream purchase. Three locations in Manhattan
This National Ice Cream Day, Godiva is having a BOGO deal on soft serve. Choose between the eternal classics chocolate and vanilla (or get a swirl) in a cup or the brand new Dark Decadence Waffle Cone.
It’s more than just ice cream and frozen yogurt at 16 Handles — the chain also has gelato, and on National Ice Cream Day you can be the first to taste their new raspberry lemon flavor. Get your 3-ounce sample at any 16 Handles location — and if you’re not into gelato, they’ll let you substitute any froyo flavor of your choice.
Los Angeles mochi bar My/Mo Mochi is popping up in all-natural makeup brand Winky Lux’s recently opened store to give away free mochi ice cream from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Flavors include strawberry, mango, green tea and salted caramel. 69 Ludlow St., Lower East Side
Nickel & Diner
In celebration of National Ice Cream Day, the modern take on the classic diner Nickel & Diner is offering complimentary mini ice cream cones during brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The housemade flavors include banana caramel, honey ginger, lychee and the new shisito pepper & avocado. 1 Howard St., Little Italy
The heat is here so it’s not just humans who need a frozen treat on National Ice Cream Day. Your pup can indulge too courtesy of the on-demand pet walking and boarding app Wag!, which is setting up dog-friendly ice cream carts serving complimentary treats at six dog parks throughout Central Park from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday. Each cart also has a shaded cooldown station to help keep dogs safe in the heat.