We love freebies around here, and the warm weather offers all kinds of opportunities for free events and summer treats. From museum admission to ice cream, we’ve rounded up some of the best things you can get for free this summer season. So mark your calendars and be sure to check your local locations for details before heading out to scoop up any of these promotions.
Food and drink
- Free donuts. If you’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a free donut every day until the end of this year with Krispy Kreme’s vaccination freebie. No purchase is necessary, but you’ll need to show your vaccination card.
- Free Slurpee. Get ready, Slurpee fans. Sunday, July 11, is 7-Eleven Day, and the chain marks it with free Slurpees for customers. This year, it’s offering one free small Slurpee any day in the month, starting July 1, for its 7Rewards members. Check out 7-Eleven’s website for updated information.
- Free ice cream. July is National Ice Cream Month, and the sweetest day of the year, a.k.a National Ice Cream Day, is Sunday, July 18. So be on the lookout for promotions from your favorite ice cream chains such as Carvel, Baskin-Robbins and Dairy Queen.
- Free hot dogs. Nothing says summer like hot dogs, so it’s appropriate that July is also National Hot Dog Month, and Tuesday, July 20, is National Hot Dog Day. Expect to find deals from chains such as Nathan’s Famous, Sonic and 7-Eleven.
- Free root beer float. Beat the summer heat with a cold root beer float. Participating A&W restaurant locations will be offering free small root beer floats to celebrate National Root Beer Float Day on Friday, Aug. 6. No purchase is necessary, but donations to DAV (Disabled American Veterans) are encouraged.
- Free entrance to national parks. The National Park Service has six free entrance days in 2021, and three of them are in the summer. Get into one of the more than 400 national parks free of charge on Wednesday, Aug. 4 and 25, and on Saturday, Sept. 25.
- Free museum tickets. Saturday, Sept. 18, is Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day. Visit one of 44 participating museums and cultural institutions in 28 states admission-free. You’ll need to register and download Museum Day tickets ahead of time. Each ticket provides free general admission for two.
- Free DIY workshops. Home Depot offers live-streamed and digital workshops on various homeowner and DIY topics all year long. Why not take on a new skill this summer?
- Free park clean-up kit. Get some fresh air and do good at the same time by helping to clean up a nearby park. The Alt National Park Service, a coalition of national and state park employees and environmental scientists, gives out a free clean-up kit to volunteers willing to spruce up a nearby national park. Kits include biodegradable bags, gloves, a reflective vest and other items.
- Free concerts. During the summer, Bryant Park in New York City offers residents and visitors access to live, in-person concerts and performances. And this year, everyone can join in, no matter where you live. All Bryant Park Picnic Performances will be live-streamed for free, and you can enjoy dance, theater and music performances through September. For local concerts near you, be sure to search online for “free concerts” along with your town or city.
- Free plays. Many cities offer Shakespeare in the Park during the summer, so do a quick search online for your town or city. These outdoor performances are typically free of charge and feature local professional theater groups.
- Free bowling. During the summer, kids can bowl for free at select bowling centers. Check out participating locations in your area at kidsbowlfree.com.
- Free roller skating. Keep kids and grandkids entertained with free roller skating this summer. Find locations at kidsskatefree.com.
- Free (and almost free) movies. Many movie theater chains run a free or deeply-discounted movie program during the summer. This year, you can catch kid- and family-friendly movies for free at Marquee Cinemas, for $1 at Regal Movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and for $1.50 on Wednesdays at Cinemark theaters. If only the popcorn were free!