National Ice Cream Day - Celebrate National Ice Cream Day on December 13! We have the best ideas for enjoying this cool treat, even in the middle of winter!

National Ice Cream Day 2023 – December 13, 2023

On National Ice Cream Day, which takes place on December 13, you probably won’t hear the ice cream truck, with its delightful tune, roll through your neighborhood. (There’s another National Ice Cream Day in July for that.) Your favorite ice cream shop may even be closed for the season! But it’s still a perfectly good reason to get a pint or three (who’s counting) of the good stuff to share with your friends and family.

National Ice Cream Day timeline

500 BC
Invention of Ice Cream

People of the Persian Empire started making ice cream. by pouring concentrate of grape juice over snow.

Ice Cream Maker Patented

Nancy Johnson invents and patents the first hand-cranked ice cream maker.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben took a $5 course on ice-cream making and opened the first Ben & Jerry's in a converted Burlington gas station.

Dairy Dream

8.9% of the milk produced in the U.S. was used to make frozen dairy products.

National Ice Cream Day Activities

  1. Try a new flavor

    There are hundreds of flavors of ice cream beyond just chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. If you’re feeling zesty, find a parlor that offers lemon meringue, or even horseradish ice cream. Or, if seafood is more your thing, find one of the joints on the east coast that serve up lobster ice cream. If you don’t like it, at least you can say you tried.

  2. Go old school

    Before the commercial success of ice cream in America in the 1800s, ice cream was typically reserved as a special summertime treat. But now, thanks to simple and cheap at-home devices, you can make whatever flavor you want. All you need is eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and the flavorings of your choice. It may take longer than a quick trip to the grocery store, but it’s a fun way to enjoy this cold confection.

  3. Volunteer in your community

    Serving ice cream is a tried and true way to bring a community together. This may be at the ice cream parlor in a local assisted living center, or perhaps at a free ice cream giveaway at the park, funded by donations. However you do it, the community will be brought closer together by this longtime summer food favorite.

Why We Love National Ice Cream Day

  1. It makes us happy

    Now this may seem a bit too obvious, but ice cream makes us happy. If you need proof, just ask some of the neuroscientists over at the University of Sussex in England. In one study, the scientists found that vanilla ice cream activates a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex. In simpler terms, when we eat ice cream, the pleasure center of our brain lights up. This is great news. Thanks science.

  2. It’s social

    Whether we’re scrambling down the street chasing the ice cream truck or meeting up with friends at the local dairy, ice cream is more than just a cool treat — it’s a social outing. You can’t beat a shared banana split. Need a place where three generations of a family can all find something they want? An ice cream parlor’s the place to be.

  3. There are endless varieties

    Almost as soon as ice cream was sold in America, people started adding new flavors and experimenting with the creation process. Now, more than 200 years later, it’s hard to imagine a flavor of ice cream that’s yet to be invented. Bacon, garlic, wasabi, and fish egg ice cream flavors are all out there at the moment, just to name a few.

National Ice Cream Day dates

Year Date Day
2022 December 13 Tuesday
2023 December 13 Wednesday
2024 December 13 Friday
2025 December 13 Saturday
2026 December 13 Sunday